Long distance relationships are difficult. Friends flippantly remark that they wish their husbands lived 2,000 miles away and tell you that you have the best possible arrangement. Whenever you see each other you are on vacation and on your best behavior. You don’t have to deal with the day-to-day aggravations of living with another human being. You are, for the most part, answerable to no one and can do as you please with your time.
You also have no one locally with whom to share the events of your day. Good friends and a close family are a blessing but those relationships are clearly not quite the same. Although a bad personal relationship, be it with a spouse or significant other, is worse than no relationship at all, sharing your life with someone you love and who loves you is a scenario for which we all strive. All relationships require a great deal of effort to be successful. The cornerstones of every successful relationship; communication, trust, understanding and perseverance take some extra nurturance in a long distance relationship.
Communication is the key to a successful long distance relationship. Optimally, daily or at least several times a week you should be in communication with your significant other. Long, loving phone calls are great but don’t overlook the importance of a quick good morning, have a great day and/or goodnight call. If something funny happens in your day, make a quick call and share it with your sweetheart. Dash off an e-mail or leave them a voicemail to let them know how your day went. Drop an, “I’m thinking about you” card in the mail. Communications dealing with the mundane are equally as important as the lovey-dovey exchanges. In the long term, if the only communication you ever have with each other consists solely of, “I love you”, “I miss you” you are creating an artificial scenario which will not hold up when or if you end up in the same home. Remember, relationships between cohabitating couples consist of the loving and the mundane and successful long distance relationships need to as well.
A huge element of a successful long distance relationship is trust. If you do not trust your significant other you will have ample opportunity to drive yourself crazy in a long distance relationship. You are each free to do whatever you want with little chance of discovery when you live a long way from each other. If you agree to a monogamous long distance relationship you must make a complete commitment to live up to that agreement and to trust each other. Long distance relationships are hard enough without accusations and distrust. Everyone has weak and doubting moments but if you cannot find a way to trust your significant other, you should end your long distance relationship.
Understanding and perseverance are critical to a successful long distance relationship and are closely intertwined with trust. You are not together and, therefore by necessity, you lead individual lives. If you call your mate on Friday night and get their voicemail you must trust that they are out with friends, not on a date. You must understand that both of you have a right to a social life. Share the fun you had when you next speak. The more open you are about what you do when you are apart, the more trusting environment you create. If you are both committed to a successful long distance relationship, understanding and perseverance will help you through the rough patches.
Most people endure long distance relationships because they foresee a time when they will be together. There is a honeymoon period in long distance relationships as well as in conventional relationships and communication, trust, understanding and perseverance for the duration of your separation will help bridge the gap when the long distance aspect of your relationship ends.