Keeping The Spark When You're Hours Apart: How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship
We all know that it requires a certain type of strength to embark on a long distance relationship (or LDR, if you prefer). Long distance relationships can be hard, trying and frustrating things, but that being said, they can also be romantic, fantastic and all kinds of wonderful (providing they work out).
In this day and age, the LDR is becoming more and more common in Ireland. The tragic economic situation means that some of us have no choice but to seek work overseas and leave our loved ones behind.
So how can you cope if you’re currently in one place and your other half is in another? Here are some top tips on how to survive a long distance relationship.
Get rid of traditional relationship ideas:
The best thing that you can do for yourself from the beginning is to realise that your relationship is not “regular.” This will save you an awful lot of heartache when you find yourself comparing your LDR with your best friend’s close-to-home relationship. Your relationship isn’t regular and therefore you can’t compare it with regular ones. Simple as.
The good thing is that you’re not alone. Did you know that relationship experts estimate that nearly 3 million married couples are currently in long distance relationships? And they estimate that even more non-married couples are currently doing the LDR thing as we speak.
Uncertainty is a part of being in a long distance relationship. You go from having these intense moments of intimacy with your man, to being completely alone when you leave each other again. This causes feelings of uncertainty or insecurity to flourish and they’re completely normal.
The best thing that you can do to combat these feelings is to keep yourself busy when you’re waiting for the next time you’ll get to see your man. Throw yourself into your work, your life, your friendships - don’t allow those feelings of insecurity or uncertainty to take root.
Arrange a Skype date every evening with your man to help you communicate
Communication is key:
Always make sure that you’re on the same page with your other half with regards to your relationship. It’s worth taking the time to talk about your expectations for the future and to see what the two of you are looking for and what you’re willing to invest into the relationship.
Given the fact that you don’t have the luxury of face-to-face communication, it’s important that you openly and honestly communicate your feelings to your other half. If you’re feeling really alone, tell him. If you need to speak to him more, tell him that too. Honest communication will stop any lines from getting crossed along the way.
Keep the romance alive:
Coming back together after spending periods of time apart can be difficult but it’s so important to savour these moments. Make them as romantic as you possibly can - if you create great memories every single time you see each other, that spark of love will be able to give you the strength you need to carry on when the distance starts to take its toll.
When things get hard, just remember why you’re doing this in the first place - you found someone who you think is worth the effort. Dwell on the good times you’ve shared with your partner and remember - happy, healthy and stable relationships all require three things: personal independence, brilliant communication and a mutual level of commitment. You’ve already got the independence thing sorted just by being in a long distance relationship, so all you really need is the communication and the commitment and you’re sorted.