Communicating with your loved one on a regular basis is crucial to staying close while you’re apart. Not only should you talk as much as you can, but keep in touch in other ways as well. Text, e-mail, snail mail, webcam chats – take advantage of every form of communication to let your sweetheart know that you are thinking of her. (Girls especially like surprise packages.)
What you communicate is just as important as how often. Express yourself honestly and openly – don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind! This becomes especially important when the relationship is strained. Airing out your feelings is the best way to deal with problems so they don’t fester. Bottling up your emotions will only lead to an explosion later on - possibly by saying things you can’t take back. Long-distance relationships thrive when communication is honest and open.
If you are in a committed relationship, you need to have trust – and we mean real trust. Many guys say they trust their girl, but as soon as they hear a nasty rumor about her, they automatically jump to conclusions and think the worst. This is not real trust.
Doubts and assumptions are very damaging in long-distance relationships. Unfounded rumors should never make you leap to the conclusion that your partner is messing around. If you have justifiable reason to think your loved one is being unfaithful – calmly ask her about it. Don’t accuse – or you could ruin a perfectly good relationship. Always give your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt and listen to her side of the story before you make any judgments. Of course this also means you should be worthy of trust.
Dating long-distance takes even more dedication and commitment than normal relationships. You have to be fully invested in each other so that the distance doesn’t keep you from feeling like you’re really together. What can you do to strengthen your bond? Share as many common interests as possible. If you enjoy the same sport, you can talk about the latest game. When you both see the same movie or read the same book, you can discuss it together. Having similar interests will ensure you always have something to talk about and draw you closer.
Commitment also means making time for each other. It can be very easy to feel disconnected from your loved one without physical contact. You need to make up for that with intimate emotional connections as often as possible. This means making time for conversation without distraction, sending thoughtful letters or e-mails, and being a listening ear whenever they need you.
Setting aside a regular time each evening for an hour's worth of Skype (it's free) will ensure that the bond you have with your loved one will last a long time. But make sure you put your best foot forward during these sessions. Put on some decent looking clothes and groom yourself, almost as if for a date. And don't show the messy room or the stack of dirty dishes in the sink behind you. Reminding your significant other of your shortcomings won't win you any points in a long- distance relationship.
Support each other through difficult times. Be respectful of what the other person is going through – even if it’s hard for you to relate. “Being there” for someone doesn’t mean you have to physically be there, as long as you are there for them emotionally. The more committed you are to the other person, the easier this will be.
Dating long-distance might be challenging, but the effort you put forth will be well worth it. You can be successful if you have good communication, trust, commitment, and most of all - love. Hopefully you will be in each other’s arms soon. Until then, follow these tips to have a healthy and happy long-distance relationship.
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Tuesday, 23 November 2010