Finally, you met the man of your dreams. But there’s just one small snag: he lives hundreds of kilometers away.
Will you be able to overcome the distance? Maybe. Surviving a long distance relationship isn’t easy, but if you’re committed to making it work, here’s what you need to consider.
Keep It Real
Did you meet your long distance sweetie while on vacation or at an out-of-town business conference? That instant attraction you felt may have been the real thing”but it there’s also a chance you got swept away by the exotic locale. When we’re away from home, there’s a tendency to shake off our everyday selves”and that’s what can sometimes give long distance pairings their heat. However, if your gut is telling you that he’s the one, give the relationship as much effort as you would if he lived a couple of blocks over.
Setting the ground rules for your long distance relationship may not seem romantic or spontaneous, but it’s essential when you don’t have the luxury of popping over to his pad on a whim. Discuss how you’d like to communicate. Maybe he’s a texter, while you prefer the phone. Compromise and be considerate. Maybe one day you’ll send a flurry of sweet texts; and the next, set up the webcam for a little face time. Either way, keep it sexy and keep it going. When one of you can’t communicate because of meetings or family commitments, make sure to bring it up so that nobody’s left wondering, worrying or resenting. And make an effort to stay connected despite the distance. Michelle and Frank dated from afar for more than three years before they closed the gap and moved in together. Inspired by their own experience, they created a website (lovingfromadistance.com) that’s full of ideas and activities for long distance couples.
The long wait is over and he’s back again. Do you spend the whole weekend in bed, or do you take the opportunity to involve him in your world? Doing things together is one of the best ways to determine whether this relationship is worth cultivating. Take him through your day as if you had all the time in the world. Bring him into your world”but at the same time get an insight into what thrills, moves or irritates him. Sometimes facial expressions tell the story better than a carefully edited phone call. Long distance relationships can take longer to burn out due to the exaggerated effort that you’re both putting into when you’re together and trying to make everything perfect. Be yourself, because that’s the person he’s going to get if you both decide to take it to the next level.
Face the Future
Long distance or not, every relationship requires effort, planning and commitment. Be sure you talk about your goals together. Men in particular can be comfortable with the status quo, so it may be up to you to pace the relationship. If you get the impression that he’s in love or (lucky you), has already told you so, then it may be time to up the ante. Eventually, one of you will have to move to really give the relationship a shot. Seth*, from New Zealand, and Amanda*, from Canada, had a long distance relationship until they finally agreed to settle in Canada. They eventually married, and now, with two kids, don’t regret one single moment of their long distance romance.
You can survive”and thrive”in a long distance relationship as long as you’re both clear about what you want out of it. Keep it fresh, stay connected, and make it as much of a priority as you would if your fella lived around the corner.
*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.