Long Distance Relationships: Tips for Staying Connected
by Arundel Stevens
Navigating a long-distance relationship can create tension in any relationship. Here are some tips to stay connected and not lose a healthy partner just because of the distance!
The biggest factor in any relationship, long-distance or otherwise, is communication! Modern technology allows us to stay connected with partners and friends, regardless of distance. Facetime, Phone Calls, and Text Messaging are essentials for anyone in a long-distance relationship. If you are technology-averse or struggle to use new apps, make an attempt to learn to utilize a new device and pick the format you feel comfortable with! Don’t be afraid to reach out to your partner, and don’t bottle up any feelings even if they are negative- it will just make you feel worse! Conflict is healthy, even in a long-distance relationship, as long as you treat one another with respect.
It sounds boring, but it’s essential: carve out time in your day to speak or text with your partner! Don’t even let a time difference get in the way. Strategically picking a regular time every couple of days to FaceTime or call one another can make or break a relationship! Design a digitally shared calendar to help you see which times in your schedules are free for you to spend time with one another.
Priorities Priorities Priorities
Be all in! If you are unsure how committed you feel to a relationship, the distance will only accentuate those doubts. If you are sure this person is meaningful to you, it’s important to make sacrifices to protect that connection! If you both want the relationship to work, it will!
Don’t abandon your love language!
According to many experts, many people communicate affection through one of the five love languages. Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gift-Giving, Quality Time, and Acts of Service are popular ways that people show their feelings. But just because you are long-distance doesn’t mean you should leave these expressions behind. Find a way to incorporate your favorite into your relationship, and make sure your partner does the same!
Visit One Another
This tip might seem obvious, but whenever you get a chance, see each other in person! There are many ways to maintain a long-distance relationship, but seeing one another face-to-face is still important! Planning a trip to visit your partner isn’t always feasible, depending on the distance between you, so plan a trip where you meet in the middle. Making the slight sacrifice of designing travel plans is worth it in the long run!
Keep Doing Activities Together
Even when you are far apart, maintaining time spent together is important. Start a movie at the same time, and text each other your thoughts as you go! Start a book together, and debrief about your opinions every few chapters! Keeping your partner on a call even while you are doing mundane tasks like laundry, dishes, or neighborhood walks helps you spend time together and avoid the feeling of separation.
Above All Else: Be Flexible
Long distance relationships take a lot of work, and can be a difficult transition. Remember that you are working with your partner to make this work, and understand that some issues will inevitably arise. Try to roll with the punches and make the best of long distance, but also enjoy the opportunity to use new platforms and activities to engage with your partner!