Conflicting schedules. Opposite time zones. Countless hours spent pining, obsessing, and patiently holding out for that long-awaited phone call late at night. And the list goes on. It's no secret that long-distance relationships are a test of true love and commitment, however, most committed couples will tell you the rewards well outweigh the stresses. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
Below, is everything you need to know to ensure your long-distance love can fight the odds and endure the test of time.
1. Establish A High Level of Trust
When you’re not involved in the daily activities of your partner's life, the importance of a relationship anchored in trust cannot be overstated. If your conversations constantly consist of interrogations, accusations or wariness, then a long-distance relationship isn’t something you should consider. It's important to understand why you have doubts (if you do have any) or where your trust issues are coming from. Trust is the glue that holds everything together. Remember that.
2. Maintain Open Lines Of Communication
Failing to communicate in a long-distance relationship can exhaust dire repercussions. Setting aside time to converse with your partner daily should be a conscious priority. Dr. Paulette Sherman—a licensed psychologist with a speciality in romantic relationships – spoke to Marie Claire US and stressed the importance of determining what mode of communication is best suited for each couple. "When two people are together, some people don't like to get texts when they're at work. Or some people want to communicate multiple times a day. Hopefully, you've known this person before and you're not just starting out with the distance, so you have a greater sense of them, but you should figure out the best way to reach out to each other so you feel connected and have regular times to check in."
3. Replace Excessive Communication With Quality Communication
When you’re in the early stages of a LDR, it’s only natural to want to talk to your loved-one as much as possible. But is there such a thing as talking too much relationship? Surprisingly, yes. Don’t get us wrong, communication should be maintained on a regular basis however too much of it can quickly become suffocating. Yes, we understand that missing your S/O is inevitable, however, calling your partner 20 times a day can instantly turn your phone calls and conversations into monotonous dialogue. Keep your conversations meaningful and give your partner the opportunity to miss your presence.
4. Be Reliable
Be sure to answer the phone and return messages as promptly possible. Leaving your partner in the lurches is the easiest way to create doubt and feelings of anxiousness, even if you know you're not in the wrong.
5. Set Clear Boundaries And Adhere To Them
The boundaries in a long-distance relationship should be the same as those in a geographically close relationship: those you and your partner set together. It's not about forbidding your other half to go out clubbing or not allowing them other basic freedoms. Set clear expectations that work for both individuals in the relationship and make a conscious effort to respect each other's boundaries.
6. Learn How To Deal With Feelings Of Loneliness
Admittedly, pervasive feelings of loneliness are a common problem experienced by couples in long distance relationships. To cope, Sherman says, "It's important to find ways when you're alone or lonely to shift into a state of love and reconnect with yourself and shift your mood. To get your thoughts more positive, you need rituals or ways to work with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions (some people might do yoga or journal, for example) because your partner isn't there."
7. Find Balance
What some couples fail to recognise is that you can both be in a healthy long-distance and create an independent life for yourself. In fact, nurturing your own independence will only enhance your relationship. The happiest couples are able to achieve and maintain an acceptable balance of interaction and separateness.
8. Plan Ahead Of Time
Keep in mind that it isn’t so much about the period of time you and your partner are apart, as it is about having a set date to meet back up. Always make a point of seeing each other as often as possible, even when your commitments and circumstances are pulling you both in different directions.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.