Janine is sick with worry. Her boyfriend Sam was supposed to call hours ago and she can’t reach him.
They’ve been together for 2 years now. The two of them fell in love and then, 6 months later, Sam was offered a job he couldn’t pass up. The drawback to this dream job was that it meant Sam had to move across the country.
Janine and Sam have worked hard to keep their long distance relationship close and connected. They take turns flying out to visit one another every three months and they have a standing agreement to call and talk or to get on Skype every evening at 10pm.
Unfortunately, Sam has been caught up with a project for work the past few weeks. He has been late getting to his phone or computer for their daily connecting time. He’s also been distracted.
This is the first time that Sam has completely missed their nightly call. Janine is worried that something bad has happened to Sam…or that he’s lying to her and he’s not really been busy with work.
It can be difficult to stay close and connected in a love relationship or marriage. When there is physical distance between the couple, those challenges become even bigger.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, you may miss…
- Your partner’s touch
- Your lover’s kiss
- Physically seeing and being with your partner on a regular basis
- Having an in-person view of what’s going on
Unfortunately, there’s a lot that gets left to the imagination in a long distance relationship. There are a lot of things about your partner’s day-to-day life that you just don’t know for sure.
This kind of mystery can happen in any relationship, but it is inevitable when two people are physically separated.
The good news is that it is possible to create the kind of close, connected and trust-filled relationship you want, even if you and your partner don’t live geographically near one another.
Here are 3 success tips for long distance relationships…
#1: Watch your thoughts.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to be aware of what you are thinking. Everybody has a propensity to make up stories when they get worried or angry or uncertain.
When you notice you are having a thought that is upsetting or stressful, back up and ask yourself if there are facts to back up what you are thinking. Always return to the facts.
If you don’t have enough reliable information to know whether or not what you are thinking is true, ask yourself if this is something important enough to investigate. If so, get more information without making a jealous accusation or interrogating your partner.
Most of the time, distressing thoughts can be questioned and cleared up by your own review of what you know is true (and what is not).
#2: Create clear agreements.
Confusion and different expectations are two major causes of problems in relationships, especially long distance relationships. Take the time to create clear and conscious agreements with your partner. It’s up to you how specific these agreements need to be.
For instance, you and your partner can come up with an agreement about when and how often you will call or contact one another. You can agree to visit each other (if this is possible) and how often.
You can also renegotiate agreements when things come up. In the case of Janine and Sam, he could be honest with her about the pressure he’s under at work. He might ask her if they can agree to call or Skype with one another every other night at 10pm instead of every night, at least temporarily.
Agreements make sure you two are on the same page when it comes to particular aspects of your relationship.
#3: Be creative.
Just because you have solid agreements with your partner about when you’ll call or visit one another, this doesn’t mean you have to be dull or routine.
Because you two are more limited in the ways you get to interact and what you can do together, you’re going to need to be creative. You can be spontaneous and even push the boundaries of what you’d normally do– while staying true to yourself and your ethics.
Here’s a place to let your imagination run wild!
Surprise your partner with a hand-written love letter. (Remember hand-written letters?!) Another idea is, instead of just talking about how your day or week was, use the time during your phone call to list off everything you like and appreciate about one another.
Whatever you choose to do together, make sure it’s enjoyable and that it feels good to both of you.