Long distance relationships are no longer the impossibility they once were with the advent of technology to keep couples connected. There are text and video calls at your fingertips but emotionally it is still challenging. Many couples realise just how difficult long distance relationships can be during the pandemic as geography separated them, some who were already in a relationship for years and some who may have just met and were only at the getting to know each other stage.
The hardest part about long distance relationships is actually the lack of physical proximity, simple things that we often take for granted like holding hands, a kiss or a hug is something that everyone misses.
But that’s not to say that long distance relationships will never work out. It may not be easy but with some effort it can.
One thing to remember is to not fall into the trap of wanting to communicate overly in order to compensate for the distance. This can actually backfire, if you start spamming and updating your partner all day, it’s going to be tiresome and less is more. It’s better to focus on communicating the right things at the right time even if it’s not as often as you’d like. Becoming possessive and accounting for each other’s time all day long is going to spell trouble with a capital T.
Decide also to communicate creatively rather than just the usual updates. Make it a habit to say good morning or good night or even both every day. This keeps the fire and the connection constant.
If you’ve bought a new outfit or a new shirt and are looking especially spiffy that day take a picture and send it to your significant other, make a cute audio clip about your day and keep each other updated on your life and activities even if it seems mundane to you, it gives your partner a mental picture of how you are and what you’ve been doing.
Keep the spark alive by flirting with each other every once in a while and even bring in some sexual tension and chemistry to keep the anticipation and expectation alive because this isn’t just a biological need but also an emotional one. So send each other teasing texts and funny memes with provocative and fun innuendos. Just because you aren’t next to each other doesn’t mean you can’t be fun and flirty. This also helps both parties not to drift apart and stray as there is enough chemistry to keep both invested in the relationship despite the distance.
If you have to go out to a party or a club or drinking, make sure you reassure your partner and tell them beforehand. It also helps to tell them when you get back safely because not saying anything and then telling them later on can make them feel suspicious or extra worried even if it was in innocence. This is because being so far away can sometimes make a person feel insecure or powerlesss so simple things like informing your significant other and reassuring them goes a long way indeed.
Do fun things together, like schedule a movie and watch it at different times (if time zones are a problem) then discuss or review it together. Share articles, books, You Tube or Tik Tok videos that you find interesting or amusing and talk about it together. Video call each other often and talk to your partner maybe while grocery shopping (get an opinion on what they feel like eating or chat about what’s for dinner and plan your next dinner date virtually). If you’ve bought something nice online share a picture or buy each other online gifts if you like. Be spontaneous and interesting.
Plan your next trip together soon and visit each other often. Waiting is hard but knowing you have a scheduled time together to meet in the near future really helps.
Also ask yourself how long you would like to do this for, is it temporary or long-term? Will either of you consider moving to the other person’s location and decide on an end goal which will help keep you going knowing that the distance isn’t permanent and that you will soon be together.
Always be honest with each other, share your feelings, thoughts, insecurities and don’t hide anything, this is generally true for any relationship but in a long distance one it’s even more important as there is sometimes no way of ascertaining the truth when one is so far away so honesty is always the best policy.
Although waiting is hard, be happy and thankful that you have someone who loves you and whom you love back. Hold on to the good things and keep a positive mindset for the future.