Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. While many tend to think negatively of long distance relationships (i.e. “It’ll never work” “Don’t you miss him”) News flash: Dating someone in another town, another state or another country doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your relationship. There are many things that keep couples feeling like they’re in the honeymoons stage — even miles apart.
In fact, 3.75 million married couples are in a long distance relationship as of 2013 and 75 percent of all engaged couples have been in a long distance relationship at some point. If two people truly love and are committed to each other, then why end a positive relationship over a few hours of travel? That’s what’s not worth it.
So what’s the secret to keeping the spark in a long distance relationship? Find out:
Treat talking like a date. In other ways, set times each day when you’re both free to talk (like he calls you when he gets out of work at 4 p.m. or you call him on your way to class at 12 p.m. ). Phone dates can help avoid those “When the heck will he call me?” moments. Also, in this day and age, there’s video messaging with programs such as Skype which is a great way to interact with your sweetheart (after all, you don’t want to forget what they look like). Set up a time once a week when you’re both free to talk for a good half hour or one hour, so you can enjoy each other’s faces. One tip: Make the “date” interesting: Cook dinner “together” or show each other the new clothes you bought. The more interaction, the more closeness you’ll feel.
Be wary of texting. Texting is a great way to offer quick information, but you may want to save your big-moment stories (i.e. you got a promotion or your cousin just got engaged) until you can speak on the phone. Since it can be hard to read a person’s emotions through text, relaying those stories through type may mean a vague response or a miscommunication that can lead to an argument.
Live your life. Just because you just can't be with your significant other all the time is no reason to mope around the house in your pajamas, starting a resume of not showering and counting down the days until you get to each other again. If you don’t have one, look for a job, hang out with your friends as much as possible, go to the gym and get your work out on, or learn a new hobby. In fact, the busier you are, the faster the days go. By keeping yourself occupied, the weeks or months until you get to see your beau again will fly by before you know it.
Maintain trust. Just like you're going to be living your life, your significant other will be living his or hers, too. There are going to be days when you don't necessarily like what they’re doing — for example, going out and partying, but it’s important to have faith. After all, you only have limited time with each other when you actually do get to see each other, so spending half of it fighting about the bachelor party he went to or how there were guys at your girlfriend’s party will waste ally our time and energy. Being in a relationship should not limit your fun — it's all a matter of trust and loyalty.
Always have a visit in the works. That way, you both always have something to look forward to and can count down the days until you get to see each other again. This can be difficult, however, depending on what kind of situation you're in. If your companion lives several hours away, then plan for the next time you're both free, if possible every 2- 4 weeks. And make your time together mean something. Hit up your favorite restaurant, watch your favorite flick or even just sit and talk at a local coffee house and enjoy being in each other’s presence. If one of you is situated in another country and perhaps don't have the financial compensations to visit often, then don't stress. Whenever you or he or she comes home, both of you should have plenty of hugs and kisses to go around. Don’t forget: foreign countries usually mean lots and lots of presents and souvenirs.
Keep it interesting. When you can’t see each other every day, you need to keep things fresh. See something at the store your significant other might like? Get it and mail it to them. If you never cook, promise to cook dinner next time you can see each other. Is your partner a super romantic? Send him or her an old-fashioned love letter. The key is keeping the love alive by doing (and wantingto do) special things for each other that spice up the relationship. There’s nothing you can do about the distance right now, so keep it interesting while you can.
Overall, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and not take your frustrations out on each other. Long distance isn’t easy, but if you're in a devoted relationship, then things will work themselves out in the end. And just think: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder!”
This article is presented by Kundert Volvo in Hasbrouck Heights and Englewood, NJ.