A long-distance relationship is an investment by two people who can’t be together due to circumstances or choice. We’ve covered some of the reasons that people enter into long-distance relationships here. Movies like Sleepless in Seattle play up the mystique of LDR’s but the realities don’t fit into a Hollywood ending. The person you love isn’t next to you on a daily basis. You must be intentional in the time you spend keeping your significant other involved in your life.
So how do you keep the fire burning in a long-distance relationship? Four important elements keep an LDR strong: trust, communication, closing the distance and being present. These keys are the foundation of every relationship. They sound easy to manage but an LDR requires higher doses of each to remain stable. The first building block of any relationship is trust. Every relationship requires it but a long-distance relationship thrives on it. Knowing that your partner is as invested in your relationship as you are reduces stress.
Building trust requires honesty!
When you’re happy, say so. When you’re not happy, say so. Hiding your feelings serves no one. When the stars are out of your eyes, you realize that an LDR is hard work. Many couples have second thoughts about the relationship but don’t speak up to avoid confrontation. Remember that it’s better to know where you stand than to drift apart because of unspoken feelings especially when words are all you have.
Communication is also important and connects to trust. When something funny happens while you’re out, send her a text. When you are at the grocery store and find his favorite laundry detergent, send him a photo! These are great starts but don’t stop there. If you’re feeling old fashioned, call or write a love letter! The point here is remaining involved in each others’ lives. You don’t have to run up a phone bill with hours-long discussions but communication IS key!
Honesty and communication are vital but you must close the distance! Physical distance becomes emotional distance if both parties aren’t careful. Closing the distance between you two is done through—you guessed it— trust and communication. Gifts, cards and surprise visits when possible can do wonders for strengthening your connection to your far-away paramour. Visiting your loved one might even help you discover a new city or country you never knew about! Eventually you may decide to relocate for a closer connection. Don’t be afraid to take a chance!
Finally, you must be present. Whenever you talk, day or night, be there one-hundred percent. A friend of mine in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend in Hawaii used to plan out what to say in advance to make sure he didn’t forget anything or ramble on. I don’t advise this degree of planning but be sure that when one of you speaks, the other person is listening. The time you spend together is precious so treat it that way. Undivided attention pays dividends!
At the end of the day, both people in the relationship must work to keep the relationship going. Always remember that building trust, communicating, closing the distance and being present will yield a close-knit relationship no matter the miles between you.