Somehow, someway, at some point, even if we’ve done everything we can our entire lives to avoid it, most of us find ourselves facing the necessity of a long distance relationship. Whether a temporary or indefinite separation, this kind of celibate tryst can prove itself volatile and problematic and, for the most part, just plain painfully inconvenient. Even still, it ain’t impossible. To find out if you’re cut out for job, read further.
I’ll be brutal here, because I want to do you a favor. Dating long distance is no piece of cake, even for the bravest of heart and if you’re the big man that’s about to negate that, I’ll check back in with you in a few months and see if you’d still like some help. The thing is, unlike regular relationships where people generally acclimate to one another and meld together their desires and lifestyles, usually making their connection deeper and tighter, long distance relationships grow more difficult. Again, I’m not saying it’s impossible by any means. Many have survived the long haul. But in order to be mentally prepared, be brutally realistic.
Make an agreement
Before hopping that flight and dropping house someplace else, have an honest discussion with your sweetheart. You and her will need to swear to the conditions of your arrangement. Most importantly, you’ll need to swear always to be upfront with the other partner during the cold winter apart. Guaranteed, thoughts, feelings and emotions will come up and the best way to handle them is to immediately express them. Otherwise they bunch up, become toxic and poison you both. Instead, be a hero and be honest, even if her baggage seems suddenly heavy.
Be sensitive to her insecurity
Dr. John Gray, infamous relationship counselor and accomplished author, says that "Often make feel like – ‘no matter what I do it’s not enough to make her happy." And this may very well be something you experience in a heightened manner during a long distance relationship. It will take all your wisdom and patience to know that sometimes her dissatisfaction or frustration with everything has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the unfair fact that you must be separated (something that is not actually your fault). So, instead of jumping to the conclusion that it’s YOU that cannot make her happy, give her time and see if she adjusts to the situations that’s actually responsible for her discontentment.
Consider an open relationship
Some couples can make this work flawlessly, others fail monumentally and never mend. However, you’ll never know what kind of couple you are until you take a deep breath of faith and leap for it. That being said – leap smartly. Don’t just blurt out that you’d like to sleep with other people. Be aware that what you say may be immediately misinterpreted by her at every turn. You should raise the topic subtly, saying that you should (at least mentally) explore all the options that usually make long distances work, even if they ultimately are not right for you.
Use technology to your advantage
In the olden days, people were confined to occasional letters and frequent daydreams when dragged away from their lover. At least now, there are an incredible amount of ways available to communicate. Text her random affections. Send little surprise emails denoting your days without her. Skype or iChat, even if for a few minutes before you run out the door so that she can get a sense of where you are and what you’re up to. This will encourage her to do the same and trust me, though it may sound like a lot of work, it’s not and it’s worth it. You need to make up for the loss of physical connection.
Love-Sessions online, run by a handful of certifiably brilliant counselors, addresses precisely this aspect: [Long distance relationships] take away your ability to see each other on a frequent note, as well as the choice of being intimate whenever you desire, not to mention that there would be major trust required. Being unable to spend time together in a physical presence makes it harder to hang on to, but does not spell out doom for your relationship." To compensate, be internet creative. If she’s down for cyber fun, it is encouraged to knock on that door as well.
When all seems lost – talk it out
Ultimately, a variety of curve balls can be thrown at you when you’re not in at least partial physical control. If you suspect cheating, you can’t stalk her subtly or secretly beat up the dude, you’ve simply got to have the balls to use your words. Well known UK web commentators on Relationship Expert confirm: "If you don’t talk about the subject, find out what each others’ limits are and set boundaries then someone will undoubtedly end up getting hurt. Everyone comes into a new relationship with their personal beliefs and often expects the other person to think the same way. Unless you ask them you will never know though."