In today’s tech-savvy world it is easy to meet and fall in love with someone outside of your local community. Technology makes it easy to shrink the distance between two people, but you have to be intentional if you want your relationship to be healthy and survive the distance.
I have been in a long-distance relationship off and on for the better part of seven years with the same man. We are both entrepreneurs with busy schedules, neither of us wants to remarry, and we share many common interests. The thing I love the most about our relationship is there are no pretenses to need to be someone or something we’re not.
One of the biggest keys to creating a thriving relationship is the ability to have open and honest communication. We talk about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! They need to know someone and be known by someone is a basic human need. If you are in an LDR, consider how well you communicate, it will be an indication of how long your relationship will last. Communication is the glue that holds you together.
Set expectations for what you want to build together. It is essential to be on the same page when it comes to defining your relationship. Do you want to be exclusive or will you continue to date other people? If dating is ok, are you expecting monogamy? If you are marriage-minded, it requires one person to be willing to relocate at some point. Have this discussion early to avoid heartache. Having a home-based business can make a move more natural for one partner. Set timelines for check-in points to make sure you’re still in alignment and create a plan to keep the relationship moving forward.
Create a schedule for minimal communication. Agree to greet each other each morning and say goodnight before retiring daily. Make a point to share key points in each of your days to build a connection. Send photos or video clips regularly when you don’t have time for conversations. Being intentional about staying in touch will help your partner feel loved and valued.
Spice up your communication with sexy messages. Sexual desire is a natural part of a relationship. Creating sexual tension helps keep the fires burning between visits. Letting your partner know there is powerful chemistry between you is good for emotional reassurance that you’re in this together.
Share experiences together like watching a movie, reading a book or taking a walk. With a cell phone, it is easy to take your partner with you anywhere you go. Video chat while going out for a walk together, share the beauty of nature. Read a personal development book together and discuss what you’re applying to your life and hold each other accountable. Watch a Rom-Com together and laugh at the funny parts. Building into each other’s life is essential for creating mutual interests.
Plan face-to-face visits at regular intervals. A personal touch, eye contact, and shared intimacy are all building blocks that need to be experienced on a consistent basis to keep the relationship fresh and exciting. Build anticipation for each of your rendezvous to make each visit special and memorable. Meet in a city in the middle to cut down on travel time. Visit each other’s city to save on expenses if budget is an issue. Find creative ways to make regular visits a part of your plan.
Use snail-mail to send occasional cards, letters of gifts. Having a tangible memento to hold on to keeps the relationship real. Sending something scented will bring back memories of your last visit and make you look forward to the next time you’ll be together.
Know each other’s love languages. Long-distance relationships can make it difficult to demonstrate love in your partner’s primary love language. Be creative and adapt your primary love language to your circumstances. Be keenly aware of your secondary love language as it might be easier to demonstrate long-distance.
Show gratitude toward each other daily. Long-distance relationships take time and energy to be successful. Honor one another by expressing gratefulness for the efforts put forth, especially when schedules are tight.
Have a positive attitude. Long-distance relationships can be lonely between visits. Count all of the good things and stay focused on the positives. Journal about your journey together as a record of all of the great things you share together. This can be a powerful pick-me-up when you’re feeling low.
As careers take us around the world and more and more couples are figuring out how to keep relationships together long distance, if the only short term, it’s essential to have a strategy for getting your needs met. Learn to speak up for what you want and need from your partner and be receptive to hearing what they need from you.
Long-distance relationships can thrive and survive the miles between you if you’re committed to thinking outside the box and trying new and creative ways of keeping your relationship fresh and new. Don’t get discouraged when things seem difficult, even traditional relationships have ups and downs. Don’t keep things bottled up, discuss them before small issues become a big deal.