A Guide to Long Distance Relationships

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What You Need to Know

  1. With technology making it easier to cast the net wider, long distance relationships are more becoming increasingly popular.
  2. Having clearly define expectations is key to managing a long distance relationship successfully.
  3. Having a plan in mind can help avoid the feeling of being stuck in limbo. If you only intend to be apart temporarily, put a timeframe on things.
  4. Don’t neglect to enjoy the upsides of a long distance relationship. Make the most of the space it affords you.
  5. If you’re not around each other, communication is even more important. Don’t forget to give each other the little details of your day. They’re important.
  6. Just because you aren’t in the same place, doesn’t mean you can’t do things together. Even something as following the same TV show can provide a common experience to enjoy.
  7. Always be aware that there will be times where one of you will need to make compromises.

They have an unfair relationship as being difficult to manage, and many cynical souls write them off as unworkable. However, in this day and age, where we’re spoilt for choice with regards to the ways we can stay in touch with each other, long distance relationships are becoming more and more popular.

If you met using online dating, the settings you’ve selected could mean you are matched with someone outside your area code. However if you used a site such as eHarmony, who match people based on their values and beliefs, you may have found someone you are truly compatible with and distance alone shouldn’t keep you apart.

Technology is not just an aid to those with partners who are geographically removed. The internet, almost since its inception, has helped people to find love and, given that it’s easier than ever before to mitigate the difficulties that distance creates, lots of people are widening the net in terms of where they look for potential partners.

In this guide we compile some helpful advice for couples living apart.

Be Clear

Whether you’ve been together years and have only just moved away from each other (perhaps for work, or family reasons) or if you’re embarking on a brand new relationship, you should be clear with each other from the start about what the distance means.

Of course, there’s no harm in letting things take their course and responding accordingly, but it can avoid confusion and upset to have defined parameters. For example, if the relationship is long term it’s likely you’ll want to start living together at some point. It’s a good idea to discuss the logistics of how this would work sooner rather than later. Which of you will move? Will you both move house and live somewhere completely new? What are either of you expected to give up to make that move happen?

As stated at the start of the article, long distance relationships can be made to work, but it’s much harder when people don’t know where they stand or get the feeling that they’re stuck in limbo.

Talking about these things probably seems over the top in a new relationship, but if things progress it can be helpful of you’ve already thought about you position.

Enjoy It

Even the best relationships can get a little claustrophobic at times. Long distance relationships, whatever they may have going against them, do certainly provide breathing space. If utilised well this can be highly beneficial to your relationship. It can give you the freedom to focus on other areas of your life and, if the maxim ‘absence makes the heart go stronger’ has any truth to it, it’ll also help you to appreciate what you have all the more.

Stress the Little Things

Without seeing each other in the flesh, the conversations you have, whatever the medium, are really important. You need to remember that insignificant details count for a lot. When you’re telling each other about your day, don’t just limit your story to the headlines, give as much detail as possible. If you neglect to mention the little things you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll reach a stage where you only have a very dim idea of each other’s lives.

Of course, even if you’re great communicators, it can be hard to relate to things you don’t have first-hand experience of. To compensate, it can be really helpful to make sure you have some common experiences to discuss, even if it’s something seemingly trivial like a TV show you both follow or a book you’re both reading. These things provide a sort of neutral ground where you can enjoy a conversation knowing that you’re equally informed.

Practicality and Compromise

Okay so they may not be two of the most romantic words in the lover’s lexicon, but practicality and compromise are massively important in making a relationship successful, especially if it’s a long distance one.

Your other half may not be able to make every event that you’d like them to attend, they may not be able to afford to travel at the end of the month when their pay check’s been depleted. One of you may have to change plans and go and visit the other instead. There’s going to have to be understanding on both sides as well as some give and take.

If you’ve just started dating, think about the practicalities of actually keeping things going. How will often will you get to see them? How will you actually get there? If you’re looking for love in a major city, even if you can’t drive, it shouldn’t be hard to get to them. If they’re out in an inaccessible rural area, one of you might need to invest in a car.

Further Reading

  • With Skype you can video call for free. Perfect if you’re missing the sight of each other.
  • If you’re under 25 and in a long distance relationship, you’re going to need one of these.
  • More advice from Lifehacker.

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