Long Distance Relationships....Can You handle It?
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
As a single woman, I never thought I would end up in a long distance relationship, as I had only heard negative things about them. But I’m here to tell you that they are indeed possible, and to discourage the notion of not pursuing someone just because there are millions of miles in between the two of you.
After years of waiting, you finally found someone worth you time and attention. Someone you are really happy with. But there is only one thing, you find yourself separated from the one you love by miles and miles of distance. No matter how much you love each other, there’s probably a part of you that wonders how or if your relationship will survive the long distance between you. Take comfort in knowing that long distance relationships can absolutely succeed. In fact, couples who find themselves geographically separated at some point during their dating or marriage relationship have been known to grow stronger relationships over time.
I hope it’s just a matter of time until you and the one you love are side by side again. But in the meantime, I have a few tips on how to develop a healthy long distance relationship.
1. Communication is key.
We are living in a time where we have round-the-clock access to one another. Some couples want to feel connected every hour, while some find it tedious to talk every day. The key is to discuss with each other what works for both of you, and the amount of time you will spend texting, talking, or video chatting in a day or week. Remember to be open to adjusting your communication habits, as life will create new and unexpected demands.
2. Be present at every conversation even when you are actually not present.
The most satisfied relationships are those in which each person spends the effort and time to listen and respond to their partners emotional needs. Be ready, there will be many emotional calls. At the center of every emotional call, you’re really asking each other one question: “Will you be there for me?”
Responding to each other’s emotional calls can seem tricky within a long distance relationship because you can’t physically show up for each other’s big days or reassure each other with a hug. It is important to remember that if you’ve scheduled a time to talk with your partner, make that call a priority; just as you would any work meeting or doctor’s appointment.
If your partner has an important day, call or text to find out how it went. By added your partner’s needs and life’s events into your day, you’ll demonstrate that you’re there for them, no matter how far apart you might be.
3. Tell your partner frequently what you love about your relationship.
Doubts, insecurities, and jealousy can run high in long distance relationships, simply because you’re spending so much time away from each other. This is why frequent verbal assurances and small loving gestures are very important. They help to secure each other in the relationship. When your partner knows that you are really into them and only them it makes the issues evolving jealousy smaller.
So the next time you talk, tell your partner how much you love and appreciate your relationship.. “I love you and wish we could be together today,” is wonderful to say and even more wonderful to hear.
4. Find ways to spend together even while apart.
Finding things you can do together as a couple is huge when it comes to staying together while apart. Whether it’s reading the same book, having early morning devotions, playing games online, listening to the same music, or even eating dinner together while video calling, all of these can help you and your partner feel more connected.
5. Learn to handle conflict and disagreements right away.
Whether you’re living under the same roof or oceans apart, all couples need to learn healthy ways to talk about and resolve conflicts. Bigger problems can arise if you ignore little struggles or if you are unwilling to address sensitive topics. How I will agree that learning how to talk about difficult topics takes time and effort, but it’s necessary if you are going to have a healthy long-distance relationship. Do your best not to let small issue swell into bigger ones.
6. Plan regular trips to see each other.
This may seem like a given, because the first thing you would want to do is see each other. But it can be overlooked particularly when work or other matters make it hard to take time off. However, committing to planned trips to see each other will tie you two together. It gives you both something to work towards and you can both get excited making plans for when you are together again. Even if it’s a long weekend or just seven days – it’ll be worth it.
7. Appreciate the time to yourself and enjoy it.
So you’re in love and your partner is not within arm’s reach, you can easily wind up feeling lonely, miserable and frustrated by this absence every day. Spending every waking hour checking your phone for contact with your love my seem like your normal, but ensure you’re making yourself happy and maximizing your time on your own. Whether you’re doing workouts, learning a new hobby or just settling down with a good book on the sofa (or binge-watching Netflix), you need to enjoy your solo time.
Don’t make his existence, or should I say absence, the key part of your day-to-day life. In fact, you can see this long-distance relationship as a positive! It frees up time to explore what you enjoy, what you love, what makes you happy, and that will give you more to talk about the next time he calls.
8. Establish your sexual boundaries.
While sexual purity may seem easier in a long-distance dating relationship, I find the battle is harder after spending time apart. As your heart grows fonder, the temptation grows stronger.
Setting healthy boundaries in advance helped me prepare for emotionally intense visits. Boundaries also provide a standard that you can ask others to hold you accountable to.
Please note that purity is not primarily about what you do physically, or even about romantic relationships. It goes deeper than that, dealing with your relationship with Christ, and your desire to please him in every area of your life, is what it is really about.
Every relationship takes time and work. The key is to establish if the time and energy is worth it. Could this relationship be something that could possibly be long term? Do I really want it to be long term? Being real with yourself early on in the relationship, can help avoid a lot of hurt in the long run.