Keeping Connections Strong in a Long Distance Relationship.

By Monique Astillero

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Photo Credits: Mark Manson

Keeping the boat afloat and steady in a romantic relationship is tough job in its own, and those who are about to go long-distance find themselves either rowing that boat as exhaustingly hard as possible, or goes toppling over and swimming back to shore.

Most people would regard long distance relationship as something that is destined to fail. Not all would be brave enough to try a commitment as challenging as this. The numbers don’t seem promising either. Recent researches showed that long distance relationships have a more or less 50% success rate. Meaning, only a few couples would end up being together at the same place, and at the same time.

Even though it is true that maintaining a long-distance relationship is hard, it is not appropriate to tag it as impossible. In fact, a lot of studies found that long distance relationships have the potential of being healthier than close proximity relationships. LDRs who were successful have shown the same levels of intimacy, commitment, passion and satisfaction.

To this day, technology provides us with better and faster means to connect with our loved ones. How we make use of such technologies can come a long way in maintaining our relationships.

There are several and creative ways of spicing things up with your Significant Other while enduring a hard phase of LDR. The end game is for you to be able to do things together while you are apart the same as you were able to when you were close.

Have Deeper Conversations.

It’s not about talking all the time, it’s about securing better connections. In an LDR where it requires a deeper level of communications, couples are not as habituated as those who are always together. When you become repeatedly exposed to the same person doing the same things, the bubble pops and then the honeymoon phase slowly turns into routine. Same goes with couples who are apart. They might easily lose topics to talk about and the usual conversations might not be as interesting as before.

But being at a distance opens an opportunity. A new way to get to know your partner through different lenses and new interests as if meeting a new stranger. Take the distance as an opportunity to talk about new discoveries. Find a book, read a short story, or a newly discovered TV show which the both of you can discuss with each other at the end of the day.

it is important to note, though, that deeper conversations doesn’t necessarily equate to intellectual discussions all the time. When you’re apart, even the most trivial occurrences in your day to day becomes a solid foundation for a deeper communication. The depth of your topics should manifest on how comfortable you both are in exchanging your thoughts–whatever its nature–to each other. Which means you both have to be able to talk about things that can make your significant other feel that you’re still a part of their daily life as they are still to yours.

Stream it!

Streaming is Eros’ gift to mankind.
Movie dates with your SO is still possible even if they live far away. These streaming services can be availed on demand. Anytime, anywhere. Catching up on your favorite TV shows and movies while eating your favorite snacks, and also probably calling each other all at the same time is as easy as one click. So find a common time convenient enough for the both of you. Streaming works regardless of time zones.

You can also share a music account or playlist, which is probably the purest way to enjoy music with your SO. This is like the digital equivalent of old-school mix tapes. It is a good way to let your significant other listen to a song that’s been stuck in your head the whole day.

Manage your expectations.

You have to be honest, it’s going to be hard to keep up sometimes. If you want to make it out of your long-distance relationship, it’s best to set your expectations right away. Work and talk things out with your partner to have a sense of security that you’re both on the same page, and pursuing the same things as to where your relationship is concerned.

That brings us to the blunt fact that long distance should only be temporary. There must be a point that you two will be together again which means that you don’t plan on living in separate countries on different time zones for good.  Be as transparent with your choices to your significant other. Especially if there will be changes in your plans and you decide to stay away for good. Your relationship may have to develop new dynamics as it undergo these big changes.

Plan trips (even if it’s far from happening)

The thrill and excitement of planning a travel itinerary can be as exhilarating as the travel itself. Discuss and imagine the places you can go to when all things have settled down, and you’re both financially, emotionally, and physically ready to see each other again.

Planning trips is crucial because your new life apart entails a new set of responsibilities for the two of you in your own separate lives. New responsibilities wouldn’t leave much room for traveling and spending time together. But if you do find the time, resources, and energy to do so, then go pack your bags and book that flight.

Avoid Dangerous Situations.

A healthy long distance relationship is sustained by a steady diet of trust and honesty. Never allow yourself to be in a situation that might cause problems between the two of you–or with another party.  Being in a long distance already places your relationship in a fragile state, which means it is susceptible to breaking even at the slightest bump. You should understand that this is dependent on where you are at your stage in life and how mature you both are in handling your emotional needs.

Make visits. Save up.

Maintaining LDRs can really cost you some bucks. So save up with your partner and plan ahead. Think of ways where you can boost your budget. Maybe a small income-generating project that you both can manage will do the trick. It’s going to take a lot of teamwork and coordination but if you and your partner can handle that, saving up for your travels will be its own kind of adventure.

Keep track of their schedules and learn to live by yourself.

Keeping a certain connection is also knowing when to take a pause. You and your partner may just have enough time left for the day to recuperate from work and maintain your lifestyles. Try to not to be overly attached. Too much communication divides as much as it try so hard to connect.

Go and explore, have fun, and spend your extra time with the other people in your circle. That way, you’d have a lot more to talk about with your partner. It might seem hard at first, but take it as an opportunity to rediscover yourself.

Above all the things, the most important one is probably having a lot of hope that everything will turn out okay for you and your significant other. Every relationship has its own dynamics and not all may find these tips helpful. Love isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of garment, after all. Like a tailor, you got to make a lot of adjustments and alterations. You have to pour a heavy dose of creativity to get that perfect fit. It is going to take a lot of time for you to see each other again, but it’s all going to be worth the wait.