Making Long Distance Relationships Work

Long Distance Dating is not ideal, but can be worth it for the right person. For the most part long distance dating is full of so many unknowns and will take extra work by both partner’s. More so than a relationship where the two people live in the same place and get to have regular face to face contact. It can be an emotional roller coaster at times given the unknowns. Especially when you are mostly communicating via messages – things can get miscommunicated and become misunderstood pretty quickly.

So here are some tips to help navigate Long Distance Dating…

1. ) Establish Your Relationship and What You Want Out Of It:                 First be on the same page and define the kind of relationship you want to work towards, and how you’re going to achieve that. As it will take work to make it work!  Be aware of each others schedules, so that time (which is not on your side) is respected and that you make the most of whatever time you have during the day, week, or months to build your relationship. Making time for each other is pivotal. Even if it means dates via Skype. Just have fun!

2.) Communication Is Key: Be patient with one another. There can easily be frustrations, so really learn what each others communication styles are and respect each others different styles. Also find a style that works for both of you where each one is being heard and understood and any disagreements are resolved quickly. Because when you do get time to communicate whether it’s Skype, in person, texts, emails, letters/cards, etc,. You want to make the most of that time and not waste that time having to resolve issues. Agree to have open communication and once an issue or topic is addressed – squash it! Also communicate about your relationship with each other, not with outsiders  – unless there are red flags.

3.) Trust Is Pivotal, Especially With Long Distance Relationships:  When you’re not regularly with the person you’re dating you will probably meet  and cross paths with members of the opposite sex pretty frequently and so will they. It would be very easy to immediately assume, if you don’t hear from them that they are with another member of the opposite sex. Try not to get into your head, and assume the worse as that can put a strain on your developing relationship. Try to let things just naturally progress. Not adding too much stress, especially when life is stressful as is, because being in a long distance relationship means you will be lacking their physical presence and support – which may make things harder. So don’t add any additional stress to the relationship. Also don’t give each other reasons to doubt or question your motives. Try to avoid any behavior or responses (including lack there of) that could create trust issues. Continually find ways to let the other know that you are thinking of them and how much they mean to you. Be complimentary. You’re dating and getting to know each other, so the guy should still be pursuing you. Also guys if you’re not pursuing, know other guys will whether your dating partner wants other guys to or not. Please remember to communicate, I can’t stress that enough! By communicating with each other especially how you feel about different issues that may arise, will save you a lot of heartache in the end!

4.) Your Words and Actions Should Build the Relationship: Despite the distance, be that fun and calming person to each other. Almost like a best friend. Encouraging more so than discouraging. I think the 5 Love Languages Test is good to take as you get to know each other as it helps you to know how to relate to the other because each person’s relational and communication styles are going to be vastly different. This is all part of the dating process. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Sometimes talking it out can help but again, be cognizant if talking it out too much does more harm than good. Also be careful of how things are phrased and the choice of words used, as things can be perceived incorrectly. Clarity is good. Just be patient with each other as you will both make mistakes in the relationship, so exercise forgiveness! At the end of the day be each other’s biggest supporter, even from afar.

5.) Take Your Dating Partner’s Needs Into Consideration:                       We all have things we go through in life, some more than others and that can impact relationships. It doesn’t mean you  aren’t capable of healthy and meaingful relationships, of course you are! But be mindful of any triggers that could make your dating partner uncomfortable or possibly upset them. As you build trust, you each should feel safe enough to be vulnerable and voice concerns with out having to walk on eggshells or worried how the other may respond.  If you are aware that a certain approach you may have might be harmful to the relationship or could be taken the wrong way or misunderstood by your dating partner, adjust your approach. Relationships are about compromise. Previous relationships could have left  one or both of you a bit jaded. So take things slow. You will make mistakes, learn form them – but don’t let them destroy your relationship. In fact grow from them together. Give each other lots of grace. Listen more than you talk, Laugh more than you cry – in fact laugh so hard you cry,  be passionate with each other, and show a lot of compassion while making the most of the limited time you have while dating long distance.

Also always come up with new ways to get to know each other, even if you’re just playing 20 questions via text. Always keep things lively and interesting. Enjoy each others company! Embrace who your dating partner is, flaws and all. In fact it’s those flaws that gives their personality the characteristics you adore and that made you want to date them in the first place. Men will be men and women will be women but accept that and like/love them for being who they are.

Below are some ways to stay connected in a long distance relationship. Good luck and Happy dating!

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