What you need to know:
- It’s not all bad news though. Long-distance relationships can be just as emotionally intimate, trusting and committed as traditional couples, regardless of how often you’re able to visit one another.
- Arguments are also more difficult to resolve. So never measure the success of the relationship by your last conversation — all relationships have their ups and downs.
The secret lies in keeping intimacy alive by updating each other, doing similar things and being trustworthy.
The Internet has made communication so easy nowadays that long-distance relationships seem almost normal. Many couples first meet online, while traditional couples often get separated by study or work.
But being apart is never easy. Even though many long-distance relationships do work out — lots don’t, often because it’s so hard to keep in touch.
Phone calls and messages take time, and can be difficult across time zones. And saying “I love you” or exchanging news isn’t quite the same as feeling involved in your partner’s day.
Trust is often an issue, because there’s really no way of knowing whether your long-distance partner is being faithful. Mind you, living together can be just as bad, especially if your partner is flirtatious!
Being faithful is mostly about the overall quality and intimacy of your relationship, so don’t give your long-distance partner the third degree every time they go out for a drink, or doesn’t get back to you right away when you SMS.
What you’re expecting from the relationship is also important.
For example, are you just friends? Dating? Boyfriend-girlfriend? Engaged? Monogamous? Coming home as soon as the course ends?
These can be tough things to discuss sometimes, but not sharing the same expectations always ends in tears.
It’s not all bad news though. Long-distance relationships can be just as emotionally intimate, trusting and committed as traditional couples, regardless of how often you’re able to visit one another.
So stay optimistic, and keep close by constantly updating each other on what you’re doing — Twitter’s great for that. Always try to be cheerful when talking or texting each other, and recognise that it’s easy to feel misunderstood online.
Arguments are also more difficult to resolve. So never measure the success of the relationship by your last conversation — all relationships have their ups and downs.
Do things together besides the usual phone calls, like reading the same book or watching the same movie. Tell each other everything.
Ask for advice. Share an online calendar to keep track of visits, birthdays, times to phone and days you’re unavailable. Set a special ringtone just for your partner, and save things like plane tickets, beer mats and pictures taken on trips.
Have a goal to work towards, like a permanent relocation, because long-distance relationships don’t generally fail.
But you may not even notice that you’re slowly drifting apart as your interests, values and friends change – until something small blows up and knocks everything off track.
Visit every chance you get, including meeting halfway occasionally, if that’s possible. And remember that you HAVE to be there for your partner.
If your partner is ever in trouble, hurt or ill, they must be able to call on you. So make sure they can reach you – and be prepared to go to them if need be.
Sometimes you’ll feel overwhelmed by being apart, but love is always worth the risk. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way...