As Vida’s international matchmaker I am often connecting people that live in different cities, and often different countries. In order for these relationships to flourish, the people involved have to be open-minded that a long-distance relationship CAN work. Despite what friends and family may say, it is possible to have a long-term relationship with someone that lives a significant distance away from you, as long as you have the right mindset. Here are a few more tips on how to make a long-distance relationship succeed…
- Manage your expectations
Manage your expectations between the two of you to ensure that you are both on the same page. Firstly, establish if the relationship is exclusive or if you are happy to continue dating other people. Discuss how you will communicate, how often and by what means, i.e. tell the person if you are unable to take calls/send messages while you are at work but will be able to speak in the evenings. Discuss the best time to have facetime/skype chats and how often you may be able to meet in person. Setting expectations will take a lot of worry away from the relationship and the guess work of “do they still want to date me, they haven’t answered my call?” Of course, relationships are continuously changing, as are your personal lives, so being open and honest about your needs with your partner will help you both feel more satisfied.
- Communicate regularly
In order for any relationship to build you need to communicate regularly. Although people have different communication styles via text and WhatsApp, there will naturally be a lot more emphasis on digital communication in a long-distance relationship. We suggest that you try and communicate regularly to try and simulate how your relationship would be progressing if you were in closer proximity. This may involve adjusting your communication styles so that you are more in sync with each other. It is important, however, to keep the balance in communication. Don’t bombard your partner with messages, try and wait for them to respond before you get in touch again. However, on the flip side don’t ignore your partner for days on end – if you are going through a busy period let them know that you can’t chat and give them an indication of when you can give more time to a conversation – after all, no-one likes the silent treatment!
- Do things together, even when you’re apart
Try playing an online game together, watch a series at the same time, listen to the same podcast or have a Skype coffee date. There are lots of things you can do together, even though you are not physically in the same space. This is also a good opportunity to explore each other’s interests and get to know each other better. For example, you can take it in turns to choose your favourite film to watch “together.” It will be a good insight into the other person’s interests and gives you something else to connect on.
- Don’t jump to conclusions
While technology can be our best friend in holding relationships together, it can also be our downfall. There can often be technological glitches that may seem like your partner, isn’t returning your messages or not picking up your calls, when in fact it’s technology’s fault! If you think your partner is unusually quiet, try contacting them through a different media, don’t get angry and jump to conclusions, just listen to their reasoning. There is no need to cause unnecessary arguments when the person hasn’t done anything wrong.
You need to be able to trust the person you are with. Having a long-distance relationship may bring slightly higher worries of infidelity, and this is a normal feeling to have, however you should avoid letting this feeling cause issues in your relationship that aren’t there. It’s the nature of this type of relationship that you won’t know what the other person is doing from day to day, however you shouldn’t play games to try and “catch them out.” You need to relax and trust the person you are with is as committed to the relationship as you. If you have reasonable beliefs that your partner is being unfaithful, then express your concerns with them rationally, preferably over the phone or video chat as written messages can often come across more aggressive, or be taken in the wrong way. If you can’t trust the person you are with then perhaps a long-distance relationship is not the best thing for you.
- Make sure you share the same goals
Ensure that you both have the same vision of the outcome of the relationship. Why is the relationship long-distance? Is it because one of you had to move away for work? Is it a temporary contract or a long-term career path? Are either of you open to relocating? These questions may be difficult to ask at the beginning of a relationship, but as your relationship flourishes and grows it is necessary to establish the answers to these questions. No-one envisages spending the rest of their life with someone that lives thousands of miles away, so establishing where you see the relationship heading will help to determine the success of you both staying together for the long term.
Overall, the key to making a long-distance relationship work is to be open, honest and communicate with each other. Relationships continuously change, and the “ground rules” that you set at the beginning of the relationship will naturally transform over time. It is important to re-evaluate the relationship often, establish if you are both satisfied with the current circumstances and coming to a mutual compromise if one, or both, people are unhappy.
If this article resonates with you or if you are looking for advice or support to navigate your dating journey, get in touch and speak with one of team to see if we can help!