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The Long Distance Relationship Guide

The Long Distance Relationship Guide

The Long Distance Relationship Guide: 10 Steps to Make your LDR Work!

Let’s face it; a long distance relationship guide can be of immense help if you and your partner are apart. Not just because long distance relationships (LDR) are harder than others; they also need special treatment! Certain tips and details can make a whole lot of difference. 

Couples in LDRs may not have issues like conventional couples have, like over-intimacy or a lazy social or sex life. Instead, they have a few (thousand) miles between them, little or no time together and a phone to go to bed with and cuddle at night. It’s not always easy; it requires patience, trust and commitment.

There are certain things you can do to help make the whole thing easier on you both. Here are 10 tips to make the distance smaller and the love greater. I’ve separated them into emotional and practical tips.

THE LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP GUIDE:          5 EMOTIONAL TIPS

1. Discuss expectations, needs and boundaries

If you haven’t already discussed this before you parted, then there’s no better time than now. If you are honest with each other and know exactly what you each want out of your relationship, you will both be on the same page. You don’t want your partner to leave thinking you have (unofficially) ended and you are now free to date other people. Establish your boundaries and the responsibilities of being faithful and committed.

You should both be clear about if you want or see a future for you. Be realistic about what you want and how much you are willing to compromise. Discuss your communication needs and limits, how often you will communicate and how. Agree to meet each other half way, both literally and practically. Remember, you may live in different cities, but you are in this together so you should be as thoughtful and fair as possible.

2. Set a limit to your absence

Not knowing when you will next hear from you loved one can almost drive you insane. Not knowing when they can come home or even if they ever will (like in many cases when serving for the army), can wreck your nerves and make you sick with worry. So, try and set a time limit to how long you will stay apart from each other each time.

Not only will this comfort your partner that there will actually be a next time, it also helps both of you feel like your time apart is only a temporary thing and that being together is the way it should be. Meeting once a month is ideal, though not always possible; so work it out together and find the best solution for the both of you.

3. Plan ahead, plan together

It’s not always easy to plan exactly when you can meet. Demanding jobs or duties don’t always allow for a fixed program. This is why you must at least plan ahead together. Show your partner than you factor them into your life and future in a significant way. You may be miles away, but you still consider them an integral part of your life.

Talk about things you want to do together when you next meet. Discuss possible vacation plans, places you want to go to, films you want to see, home decoration changes you want to make. Involve each other in your decision making process, just like you would if you were in the same house or city.

4. Avoid dangerous situations

Being far away from your partner can at times be a good thing. You have more free time to do your own thing, plus you get to see your relationship from a different angle. However, being apart can also mean long lonely nights and tearful mornings. However easy it is for temptation to wiggle its way into your brain, you don’t want to do anything stupid.

If your partner doesn’t feel comfortable with you partying until 5 AM or going to weekend resorts with your co-worker of the opposite sex, then don’t do it. Even if you trust each other, you don’t want to be giving them the wrong idea. Avoid people you know might get you into trouble (like ex-boyfriends, co-worker who is into you, stranger you spoke to in a bar) and reassure your partner that there is nothing to worry about.

5. Trust and support each other

Not having your partner around all the time can make it easy for your imagination to run wild. You may miss them dreadfully and feel you can’t handle another day alone. Or maybe you worry that someone will come between the two of you. If you feel you can’t trust each other, sooner or later discontent, jealousy and suspicion, sometimes even downright paranoia, can set in.

Don’t make your situation worse by adding unnecessary worries. Think positive! You’re in this together, so if you feel that something is troubling your partner, or that something is wrong, make sure to say so. If you aren’t honest with each other, you allow room for misconceptions and misunderstandings. Make the extra effort to put yourselves in each others shoes. Be thoughtful; you both need support right now and the best place to get it is from each other.


 

THE LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP GUIDE:          5 PRACTICAL TIPS

1. Make a communication plan

This is almost a no-brainer, as you’ll obviously want to stay in touch as often as possible. The advancements in technology make it very easy for couples today. Think of all the unlucky couples who lived before Graham Bell invented the telephone. They had to survive on letter-writing. Nowadays it’s very simple, as the speed and ease of the internet allows couples to have real time communication.

There are many ways in which you can use technology to help make the distance smaller. First off, make a weekly plan of when you can both have some free time to talk on the phone. Make sure you mobile phone networks and programs are compatible, so you can get cheap text messages and phone calls. Use social networking tools, like Facebook or LinkedIn to stay up to date with daily issues. Use instant messaging programs, like MSN or Yahoo! Chat and talk online, or get a webcam and a microphone to use Skype and have a video conversation.

2. Visit frequently

You’ve already set a limit to your absence and made a communication plan. Now it’s time to go the distance. Depending on your schedules and how far apart you are, you may have to make certain compromises. It may not be cheap for one person to travel back and forth all the time, so try and meet half way and share the costs.

When you do meet, try to focus on having a good time. Don’t use the few days you have together to go to waste by picking fights and interrogating each other. Use it to reignite your passion and strengthen you commitment.

3. Share pictures

Even if you talk on the phone or Skype each other all the time, pictures are still a great way to stay in touch. Sending your partner a picture of yourself, where you live and what your house, work space or dorm looks like. will make them feel closer to you. As weird as it sounds, it helps if you can visualize their surroundings and where they are.

You could create a Photobucket or Flickr account and share your photo albums on line. You could even exchange disposable cameras, take pictures and then send them back. Relationships are built on the little things, don’t forget about them.

4. Send gifts and cards

Talking on the phone and emailing are fine. They’re great ways to stay in touch about the daily things in your life. However, sending a card or a small gift is even better. Just because you are apart doesn’t mean you should stop doing all the little things. Remember birthdays and anniversaries and send your love in the mail.

Remind your other half that you haven’t forgotten about them and that you still care. That extra effort you put into writing a love letter, picking out a gift or sending a home made love pack, will give them courage and make them feel special.

5. Discuss everything

This is important for two reasons. First, it helps you stay up to date with each others news, activities and plans. Discussing the mundane, annoying, boring little things, helps you know more about what your partner is going through and’ what their life is like. This makes it easier to be compatible and compassionate.

The second reason why you should talk about everything is because at the moment it’s the only way of feeling connected and involved. People have no other way of knowing what is going on inside your heart and head, unless you tell them. Sharing is caring and honesty is the best policy. So be open about your emotions and thoughts, be considerate of what your partner feels and thinks. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t just hear but really listen.

The most important thing is to remain positive and trust each other. Be proactive and giving, share both the good times and the bad times. A guide can help, but if you two truly love and respect each other, you’ll work your way around being in a long distance relationship, together. If you share the same ideas for your future, your time apart will only make your love stronger. Hopefully the long distance relationship guide provided here will help you along the way!

You might also like:

  1. Overcoming Long Distance Relationship Problems
  2. How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work
  3. Keep Your Long Distance Relationship Alive
  4. Top 10 Relationship Killers
 
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