Long-Distance Relationships

Sometimes physical distance comes between lovers. But have no fear, there are many happy, healthy long-distance relationships, and yours can be one of them.

First of all, be honest about why you’re in a long-distance relationship to begin with. Are you really in love or just afraid you won’t meet someone else who will make you happy? It sounds like a brutal question, but one must consider why not to date around and see if you can find someone you can spend time with in person rather than through Skype.

Once you’ve been honest with yourself and realized that this person is worth staying true to while miles away, then you have discovered the right motivations to make it work.

Communication is key in any relationship, but my advice is to find time randomly for little things, such as “I’m thinking of you”, and leave any major talks to Skype, FaceTime, or any other “fake face-to-face” chatting. In my last long-distance relationship we made the mistake of talking about major topics while on the phone coming home from work or while doing chores around the house. Kill two birds with one stone, right? When you’re on the phone it’s easy to get up and do something else and pass it off as harmless multi-tasking, but after awhile my ex and I began to notice when the other wasn’t listening. And that hurts.

So what we decided to do was call every morning before work to say our morning “I love you”s and at lunch (when our schedules matched) to see how the day was going. At the end of the day we went online and spoke. Sometimes we’d skip a morning or even Skype chat, but for the most part we stayed in contact.

Remember that as hard as it is for you is as hard as it is for your partner, and people react differently. At first my ex didn’t call a lot. Finally one day I blew up at him. He then admitted that it hurt so much for me to be gone that if he made himself busy with other things and “taught himself” to detach from me a bit that it would make it easier on him. Right reaction or not doesn’t matter- it happened, and his emotions motivated his behavior. Sometimes when people are distant we think they’re being cold when maybe they’re just protecting their hearts.

Have “date night”. Sometimes we’d watch the same TV show and then call each other after to discuss it. Or we’d make our own romantic dinner and “eat together” on Skype.

Send pictures! When it snowed where I was I sent him photos and videos. This helped him feel like he was part of my life. When he was out with friends sometimes he’d send me a picture of him with them at the bar, which made me glad that he was being social.

Which brings me to my last point- stay active. Keep busy. It’s easy to get depressed and miss your partner, but get excited about the wonderful things you can share about your experience away.

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