So, after a few silly trials, you finally find your true love, and suddenly, the prospect of eternity seems not that bad an idea. Hand in hand, and heart in heart, you start your journey of togetherness in the highest spirits but, just when you thought it was all happy and dandy, life throws a lemon at you, and you find an ocean separating you and your partner!
If you somehow manage to overcome the initial sadness, there is that gnawing feeling in your gut that how on Earth would you be able to handle a long distance relationship, when the longest you both have gone without meeting is probably less than 24 hours!
Well, you are not alone in this conundrum. Almost every couple lives through a period of geographic separation at some point in their marriage or courtship. And for most marriages, lack of physical proximity becomes a major cause for a divorce scare.
But before you start hyperventilating or start making a pro-con list, let’s make one thing clear. Long-distance relations, albeit difficult, have the same success rate as any other, given you have grit, determination, and what some people call, are clinically wired to love each other. With four therapy-approved tips, this blog is for all those lovelorn folks who are facing the challenges of a long-distance relationship. So, read on.
4 Tips for a Smooth-Sailing Long-Distance Relationship
Communicate, Don’t Just Talk!
It is really simple to connect with others in today’s world by just tapping a few buttons. This becomes a blessing for couples in a long-distance relationship. But, often, couples in such arrangements are not on the same page as to how much talking is enough talking, at least for the day.
There is no one answering to this as every relationship works differently and has unique needs. So, it is very important to truly communicate on these grounds before you set a time or schedule for your daily lifestyle. Don’t let anyone tell you both that you guys aren’t talking enough (or are talking too much). If it feels right for BOTH of you, it is the right thing for your relationship.
Do keep in mind that life will change as you both live normal lives in 2 different cities or continents. Make sure you make changes in your talking schedule to accommodate these changes.
Keep True to The Promise of ‘I’ll Be There for You’
Years of research points out that the success rate of any (long-distance or otherwise) relationship increases manifold when both the partners respond to emotional needs, just as well as they do for other material needs. Living in separate cities or countries brings a whole new world of stress, and for couples who live the long-distance way, they have to take these added challenges into account.
As mentioned before, communication is the key to understanding where the other person is in the relationship; it helps if you are open about any fears and apprehensions about living arrangements. It becomes non-negotiable to do well on those early promises you made about being there for each other in such a situation.
For example, while you cannot physically be there if there’s a medical emergency, planning ahead and giving your partner an international health insurance plan is an excellent way of compensating for your absence. So, even if you can’t sit by their beds and comfort them, you are still worry-free that they are getting the best treatment possible.
Thinking ahead and constantly taking cues about your partner’s emotional needs is the best thing you can do for your long-distance relationship.
Express your Love More Often
Have you ever been in a situation where someone texted you a harmless ‘ok’, and you flipped out thinking they were upset or angry with you? This is part and parcel of most non-verbal modes of communication, where words often fail to express a person’s emotional state. Fine, emojis do help but are never enough when trying to keep the spark alive in your romantic long-distance relationship.
Insecurities, uncertainties, and jealousy run rampant in most long-distance arrangements simply because you and your partner run completely separate social lives, and there’s no way to be connected 24X7.
A little jealousy doesn’t kill anyway. If anything, it is a healthy way of showing how important the other person is for you. But, when the jealousies go high, and you fail to counter it with verbal reassurances about how much you adore your partner, things take an ugly turn.
Long-distance or not, always make it a habit to express your love and respect for each other openly because life is short. But do it more often and with greater zeal if you are in a long-distance relationship.
Don’t Escape from Small Issues; resolve them
Most long-term relationships don’t go down because of that one big fight you had with your partner. It is always the small, somewhat insignificant (well, that’s what people think about them) issues that pile up and cause the fire.
Issues in any relationship become bigger, meaner the longer you let them steep. So, the simplest thing to do is to address them as they crop up. It helps if both of you are willing to discuss, resolve, forgive, and forget at the same pace.
The one thing (other than coordinated speech) that separates humans from the rest of the living organisms is the need to bond and share their life with loved ones. Of all the relationships you have, a romantic relationship (marriage or otherwise) is the most unique one. While some people are lucky to find their one EPIC love (or many) quite easily, others look for years.
So, if you found your true love but are worried about how the whole long-distance thing works out, here hoping these 4 points will help you work around some of the most common issues and live happily as a power couple irrespective of the miles separating you.