There’s a reason many long-distance relationships don’t last: they’re really hard! However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make it last If you really have a good thing going. If you have the determination and if you put in the effort, long-distance relationships can not only survive but keep thriving. In fact, according to Time, “Research has even shown that long-distance couples tend to have the same or more satisfaction in their relationships than couples who are geographically close.” Here are some tips to keep going strong until you can be together.
- Have video chat sessions. Being able to see each other makes you feel closer. When possible, set up video chat times when you can sit back with a glass of wine or your favorite beverage and have a conversation face-to-face, albeit from far away. Get comfortable, turn off the television, and focus on each other.
- Check in with each other about how you’re feeling in the relationship. Does he feel like you expect him to be there more than he can? Is he there for you during the important moments? Are you giving each other enough time or maybe too much time? These are things you can talk to each other about during a check-in to make sure that you’re both still on the same page.
- Share the little things. Sometimes it’s the little things that reveal the most about your partner. This is especially important when you’re in a new relationship. Tell each other about interactions during your day that you might think are boring but are part of your life. Talk about something that made you laugh or something that made you upset. It’s also those little things that will strengthen your bond.
- Cook together. Set up a night to cook a meal together virtually. Decide on what you’ll eat ahead of time and buy the groceries. Start a video chat session and chop veggies, stir, and set a timer. In between the preparation and the eating, you’ll have time to talk. One of you can even teach the other how to prepare your favorite dish. It sounds silly but you’d be surprised at how much closer it can make you feel.
- Watch movies or TV shows together. It’s one of the standard date night favorite activities, so plan a night when you just sit back and start up a Netflix movie or binge-watch a series together. You might even have a favorite show that you can turn on at the same time. Commercials leave lots of time for a chat and after the movie or show is over, you can discuss what you’ve just watched.
- Have regular good morning/good night check-ins. These don’t have to be full-blown conversations (though they can be if this is when both of you have time to talk). However, knowing that you’re the first and last thing your partner thinks about each day is reassuring. Even if you just send off a quick message on your way to work and before you go to bed, your partner will know that they’re on your mind.
- Introduce each other to the other important people in your lives. Having a girls’ night out? Send him some pictures. Getting together with the family for dinner? Let them say hi to him via video. It doesn’t mean he has to be there at that moment to receive them, but when he has time to look at them, your partner will feel like he’s a bigger part of your life.
- Don’t spend your entire day talking. You need time for yourself and so does your partner. Don’t expect the other person to constantly be available for messaging or chat. You wouldn’t do this if you weren’t long-distance, so don’t make it part of your relationship because you are apart. Take time for yourself when you need to.
- Talk dirty to each other. If you’re already in an intimate relationship with someone, you’re both going to miss sexy times. If you can’t be together physically, the next best thing is to have virtual sexy time. You don’t have to be on video if you’re uncomfortable with that, but you can do other things like sending a sexy chat message, send an audio message, or share a fantasy. Sending each other erotic stories can be fun too. (There are loads of them online – just Google!)
- Make sure your expectations as far as the rules and boundaries in the relationship are clear. Every relationship is unique, so make sure each of you knows things like whether it is ok to date others while you’re apart. If you expect each other to be completely faithful and committed, say so. This should be clear no matter what kind of relationship you have, but it should be explicit when you are in a long-distance relationship.
If you have powerful feelings for each other and if you’re clear about how long the long-distance part of your relationship will last, you can make it work. It requires effort and time from both partners. When you can be together again, you’ll know it was worth it.