The pandemic has taught a lot of people that maintaining a long-distance relationship can be made so much easier with modern technology, and we’re all used to making Zoom calls, text messaging, and emails for keeping in touch.
It could be that you and your partner live a considerable distance away, or one of you serves in the armed forces and spends time away for work. The travel restrictions of the past year have also kept people apart, such as Friends actor Courtney Cox and Snow Patrol musician Johnny McDaids, who have celebrated seven years of making a long-distance relationship work across the Atlantic.
However, technology can’t make up for everything, and the lack of physical proximity can sometimes make long-distance relationships as emotionally tough as ever. Select Personal Introductions has a look at ways to help make your long-distance relationship work.
Prioritise your schedules well.
Different work schedules, sleep preferences, and different time zones can all wreak havoc on long-distance relationships when it comes to making time for proper communication. Often a couple can find a pattern through inertia, and sometimes that might not work that well for either or both partners.
When are you at your best? When can you devote private, unrushed time to have a conversation? How do you feel about spontaneous texts? Who has the more flexible schedule? What feels like your most intimate part of the day — or the time when you crave connection the most? Who should initiate the contact? Do you prefer a set time no matter what, or should it vary by the day?
The types of communication arrangements to be made are limitless, as long as they are mutually satisfying. Be mindful that resentment and frustration doesn’t build up after falling into a pattern that doesn’t feel convenient or supportive.
Make sure your goals and potential endgames are in synch.
Research has shown that long-distance relationships are more satisfying and less stressful when both parties understand they are temporary. It is easier to endure the hardship of being apart, rather than hopeless feeling that it will never end.
But what if one person is more comfortable tight the status quo than the other, or one of you is more motivated to find a way to be together in person than the other?
Talk openly about your expectations of the ultimate outcome of your separation, and talk often.
Don’t rely solely on technology.
For many people, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, as well as WhatsApp and email have made it so much easier to stay in real-time contact with each other.
However, never underestimate the power of having something physical that reminds you of your partner. It could be a piece of clothing that still smells of them or a special token that serves as a reminder of your commitment.
And don’t underestimate the joy of receiving something tangible from them: a funny postcard, an unexpected gift, or delivery of your favourite sweets, or flowers.
Focus on quality communication.
Some research has revealed that long-distance couples may be more satisfied with their communication than geographically close couples. It may be because long-distance couples realise how precious their communication opportunities are, and do not have to dwell on the day-to-day logistics of physically present couples – reminders to take the rubbish out or pick up milk.
This can be used to your advantage, as when you are in a long-distance relationship, your communication has an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. If you have a scheduled call, whether a phone call or a video call, plan ahead what you want to say or tell to help build intimacy, no matter the distance between you.
Let the boring details become a connection.
However, a focus on quality communication does not mean you need to leave out the smaller details of your life and day. It can be easy to grow apart if you do not know of the daily rhythms of your partner’s life.
Details such as who they hang out with at lunch, the latest podcasts they listen to on their commute, or a new takeaway they have tried might seem like ‘boring’ details, but they provide an insight into the life of your partner and can help demystify them.
Of course, no one wants to listen to nothing but a list of minutiae, but the key is staying in each other’s lives enough that you have a feel for the cast of characters and contexts that make up daily living for them: This helps keep you close, even when the miles do not.
If you’re looking for singles professional dating services, then Select Personal Introductions can help you find the one for you, no matter the distance between you both.