Love, in this day and age, is difficult so when my friend fell in love with a man who lived in another country, they were both concerned about whether it was even worth giving the relationship a go. But when it is so hard to find ‘the one’ they decided that trying to make it work was worth it. Several hundred airmiles, Skype conversations and two years later, a crisp white invitation arrived for their wedding. Talking to them ahead of the big day they confessed that at times it wasn’t easy but they certainly have no regrets – in fact they couldn’t be happier.
With so many people now working away from home and loved ones, an increasing number of couples face the challenge of long distance relationships (LDRs).
Relationship scientist Dr Gian Gonzaga, says: “Long distance relationships can be difficult, those relationships face many challenges because of the distance and you have to spend some extra time making sure the relationship stays strong.”
Here Dr Gonzaga shares his top five tips for maintaining a healthy and loving long distance relationship:
1) Communication, Communication, Communication
It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you’re in, communication is really important. In today’s world, we are inundated with ways we communicate with each other, thanks to the internet. Many ‘LDR couples’ enjoy talking to each other via Skype, Email, Facebook, Messenger and Twitter via conventional methods such as texting, phone calls and even letters. Make sure you connect every day, even if it’s just a call to say “I love you”.
2) Set a date to end the LDR
You need to know where you stand before you head deeper into the relationship. Put a date in the diary to show that you’re committed to start a new life together. Then you can both look forward to planning your future and making important decisions such as moving to a different city together or starting afresh in a country.
3) Trust is vital in a relationship
You need to work on building trust as it’s an even more crucial component for a LDR. Trust is a key ingredient in any relationship, so if there is an issue or a concern, be reasonable and discuss it rationally with each other. Not communicating about the issue and letting it slip under the carpet isn’t going to help solve the problem in the long-term.
4) Home or Away
It’s good to just have a break from everyday stresses. Why not book a romantic break – 10 days in Morocco, a week in Devon or if your partner is in a different country, why not meet half way. This time together gives you the opportunity to discuss your feelings for each other talk and talk about next steps in the relationship.
5) No pressure, it’s the weekend!
It’s understandable you want the weekends together to be perfect. Talk to each other about what you want to do. It could be activities that you both enjoy doing or if you’re other half is travelling across the country to see you, then take into consideration that they might not want to do anything, and simply spend some time with you at home.
Most of all, value your time apart and use the space and time to fulfil your work ambitions, see friends, and enjoy life – after all, the more you get out of life the more positive you’ll be, and a positive person makes a great partner.
[picture credits: Elisabeth Moore]