Loads of people always ask how me and Joe make our long distance relationship (LDR) working and heading in the right direction. No matter the distance, some people are merely apart for the weekdays and together at weekends, some don't see there partners for months at a time (I fall into the latter) there's ways of making the situation more bearable, its a relationship status and situation that will never be "easy" and there's no magic way of making it workable. Nor do LDRs have a magic bubble around them that limits the normal stresses and strains that a relationship has, like any relationship it has it's up and downs, but there's good times to be had.
I'm not claiming these to be the magic parts or elements to making and LDR work, it's just the live, living experiences and things we've done to make our LDR work to the extent that it has.
- Know the bigger picture. Okki this can be dominating if you've just got into a relationship but with and LDR probably more then a conventional relationship you need to know where it's heading. It saves the heartache in the long term knowing that you either want the same things, that you're working towards the same goal but that eventually this relationship won't always be subject to distances. You don't need to decide from the off who will be moving to who, just be aware that something has to give at some point.
- Don't let your relationship be all about the distance. Its easy for people outside of the relationship to merely define it by the lack of physical connection, but there's still a relationship there, remember what you have, that you're a couple and that your together.
- Always be honest. Don't use the distance as a way to mask your thoughts or feelings. You can't be scared of saying things of the distance or scared of upsetting the balance. If your worrying, or your scared or your missing your other half, then let them know - they'll probably be feeling the same thing their self.
- Write love letters. There's a certain thrill of getting things through the post from one another, even if its just an "I love you" or a piece of chocolate. It's just the knowing that even with the distance there's still physical things you can still do and touch from each other. Letter writing now seems to be a lost art, but its very cherished in my relationship at least.
- Modern communication is your best friend. There's no excuse to not be in touch, sometimes I think LDR couples are more in touch and stronger for it then their non LDR counterparts. To the extent that we don't play the texting games of waiting hours to reply. But there's not only texts, emails, Skype, web-cams, msn, ebuddy - there's everything and anything you could need and for free (or for cheap). there's brilliant deals out there if you look for them.
- Positivity is key. If you go into an LDR with a cynical mind you'll get nowhere. While its easy to get down and focus on the distance or the lack of things your doing in comparison to others, it gets you no where. You need to be positive in believing what you have and share as a couple.
These aren't the be all of ideas and ways to make an LDR work, nothing can be taught or suggested to make it work, it really most often is just down to the two people involved. If your BOTH willing and wanting a relationship to work you can regardless of distance. And to people who question how you can trust your partner when there's that much distance - people cheat regardless of distance, it won't make them do it any more of any less.