10 TIPS FOR LONG-DISTANCE LOVE. Long-distance relationships can be challenging, unless you know how to make it work. Dating expert Mitch Conway shares his tips
This is one of those things that can be tough for even the closest of couples: the long distance relationship, where you have a partner but be lonely as heck. To make it through a short—or even long term—relationship, you have to be dedicated and persevering. Here are a few tips for making it.
- Plan things out ahead of time with your partner
How are you going to keep in touch? How often will you contact each other? Do you want to talk during set days of the week, or just when your schedules permit it? Is there a plan for you to meet face-to-face? These are all key questions to ask, because you don’t want one person expecting daily contact, and the other expecting a quick chat once a week.
- Agree on contact frequency
While it’s true that being away from your partner is difficult, think about how often you would contact them if they lived in the same city as you. If the answer is a couple times a week, then don’t start calling them every day. Use the physical distance between you as a way to keep things exciting, and make you anxious to hear your soulmate’s voice or read their email.
- Decide on the contact media
You have to keep in touch. So the question is: how? Is it going to be email, phone, Skype, Twitter, Facebook? The possibilities are endless. But you have to choose something, and stick to it. If you agree with your partner that you’ll keep in touch with Facebook, and then you find that you never have time to log on, that’s a big problem. You have to keep it practical and that means using a media that comes naturally to you.
- look into EACH OTHER’s eyes
Writing and talking are two great ways to communicate. Nothing warms the heart like a touching email, or hearing your partner’s voice. But it’s just not the same as looking into your partner’s eyes. So invest in a webcam, and add that extra dimension into your long-distance relationship. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, a face-to-face talk with that special someone in your life will keep things alive and fresh.
- Don’t forget special occasions
When you spend a long period of time away from your partner, it’s easy to forget the “relationship” part of your life and fall into a more “me-centric” attitude. While this may be perfectly normal, it’s not something you should accept. You have to keep the little joys of being with someone alive, and one way to do that is to remember special occasions. So, don’t forget birthdays and anniversaries, as well as other occasions that are important to your partner.
- Use endearing one-liners to your advantage
What’s a one-liner? Well, in the case of long-distance relationships, it’s not a joke but a quick note written to your partner that’ll make them feel great. It has to be short and sweet, but meaningful. For example, send off a quick “I love you,” or “I miss you,” or “Just watched our favorite program and I was thinking of you!” The goal is to catch your partner off guard and bring that warm fuzzy feeling to their heart.
- Break the rules
Always remember that rules are made to be broken. So if at any time you feel like you’re being predictable—which is the worst thing to be in a long-distance relationship—break the rules. Don’t take any stupid risks, but do something out of the ordinary. All relationships get into comfortable routines that sometimes need to be broken in order to keep things from getting boring.
- Don’t let silence freak you out
Distance has a bad way of amplifying silence. An email that takes a day longer than usual to be responded to, or a returned call takes a bit more time to come might freak you out. But don’t worry: It’s perfectly normal. An extra busy day or a sudden fire at the workplace can keep your partner from getting to the computer or phone. Therefore, the key is for both parties to accept the fact that unexpected problems will come up occasionally and that they will likely delay responses, but they’re not (and should not be treated as) a big deal.
“A face-to-face talk with that special someone in your life will keep things alive and fresh”
- You’ll get depressed, but don’t worry—that’s normal
You’re away from your partner. You’re here, and they’re somewhere else—so guess what? You’re going to get down about it from time to time. Realize that it’s normal, and that it’s temporary. Don’t fight the inevitable, but don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a funk.
- Tell them you love them
This should be obvious, but tell them you love them. Don’t hold back because you’re trying to be cool (because you’re not). Just say the words, and mean it every time.
Mitch Conway is the author of “The Go-Getter’s Guide To Finding Your Soulmate.”