Sometimes it seems like life and love are a couple of stuff that are mutually exclusive. Just when you feel like you've met someone amazing, an annoying little thing called “geography” gets in the way. While the warmer months are typically related to summer flings and blooming romance, it's also a period when many couples are forced to date long-distance thanks to the end of college, the start of summer internships and family vacations. While it might feel like geography is stretching your connection to the limit, dating long distance can actually bring you closer as a couple. The trick is keeping the lines of communication open and having realistic expectations.
Top Life Coach, Carole Ann Rice knows how important it's to barter and become honest when it comes to love. I spoke to her to obtain a handful of her expert strategies for handling a long-distance relationship.
- Take advantage of technology.
While the idea of a long-distance relationship (LDR) may seem daunting initially, technology has made it incredibly easy before. “With services such as Skype, Facebook, and Whatsapp, the distance between you are able to seem much smaller if you keep communicating,” says Rice. While texting is great, it is easy for items to get lost in translation. Make use of this as an chance to schedule regular phone catch-ups and/or video chats using the person you're dating (something Rice calls “love slots”). When you could find that texting works more effectively for you all around, there is something to be said about seeing someone's face or hearing their voice that you just do not get from written communication.
- Communicate openly.
“An ocean could separate you, but distance doesn't destroy relationships, doubts do,” says Rice. It's natural to feel a little nervous or insecure when you're separated from the person you're dating — particularly if it is a new relationship. That's why communication is key here. Rather than allowing items to build up with time, address issues and fears openly and head on. Inform them how you are feeling — of course this is just saying, “I miss you!”
- Bring them to your day.
“Send pictures as you carry out your day (even that cute dog you saw around the block) to let your partner know you're thinking of them,” suggests Rice. Sending a cute photo and/or an interesting gif is a superb method to lift their spirits and let them know you're on their mind.
- Keep doing your own thing and allow these to perform the same.
While communication is important, it doesn't have to be constant. Provide the person you're dating some space. I know what you are probably thinking, “breathing room? But we're already X miles apart!” True. But it's key that you simply allow each other the space to reside your own lives. You aren't eligible for know exactly what the other person does every moment of the day (and the other way around). “Know when communication becomes excessive and more like a CCTV feed than honest conversation. Don't spam, instead, dedicate a slot each day to catch-up with them,” says Rice.
- Make an agenda to satisfy.
“As much as technology decompresses space, meeting each-other is integral. Schedule inside a weekend to visit them, or the other way around, or meet half-way to explore somewhere new together,” says Rice. As she reminds us, “compromise is key, particularly when travel costs can also add up over time.”
If you're only doing long-distance for a short time period and meeting up won't be a reality, plan a special date for when you're going to be back in the same city again. Having something fun to look forward together is a superb method to keep your connection going while you are apart.
- Have realistic expectations.
Being in an LDR can be hard, and that's why it's important you have realistic expectations. “Before you're separated by space, put down expectations of one another,” suggests Rice. How much time can another dedicate to the connection? Is work or travel going to occupy much of your time? Determine what's realistic and works for the two of you, and go from there.