Relationships in general can often be hard to maintain over time without the right combination of quality time, patience, communication, and affection. Once you group that with a long distance between each person, trying to maintain the relationship can sometimes turn into a chore. With the rise in internet dating and people separated due to military duty, there are more and more people trying to build a relationship despite the distance between them.
Although it may seem difficult at times, it is possible to make a long distance relationship that stands the test of time and turns into something more later. The keys to making it work are trust, communication, travel, creativity, and commitment. With each of those in place, anything is possible.
A Little Trust Goes a Long Way
When it comes to long distance relationships, there has to be a huge degree of trust between each person. Probably even more than there needs to be in a normal relationship. It only takes a little bit of distrust to pop up for two people to begin suspecting each other of not being faithful in the absence of one another.
If for some reason you do have doubts or have reason to believe that something may be going on, talk it out with your partner to see if those feelings may be real. Sometimes avoiding the talk can just lead to the distrustful feelings growing to the point where it is impossible to overcome them. For peace of mind, it is usually easier to trust until someone gives you a reason not to trust them anymore. If not, you could end up stressed and over-analyzing every little action.
Communication Is the Key
It sounds obvious, but good communication is the foundation of any relationship not just one with distance involved. When it comes to long distance dating, you have to find some sort of time to actually talk to each other. Nowadays, this can come in the form of cell phone calls, Facetime, Skype or any other video conferencing type of software or applications.
Although texting and instant messaging are convenient, a lot can be said about actually hearing and/or seeing your mate on a regular basis. Many times text messages also lead to disagreements because it is so difficult to read emotion through them. What could have been an innocent text could accidentally be read with a hint of sarcasm that was not really there.
It is also important to not keep score of who calls first and who calls for how long. Just be happy that the call took place and make the most of it. If necessary, set up a schedule so that life does not start to overwhelm your quality time. A few minutes out of the day to talk to each other can help keep things fresh for a long time.
Make Some Travel Time
After a while, even the best long distance relationships stop feeling real if the people involved never take time to see each other. At some point, it is going to be important to take some time to travel to see each other.
The travel can be alternating going from one person's town on one trip to the other person's town on the next trip, or you could just choose a neutral destination and enjoy a small vacation together. The important part is being able to physically see each other and spend time together in order to ease frustrations and reaffirm feelings for each other.
Take Advantage of Snail Mail
Instant messaging and email made having a long distance relationship so much easier, but in order to provide some spark you may have to rely on an old friend, snail mail. Periodically, you should take some time to sit down and write each other a real letter or card. Unexpectedly send a gift or care package and watch how happy you end up feeling.
Even after all these technological advances, nothing quite beats the feeling of walking to the mailbox and seeing a letter from your significant other. It sure beats getting a bill! Sending snail mail will also allow you to get creative in the way you send your message. Be as romantic as possible and mail as much as possible.
Have a Plan to Be Together
Long distance relationships can be a beautiful thing, but at some point they will eventually run their course if you do not end up together. It does not have to be weeks, months, or even years, but at some point you will want to plan on being together if it ends up being serious.
In order to figure it out, sit down and actually discuss where you want things to go. Be realistic with your time-frame, and be sensitive to what your partner's life is already like. While you may think it is easy for them to pack up and move, they could be leaving behind friends, family, and career that have taken years to build. If you cannot eventually agree, then it may be time to move on or find an alternate plan.
Believe In Your Relationship
Ultimately, the success of your long distance relationship will come down to you and your mate. While others may doubt how serious things are, it is up to you to keep the romance alive. Your friends and family may doubt what your other half is doing when you are not around. People may think you are crazy for always referencing a boyfriend or girlfriend they have never met. Some may even say that it is a dangerous situation or call you weird.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you love the person it is worth giving it a shot. It could end up being something amazing in the end. If not, learn as you would from any other relationship and move on to bigger and better things.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
dave on August 02, 2017:
My wife and are essentially married in one long distance relationship. I was in a well known spec-ops unit for 9 years. Plan for nothing. Come home for 15 days and day 4 . Mission alert. .I love you but got to go. We have been married 14 years. I was wounded 5 yrs ago. Not a big deal ! I opted early discharge but I have no skills for civilian life so I joined a organization that blended my military skills with other skills ! However wife and I and kids grew closer for 8 months. I still go overseas for 8 months at a time and home 3 weeks.
Tips which work for us
Try to keep stable home life. Kids stayed in school in Little Beach Va.it is secure place for my family.
I dont share my job with wife
Wife doesn't share house stuff . She fixes problems. I don't need to know.
Communicate is important. I never take my cell phone with me. We both use Trac phones. I can use a computer but maybe once a week. We share about kids but use him and her. Not real names..we do have naughty time online but nothing can replace intimacy and we miss that the most.you can not be jealous
Trust is number one!
When I do return. Kid time is first then time for wife and i. No cell phones or TV 48 hrs. just us! I pamper her. Her job is demanding as mine
We try to take mini vacation with kids
I am leaving my job next year. ..I love benefits and money but kids are getting teens and need a full time dad. I may work in Alexandria VA in office but I love the hell out of family!
My wife is beautiful and sexy and I asked her last time how she keeps guys off. She smiled and informed me she tells them she is a bi/lesion and with government tags on family vehicle no one pushes it. I laughed and asked her has she tried but might .we hugged and kissed...we are a happily married family
Kieron Walker (author) from Saratoga Springs, NY on August 14, 2016:
Thanks for the comment dashingscorpio. Nothing wrong with your opinion.
I do agree with you that the likelihood of staying together is pretty small if there is no "light at the end of the tunnel". Usually the frustration of being apart starts to takeover after a while.
I think making it work is keeping the relationship strong until both people are in a position to be together. However long that may be.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on August 14, 2016:
To begin with one has to define what making a long distance relationship (work) really means. Is it dating for a few months, a year, or getting married....? Long distance relationships were meant to be temporary!
The goal is to be with the person you love!
Therefore if there is no "light at the end of the tunnel" where someone is relocating most long distance relationships will fail.
It's the counting down of the months, weeks, and days until one is done with the inconvenience of being a long distance relationship that keeps it strong!
At some point in order for the relationship to "work" someone has to move.
Essentially the only reason for being in a long-distance relationship is one believes she/he is "the one". If you're just dating someone for fun you might as well do that locally. It's easier and less expensive. One man's opinion! :)