Long-distance communication is something that a lot of people struggle with when they enter into a relationship where they don’t have the luxury to be beside their partner, whenever they please. LDRs (Long-distance relationships) are a different ballpark of their own. The love, the passion, the feelings are usually all the same as they are in regular relationships, but the approach to LDRs takes a special sense. How? Let’s delve into it further.
Since there is a distance or a physical gap in this relationship, the challenges seem to amplify. Yes, long-distance relationship problems are plenty. When it comes to issues such as long-distance communication, conflict resolution, building faith and practicing honesty, LDRs pose greater risks and difficulties. However, if you overcome those and are able to ensure a healthy connection in a long-distance relationship, there is truly no relationship stronger than that.
But it can take a while to get to that point where you are able to overcome these issues. Below, we have a pertinent question around the same, from a reader to counseling psychologist and certified life-skills trainer Deepak Kashyap (Masters in Psychology of Education), who specializes in a range of mental health issues, including LGBTQ and closeted counseling. Let’s take a look at what the expert has to say.
Long-Distance Communication – How To Bridge The Gap?
Q: I met my partner when she was still in school. I was her home tutor for Calculus as that was her pain point in academics. We started exclusively dating when she completed high school and graduated top of her class. I was then in my last year of college, studying Business. Now, a year later, I am pursuing my MBA and she has also moved further away to pursue a degree in Political Science. It is no shocker that now, we live in different cities. We talk less and get to see each other only three to four times a year. Is that enough for a serious relationship? I don’t know. I feel like the distance is growing on us. How do I bridge my communication gap in a long-distance relationship?
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From the expert:
Ans: Dear Roy, long-distance relationships are hard, there is no question about it. I understand what anxiety-ridden time we go through, romantically speaking, in arrangements such as these. Emotional, romantic and sexual frustration can make it hard for us to think straight.
Compared to the olden days, long-distance relationships might be easier for some of us today because technology helps us keep in touch, albeit virtually. But even with that, there are still a few challenges that one may face. There will be moments when long-distance relationship problems will leave you second-guessing whether it’s worth it. Do keep a few rules in mind for a long-distance relationship to work and to bridge the communication gap between you and your partner.
First, it is important that you ask yourself some really tough questions. How much do you really want this relationship? How much do you love the other person? Would you ever resent them if you had to give up your life, in the near future, to go to where they are or relocate to a third place altogether?
What are the things that are at stake; career, family life and social life? Both of you should ask these questions to yourselves and answer them in the privacy of your own minds. No one else can answer these questions for you. If the answers to the above questions convince you to continue the relationship, then actively discuss the probable and future date of bridging the distance if you two feel as if you have been drifting apart.
That’s where the idea of working out the long-distance relationship communication frequency comes in. Also, think about a few more important things. Ask yourself, ‘When will we start living with each other?’ Working toward it and achieving it gives people the strength and motivation to deal with the tough times that are a part of LDRs.
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Long-distance relationship communication frequency – The expert’s take
While the relationship is still long-distance, try and develop some rational coping mechanisms to deal with the distance and the lack of real-time communication. For example, learn not to take things personally, set up flexible timings to talk to each other during the week, and on weekends, regularly visit each other. Yes, there are ways to make virtual dating fun.
I would suggest the economically stable partner take more initiative in this regard. I am sure you will find strength in the knowledge of how much you want it. For that, you both have to know yourselves better. I wish you all the best in figuring out the communication gap in a long-distance relationship.
Long-Distance Communication – Effective Ways To Conquer The Problem
Apart from the insights shared by Deepak Kashyap on how the issue can be resolved, Bonobology has come up with a few tricks to further guide you on this journey. If you’ve asked yourself the important questions as the expert-recommended and come to a conclusion that this is indeed the person you want to be with, well then we are here to hold your hand and show you the way further. Taking it away, here are a few effective ways of improving communication in your LDR:
1. Schedule the time you spend together
And stick to it! Unless your boss is hammering you at work or the Subway broke down in the middle, there is no good reason you should be skipping your online dates with your partner. The more you make a habit of blowing them off, the further away you will push them. And before you know it, your relationship will start failing.
Now, we’re not saying you need to set up a timetable and stick it up on your refrigerator (although, that might help too). All we’re saying is that you need to put effort into this relationship and show up to online dates with the same seriousness as you would in real life.
Related Reading: Effort In A Relationship: What It Means And 15 Ways To Show It
2. Try fun activities with each other to solve long-distance relationship problems
Ordering ramen every night and video calling your partner might have a charm of its own in the initial weeks but that excitement will wear off soon. You two need to find other ways to keep yourselves engaged and active in this relationship with one another.
Joy, a freelance writer from Dubuque, Iowa told us, “My boyfriend moved to New York for his new job. I was proud of him but it became increasingly difficult to keep in touch with him. So along with scheduling date nights online, we planned new activities for each date. Sometimes we played chess, other days poker and some days even strip poker to keep the erotic spark alive in our relationship. This made us look forward to spending time with each other even more.”
3. Engage in sexting and phone sex
Now that we’ve mentioned ways of keeping the erotic spark alive in your relationship, we bet you’re intrigued to find out more. As Joy said to us, strip poker can be a great new thing to try, but there is also so much more that you can do. Yes, phone sex and sexting also qualify as long-distance communication. Didn’t this just get a whole lot more fun?
4. Care packages go a long way
A great way to show love and affection to your partner is by sending them a care package. Put all their favorite goodies in it! From snacks to comfort chocolates to comfy PJs and even scented candles, truly give them a taste of comfort and happiness when they open your package. Think of it this way, they should feel like they are being wrapped in a big, warm hug by you when they receive it.
5. Send them videos for maintaining long-distance relationship communication frequency
If you really want to get better at long-distance communication, consider sending videos to your partner throughout the day. Especially if lately you’ve been having long-distance relationship problems where the two of you have not been spending enough time with each other, download Snapchat or something and start taking photos and videos of your day.
If you two don’t always get the time to interact for longer periods, sending her a photo of your lunch or sending him a morning gym selfie is a great way to keep in touch. What’s even better, you can send them a video of your morning walk to work, of a coworker’s birthday or even some redecorating that you’ve been doing around the house. This way, they will feel more involved in your life.
So there you go! These are a few simple tricks to work on the communication gap in a long-distance relationship. Don’t fret. If you two are committed to making this relationship work, even the seven seas cannot stop you. All you have to do is divert your attention to the right things, give more time to your relationship and love, as much as you can.
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Improving communication in a long-distance relationship is the first and foremost step toward making it work. To fix these problems of long-distance communication, consider taking some time off and evaluating why this is happening in the first place. Is it a lack of time or a lack of interest? If it’s the former, you must take proactive steps to include your partner in your life. Schedule calls, send videos, start sexting them and do everything you can to keep in touch and have better conversations.