A long-distance relationship can be one of the hardest types of relationships to sustain – dating someone who is out of the country every other week is even harder. There are guides and advice columns every week on how to navigate the minefield of long distance relationships but how about those that involve the one-week-on-one-week-off situation when you or your partner have to keep travelling for work or similar commitments?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter how long you have been together, it will always be a hard situation to navigate. There’s the issue of trust, of staying on top of everything happening in your significant other’s lives and facing the dreaded question of ‘how long can we keep doing this for?’.
There’s no one way to go about this kind of relationship, but to help make it easier for those new to this area of dating, we have some useful tips to keep in mind.
You’re probably thinking, ah okay so always talk to them, make sure you’re chatting constantly and there’s never anything unsaid. However, it goes both ways – you do want to keep those channels of communication open but you don’t want to be forcing it. As with any relationship, checking in with your partner and letting them know where you’re at is crucial and even more so when you are miles apart. A good way to navigate this is if you make the sure that the times when your partner is away you arrange calls and FaceTime.
When you’re in a relationship that involves last minute trips and weeks away, there are situations and occurrences that need to be approached differently. You have to remember that there is a degree of helplessness because of the distance. Therefore, make sure that if you tell your partner you are going on a big night out on the first night of your work trip, they are probably going to worry when you haven’t picked up their twentieth call that evening to check you got home okay.
Likewise, if you have a ridiculously busy day at work coming up and you know you are going to be stressed and slammed, let them know that that’s why you can’t talk to them that night and you promise to fill them in over the coming days. It’s all about remembering that there are two people in this situation and being mindful is going to take a lot of strain off of your relationship.
While of course you should put effort into any relationship, regardless of the distance, it really is extra important in these instances. Effort in this case means really making the most of your time together. Again, this doesn’t mean there has to be a packed to the brim activity plan as this can sometimes mean you end up never really getting to sit down and chat.
Also, your partner will have will been away for x amount of time so they will want to have the space and time to catch up with everyone else they haven’t seen as well. Try to do a mixture of fun activities that suit the occasion but still pencil in time to relax and just enjoy each other’s company.
Enjoy your alone time
One way to make this work is seeing it as an opportunity. Therefore, you have to make the most of the extra time you have available. You might have some friendships that you’re aware have not been given the attention and time they deserve. Perhaps, now you have a moment to reflect, you realise you haven’t been able to kick back and focus on that new hobby you always wanted to start but ended up putting off. Rather than dreading this time apart, see it as an opportunity for growth!
Again, this should be applied to any and every relationship but it’s funny how when people’s partners aren’t in their immediate vicinity that honesty can get a little muddled.
This doesn’t just reference situations where a partner has been unfaithful and they have to be open about it – it’s more about voicing your feelings regardless of what these might be. Feel like you’re drifting? Feel confused about feelings you might be having for someone else? Not sure where this is going? Rather than letting these build up into a big deal in your head, voice these concerns with your partner as odds are it will get resolved a lot quick and with a lot less stress.
The ultimate thing to keep in mind is that you have to trust your gut. If you love each other and it’s meant to be then it will work out!