Long Distance Relationships usually come around when one half of the couple – or perhaps both when it comes to university decisions – make the choice to move away to follow a study/career/family/life opportunity.
This is what makes them so hard – the choice between the person you love and the dream you want to chase.
Usually, when posed with the question of ‘should we break up’, there are some underlying relationship issues that have been causing problems.
However, with long distance, couples know that they love each other and want to stay together and the only reason why they may separate is due to location rather than emotions.
So, how do we approach this relationship dilemma?
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How do you make it work?
Know That Them Leaving is Better Than Them Staying
Of course, you want them to stay. However, now that the choice is out there, you have to realise that if they did stay, there would always be this underlying current of resentment. Subconsciously or not, if they have to give up on their dream for you, tension and friction can form within the relationship.
Discuss Thoughts and Goals Clearly
If you want to make this work, then a discussion before they leave is vital. A lot of couples like to live in denial until the very last moment however this isn’t going to change anything.
It is much better to have a plan laid out so you both know where you stand – when will be the next time you see each other? Any ground rules? What’s our schedule for calling? What’s the maximum amount of time we will leave between seeing each other? You want to feel secure and prepared when you finally have to say goodbye.
Communicate Clearly and Consistently
Communication is the key to any good relationship but it’s even more important when you are miles apart. Make sure that you try to have organised times or days that you can talk to each other on the phone or video call and honour these. There will be times when these clash with other events in your diary and sometimes these can’t be helped. Not only do you have to be understanding but always make sure that rather than postponing, these are immediately rearranged.
Don’t Waste Time
There is always something going on in your life that you can talk about, so don’t think there isn’t. Understand the meaning of ‘asking good questions’ – make them personal and specific rather than generalised.
Plan Visits and Make Them Good
The visits are going to be the most important part of your relationship so you have to make them count. Not only should you plan them ahead of time so you have things to look forward to in the diary but also plan what you are going to do. Make the effort and the most of the time. However, don’t feel like you have to cram a million things in or that it has to be all one-on-one time.
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What’s the Relationship’s Goal
You want to make the long-distance work because you want to be together. However, you have probably started thinking about where you want to be in x amount of years and knowing that you are not ‘together together’ right now can play on your mind. So for that reason, it’s always healthy to openly discuss where you want to be and where you see the relationship going. It can also help to resolve some questions in your mind and make some difficult decisions that little bit easier.
When you are so many miles away, your trust in each other has to be secure. If you feel yourself doubting the other person then perhaps your relationship is not as solid as you hoped. However, this also means that honesty is always the way forward (and the only) – you have to be willing to be upfront and open, even if it’s about difficult topics.
Ultimately, you can make a relationship work no matter how far away you are as long as it’s what you both want. Going long distance will be one of the most difficult challenges your relationship will face however it’s also a brilliant test – if you can survive this distance then your relationship will only become stronger. However, if you feel like it’s pulling the two of you apart and you can’t cope then it’s a clear sign that things were not meant to be.