Long Distance Relationship Guide (1)

Long Distance relationships | Challenges & Tips

Long distance relationships are very hard especially if you were mentally, emotionally and physically close and attached with your partner every single day.

Well, this is how I was a few months ago until I moved to berlin from India, leaving my partner behind. We love each other very much and we are making it work even when we are separated by 7294 Kms.

Challenges | How hard are long distance relationships? 

I tell myself, ” She’s just 12 hours flight away! 14 days of bike trip away! 7 days of train journey away. But she’s never away. She’s always in me, guiding and helping me through it all”

The first few weeks are the most painful 

I still remember crying at the airport, with thousands of people walking by me. I just couldn’t hold my tears. I cried my heart out and I had a million thoughts of running back to the entrance.

Writing this, reliving that memory, brings tears in my eyes. It’s hard to leave the people you love behind. The grief of it all, it’s a process. It doesn’t hurt me as much as it used to but there’s still a long way to go.

” Allow your heart time to process the grief. Leaving them is a trauma that takes time to heal”

It also depends on who you are and how you handle emotions (grief)

It took me 3 weeks for the nightmares to stop. I woke up the first two weeks crying because of the dreams I had.

“Missing them is the hardest part! Nothing else. You get cravings for love, touch and comfort. Eventually your heart accepts the distance and waits for them”

Set your expectations right : What to expect in a long distance relationship :

  • Really painful first few weeks/months
  • You will never stop missing your partner
  • It will challenge the love you have for each other
    • Some people mistake attachment for love. In such cases, with distance and detachment, the bond pretty much dissolves and breaks
  • You will grow stronger both individually and as a couple
  • It’s not for everyone :
    • If your relationship hasn’t matured enough, it could be a lot harder to survive a long distance. But still as long as you don’t give up on each other, you will be fine
  • Will expose cheaters and liars.
    • In this world of choices and instant gratification, waiting for your loved one has become a joke to many people. 
    • There will be moments where you will be tested. If you give in to temptations, will you ever be happy in your relationship after that?

Do long distance relationships even work?

The answer depends on “your relationship”.

  •  Are you in love? 
  • Can you imagine a life without your partner in it?
  • Are you both on the same page about what you wish to do in the future?
  • Again, how much do you love her/him?

If there’s love and compatibility, it will work. It will always work! Yes it would be hard but it will work

How to make long distance relationships work? | Advice and Activities :

TRUST 

This is where most relationships fail. You need to trust your partner enough to let them do whatever they want to. 

We need to understand that laying rules and restricting or constantly doubting our partner only weakens the relationship. 

Let me ask you something 

” You are scared that they would cheat, yeah? If they are truly in love with you, would they cheat?”

If they betray you, it’s the universe’s way of protecting us. Let them show you their true colors.

Understand that love cannot be forced.

There’s no point in being insecure. I trust my partner with everything I have. That’s the kind of communication and trust we have built up over the years. So yes, build your trust. It takes time but build

Activities to improve trust in Long Distance Relationships:

  • Tell each other everything : If someone hits on you, tell them that as well. The more you communicate, the better the trust becomes.
  • Stay honest and vulnerable
  • Share your calendar with them : So they have a good idea about what your day and life looks like.
  • Introduce your other friends to your partner.

COMMUNICATION :

Communication is everything! With proper communication there’s “no unsaid things”

Keeping things in our minds and dwelling over it only weakens the relationship. Whatever thoughts or emotions you have about your relationship, communicate it with your partner. 

They are your partner for a reason. You must be able to talk to them about anything. 

“If you feel like you have a barrier in communication, break it before it breaks your relationship “

Activities to improve communication in relationships :

  • Every week : Schedule virtual dates once a week at least 
  • Every day : Schedule time for each other every day : Just to be with each other without any disturbances! 
  • Do things together :
    • Cook together or work together in the company of each other. This would work well for you.
    • This way you get to speak with each other alot

Validation exercise :

  • When your partner expresses their emotions, don’t dismiss it.
  • Validation isn’t just agreeing. It’s about acknowledging their emotions
  • Sometimes all we need is a good listener.

Positive language exercises:

  • It’s never about what you say but how you say it.
  • Even when you are navigating through a tough situation, remember to use positive language while communicating
  • This is especially important in long distance relationships 

CONNECTION:

Even if you are busy, make it a priority to spend enough time with them. Tell them everything that’s happening in your life.

Everything. Even the small things. 

  • Talk to them about the things that brought joy in your day
  • Tell them about your fears and worries 
  • Talk to them about your dreams 
  • Talk to them about the people you met. Don’t hide a thing!

With enough communication, connection and trust would be restored! Don’t you think?

Activities to improve connection in long distance relationships :

Reminisce old memories :
  • Remember and talk to each other about the old memories
  • The memories that made you fall in love with each other
  • For me, the way she treated me, the way she looked at me every single time she walked in the door. That smile. The hug. Even the little things matter.
  • Revisit old memories often.
Prolonged eye contact exercise :
  • Why don’t just just video call your partner and just look into their eyes. Don’t talk, don’t work, just stare into her soul
  • This helps in deepening connection in couples
Understand their love language :
  • When you are with each other, touches and kisses might be your love language.
  • But things change in long distance relationships. What do your partner value now?
    • Time?
    • Telling them stories?
    • Keeping them updated about your life every few hours?
    • Sending them gifts?
    • Or just the fact that you think about them often?
    • Do what they value and see how things change

PATIENCE :

  • In a world where people get frustrated over 10 seconds page load and 30 seconds traffic signals, waiting for someone for years is not an easy task right?
  • Patience is not just about the duration of wait but also for the intense cravings of love you have every single day.
  • The time difference means you need to wait to talk to your loved one. To even share the most basic thing in your life 
  • In my personal experience, meditation, journaling and practicing gratitude is helping me through my long distance journey.

Activities to improve patience in long distance relationships :

Don’t count the days :

  • Counting the days until you meet your partner again can actually make your impatient 
  • Focus in the present and let time run it’s natural course

Fill your days :

  • Being alone without nothing to do can bring up memories and feelings about your partner
  • Fill in your days with hobbies and work. This way you are on your journey and they are on theirs
  • Wait this the time when your paths cross again.

Acceptance :

  • Accepting the situation is important. If you are in denial things aren’t going to go good
  • How to accept?
    • Grieve the physical absence
    • Go through the process of crying and hating with a positive mindset
    • Know they are still in your life
    • Eventually you accept to the long distance relationship 

ACCEPTANCE :

  • To know that someone you love more than anything is going to be far away from you is one thing. But to accept that face is not the same

Accepting takes time. I have accepted it mentally. But emotionally, I am still processing it.

  • My brain processed the fact that I am away from her for over two weeks. 
  • Even after months the trauma of leaving haunts me. 
  • One really good advice at such situations is this

” Focus on the things you can control. Don’t worry about the things you can’t control”

Or if you are still insecure, talk to your partner about it. This takes us to the next question

Activities to improve acceptance in Long Distance Relationships :

  • Being Honest : Be honest to yourself when you are mentally and emotionally craving your partner鈥檚 physical presence. Set the expectations right and just be brutally honest about the situation to yourself.
  • Let your system get used to the new normal : It might take a few months for you to naturally process and accept the distance between you and your partner! Let time pass.
  • Express your frustrations :  Still, we will miss our partners and its important that we don鈥檛 bottle up our emotions and 

Problems in a long distance relationship

1)INSECURITIES

How to deal with insecurities in a long distance relationship ?

Identify the Situations/Triggers :

What kind of situations make you feel insecure? Track your emotions and understand your triggers 

Once you understand the trigger it’s easier for you to work on it.

Ask yourself, are you being fair?

Oftentimes it’s us who’s being very paranoid about a completely normal situation. So are you being fair to your partner?

Try to work on these triggers and assure yourself that everything is fine. If the insecurities are big, talk to your partner about you.

Express :

Express to your partner how you feel and when you feel such insecure feelings. Tell them that it’s a problem that you are having and that you aren’t blaming them for anything.

This way you can work as a couple to get through this together!

Also there are other ways to express like

  • Journaling
  • Talking to your close friend
  • Talking to a therapist

Whatever it is, express it out rather than keeping it in and letting it explode out in ways that might badly affect your relationship and your personality.

Causes of insecurities in relationships:

Many people blame themselves for being paranoid and insecure. Let’s understand a bit about the common causes of insecurities. Knowing the cause helps us treat it better :

  • Trauma of a past romantic relationship : Past rejections and betrayals having a hold on you.
  • Past behavior :
    •  Maybe your partner did cheat on you before. That’s a pain that takes a long time to get over. 
    • Maybe they abused you or treated you really badly in the past. This affects your self esteem and you feel insecure and undeserving of love
  • Bad family relationships : Maybe a really bad family relationship gave you a fear of abandonment.

All these experiences shape our belief system. But remember 

” We are the masters of our own mind. We are in charge of our own emotions” 

Get to the root of the problem and deal with it so you can be confident in your relationship.


2) LACK OF TIME/CONNECTION :

Depending on your situation, you or your partner might not get much time to spend together on a day-to-day basis and this can affect the relationship badly when prolonged

Things to do to tackle this situation :

  • Effort to make time : If you are in a relationship, you need to make time for each other. Even if you are busy all day, text your partner whenever you can about how much you miss them
  • Put in the effort. Relationships won’t last if you stop the efforts from one end. Trust me even if your partner is pissed, they would recognize that you are doing everything you can!
  • Hit their love language as much as you can : You must know what your partner likes and you need to do everything required to make her feel loved. How often? As much as you can!
  • Communicate with your partner : If your partner doesn’t make any effort to spend time with you or constantly prioritizes other things then communicate how you feel.
  • Stop taking your partner for granted : If your partner takes you for granted even after you communicated your feelings to them, then you are in a tough situation. Try communicating better but if the efforts don’t come from their end then it’s time to part ways!

3) ANGER AND FIGHTS :

“Fights are normal and healthy in a relationship. But unresolved fights aren’t

There could be a million reasons why couples fight. They could be surface level silly fights or something that’s deep. No matter what it is make sure you do these 

  • Never disrespect your partner and let anger get the worst of you
  • Never use abusive words, even if you are very angry
  • Ask for space when you are fuming with anger.
  • Never let flights go unresolved : If you feel like your partner is being unfair in anyways, communicate. Talk to each other. Understand each other and come up with a resolution! 
  • Always give space to talk : You or your partner should never feel like you can’t talk with each other about anything
  • Don’t invalidate your partner’s feelings : It’s hard to communicate in a long distance relationship. And when your partner communicates, don’t invalidate their feelings. They would probably stop sharing if you do this.

“Make the feel heard”

If they invalidate your feelings make sure you communicate it with them!


OTHER SMALL BUT ESSENTIAL TIPS :

  • Manage your expectations properly
  • Avoid dangerous situations. Loyalty and love is very important. Your moment of passion or pleasure is a knife in the heart for your partner. Remember that.
  • Look long term : Long distance is temporary. Love is very rare in this world and you are going to end up with your partner no matter what
  • Love like you always did : show them distance isn’t going to change love. Send your partner sweet messages whenever you can
  • Giving space is not the end of the world
  • Be mature in fights : It’s easy to let anger and ego break the bond especially in long distance relationships. Be the mature person and handle them gently, even if they are unfair. Communicate later when you both are in a good emotional state
  • Laugh together ! 
  • Focus on your emotional health : Talk to your friends and family as well, whenever you can. It’s important to have a good network of friends as well
  • Plan your next visits

Now let’s jump into some other interesting topics shall we?


How to make your partner feel special in a long distance relationship?

If you are a romantic like me, you’d be sad about the “lack of romance” part. Without the kisses, cuddles and the love making, you might feel alone and off. But long distance relationships can be fun too!

  • Send them a surprise email : Emails are a thing of the past? Exactly why your partner wouldn’t expect a love email from you : Use that to your advantage!
  • Make them a reel : Invest some time into making a beautiful reel for your partner
  • Write a poem : Express yourself and the love you have for your partner through emails!
  • Send them voice notes often : A good morning selfie with a voice note would always be appreciated!
  • Sext your partner : Shy? Not expressive! Still try your best to sext with your partner! Loads is strangers are doing it online right now
  • Surprise gifts : Send your partner a surprise gift. Something thoughtful. Something they can hold onto everyday. Or something that you know they would love
  • Watch movies together : This shouldn’t be a surprise. Plan movie dates with your partner
  • Create/ Share a playlist : Make a list of songs that reminds you of your partner. 
  • Sing a song for your partner
  • Order them food randomly
  • Gift them your Shirt so they can hold on to you even when they are away

FINALLY,

As I end this article I urge you to not overthink the situation. 


14 day challenge for your long distance relationship

DAY 1 : Reminisce your old memories : Talk about the things that made you fall in love with your partner

DAY 3 : Write them a poem/letter : Express your deepest feelings through this letter

DAY 5 : Video Date : 

  • Dress up for your date
  • Turn on the video and go to a restaurant. Ask them do go to a restaurant too
  • Ignore strangers
  • Make them laugh and have fun!

DAY 7 : Gifts : Buy them something they would really love!

DAY 9 : Apologise for the time you made them feel bad! Even if it’s a thing of the past

DAY 11: Playlist : Make them a romantic playlist

DAY 13 : Fall asleep together 

Let me know how it goes 馃檪

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AUTHOR SECTION

Sai Subramaniam The digital Hope

Written by Sai Subramaniam

Sai has over 5 years of experience writing about mental health and productivity. He shares his thoughts about love, life, and business in this blog. His goal is to help people become the best version of themselves and is guided by experts in the psychology and mental health field to help educate everyone about lifestyle and productivity

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