There comes a time in every relationship when the bonds of affection and love are tested to their full stretchable limits. And when it comes to long-distance couples, the danger of that happening is multiplied manyfold. From mild boredom to extreme jealousy, all kinds of negativity are right around that next corner. So what can you do about it? Simple: don’t turn that corner! In other words, identify trouble before it hits and deal with the early stages. Don’t get jumped by advanced symptoms just because you weren’t aware of a few practical ways to short out long-distance relationship issues. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. If applied right, these concepts can help strengthen a long-distance relationship by leaps and bounds.
Communicate Less; Communicate Differently: The problem with a long-distance relationship is communication, either not enough or too much. Calling each other every day and talking for hours can get boring and monotonous. Respect your partner’s silence. Don’t force him or her to communicate every day. If you make calling each other daily a practice, then it becomes harder or difficult for you to change down the road. Try different ways to communicate, such as texting or even email. Give each other space to pursue other important things in life, like catching up with an old friend, a workout at the gym, a get-together with family members, or even continuing a hobby that you stopped due to time constraints. You and your partner will feel refreshed when you talk after a long gap. In fact, you both will be eagerly waiting to talk to each other to hear each other’s stories.
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FriendLamps is a well-known brand in the Wi-Fi touch lamp space. It offers long-distance couples and family members the perfect way to non-intrusively communicate with each other across the miles. Set up one lamp at each location and connect it to the local Wi-Fi network. Two or more lamps can then communicate with the other lamps in the network with a simple touch using the unique color assigned to each lamp. For instance, if you’ve chosen blue for your lamp, the moment you touch it, all the other lamps will instantly light up in blue. This helps the other person or people identify you and the sender of the message. And that message can be a simple “hello”, “I love you”, or “thinking of you.” Lots of colors to choose from and you can have as many lamps on a single network as you need to - perfect for large and close-knit families spread out across the country or even around the world.
Growing closer even when you are apart: It is difficult when one of the partners has to move away to a different place to pursue their job or higher education. The separation is traumatic to both of you. You have been meeting each other frequently and now, with this new decision, you will have to stay apart for months at a time. That doesn’t mean that it’s an end to your relationship. Sometimes your partner may change, start communicating less, or is simply not interested in continuing the relationship. To avoid all these situations, both you and your partner should talk about the risks and problems you both will face. Discuss what you both would do if one of you feels the other is drifting apart. Here are some pointers that will help prevent these situations.
- Maintain regular communication. Set aside a date and time to call each other every day/week
- Understand that the separation is only temporary and you’ll eventually be together
- Visit each other whenever possible
- Have a common goal in mind, like how long you both should work or when to start a family and so on
Stop putting the rest of your life on hold: Don’t be continuously thinking of your long-distance partner, which affects your daily routine. The fact that you are missing your partner is natural. That doesn’t mean that all the other important things in your life should be put on hold. That’s the fastest way to depression, so stop relying on your partner to make you happy. You need to live your life when your partner is away. Go out with your friends, enjoy movie time or a meal with them. Meet your relatives and spend time with them. Check out an activity that makes you happy and relaxed. Learn a new hobby. Meet new people. Join a gym and start a new workout regime to keep yourself fit. Groom yourself and enjoy spending time with yourself. The more adjustments you make to your life just to keep that long-distance relationship going, the more you’ll resent it later on, probably once it’s too late to do anything about it.
Communicating across different time zones: Being in a long-distance relationship with someone in another city is difficult enough and if you are oceans apart in different time zones, then it’s even harder. Talking to each other becomes difficult. You need a lot of patience and understanding. So, you should try and fix a time when both of you are free to talk without distractions. You will be less stressed if you schedule your calls in advance, say twice a week. This way, you’ll know when your partner will be calling you and keep yourself free, and vice versa. Get a clock app that shows multiple time zones so you’ll know when not to call, which is as important as knowing when to call.
Plan for Miscommunications: No relationship is free from misunderstandings and miscommunication. They happen in your own families. And they’ll definitely creep into a long-distance relationship where you can’t even have a face-face without the help of technology. If your partner hasn’t called you for a while, for example, you might be tempted to jump to conclusions about their concern for you. The easiest way to get those thoughts out of your head is to simply text your partner and see what’s going on. They may have been at a last-minute client meeting that they couldn’t put off for later, or they may have been engaged in other ways. If you take that to mean they don’t love you anymore, you’re jumping the gun. When in doubt, just ask. It’s a lot less painful than making a false assumption and then cutting a sorry figure later on.
Don’t become possessive: In a long-distance relationship, communication plays an important role, but not to the extent that it harms the relationship itself. Give each other the space to do things that matter to each of you. If you or your partner have decided to speak to each other daily they don’t call for a couple of days, don’t immediately assume that there’s another person in their life or that they’re not keen on building this relationship. It’s hard because you want to know what your partner is doing or who they’re with, but it becomes a serious trust issue when you are in a long-distance relationship. Stop being possessive. Give them the freedom to do what they want. You’ve heard it said that if you love something, set it free; if it comes back to you, it’s yours - and if it doesn’t, it never was. Remove that last part and it becomes a positive mantra for long-distance couples.
Don’t neglect other important relationships: Relationships with others like friends and family are important. If you are ignoring these relationships and counting only on your partner, then it’s bad news. Stop spending all your spare time on your phone or computer. Concentrate on building your relationship with your family and friends. Build a good network of friends. Meet them and go out once in a while, either for a movie or for a meal. Invite relatives to your place. Spend quality time with them. You and your partner can decide on these things; for example, you can both decide to speak to or spend time with either a friend or a relative other than your partner once a week. Share things with your partner about the meeting with your relative or friend. Swap war stories! This way, both of you have enriching relationships outside your own, and it will help strengthen the bond you share.
Avoid being lonely: The feeling of being lonely is absolutely normal when the one you love is far away. Everyone feels lonely once in a while, but you may feel especially lonely when you are in a long-distance relationship. You long to be with your partner all the time but know that’s it’s impossible, for now at least. And when your time zones are different, it’s difficult to talk whenever you feel like it. When you are having breakfast, your partner may be fast asleep because of the different time zones. Thankfully there are several ways to overcome the loneliness you feel when you’re in an LDR. The key to getting over it is to keep reminders of your relationship all around you - bedside photos, screensavers on your computer and phone, letters and cards you got from them, and so on. It might sound like it’s going to make you miss them even more, but things that represent the people you love are often effective substitutes for the real thing. Try it and see.
Spending Time Together: This is an important aspect in a long-distance relationship, more so when your time zones are different. In any relationship, spending time with each other is very important. When you and your partner are oceans apart and you cannot spend time together as you used to, then it’s even more difficult. You and your partner are so busy with your careers or studies that you begin to spend less time or no time at all with each other. This will inevitably lead to a deterioration of the relationship. Unfortunately, there’s no quick-fix solution for this. You genuinely need to find the time to be with each other virtually - and physically, whenever you can. If they’re not worth at least that much effort, why are you in this relationship in the first place? The same thing goes for them, too. So you need to arrive at a middle-ground solution that works for both of you and won’t cause long-term resentment in either of you. The answer here is time itself; learn to control it before it starts to control you. In other words, create your daily schedule with some ‘us time’ in between your tasks at the office or chores at home. You’ll thank yourself for doing it.
Acknowledge trust Issues: Relationships have broken up because of a lack of trust between the partners. When you are new in a relationship and you don’t know each other well and your partner has to leave to another place to pursue his dream career or higher studies, then it becomes difficult to continue in this relationship. There is no good foundation of trust in this relationship. But if you love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives with each other, you need to recognize this fact and be ready to overcome it. The main bonding elements in a relationship are trust and a truckload of patience. Talk to each other; communicate often to get to know each other quickly. Get to know more about their family and friends. Learn as much as they’re willing to reveal about their personal life. The goal is to start feeling comfortable in each other’s company - and fast. Once that happens, any trust issues that might have cropped up will slowly wither away and your relationship will emerge stronger than ever.
Being Honest: Honesty plays a very important role in any relationship, especially in a long-distance one where you and your partner do not get to meet and talk often. Since your communication is limited to calls and texts, you have to let your partner know your whereabouts. Don’t think of it as reporting back to home base - it’s merely a courtesy you’d extend to anyone who cares for you, right? Didn’t your folks always insist you do that when you were younger? Don’t let doubts arise because of the distance and the low frequency of calls. If you and your partner are serious about this relationship and are eager to work on strengthening it by being honest with each other, be open about other things as well. Discuss and sort out any issues that are straining your relationship. Keep in touch with each other regularly through calls, texts, Skype, FaceTime, etc., and express your feelings and love for each other constantly. Tell your partner how you miss them. Let your partner know how you feel when they don’t call or don’t respond to your calls. And always give them the benefit of the doubt when they explain what happened. The comfort level between the two of you is a crucial measure of how you’re building your relationship, so bringing negative emotions such as guilt into the picture would be very counterproductive here. Be honest, trust, and expect to be trusted in return.
Setting Boundaries: When you are in a long-distance relationship, it is important to set boundaries. This is so essential because you and your partner have your own lives to live even though you are a couple. You cannot expect your partner to call and speak to you for hours if they don’t want to. Don’t force them to do things. You run the risk of turning regular communication into a tedious task rather than something to look forward to. That will be the beginning of a dull relationship. Hence, the importance of setting boundaries. Fix a day and time for communicating with each other, like a Saturday evening or night, keeping in mind the different time zones you both are in. Sometimes, your partner will not be able to stick to the scheduled dates because of work, or he or she may have made plans to have a weekend get-together with colleagues or friends. They also have other social gatherings to attend. Give them the space they require. Setting boundaries will help you avoid situations where you are unaware that you are breaking your partner’s trust.
Talking about your future: When you are in a steady and serious relationship, talking about your future is very important. If not, the relationship becomes one-sided. Either you or your partner may not be interested in talking about your future together, assuming that things will fall into place eventually. Remember that a lot of effort goes into strengthening a relationship, and it’s up to you both to do it. When you love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives with each other, it’s worth working towards it, isn’t it? So plan your future. Are you willing to move to the same city as their family? Are you willing to settle down? How long will you both stay apart? Discuss these things and have a goal and timeline in place, which will make it easier for both of you. Be rest assured that being apart is only temporary and not a permanent thing.
Fixing a Boring Relationship: This is one of the most common problems faced by couples in a long-distance relationship. Frequent communication where you have nothing much to talk about can lead to you running out of words, which leads to boring conversations. You don’t necessarily get bored with each other but you start dreading those conversations, which eventually get shorter and shorter until it’s too late to do anything about it. To avoid this, reduce the amount of time you spend talking to each other. This gives you the freedom to do things that you love, like taking up a hobby, meeting with your friends and family members, going for a vacation with your friends, visiting with elderly relatives, and so on. Spending more time with people around you makes life interesting. Keep your partner updated on the fun things you do and the experiences in your daily life. This will make your conversations more interesting since both will have new experiences to share with each other. You can also plan a trip to meet each other in a completely different location. Doing these simple things will add a dash of spice to your otherwise boring conversations. You can even surprise your partner by sending gifts expressing your love. Think of different ways to stay in touch and make your relationship more interesting and exciting.Staying Positive: This is one way to keep your relationship strong, especially a long-distance one. There are a lot of negative thoughts about your partner and your relationship. Since you are oceans apart and you are not aware of what your partner is doing, you get worried, worked up, jealous, and confused. As a result, your relationship suffers. Understand that these negative emotions can harm your relationship. The solution is to stay positive in the face of adversity. The waiting can be painful. You feel lonely. So comfort yourself with the thought that the end will be sweet and rewarding. Be grateful for your partner, for the person he or she is. Find the good in everything and stop reading between the lines or using innuendo in your conversations. The right frame of mind can make all the difference between utter happiness and abject misery.