Expert Tips for Those in Long Distance Relationships

Expert tips for those in long distance relationships

It is no news that a lot of the times, long distance relationships are not expected to work. You might have heard of, or even experienced this in your life. Is it the norm though? Is it not possible to make a serious relationship work long distance? Relationship therapy experts think otherwise.

What is a long distance relationship?

Like most things concerned with relationships, each person’s definition of certain concepts may vary, but long distance relationships are those that have people in a relationship being isolated from each other. A person living on the other end of the city, though isolated, may not qualify as a LDR, but if one is in a different city, state, or country, it can definitely be considered long distance. For the sake of simplicity, let’s consider the couple in the next few examples as being married, but living in different parts of the country owing to job, educational, or other unavoidable circumstances.

Will it fail?

Many people expect a certain level of intimacy from their partners. They might have gotten used to waking up together, living, eating, and simply being in the same house all the time. When there is a separation and one person has to move and the other is not able to accommodate that shift, LDRs happen. Just because they are no longer sharing the same living space does not automatically mean that they will eventually fall apart. It need not be that way.

Here are a few tips that couple’s therapy experts have recommended for those facing an LDR.

  • There is no need to talk and communicate constantly

    When you are living together, it is normal to be around that person 12 hours a day. When apart, it will not happen and there is no need in pretending that you are in the same room. You will eventually feel like you are sticky and will get tired of it.

  • In all reality, it is an opportunity

    To grow together, it makes sense to spend some time apart. It is a test of love and a way to strengthen the relationship. Instead of thinking how easily you will be pulled apart, think of how strong the love will be once you get back together. If you are serious about the relationship, a few hundred miles should not be able to split you.

  • Realistic expectations are a necessity

    While it goes without saying that you should have a certain level of communication, you need to understand that the person is in a different world from the usual one. You need to have certain clear cut ground rules and stick to them. Try to avoid surprises and shock the other with the things you say or do. Don’t take things for granted or make assumptions. Talk, make sure you are clear with your expectations.

  • There are a number of ways to show love and communication

    There are a number of ways to show love and communication in this day and age. A simple text, a video chat, being a bit flirty, a bit dirty, anything that helps. The person across the distance should be aware of the fact that they are missed. Technology is your friend here.

These are but a few ways in which you can keep the relationship going across a long distance. There are more ways and you can even seek the help of marriage counseling before you embark on this tough, hopefully temporary chapter of life.

Duane is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist, and co-founder of NOVUS Mindful Life Institute, which helps individuals affected by sex addiction. His vision is to provide comprehensive care for individuals struggling with process addictions in the utmost confidential, comprehensive and caring environment to ensure clients feel safe and accepted with anticipation that recovery is possible.

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