It’s no secret that romantic relationships are complicated, but at least most people are located close to their loved one, and can manage their relationship face to face. Spare a thought for those people who are in long-distance relationships, who don’t have the same fortune. For those people, maintaining the relationship can be a challenge. It can be difficult to manage the love, it can be difficult to manage the pain. If you find yourself in this position, then at least console yourself with the fact that there are things you can do. Below, we take a look at some tried and tested ways to manage a long-distance relationship.
Manage the Expectations
If there’s one piece of relationship advice that’s often overlooked, then it’s that expectations should be managed. People can’t read minds. They can’t know what the other person wants or needs. Sometimes, the two people in the relationship can have wildly different ideas of what they expect from their partner. If you’re going to engage in this type of relationship, then it’s recommended that you say your expectations as early as possible — it’ll prevent many headaches. If your partner says they would like, for example, to be told if you’re going out on the town, then you’ll know what you need to do. Communication is key.
Have an End-Goal
It’s not easy being in a long-distance relationship, but it gets much easier to do if you know there’s an end-goal in sight. Humans can endure just about anything if they know it’s going to end one day. Problems can begin to arise when your permanent state is one that’s far away from each other. Of course, things change, and even if you set a date, there’s always a chance that it’ll change. But it’s important that there is a date out there, even if it’s dependent on circumstances (for example, “when I find a job,” “when I’ve saved up enough money,” and so on).
Do you think being in a long distance relationship is tough now? Spare a thought for people who did it way back when, when there was only old snail-mail to stay in touch. There could be months passing between messages. Now, that problem has been removed entirely thanks to technology. You’ve got a smartphone in your pocket that can send a message across the world in an instant. A good morning or good night text can make you feel all the more nearer to one another. Texts take care of the issue of regular communication. Video calls are another thing entirely. They essentially allow you to be in the same room. It can take a little getting used to at first, but it’s worthwhile powering through with it — it’ll be an essential part of staying close while you’re living apart.
Date Night Chats
Once you’ve got through the awkward sensation of chatting on video calls, the possibilities for staying close really open up. You’ll be able to have dates that are almost like what you’d have when you’re together. One popular date night sensation is to watch movies together. It works like this: you start a video chat, pick a movie, and both hit play at the same time. You’re not wrapped in each other’s arms, sure, but you will be able to hear each other’s reactions throughout the movie, make comments, and then chat about it after. It’s a bit dorky, OK, but romance can often feel a little dorky — the main thing is that you’re both enjoying your night together, rather than apart.
Longer Form Messages
There are some elements of a relationship that are harder to replicate when you’re living far away from one another. For example, those long chats where you go deep, and talk about the bigger issues in your life. The ones where you take off a few layers, and reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings. They might come up in a phone call, but it’s not really the space for it. So you’ll need to look at another medium: writing. When you’re far away from each other, it can be enjoyable to spend an hour writing a long email to your beloved. Make it loving, make it deep, make it a joy to read. Include news about your day, passing thoughts, and anything else that’s on your mind. It can be in free-flowing form. As well as the words, you’ll want to make the most of emojis, which can further convey your meaning. If you have an Apple computer and don’t know how to use emojis, first learn how to open emoji keyboard on Mac. An email that’s sprinkled with loving heart emojis and romantic words will brighten your other half’s day, especially if the email is unexpected.
Pay a Visit
Depending on how long you’re going to be apart for, you’ll want to look at paying a visit, too. If they’ve got a place of their own, then it can be quite affordable: you’ll only need to pay for flights. And then, after you’ve visited them, they can visit you. You might be spending a year or so living in separate parts of the globe, but if you time things correctly, then you may be able to see each other fairly regularly.
One of the more enjoyable parts of being in a relationship is those little surprise treats that brighten your partner’s day. These don’t have to end just because you can deliver it in person. Again, the internet comes to the rescue. You can order them flowers, a present, or simply a takeout meal and have it delivered to their place. It’ll show that you care, no matter how far away you are.
Keep the Positivity
Finally, remember to stay positive. Long-distance relationships can be tough, but they’ll be enough tougher if you’re focusing on how hard things are. Instead, be grateful that you’ve got someone in your life that loves and supports you, and that you won’t be apart from one another forever.