How Do I Make My Long-Distance Relationship Work?
In the last few years, online dating has been skyrocketing in the search for our future partner. Dating apps are increasingly popular, and that makes it easier to broaden our geographic search for love. This also means that we are now building relationships at further distances. Long-distance relationships are becoming somewhat of a commonality for this reason.
Another reason why long-distance relationships are increasing is the way society is changing the way we work. Specialized fields, unemployment, FIFO work, and the increased ability to work in remote places, are also reasons long-distance relationships are increasing.
Having a relationship with a partner from afar away can make things quite tricky, especially if the long-distance relationship continues for an extended period. If children are also involved, this can make things extra tricky to navigate.
7 TIPS TO MAKE A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP WORK
We often talk about how communication will make or break a relationship, and long-distance relationships are not exempt from this rule. Though it is easy to fall into a trap where communicating daily becomes a chore, and that can grow resentments and feelings of mistrust and judgements when conversations feel too generic and blunted.
We have put together a list with 7 tips in how to make it easier for your love to survive a long-distance-relationship:
1. Organic communication is key to long-distance relationships
For communication to work for your long-distance relationship, conversations should happen organically. You should both feel that you want to talk to each other, that you can’t wait to share what is happening in your life and having some distance also helps you longing for the next call or message. If your relationship is long-distance because your loved one is working remotely, then find compassion for them probably being quite busy with work, and perhaps not having too much new and fun information to share. And if you are the person working away and your partner is home with the kids, then understand they are most likely busy juggling the home-base with all that goes with it.
2. Our imagination can do more damage than you think
When we don’t see our loved one for extended periods, it is easy to make quick judgements of what is going on in their life. Especially if communication is sparing, or if one partner seems to have a more social life than the other person in the long-distance relationship. Jealousy and contempt are some heavy feelings, and it can be good to see a counsellor to sort out these feelings of judgement and mistrust.
3. Transparency and honesty
When we see each other daily, we have better insight into what is going on with our partner. We sense their moods and stress levels, we see what they are getting up to, and we have more opportunities to chit-chat and have sporadic conversations.
When we live in a long-distance relationship we rely on digital communication, where most of these factors are filtered out. Therefore, we must be extra vigilant to be the “eyes” for our partners, eliminating any reason for doubt around our whereabouts. Both parties of the long-distance relationships are responsible for total honesty and transparency. Perhaps prioritizing video calls, showing your surroundings, sending photos and videos, even a pic from your work site, or from home while doing the laundry or cooking. Sharing snippets of what is going on around you is key to a long-lasting long-distance relationship.
4. Prioritizing quality time when together
Quality time is key to all relationships, though when we live near our loved one, we have more opportunities to quality time than when living in a long-distance relationship.
In FIFO relationships, it can be easy to prioritize practical tasks for when the FIFO partner comes home for a week or two. And if you are living apart for a different reason, for example in neighboring cities, then scheduling in to visit each other equally, or meeting halfway for a night in a romantic hotel. Scheduling quality time is key to make these long-term relationships work.
And who says you can’t make that Friday night in front of Zoom a little extra special with your partner?
5. Sharing of responsibilities
If you have built a life together, with a household and children, and one partner suddenly works away from home, this comes with challenges you might not have calculated for. The home partner will naturally take on responsibilities around home and kids. If this partner also works full-time at the home base, the remote partner must understand the extra load this means for the home partner. Conversations around responsibilities are necessary for a long-distance relationship to work. Perhaps the remote partner can oversee finances, schedules, government services and so on. And when they are back at their home ground, making sure the home-partner gets a well-deserved rest from house chores.
If the remote partner has a FIFO scenario with week on/week off or similar, perhaps they can be in charge of lawn mowing, maintenance and car services etc. A counsellor can help long-distance partners figure out scenarios that can make your relationship more equal and fair.
6. Having something to look forward to
In a long-distance relationship, making it priority to make plans for when you are together helps you have something to look forward to for those moments when you plan to get together. Plan a getaway, a visit to your favorite restaurant, or a spa day can make your relationship extra special.
7. Having a timeline for the long-distance relationship
Let’s cut things straight, long-term relationships are difficult to maintain, especially if they seem to be permanent. Setting a timeline and end goal for the long-distance, to see that it is only temporarily, can help both parties manage through the time apart. Whether it is for studies, work or that you met living in separate cities, these conversations of your mutual future goals are necessary to make your long-distance relationship work out.
COUPLES THERAPY FOR LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS
Relationship counselling can help your long-distance relationship flourish and grow. Our Hart Centre relationship counsellors and psychologists have been specifically trained to help you with the unique problems that come with long-distance relationships. We have therapists and psychologists in each city, as well as online counselling options for those who can’t make it into one of our offices, or if both partners are situated in separate locations.
BOOK A HART CENTRE RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLOR
Check our search tab to find the closest Hart Centre certified long-distance relationship specialised therapists in your area, or phone our friendly receptionists on 1300830552 who will help you.
Alternatively, click here to submit an appointment enquiry.