5 Tips for a Long Distance Relationship

A great thing about online dating is that it has opened up a literal world of possibilities when it comes to finding the right partner for you. Instead of being limited to people in the surrounding area, you may find someone a few states away that you connect with. That being said, long distance dating does have its own challenges.

Bridging the gap of long distance is hard!

How do you successfully navigate the potential pitfalls of having a long-distance relationship? While these types of partnerships can expose those involved to different challenges than they normally would face while dating, they can be overcome with a commitment by both parties to nurturing their bond in healthy ways.

Below are just a few tips for being successful while dating someone who isn’t just around the corner.

Avoid a “Smothering” Level of Communication

Everything we have been taught about relationships centers around the need for open communication, right?

While it is true that communication is key for making any relationship work, there may be a tendency to excessively communicating during long-distance dating to make up for the lack of physical closeness.

Requiring too much communication throughout the day may come off as possessive or controlling. It may actually drive the two of you away from each other instead of bringing you closer together. It is best to set reasonable expectations of how often you communicate and to be mindful of moments when an unexpected text or message might brighten someone’s day.

Make Time for Activities Together, Even When You Are Apart Physically

Unlike a decade ago, we have a wealth of technology at our disposal to bridge the gap between us when we are not able to be physically together. With apps like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype, we can now see each other when we have a conversation. While you may not be physically in the same place, it no longer means that you can’t do anything together because of this technology.

Smart Dating Founder, Bela Gandhi, recommends that couples take advantage of these technological advances and do activities together, like watching a movie, doing an online quiz, or playing a game. This form of online dating can keep you connected to each other while you are miles apart.

Set Clear Rules and Boundaries for the Relationship

Before you enter a long-distance relationship, it is best if both parties understand what the other partner expects of them.

It is also necessary to have a conversation about boundaries and rules. If this conversation doesn’t occur, it could lead to some hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

One topic you may want to cover is exclusivity. Are you allowed to date other people? If yes, what kind of relationships are permissible? You may also want to discuss how often you want to communicate and how that will take place. Once you’ve set these rules and boundaries, it is important that both people respect them and try to avoid situations that would make the other person uncomfortable if they were there.

Plan Visits

It is important during a long-distance relationship to have plans to see each other from time to time.

How often that occurs rests upon the schedules and lives of the parties that are involved, but being physically close to your partner is needed.

During the times that you get together, it is important to savor these moments and enjoy your partner, but don’t get too caught up in planning every single detail.

Planning too many activities, or overloading your time together, may just leave both of you exhausted and unable to enjoy the time you have together.

When you focus on the fact that you are together, it can lead to the fireworks your relationship needs to thrive.

Have an End Goal in Mind

Long-distance relationships are very common, and they have a track record of success. The Journal of Communication did a study in 2013 that found that about three million people lived away from their spouse during a period of time in their marriage and that about three out of four college kids had been in a long-distance partnership at some point in their lives. While they can be successful, a key to their success is making sure that there is a plan for the distance to come to an end.

If you have a long-distance partner, both of you must agree about where you see the relationship going and how it will end. Is this something that you see as serious? Is marriage a possibility if all the cards play out right? These are questions to ask yourselves.

While a long-distance partnership may work, for now, it probably won’t work forever.

Mapping out an end game will give you both an idea of where everything is headed.

Making it Work

Some studies show that people who are in a long-distance relationship actually feel more connected and less trapped by their partners.

These types of partnerships can grow fruitfully as long as both partners do the work necessary to make them grow.

Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash