How To Take A Long Distance Relationship And Make It Work
October 12, 2015
By Nick Bastion / Vixen Daily
I’m not going to lie to you – you’re in for a tough challenge.
Long distance relationships are anything but easy. You take the normal, everyday challenges of a relationship – things like misunderstandings, miscommunications, inadvertently hurting feelings, temptation, etc… and you multiply the likelihood of them happening by about one billion.
That’s a scientific number. One billion is exactly what you multiply them by.
Anyway – what I’m trying to say is that long distance relationships are hard. If you want to make it work, you’re going to need to put in the effort.
If you’re going to make things work long distance with him, you’ve got to start off right.
And that means starting off on the same page. About EVERYTHING.
Do you agree what kind of relationship you’re in? Do you have the same expectation of whether you’ll be faithful to each other?
That’s the starting point – deciding exactly where you stand with each other BEFORE you go long distance.
Next, you should put an expiration date on the “long distance” part of your relationship. You should both roughly know when the long distance part is going to be over, and you two can be in a normal, proximately close relationship with each other.
If you’re in a long distance relationship where there’s no plan to move close to each other, it can feel like a long tunnel with no light at the end of it. Having that date where you’ll be living in the same place (or even in the same home) is crucial to maintaining the stability of your relationship, as well as reminding you what you’re working for.
Next, you’ve got to make sure you’re going into this with the right expectations. If you’re expecting your relationship to just WORK, because you’re SO GOOD together and you can’t imagine fighting or having misunderstandings… well, you’re going to have a bad time.
You’ve got to accept that yes, misunderstandings are going to happen. Yes, there are going to be periods where you talk to each other less than you’d like (sometimes MUCH less than you’d like for WAY longer than you want).
And you’ve got to accept that you’re both going to have to go above and beyond the call of duty towards making things work between you. Long distance relationships require the extra effort – or else they fall apart.
Another great idea is to talk to him about the things about a long distance relationship you’re insecure or uncomfortable about – and encourage him to share his with you.
It’s SO EASY for a fight to start in a long distance relationship, even without one of the partners knowing that you’re fighting. If you know what he’s insecure about and what he’s doubting – and he knows the same things about you – it makes it much easier to avoid fights, avoid misunderstandings, and avoid accidentally hurting each other’s feelings.
OK – You’re In It. Here’s What To Do To Make It Work:
Provided you’ve taken the steps above, and you’re both on the same page as much as two people can be, it’s time to actually BE in your long distance relationship.
And if you want it to succeed – that means trying to keep things feeling as much like a ‘normal’ relationship as possible.
It means making time to talk to each other every day – and treating that like a normal, regular, expected part of your day. It shouldn’t feel like an EXTRA effort to make time to talk to him – nor should it feel that way for him to make time to talk to you.
You should be trying to talk to each other every single day. If you can’t get on the phone or skype, try to at least send a few checkup texts to each other just to touch base and make contact.
If you want to make communication as easy as possible – talk to him about what his favorite way to communicate with you is. Maybe he hates talking on the phone and prefers skype? Who knows! The only way to know for sure is to talk to him about it and find out.
Next, compare your schedules and find a time that works for both of you. If you’re trying to make a time to talk every day – you need to work around BOTH of your schedules and find a time that fits – so neither of you feels stressed or like they’re having to make extra effort to “fit you in”.
A word about communication: it’s going to be pretty banal and ordinary. Think about all the times you’ve talked to him in person – how many were soul affirming, life changing conversations?
And how many were you two talking about the weather?
You might be tempted to have a deep, passionate, relationship-reinforcing conversation every time you talk – and that’s a mistake. You two will never live up to that expectation, and you might find yourself feeling hollow or unfulfilled about it.
Instead, expect that you’re going to have pretty much normal, everyday conversations with him. They’re not all going to blow your mind – and that’s totally OK. Get comfortable just talking about the small stuff, or the weather, or how your days went, and be happy with that.
One thing to avoid is this: You know the phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”?
That’s absolutely at risk in a long distance relationship.
You might find yourself thinking about him all the time – and idealizing him in your head – to the point that when you DO visit him or he visits you it winds up being a letdown.
Don’t let yourself idealize him just because you aren’t seeing each other often. Remind yourself that he’s a normal person, just like you, and avoid disappointment when one of you visits.
A Word About Visiting
They should be frequent. And regular.
The key to keeping any relationship alive is intimacy, and the key to intimacy is regular close contact. That means that you’ve got to visit each other, and you’ve got to do it frequently.
There’s no amount of phone conversation or video-chatting that is a replacement for face to face communication. You should always have a visit with each other scheduled to look forward to.
Make it a ritual that at the end of each visit, you plan the next visit. That way, you avoid feeling like you’re not going to see each other, and always have something to look forward to – even when he’s heading to the airport.
It’s All About Trust
You’ve got to be able to trust each other. Point blank, stop, be all end all, this is the most important ingredient.
If you can’t trust each other – how can you possibly be in a long distance relationship? You’d be wondering if he was messing around on you and vice versa.
That sounds like torture to me.
Let’s face it – you know deep in your gut whether you trust him or not. If you do – great. If you don’t – really think about whether you want to get in a long distance relationship with him.
Trust also works both ways. Make sure you’re doing your part to avoid situations where you might be tempted to make a mistake, like going out to a club or allowing yourself to spend a lot of time with a new guy.
And here’s an important point: if you DO mess up, you HAVE to tell him. Keeping it bottled up inside will undermine your relationship as surely as if you cheated on him with his brother right in front of him.
You have to tell him, and you have to ask forgiveness. Not only will that keep your conscience clean, it will also make your relationship stronger – because he’ll be more likely to tell you when he messes up.
By the way – “making a mistake” isn’t just about cheating. If you hang out with some friends and wind up at a bar where some guys hit on you – you might feel guilty about that. In that case (just like in every case), it’s best to tell him. That way, the guilt of going to the bar and getting hit on doesn’t weigh on your conscience – and he knows that you’re being honest with him about where you’re going and what you’re doing.
If you can follow these guidelines – your long distance relationship can go the distance. Remember, it’s about trust, effort, and good expectations. If you’ve got those, you can make it work!
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It was founded by dating and relationship expert, Nick Bastion, who is the main contributor to the Love & Relationship Advicesection of the site.