Being in a long-distance relationship requires constant effort and commitment. It’s hard work, which is why the very idea of being in one can be so intimidating. That said, long-distance relationships can work out well if you and your partner are upfront about your needs.
Here are three things you should address if you’re in a long-distance relationship.
Being in long-distance relationship doesn’t always mean you’re living in two different time zones, but it does limit your access to your partner. Sure, you can call them up anytime, thanks to technology, but the question is: should you?
Decide on how often you wish to communicate, and in what manner. Some people like communicating via phone calls every day. Others are fine with texting regularly and calling once every few days. Some find it tedious to talk every single day. Others feel they don’t talk nearly enough every day.
Set your communication boundaries and discuss your preferences. Be considerate of their schedule, and be willing to meet them halfway if their communication preferences differ from yours.
Conflicts & Confrontations
Every relationship has conflicts, and partners need to learn effective strategies to address these. In a long-distance relationship, these can be quite tricky to deal with. On the one hand, you don’t want to address these issues over the phone. On the other, you also don’t want to bring it up if one of you is visiting the other and ruin the time you have together.
Delaying important conversations will only lead to bigger problems taking form. Discuss with each other how you want to approach sensitive or uncomfortable topics. These can’t be swept under the rug, and it’s best to have a strategy in place for bringing these up with the other when the need arises.
An End Date
Usually, long-distance relationships have a presumed duration for how long the concerned individuals will spend time apart. In some cases, this is easier to determine, for example, if a partner is attending a two-year graduate program in a different city or if they’ve been posted in another country for the next 4 months. In other cases, the time duration may not be as clear.
That said, if you want your long-distance relationship to work out, you do need an end date. At some point, both of you will want to be in the same place, and unless you have some idea about how long the long-distance situation is expected to last, things are likely to go south.
Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about the amount of time apart you both expect to spend, be it a few months or years.
Couples therapy can help you and your partner resolve issues within your long-distance relationship. At Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling, we offer relationship counseling and marriage guidance services in Palo Alto. Call us at (650) 206-9973 for more details!