Long-distance relationships are a real struggle. If we were to choose, none of us would even consider being in one. Sadly, there are unfortunate consequences that life throws at us; it leaves us with no choice but to go somewhere else.
But that doesn’t mean we cannot live through the distance. We can still make it work, keeping the relationship healthy and functional. The secret? Staying connected! Here are some ways to do just that.
How to stay connected in an LDR
1) Build trust
For LDRs, trust is the single most crucial factor. No one can say that he loves a person without trusting her and vice versa. However, since you aren’t around each other constantly, it is easier to assume, wonder and worry. You constantly think about what she is doing when she’s not talking to you or in front of her laptop, who she is hanging out with, how she feels about the relationship, etc. Insecurities abound, but this should be addressed by frequent and effective communication. When you talk, be honest with yourself and with your partner.
2) Be trusted
Along those lines, give your loved one all the right reasons to trust you. Be aware of your own tendencies. Even if your partner is not around, you should be mindful of how it would make her feel if you hang out with your opposite sex more often than necessary. Asking yourself whether you’d be uncomfortable knowing that your partner hangs out with someone you only knew by name is a good gauge. If the answer is a resounding yes, then avoid those risky situations in the future, or it will only lead to arguments. Be on the same page with her, especially on each other’s stand in the relationship.
3) Define expectations
Once trust is established, the next best thing is to set clear expectations. Being apart from one another breeds uncertainties. Thus, the most important thing to agree on is the actual time of separation. It should be clear to both of you when the separation will end. Afterward, exert an effort in making the circumstances more workable to both of you. Determine the frequency of connecting with each other, for instance. Leverage the power of technology (i.e., Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, etc.). Choose what makes sense to both of you. Since individual expectations greatly vary, there might be some compromises along the way. So, stick to the agreements. If you agree to chat (or video chat) this Friday night, show up. Otherwise, tell your partner in advance why you cannot chat with him.
4) Schedule “dates”
Both of you need to agree on regular date nights, such as once a week or every Friday night, so you have something to look forward to. Discuss the possible ways you would connect. It could be over a video chat or whatever feels most comfortable for the both of you. Again, anything might happen that hinders your partner from having that elusive date with you. If rescheduling is needed, tell your partner ahead of time. Don’t try to reschedule every date because your special someone may feel unprioritized, which is often the root of bad feelings. Additionally, if the dates are intermittent, try to schedule them closer as possible. Make it an effort to actually “see” your partner because it is a part of your commitment to one another.
5) Share experiences
Ask anyone involved in an LDR, and they would say that it is always better to tell stories through a video chat than through instant messaging. It is relatively easy to misunderstand tones and intents when texting or chatting. Fire up video chatting because your face and voice tell a lot more than what your emojis can.
Humans are visual creatures. Just seeing one’s photo can rekindle the passion between you two. Consider sending random pictures and videos, too, so you can update him on what you are up to. He will feel more involved in this way. Encourage him to do the same.Tweet
6) Share interests
While at it, the goal should be becoming relatable to one another. You can share anything that piques your interest, such as a blog that you regularly visit, a book that you are currently reading, the songs you dig, etc. Show him that you are still doing those things you do when you’re together, even when he is not around. But be genuine about it—don’t watch the hockey game to impress him. He won’t like that. Just stay involved in your own life without forgetting about him.
7) Laugh together
One way to form an emotional connection is through laughing together. Okay, maybe not together, but you can share with her something to make her day. Online, there are a plethora of funny pictures that you may show her. Better yet, send her a joke – that one that makes you laugh so hard it’s a sin not to share it with her. It could be a private joke.
8) Send texts
While you don’t want the LDR to be purely text messaging, sending text messages is not a bad thing at all. Two of the most important yet cliché messages you can send him are good morning and good night. Why? It tells the other person that he is the first thing you think of when you wake up each morning and the last thing on your mind before going to sleep. Then again, you can always start a conversation with questions like “How was your sleep?” or “What are you going to do today?”
LDRs can be a real pain, but it’s up to you to make it more bearable to both of you. Don’t let the distance (and time zones) limit what you can do for each other and impact the future that the two of you are patiently waiting for. Do your part to stay connected to one another. Remember that the relationship is founded on commitment, and you need to be ready to commit to making it work.