If you're faced with the prospect of a long distance relationship then you're going to hear one of two things from people giving you advice; either the old adage 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' or that you're in for a rough old ride! Obviously every relationship is different and every situation will be different, so in short there is no cut and dry answer to this question. Nevertheless there are things you should know before embarking on this journey, whether you enter into a relationship which starts off as long distance, or if the long distance thing creeps up on you after you've been in a cohabitation situation for a while, there are things you should know and here is the start.
Who does the long distance?
According to an American study performed earlier this year over 75% of students will have been in a long distance relationship in their lifetime. Although it is certainly a common situation for students who may be going to different universities or may have met over the summer and are faced with a long distance now, the study also found that 3 million American couples are currently in a relationship where they live apart from their partner.
Forging a strong relationship
The study commissioned by the Journal of Communication found that couples in long distance relationships contacted each other more frequently than those who weren't in long distance relationships. This is perhaps obvious, as couples not seeing each other need to compensate by making sure they keep each other in the loop about the goings on in their lives. In short, if you are embarking on a long distance relationship then make sure you use a range of communication methods to make it exciting, and contact each other often.
Taking advantage of living apart
By taking advantage we mean making the most of the fact that you don't live together and that you won't be seeing each other regularly. This can mean sending little surprise packages, flowers or cards to let your loved one know that you're thinking about them. The best long distance relationships seem to be the ones who make a big deal out of every time you do see each other, so if you're not going to see each other every weekend then every weekend you do see each other should be treated like a treat - whether that be with a meal out, a trip somewhere or just making sure you spend all your time together, make your time together special.
Keeping your optimism paramount
The one thing couples seem to forget (although arguably it can be very difficult) is to maintain your optimism in a long distance relationship. Unfortunately when you miss someone terribly it can be very difficult to maintain the sense of optimism that comes with a new or blossoming relationship. But with a long distance relationship this is essential, you can't let your loved one feel like you're doubting the situation when you spend your precious time together. Although this doesn't mean keeping your feelings from them either. If you are feeling the pressure then you must talk about it, but what we're saying is that when you are together don't dwell on the fact that you miss them - enjoy your time together instead.
Can you go the distance? Read up to find out how to make it work.