“Long-distance relationships don’t work.” If you are in a long-distance relationship (LDR), you are likely to hear this phrase from everyone around you. Be it your closest friend, colleague, a church pastor, and even your own family saying – ‘You can try but it doesn’t last. People who have been or are in long-distance relationships are tired of hearing this statement, or statements similar to this.
Let’s get one thing straight for some LDR’s work and for some, they don’t. Simple fact. For any kind of relationship, the main obstacle that can test the time of love is distance. But taking LDR into consideration, it can be extremely difficult for individuals to enjoy a relationship wholly when they are separated by cities, oceans and even continents. It is not impossible to maintain a long-distance relationship, however as long as each party remains faithful, open-minded and sticks close to the bud, your relationship is likely to have a happy ending.
Here are the core values that have helped me in holding up my long-distance relationship and I hope it helps you too!
- Keep Communication Alive
The important part of staying in an LDR is to foster an open and honest dialogue with your partner. A successful relationship requires the investment of time and attention, whether a couple lives together in the same home, or are separated by geographical barriers. It’s tempting to not bring up things that are bothering you to avoid confrontation—especially in an LDR when you really want to enjoy every bit of time you have with each other (via online). However, it’s quite important for long-distance couples to discuss any issues they may have. Simply by making efforts and interacting regularly with your partner, a long-distance relationship can thrive for as long as necessary.
2. Trust Each Other
One of the most valuable assets in my relationship is trust, which I can confidently declare. Without a doubt, I trust my partner wholeheartedly. I may be thousands of miles away from him, but I am well aware of every detail of his everyday activities, which leads to our transparency.
One of my girlfriends asked me, ‘aren’t you insecure or worried if he will be whisked away by another woman?‘ No. I don’t. In fact, I trust my partner.
For some, there will be moments of jealousy and insecurity in even the most secure relationships. However, it’s true. Every perceived slight of envy will be magnified in a long-distance relationship. The last thing you want to do while you’re apart is obsessively checking his social media page on what he’s doing when he doesn’t respond to your texts quickly enough.
If you don’t trust your partner or know you have jealous tendencies, you might want to reconsider LDR. You need to confront any trust issues as they arise, and resolve these through honest and direct communication with your partner.
3. Maximize Technology
Technological advancement has created an innovative range of affordable, real-time communication methods. Resources such as Skype text messages, IMs, emails, telephone calls, or video chatting, keeping in touch is the most important thing you can do in a long-distance relationship. There are even smartphone apps that allow long-distance couples to share photos, videos, send voice messages, and more. We often use Whatsapp video calls! Yayyy.
This has made it easier and cheaper than ever to make international or long-distance calls, meaning that couples can remain in constant contact, regardless of their location. By embracing these developments, there is no reason why your relationship cannot remain strong over time.
4. Remember Why You Are In the Relationship The First Place.
You need to always remain focused on your relationship and why you engaged with your partner in the first place. As daily life kicks in, we will be busy with work and daily chores however take a time to pause and remember their unique qualities and the feelings of love that had given you the courage to remain stronger in your relationship. This can quickly put your mind at ease and eliminate any doubt that may exist in your mind. Ultimately, it is important to keep in mind that distance does not automatically alter feelings or an individual’s personal characteristics.
5. Make the Most of Time Spent Together
Depending on the circumstances of your relationship and the distance involved, the chances are that you will at least get to spend a minimal amount of time with your partner. This must be optimized if your union is to succeed, as it serves as a physical reminder of the nature of your love and the true depths of your feelings. So plan activities in advance, and ensure that you make the most of every single moment together. Trust me, this will be something that most of you will look forward too!
6. Write Your Relationship Goals
When I decided to take a step of faith and stay in a long-distance relationship, I and my partner sat down and wrote our goals together. A one-year relationship plan and we stayed faithful and took it quite dearly. You may ask, why write a plan? Remember, you are not in any sort of ordinary relationship. Being in an LDR requires a lot of effort, time and a lot of emotions and most importantly you need a PLAN – be sure you know when one of you will be visiting the other next. If you have a definite end to the distance already on the calendar, even if it’s just going to be 14 days together, the time apart will be easier to deal with. It’s also important to have a general sense of when the long-distance phase of your relationship will come to an end. An indefinite LDR is unsustainable for most couples, so having a plan for eventually moving to common ground is helpful.
7. Consider the Benefits of Time Apart
Often, conducting a long-term relationship relies on your ability to think positively and make the best from a less than ideal situation. If you approach your relationship with an open and forward-thinking mind, for example, it is possible to recognize the benefits of spending time apart from a loved one and use this realization to strengthen the bonds of love and fondness. This takes time, however, so you must also be patient and allow yourself to adapt to your newly enforced circumstances.
What have you learned about long-distance relationships? Share your thoughts with me.
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