Some of you may know, I have been in a relationship for almost three and a half years. For about two years of that time, this relationship has been long-distance. We’re still rock-solid, so I thought I might share a few of the tips and tricks that have worked for us. Some of these tips are important for non-long-distance relationships, too!
This is essential in any relationship, but in one where the majority of communication is through technology, whether it be texts, emails, or video chatting, communication is crucial. Especially when it comes to texts and emails, and even to some extent phone calls, essential parts of conversation are missing – to name a few, tone, emphasis, and body language. Being clear about what you mean is so important, because other contextual conversational clues are missing. Choose your words carefully.
Communication in a long-distance relationship is also inclusion. This means not only sharing news with your significant other, but sharing when you think of them or see or hear something that makes you think of them. It means sending videos and pictures, too. It means letting them know about your day, even what you think may be insignificant. They want to know, just as you want to know about their day.
Being involved doesn’t just mean asking questions, though that is a necessity as well. Being interested and involved means actually listening to what your significant other is saying, and not just waiting for your turn to talk. It means responding to what they are saying, too, and doing so until they are done. It means following up on things they’ve told you in the past. Everyone loves to be listened to; everyone loves to know what they’ve said has mattered to and stuck with someone.
Okay, this one is beyond obvious. But, let me elaborate. Of course it’s important to visit your significant other in a long-distance relationship. However, it’s even more important to figure out the amounts – how long you will visit, how long you’ll go between visits, who will travel when, who will pay for what, for example. These are important conversations to have when in a long-distance relationship.
Remember they have a life.
Your significant other has a life of their own, separate from you. That means that sometimes they’re not available when you are. This does not mean they don’t love you or prioritize you; it just means they’re living a life of their own. It is more significant that someone include you as an important part of their complicated life, than that someone only waits by the phone for you, though that’s difficult to remember when all you want is to talk to them and they’re not available.
It can be incredibly difficult to feel loved when your love isn’t anywhere near you. They can’t touch you, or smile at you, etc. That’s why it’s important to tell your love how you feel about them. Don’t hold back; send that random “I love you” or “I miss you” text. Heck, every once in awhile, send a long message about everything you love about them. It’s a nice reminder to receive during the course of the day. Everyone wants to be loved, and everyone deserves to be loved. Remind your love you love them.