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10 Rules To Make Long Distance Relationships Work
Almost everyone has experienced a long distance relationship at some point in their life. Most of us have failed to sustain it and have broken up, even if it was a promising relationship. Why does this happen? What are the common reasons for those long distance relationships to break up and how can you work around them?
At first I was there myself. A good friend of mine gave my e-mail address to his wife’s best friend. After a while she dropped me a line. So we got to know each other. by email.
The great thing about e-mail communication is that there are no games. At least there shouldn’t be. You can present yourself as you are. You can really open up.
So we fell in love with the person we were. No masks, no shields. But still 2000 miles apart.
Of course that critical moment was when we first met. Will the picture we have of each other sync up with the outside picture? If you are dishonest, you will fail at this stage. Luckily it worked for us.
Long distance relationships can happen for many reasons. Here are some common situations:
- You met in a chat room or on an online personals site and eventually realized you were several states away from each other.
- You’ve just graduated college and moved back to your hometown, and your boyfriend or girlfriend continues to live in a college town.
- You have been promoted at work and sent to a new city for an important event and will be there for several months.
Long distance relationships have both advantages and disadvantages. For some people, distance is a good way to slowly open up a relationship without the constant presence of a partner. Romance stays exciting because you’re not around that person 24/7, seeing different habits and routines that can become repetitive.
In terms of disadvantages, no intimacy, no hugs, no kisses is very disappointing. At least during meetings. You’ll have trouble connecting because you won’t make eye contact and you won’t be able to go for a walk or enjoy dinner together.
Then again it makes the meetings so intense that they would be in a “normal” relationship. It’s quality, not quantity.
Long distance relationship can do Work, but there are some rules and guidelines you must follow.
Of course, there is also a very important condition that cannot work without a long distance relationship:
You must have genuine interest in each other. I mean a deep emotional connection, whether you were together before space separation or you met each other via chat/email. I’m afraid that physical attraction is not enough. This is why most summer vacation affairs ultimately fail.
Here are my personal rules that make long distance relationships work:
1. Plan the relationship for the future
Know where you are going. Light the light at the end of the tunnel.
What do you want to achieve in your partnership? Set goals and a time frame for when you want to be together. It is very important that you both have hope for survival.
I think this is the most common reason why some long distance relationships don’t work: they don’t have a plan, they just hope that it will work out, that a miracle will happen. Of course that means you have to make sacrifices. At least one of you.
Note that you probably only have three options: she goes to him, he goes to her, or both go somewhere else. As soon as you know you want to be together, start talking about it. The biggest mistake you can make is to silence her.
2. Meet regularly
Try to meet each other at least once in every month. Plan it in advance and include some activities, like city visits, museums, a weekend at a fancy hotel, etc. Make it a celebration, a blast, something special!
Soon you will feel a lot of passion in this short meeting, in which you will align your life.
Remember, you only get a real connection by touching, feeling and smelling someone. You don’t smell email or Skype or those initials wow When you see your love, you feel it inside.
So do whatever you can to meet at least once a month.
3. Use modern technology to communicate
You need all the help you can get, so why not take advantage of the glorious benefits of the modern communications world:
- If you don’t have one, get an e-mail account and write at least one e-mail every day
- Use Skype or something similar to talk to each other for free. Trust me, watching a movie together while talking on Skype at the same time is great
- Use instant messaging (I recommend Yahoo Messenger)
- Use digital photos and videos of your daily activities and send them via e-mail
- Use a webcam (which I can highly recommend)
Using all these electronic stuff will be very easy for both of you. Imagine how it was 100 years ago, when a letter took months.
4. Give yourself a free day
This one-way communication – I mean without any physical interaction – can sometimes be very frustrating. It is possible that this frustration will later become an outlet for him in conflict between us. This can lead to misunderstandings that are very difficult to resolve per e-mail. Trust me on one thing, you don’t want to get into an argument over e-mail or phone.
After that I found it very helpful to spend a day or two without any communication. What happens then is that you miss each other so intensely and you find yourself on a higher level than before.
If the only way of communication between you is canceled for a day or two, you will make progress or doubt. You will know where you stand in any situation. This is a great way to test your long distance relationship.
5. Write broad and intimate e-mails
Open yourself completely. Write about your inner state, what you feel, what you dream about, what you hope for. As a rule of thumb: describe your internal position in your e-mail and describe your external position in your phone-call. Writing is more intense than verbal communication and allows us to be more intimate. This will create a strong bond between you.
Here is the most important thing: Be honest! Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Don’t put yourself in a better light. A long distance relationship has a chance only if both are completely honest and compatible.
6. Send a written letter once in a while
Don’t underestimate the wonderful feeling, when you look in your letter box and find your love letter, open it and see his/her writing. It is a joy that we forget in this modern age. Not to mention it’s more romantic.
7. Beware of envy
Jealousy is a very dangerous thing and can threaten every long distance relationship. Jealousy is usually a lack of trust and understanding. It often reveals insecurities and bad experiences in other relationships.
The keyword here is simply: trust. You cannot control and monitor your partner, you can only trust your relationship and what you have built together during that time. Hold on to it and never give in to that green eyed monster.
Jealousy is one of the most negative and destructive emotions! Listen to Shakespeare:
This, my lord, beware of envy, That green-eyed monster that mocks the flesh it eats; He lives in cuckolded bliss, Who, sure in his fate, loves not his fault, But, oh, what accursed minutes tell him, Who does, yet doubts, doubts, yet loves!
8. Avoid dangerous “situations”.
As mentioned earlier, trust is essential. If you fully trust your partner and believe in your relationship, you can do whatever you want without risking your relationship. However, I still recommend avoiding certain situations. Of course it depends on the person, but I wouldn’t date the opposite sex or go to wild parties alone. Avoid temptations that distract you from each other.
Better safe than sorry!
9. Never lose faith
Be careful, you will get a lot of skepticism. People will tell you that long distance relationships never work, especially those who have had a negative experience with it. Don’t listen to them. People reject the things they failed at. Hear me out: it can definitely work, but you both have to trust it.
10. Always be positive
Always assume that your partner loves and cares for you. Even if you don’t like something you read in his/her e-mail or how he/she made a weird comment on something, don’t take anything negative. Don’t make too much sense out of it.
The problem with no face-to-face communication is the lack of facial expressions. It is very easy to misinterpret but unfortunately very difficult to believe and stay positive.
I assure you, if something goes wrong, you will know it.
As you can see, I am definitely positive about long distance relationships. They constantly reveal life lessons and prove that love, loyalty and trust are the key ingredients for a lasting relationship.
Believe, believe and you will both succeed in the end.
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