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TIP: Surviving Long-Distance Relationships


‚Äč‚ÄčEvery relationship requires work.  Our relationships with friends, family members, partners, coworkers, and even our pets involve us working to maintain a connection.  Every relationship differs in how much work is required, and one that takes certainly takes more effort is a long-distance relationship.  Whether it is a romantic relationship, a close family member, or a just a basic friendship, the key is to be willing to put in the work that is needed.  If each person is willing to make the effort, the relationship can survive the distance.  Here are some tips that might help you stay on track and maintain any type of long-distance relationship:

  1. Discuss your expectations

    Everyone in a relationship has certain expectations, but long-distance relationships rely on clear expectations even more since the parties involved won't be physically seeing one another.  Your expectations might include how often you would like to talk, how you are going to communicate with one another, how often you would like to see each other, and what each of you are hoping for in the relationship.
  2. Make each other a priority

    Even though you might not see the other person very often, that person is still important to you.  One way of showing that importance is by treating the other person as a priority.  Think about their needs, and try not to schedule other things during the times you know you are going to be talking to/videoing with them.
  3. Use various forms of communication

    It is really easy to rely on texting or instant messaging the people in our lives.  These methods aren't always the best way to communicate because genuineness, emotion, and meaning can quickly get lost or misinterpreted.  To battle this miscommunication, don't hesitate to talk over the phone; hearing each other's voices can really help to keep your connection strong when you go long periods of time without seeing one another.  It can also be beneficial to see each other's faces in live video.  By doing so, you are able to read facial cues, hear vocal tones, and communicate in a deeper way than what other electronic mediums allow.
  4. Vocalize and address each other's feelings

    Because emotions, feelings, and body language are often missed in electronic communication, it is important to be willing to tell the other person how you are feeling.  By putting your emotions out in the open, you can avoid fights that are a result of miscommunication and hurt feelings.  
  5. Spend some disconnected time together

    Most long-distance relationships aren't purely long distance; there are often times when you are able to see the other(s) involved in the relationship for weekends or short trips.  When you are able to physically see one another, give yourself a chance to truly connect with this person by disconnecting from your electronics.  Shut off your phones, turn off the TV, put away the gaming systems, log off of social media, and just talk with one another.  Allow yourselves to purely be with one another without the outside world interfering for a little while; this helps increase the quality of your time together despite the low quantity of time.

Every long-distance relationship will be unique and complicated in its own way, but addressing these five components might help the relationship maintain the commitment despite the distance.

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