Distance doesn’t matter if a relationship holds too much importance in your life. Many courageous couples who choose a long distance relationship testify to this belief in the present generation. But a few decades ago, many wouldn’t have chosen ‘loving from a distance’ or staying apart in distant countries, owing to lots of complications, trust issues, and limited communication opportunities. But now, things are different. In this inter-connected era of mobile applications, you don’t just have to spend dull and depressed days missing them a lot. Instead, you can instantly share what you feel over messaging apps, Facetime them before sleeping and nurture the relationship with mutual trust and compatibility. Communication has become fairly easy for couples to connect instantly. But, can we say that regular usage technology can make a long distance relationship work? Let us explore this equation below.
What are the things to keep in mind before starting a long distance relationship?
Long distance relationships are not meant for the faint-hearted. But if you are really in love, you can follow your heart and choose to be in one. Many couples have their personal reasons for this choice. There are some people who deserve to be a part of your life, no matter how far away they are. Distance is already waging a war on your heart, and a little spark to keep the relationship alive is through a long-distance relationship. You feel a strong connection with ‘him’ and invest all your time to nurture this bond based purely on trust and mutual understanding. Many couples who feel LDRs are not their cup of tea break up prior to moving overseas. But if you have decided to be in this challenging couple dynamics, here are some basic ground rules to be kept in mind:
- You will miss your partner even more: Yes, a long distance relationship will fuel your longing for your partner even more. At times, you might feel lonely and depressed, thinking about the unending halt in your love life created by the LDR
- Distance is a villain: Staying separately miles apart might create a lot of misunderstandings. But, if qualities like honesty, trust and openness are there in your relationship, then this peril of distance can be bridged easily. Couples, before committing to a LDR, must think about reducing distance over a set period for its certain success
- You are committed yet independent: LDRs bring the best of both worlds to a couple. Here again, distance is important, as it gives you strength to balance your individuality in tune with your bonding as a couple. Over the course of the relationship, you might experience growth as an individual in terms of formidable strength, impeccable decision making and independent career, which is a great sign
- Takes a toll on your finances: If you are planning to see each other in every 3-4 months, then travelling expenses might put a hole in your pocket. Also, before accepting a LDR, be ready to accommodate an increase in your monthly mobile bills, due to exorbitant ISD calls
- Jealousy may seep into your relationship: Seeing others spend considerable time with your partner can make you feel jealous. If you accept this reality and give them space and peace of mind, it will guard your relationship in the long run
- Being in an LDR puts your relationship at risk: This may be because of lack of quality communication and physical presence. Understanding his/her professional challenges and supporting them through thick and thin builds a solid base for your relationship
- You will fall in love with his/her voice: Since voice is the only way with which you can connect with your partner, you will be more receptive to it
- Communication might be taken for granted: Especially when the time zone has 11-12 hour wide gap. In this situation, even technology can’t help connect a couple seamlessly. Things might look comfortable on the surface, but deep beneath, it might signal great trouble brewing in terms of misunderstandings or fights. So, don’t act lazy while in an LDR and take charge of communication, even if it is once a day
- Be ready to resolve misunderstandings: Consider your tone and flow of conversations while you interact with your partner via technology. Address the trivial issues in hand tactfully. If your partner is angry, find out ways to cool them down first. Wait for the right time to express your feelings and see how overcoming these issues helps you grow as a couple
- 100% trust and commitment is the key to success: While committing as a long distance couple, you place trust in the other person. People might question your relentless trust in him/her and plant doubts in your head, citing this relationship is just killing your time. But, if you are certain of your future with him/her, then trust and commitment will take you places as a couple
How to make long distance relationships work?
It is a well-known fact that a long distance relationship is more sensitive and needs extra effort to maintain it. So, this introduces us to another basic ground rule on which LDR survives. Yes, we are going to explore the importance of communication in such a relationship. Quality interactions are a holy grail that act as a primer to your relationship. You and your partner may have loads to talk about, but at the end of the day, you are limited by various factors.
Different timelines and busy professional schedules may leave you with very less time to interact. So, quality communication can make your long distance relationship work successfully.
Besides you and your partner, your communication also requires a ‘medium’ and a ‘message’. So, be ready to make instant messaging and video calling apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Google Duo an active part of your romantic life and use them to instantly connect with your partner anytime, anywhere. Now, we have a ‘medium’ in hand, but what about ‘messages’? Here the quality of messages matters. Move beyond ‘how are you, where are you’ and ask the questions that will deepen your connection. Understand and empathise with their challenges and support them through conversations. Try to understand their lifestyle overseas and ask them questions about it.
Questions that can be asked daily and present a new opportunity to connect with your partner
- How do you start a day?
- What is it that you cannot survive without in a day?
- What’s the best way to end a long day?
- What reenergises you after a hectic day?
- What is your favourite weekend pastime?
- Does spending time with other people energise you or drain you?
Dig into their memory and get exciting revelations from them
- How close and warm is your family?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- Share an embarrassing/funny moment from your life?
Questions related to life’s vision also add up to the quality of conversations
- What is your driving force at present?
- How do you think you can make most of the day?
- What is one thing you will never give up on in life?
Also, you may talk about the future, when you find him/her in a right and comfortable zone
- Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?
- What is your purpose of life?
- Do you believe in Karma? If yes, then do you think it will come back to you one day in life?
- Do you see our future together?
How to maintain a long distance relationship?
A couple has to establish ground rules to see a long distance relationship transcend all the barriers. Communication when you both are miles apart can be a challenge, but not impossible. Here are some tips that can help you maintain a long distance relationship successfully-
- Align timelines for quality interactions. Keep time zones in mind if you and your partner are placed in two different countries or continents
- Track the time gap and schedule video calls accordingly. If the time gap between both your regions or countries is between 1-2 hours, then video calls can easily breathe life into your communication as a couple. In countries of 11-12 hour timeline gap, use weekends to schedule ‘face-time’
- Internet can be a baddie at times due to lack of connectivity, which may irritate you or your partner. Don’t express your resentment instantly, which may further aggravate the gap. Continuously calling him/her, again and again, might overwhelm you. Instead, connect with them after 1-2 hours to see if the Internet is working or not
- One limitation opens up the way for another communication opportunity, that is, emails. You don’t have to be a great writer to write emails to your lover. Just be honest with your feelings and see how a simple email could carry your feelings and evokes emotions in the heart of your beloved
- Don’t miss out on important occasions; celebrate everything and give thoughtful expression to your relationship. When you can’t be together in person, make their birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries or their success unforgettable via thoughtful gifts. Receiving a surprise bouquet of red roses will make her cheeks blush red in shyness and may leave her heart racing. Or a personalised fountain pen marking his promotion will make him think of you in gratitude
With all these expert suggestions in place, couples can sail successfully through their long distance relationship phase and experience the bliss in a reunion. If you are a couple who has been through long distance phase, then here is your chance to share your relationship story with the world and make a difference on Bonobology blogs.