They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. True, but distance can also cause some problems in a relationship as well. Long-distance relationships can cause excess stress, conflict and pose unexpected challenges. Whether you are presently in a long distance relationship, are experiencing some time apart from your partner due to travel, or are facing increased emotional and intimate distance in your present relationship, the following tips can help you and your partner maintain intimacy despite geographic or emotional space.
Sending emails, text messages, video chats and phone calls is a great way to stay connected to your long distance partner while you are apart. Maintaining contact with your partner can increase closeness and ensure you stay present in each other’s lives. Quick messages such as, “Good Morning”, “Goodnight”, and other messages throughout the day let your partner know you are thinking about them, and keeps you both connected during the day. Video chat makes a great way to plan a long-distance date night!
Be involved in your partner’s life, and allow them to be involved in yours:
Long-distance couples face the feeling of living two separate lives. Life stressors, challenges with friends, family and coworkers, as well as day to day routines and chores are all aspects of daily life that long- distance couples typically engage in alone. This can cause one or both partners to feel isolated and add to the strain of a distance relationship. Allowing your partner to be a part of your daily life, as well as showing curiosity about their day can help couples maintain a sense of closeness and security.
Being active in each other’s lives is also important for the overall health of your relationship. Long-distance couples often experience feelings of joy and a sense of being on a break or vacation from their daily routine and activities when they are together. Ensuring that you and your partner share in each other’s stresses, challenges and life activities can ease the transition from periods of being together and apart. Remember, you are in a relationship with your long-distance partner, so it is important to share in and be a part of each others. Be realistic and active in each other’s day to day lives, building the foundations of your relationship, while also enjoying being with each other.
Have a goal:
In a long-distance relationship it is important to ensure you have a scheduled date, a trip or a time when you won’t be long-distance anymore! Having this time to look forward to can reinforce the relational bond you and your partner share, as well as remind you why you chose to do long-distance with each other in the first place. Take turns planning special weekends or getaways.
Remember that long-distance is not forever! Use this time to strengthen your relationship and figure out what you both want from a future together. With verbal communication at it’s height, there is a unique opportunity to strengthen your discussion skills, which will be fruitful for your relationship in the long run.
For additional readings on Long-Distance Relationships, I suggest taking a look at the following articles:
- Long Distance Love is a Touch and Talk Challenge, by Rita Watson
- Relationships That Are Especially Prone to Love Blindness, by Dr. Shauna H. Springer
Article written by Stacie Courtney-Mustaphi, B.Soc. Sci, MA Candidate