How to make a Long Distance Relationship work: “I wouldn’t call it love at first sight, but I had a good feeling when we first met. Darryl was a unique individual, to say the least. We met at a seminar in Abuja, and a year later, we became an item…a serious one, to be sure. Despite our hectic work schedules, we managed to carve out time for ourselves, which was made much easier by the fact that we both worked in the same city. However, I recently received a promotion letter from work, but it came with some additional responsibilities. I’ll be transferred to the company’s Port Harcourt branch since the MD believes I’m the best candidate for the job. While I’m excited about it, I’m also concerned. I’m not sure how I’ll make my relationship work. Darryl is someone I adore, and I don’t want to lose him.”
There’s no denying that long-distance relationships are difficult. They provide substantial obstacles to overcome, and they usually necessitate the development of specialized skills and resources on the part of the couple to make them work. When children are involved, the stakes are significantly higher.
Nonetheless, long-distance relationships can flourish, even if it appears intimidating or difficult at first. They simply necessitate a little extra thought and effort. With the correct planning, mindset, and communication skills, long-distance relationships can be effectively managed over time.
This article explores How one can Make a Long Distance Relationship Work.
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There are a few crucial things to remember for a long-distance relationship to succeed:
1. Ascertain that both you and your partner are on the same Page: This is a conversation that you and your partner need to have as early as possible. Do you and your partner agree on why you’re apart?
If you believe your partner’s new job opportunity isn’t worth the disruption to your relationship, or if you believe they have other possibilities for travel, resentment may emerge. You could lose faith in what the distance means and think it means something different, like that your spouse doesn’t mind being away from you or that you aren’t valuable enough to stay.
2. Succeeding long term: Maintaining long-distance relationships necessitates specific unique qualities and strengths in both partners. They include:
a. Autonomy: You must, first and foremost, be self-sufficient. Both of you should be persons who appreciate intimacy but are also highly independent, with separate interests, hobbies, and social circles.
b. Independence: To thrive, you’ll also need a life that isn’t reliant on a romantic partner. You must be secure in your ability to negotiate a few situations on your own, such as dinner parties and gatherings. If you believe your life stops or is hampered while your partner isn’t present, you may struggle even more.
c. Trust: Most importantly, you must have trust. If you spend a lot of time worrying about what your partner is doing when you’re apart, the relationship will inevitably fall apart. Although trust is not created by being close together and keeping an eye on each other, it can feel as if being apart for a long period would put your relationship to the test and possibly open the door to infidelity.
d. A good Support Network: You’ll need a support system as well as a life outside of the relationship. If you’ve been relying on a relationship for your primary social life, you’re putting too much pressure on the relationship. If your friends and family support you in your relationship, you’ll have more people on your side when you’re feeling lonely.
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Tips on How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work and Grow Stronger
For optimal relationship health, both local and long-distance relationships require many of the same elements. Long-distance ones, on the other hand, will necessitate a little more conscious thought. People in long-distance relationships need to be far more deliberate and diligent in performing the work that makes relationships grow. These tips will be of immense help.
1. Communication: Because you won’t be seeing each other in person, it’s crucial to form and maintain an emotional bond as often as possible. It necessarily doesn’t have to be lengthy or in-depth conversations. Frequent communication, no matter how small, demonstrates that you care enough about the relationship to invest time and effort in it, and it makes it easier to keep up with each other’s lives.
You must be able to articulate your desires as well as discuss your issues and concerns with your partner in a clear and timely manner before they get entrenched and cause resentment. Be open and honest about your situation. Allowing long (days at a time) gaps between speaking will cause your everyday experiences to fade into the background, forcing you to start over every time.
a. Find out what method of communication your partner prefers. Try out a few different technologies to find which one works best for you and your partner. To keep up with minor everyday minutiae of your lives, you could try texting, emailing, or video-calling.
b. Workaround your schedules if possible. If you know you’ll be too busy to communicate, let your partner know ahead of time and do your best to stay in touch. Maintain flexibility and focus on something that interests you if you aren’t as busy as your partner.
c. Talk about the mundane, little things. Don’t feel obligated to have a thoughtful chat about your relationship, hopes, or dreams at every opportunity. Instead, concentrate on the little things that couples who live together would accomplish, such as grocery shopping, housework, and redecorating.
This provides the feeling that you’re building a home together, something you can both look forward to. Connecting and interdependence, which are the foundations of relationships, can be fostered by talking about the boring or routine aspects of your day.
2. Visit Often: When you only have a limited amount of time together, timing is key. To keep long-distance relationships going, you should see each other as often as feasible. Attempt to visit each other as often as possible, or as often as your finances will allow.
Establish a regular visiting schedule, or at the very least make plans for the next visit as soon as the current one concludes. Relationship satisfaction, commitment, and trust are all dependent on face-to-face communication.
3. Be committed to the Relationship: There should be a commitment from either party. You should both be ethically committed to one another, and the relationship should hinge on personal values rather than social pressures. Personal values include beliefs such as “faithfulness is a component of my identity.”
A source of social pressure is the perception of society’s acceptance or disapproval. Keep an eye out for attempts by your partner to persuade you to do something exclusively for their advantage. If you find yourself being dishonest or manipulative in your communication, you may need to evaluate why your relationship is weak in trust.
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4. Set an End Date: While long-distance relationships might be nice for a while, you’ll undoubtedly want to be in the same location as your partner soon. Knowing when that will happen is beneficial to both parties.
Being apart is difficult, so you must both be equally devoted to the relationship and agree on how long this scenario will last and how you intend to eventually live together.
5. Do stuff together even though You’re apart: You can have fun together even if you aren’t physically in the same place. You can plan a Skype movie where you both can watch the same movie even if you’re in different locations. It’s easier than ever to binge-watch shows with your partner thanks to Netflix or other streaming services.
Make fun plans with your partner and look forward to the details of what the two of you will do the next time you see each other. Together, make plans for your upcoming weekend. Make discussing the fun things you’ll do together a habit. This will give both parties something to anticipate.
6. Be confident in your Relationship: Insecurity might lead to one spouse constantly checking in on the other. This might lead to unnecessary tension as a result of excessive calls and texts sent for the wrong reasons. Long-distance relationships necessitate mutual trust to keep the relationship’s boundaries intact.
Of course, this applies to all kinds of relationships, but it’s especially important in ones where you have no means of knowing if your partner is doing what they claim they’re doing.
It’s natural to be concerned when your partner’s behaviour appears to be out of the ordinary. For a few days, they might miss a goodnight call, chat a lot about new pals, or appear less responsive to communications. When this occurs, express your dissatisfaction. Couples communicate constructively to give their spouses a sense of their life and what matters to them.
7. Set clear Expectations and Boundaries
a. Discuss the nature of your relationship: Ask the crucial questions right away to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page about the relationship’s nature. Specify the type of relationship you desire for yourself and your partner.
Are you dating, seeing each other, in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, or engaged, for example? The relationship’s exclusivity should also be defined.
b. Talk through doubts, uncertainty, and fear together: Along with the positive, discuss the scary and tough subject matters. Take advantage of this opportunity to openly discuss your feelings with your partner.
Recognizing your partner’s ups and downs when you are physically separated will help you accept and be comfortable with their low points when you see each other in person again.
c. Remain positive: Concentrate on the positives of the distance, such as the freedom to pursue your passions, hobbies, and job goals.
Recognize that the distance will force you both to be more inventive in communicating and expressing your feelings. Consider this an opportunity to put your communication skills and emotions to the test.
d. Define each other’s role expectations clearly: There should be discussions about what is expected of each of you, regardless of who is at home or who is gone. Expectations that aren’t talked about can come back to hurt you.
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Remember that every relationship, whether long-distance or not, requires hard work and attention to your loved one or spouse. Expect obstacles in the road if you and your spouse are willing to take these steps. These difficulties will only add to a healthier relationship in the long run if you can learn to navigate them.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.