How to make a long distance relationship work
Sometimes work and family commitments mean your partner can’t always emigrate with you. No matter how long you’ve been together leaving your loved one behind can make acclimatising to a foreign culture even harder and put a real strain on the relationship.
Some people argue that no matter how hard you try long-distance relationships never last, but in this international age more and more of us are finding ways to overcome the distance and beat the struggles of separation.
Keeping a relationship thriving when your thousands of miles apart isn’t easy. In fact it’s bloody hard work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort and accept all the difficulties it’s possible to emerge from the experience stronger than ever.
Here are our first lot of top tips for keeping a long distance relationship going!
Before you go…
Be Clear On the Boundaries of the Relationship
This really is an essential step to take before the separation starts. To avoid misunderstandings, recriminations and heartache further down the line the boundaries of the relationship need to be established from the off. You need to know how committed you are to each other, whether you consider the relationship to be monogamous or open, and where you see the relationship heading in the long term.
The talk may be awkward and you may find that you and your partner view your relationship differently but your chances of surviving a prolonged separation will be much higher if you both know where you stand.
Try a Practice Separation
This might not be feasible for everyone, or even seem logical, but many couples find that spending a few days apart prior to a big move can really help them prepare for how much and in what ways their lives are going to change. Once the emigration happens contact will be constrained by working hours and time differences, a practice separation can help you both figure out suitable timings and be more realistic about the level of contact you’re going to be able to maintain in the long term.
In this day and age finding a laptop without an inbuilt webcam is rare so making sure you have one organised before you go should be a doddle. Talking on the phone is fine but being able to see your partner and read their facial expressions/emotions can be a huge comfort. Even if your computer system doesn’t have a built in webcam they cost very little to buy and communication software like Skype can be downloaded for free. Make sure your mobile has international roaming and try and arrange mobile and landline deals for international phone calls. Not being able to maintain regular contact because of the cost can be frustrating and cause resentment – get prepared to ensure this doesn’t happen. In order to get into the habit of contacting each other regularly it’s best to have everything in place so you can begin straight away.
Everyone Loves Presents!
Sometimes the world seems out to get you and on days where everything goes wrong at work or the kitchen floods or the dog decides to be sick in your shoe, all you really want is a hug from your partner. When you’re thousands of miles apart that’s just not an option but giving each other something special before you part, a token to act as a reminder of the love between you, can really make hard times seem easier. The gifts don’t have to be new things either. If anything, old, sentimental objects like a favourite jumper, a special photo or a much loved teddy can be the most comforting.