Making Long Distant Relationships Work

Our teen and early adult years present new challenges for all of us. This is normally the time when we have monumental events such as our first real work experience or the opportunity to live on our own. For many this is also the time in life when they began the journey from casual dating to meaningful relationship. Having one person to share everything with is a beautiful feeling; but sometimes the situation is not always ideal. Unfortunately, not all young couples have the perfect circumstances that allow them to live close to one another. Between military, job relocation, and college many must commute.

Relationships have the potential to be hard when both parties live in the same city, even the same house. However, the chance of problems increase greatly when there is physical distance between the lovers. This distance could be living cities apart or states apart. The situation could have always existed since the beginning of the relationship, or the separateness could be new as the result of one moving. Regardless of how the circumstances arise, those in this predicament try and make the best of it. Despite the effort living apart is still tough and emotionally draining. The thought of only seeing the one you love on the weekends or only a couple of hours a week takes discipline. After a few short months the gap becomes too much for some to handle and they bail. Long distant relationships require work and a determined attitude. While the mood may not always be pleasing, there are ways to bridge the gap and make the relationship satisfying for all involved.

The most important thing to remember in carrying out this type of relationship is not to focus all of your attention on the bad. Do not allow negative thoughts to take center stage, happiness will never come from this. It is good to express the way you feel, but do not make a habit of throwing yourself a pity party every other day. This will only make you feel worst and send you into a slump. Continue going about your daily routine and keep busy. When you stay active, your days go fast and there is no time to mope. If you find yourself lonely or bored, call a friend. If you do not have any friends, widen out and meet some. One mistake that some couples tend to do is rely on their significant other for all their friendship needs. There is nothing wrong with having a lover as a best friend, just be careful not to allow that one person to be your only source of happiness.

Make a habit of keeping each other up-to-date on events. Communication is crucial in keeping that gap close. Let the other know how your days are going. This could be done by phone or through e-mail. A good idea is to keep a journal or diary, then once a week read some of the entries. This will keep your significant inform on the daily happenings in your life and they are less likely to feel out of the loop. The worst thing that a couple can do is not communicate with each other. This is almost a sure guarantee that the relationship will die. If one half of a couple is having second thoughts about the relationship, that individual needs to address the issue. Couples also need to beware of the “out of sight, out of mine” syndrome. Life tends to get hectic at times, still, not taking the time to call, write, or e-mail leaves the impression that you are not thinking about the other, nor do you take the courtship serious.

It’s been said a million times, yet I am going to say it again – trust and honesty is essential. When one is out of sight it is only natural to wonder what they are doing, and whom they are doing it with. Without trust and honesty the relationship will go from ‘not always pleasant’ to ‘bad’. In other words, if you go out to dinner with two co-workers or classmates who happen to be of the opposite sex, don’t withhold information and say you went out with just the guys/girls. Not telling the full truth, regardless of how innocent a situation may be, will send red flags. Once suspicion presents its ugly little head couples become paranoid and begin questioning every move and second-guessing every word.

Anybody contemplating a long distant relationship should be committed (unless the two have agreed to other arrangements). Whatever rules are established on how the relationship will be carried needs to be mutual and respected. Long distant relationships do provide a balance of independence and dependence. While you may see yourself as ‘attached’, distance allows room to not lose your own identity. Many have discovered that once a relationship becomes stronger they begin to neglect their own interest, whether it is work, family, or school. This type of relationship is not as difficult as some think. It takes effort and a will to make it work. If the couple is committed and are willing to take the good with the bad, they will overcome any obstacles.

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