If you have ever been in a long distance relationship, then you know that the distance can be especially challenging. There are some days that everything seems to go wrong and all you want to do is to lay your head on your significant other’s shoulder and feel them wrap you in their arms, but he or she is not there. Not because they don’t want to be, but because you both are separated by many miles.
Such is my story between my fiancée and I. We knew each as teens growing up in the same neighborhood and then re-connected on Facebook after our divorces. We went out on a few dates in a short period of time while he was visiting family. We fell for each other right away, but the inherent problem was: we lived 500 miles apart. When it was time for him to leave, we decided to give the long distance thing a chance. It did not deter us in going forward; in fact, it most likely helped us as we fumbled along newly divorced and dating.
Many critics believe that a long distance relationship is doomed, but I do not agree. If the relationship fizzles it would have anyway. Until I was in a long distance relationship I never knew how exciting it was to exit an airplane and search for my lovers face in the crowd. Then the joy of finding him as he held up a sign that read, “I love you, Miss Chris!” Or to hear his sexy voice tantalizing on the phone as he whispered: “What are you wearing?” Or to live joyfully each day together as though it was your last by doing everything together, even mundane tasks.
Just know this type of relationship is not for the faint of heart or for those with trust issues. It is for two people that can be committed while living apart. It is also about knowing that it will not go on this way forever, but the long distance is a temporary solution until another strategy is figured out.
I have come up with five tips for navigating a successful long distance relationship that will hopefully take you to the next level.
1. Always stay in constant contact and visit often.
Before my fiancée and I committed to being with each other forever and were merely boyfriend and girlfriend, we made sure we talked every day, texted frequently and knew what each other’s day entailed. This kind of minute details are the stuff of relationships in general, but imperative when many miles apart. We always ended the day on the phone too and sometimes would talk for hours. Perhaps because we knew we couldn’t see each other regularly, our conversations were longer and more meaningful. When we did see each other every couple of weeks it was intense and jammed packed with activities. It is important to spend as much time together as schedules allow so you feel like a couple. We even scheduled a mini-vacation just 6 weeks into the relationship.
2. Make it fun and sexy
Like all new relationships, fun and sex are two keys that keep the relationship alive and flowing. Sending each other erotica in the mail, or romantic cards keep that far away spark united and heated. It also helps your partner know that they are always on your mind. When you two do see each other again, the passion will be worth the distance.
3. Keep to a schedule
Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but there is no greater disappointment than not sticking to your visiting schedule. We all know that life happens, kids get sick, a deadline from work will not let you get away, but it is imperative for the long distance partners to stick to seeing each other when planned since normality is imperative. If constant changing occurs, the other person will not feel like a priority and negative, nagging thoughts will rule and take a toll on the relationship.
4. Build trust with communication
Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship, but it is vitally important in a long distance relationship. Talking about everything will help you bond and build trust between you. Letting your partner know how you feel is ever important when couples cannot see each other. Remember to tell your partner that you love them at the end of every day, so it is the last thing they hear or read from you daily.
5. Be committed
In a long distance relationship, your life becomes compartmentalized since you have a life apart and a life together. It can help you stay focused on your kids and career, but there are also bouts of loneliness when you miss each other so much it hurts. Being honest about your whereabouts and being faithful is vital for the relationship to flourish and grow. Let your partner know when you feel lonely; don’t use it as an excuse to have a fling. Like all relationships, being unfaithful destroys trust and a long distance relationship could surely not survive that.
My fiancée and I have weathered the long distance dance for five years now and counting and we cannot wait until we are not only in the same state regularly but in the same home.