Doctor Cupid: How to make your long-distance relationship work
Long-distance relationships can be so difficult. You miss your partner; sometimes it’s the little things – holding hands, watching movies, and all that. Other times, you just want to hold on to someone at night, or you feel jealous that all your friends are going out with their partners and you’re…alone.
In fact, many people never go on long-distance relationships because they think it can never work out. Or they just think its not for them. And that’s alright.
But long-distance relationships can actually work, and with the right communication and effort, you may even find greater satisfaction in the distance between yourself and your partner.
According to a 2015 study from Queens University, long-distance relationships can even lead to better and more fulfilling relationships overall.
Thanks to modern technology, you can enjoy ‘modern love’ via video calls, texting, and so many more channels. Seriously, it can really work. Your relationship doesn’t have to sink like that humongous boat in Titanic.
The most important thing to pay attention to before starting a long-distance relationship is having the belief that your relationship will actually work. Don’t allow yourself to have doubts about it because soon, those doubts will keep getting larger until it snowballs and kills your relationship.
Here are fourteen tips to make sure that your long-distance relationship stands the test of time.
1. Communicate with each other
What is a relationship without communication? Nothing!
Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or not, communication is about the most important thing in a relationship. You should be able to talk to your partner about the little things and the not so little things. Talk to each other about that co-worker or family member who just won’t let you live your best life.
Talk to each other. It’s important.
2. Set some ground rules for your long-distance relationship
The second most important thing in a long-distance relationship is setting ground rules. Depending on you, it could be the most important thing.
Is your relationship going to be exclusive? Are you polyamorous? What are your limits? Is kissing someone else cheating or not? Things like this need to be discussed before you begin a long-distance relationship so that you don’t unknowingly cross your partner’s boundaries.
3. Do things together
Go on walks together, watch movies together, sing together! Now, you’ll want to know how to do these things with someone who is far away. Well, use your phone or your laptop.
Technology has advanced enough that you can take your partner with you on long walks and show them the sunset down the road from your house that you think you can never find anywhere else.
Doing things together strengthens the bond between you, so try it.
4. Have a goal in mind
Where are you going with this? If you live in Lagos while your partner lives in London, how long will it last? How do you plan to close the gap? Is your long-distance relationship going to last forever? If not, how long will it last?
You need to ask each other questions and then decide on a plan, so you know where you’re going.
5. Enjoy your time alone
Learn how to enjoy the time spent away from your partner.
Invest in your other relationships, like your friends and family. Go out with them and talk to them. Your life shouldn’t revolve around your partner whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or not.
Get a hobby, work on your self-improvement, discover new shows. Your self-development will cause your relationship with your partner to get even better.
6. Be honest with each other
Be honest with your partner. Talk to them about your feelings of fear, jealousy, your insecurities, and whatnot.
Talking about these things will strengthen the bond between you two and bring you closer together.
Also, tell your partner when you’ve beached the terms of your agreement. If you both agreed on some ground rules and you went ahead to break it by mistake, let them know as soon as possible and work through it. If not, it’ll be something you’ll have to carry around and will affect the quality of your life.
7. Send each other gifts
Everybody loves gifts, and distance is no barrier to sending gifts.
Find a vendor near them to deliver your gifts or send them directly.
Send gifts often. It may just be a bouquet of flowers or their favorite box of chocolates. It will light up their day, and deepen their love for you.
8. Video call frequently
Yes, texting is nice. You get to send emojis and hide behind bland words that can be easily misconstrued. But have you tried video calling? There is nothing like staring into your partner’s eyes and actually seeing the curve of their mouth while they laugh.
9. Don’t avoid tough discussions
It will be very tempting to gloss over the tough discussions. But you must always remember you are in a relationship. Your partner cannot get to know you properly if you don’t tell them about the not so perfect parts of you.
Discuss everything – from the beautiful parts of your life to the terrible mistakes you made when you were younger (or are still making).
10. Don’t talk to each other too much
Talking to your partner is incredibly important, but you don’t have to talk to each other for twelve hours each day to prove that you love each other.
Occasionally sending messages to check up on each other is not the same as spamming. It will get tiring very soon.
It’s really about knowing how and when to tug those heartstrings.
11. No silent treatment
There should absolutely be no room for silent treatment in your relationship. One day’s silent treatment can snowball into three days, then a week, and just like that, it’s the end of your relationship.
Yes, there will be disagreements between you and your partner because humans cannot be without conflict, but it should be resolved as soon as possible.
12. Learn your partner’s love languages and speak them
There are five love languages: words of affirmation, giving gifts, physical touch, quality time, and acts of service.
In a long-distance relationship, it can be a challenge to provide physical touch. Nonetheless, learn your partner’s love languages (there’s usually more than one) and speak them.
13. Plan for visits
Schedule visits to see each other, as frequently as you need to.
Visits are so important for long-distance relationships. After spending so much time apart, you finally get to see each other again. It’ll be like fireworks!
14. Manage goodbyes well
Goodbyes suck, whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or not. However, you can learn to manage the pain by properly planning it beforehand.
When they’re gone, treat yourself or just hang out with someone until the pain has faded away. Until next time.
Long-distance relationships don’t have to be boring or trying. Also, they can definitely work!
You only have to believe that they can work, and then put in the effort.
If Mike from Big Brother Naija and his wife, Perri could stay away from each other for almost four months without any communication, you can do better!