Relationships can be difficult, but long distance relationships give new meaning to the idea of what is difficult in the relationship. The emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical needs of the relationship must be met in alternative ways. Long-distance relationships can be successful when cultivated in the art of communication and trust between partners. Prioritizing your goals with your partner and talking to them and letting others know how you feel about them can help intensify your relationship.
So what if you start to notice a break in your relationship or feel like something is missing? There are things you can do, even from a distance, to reassure your partner that you’re in the relationship for the long haul.
Keep the dates of your phone or Skype calls. Canceling your partner may imply to them that it’s an afterthought or just an alternative if nothing better is going on. Keep your phone/Skype calls scheduled like you would an appointment. After all, you are dating your partner, right? Make sure you inform your friends or family of your plans to spend the night talking with your partner and that you are not available at the time. If you need to cancel for an emergency, let your partner know so you don’t feel left out.
Communicate about anything and everything. Be honest about how you feel, share what you are passionate about and what activities you are currently involved in. Talk to your partner with video chat, instant messaging, email. Write an old-fashioned letter to your lover as a surprise or romantic gesture. Send your partner small gifts in the mail that you think they would enjoy. It’s the little things that let them know you’re thinking of them on a day-to-day basis when you’re apart.
Visit each other and never cancel unless it’s an emergency. Refusing to commit to an agreed visit or canceling your partner for an alternative vacation can cause irreparable damage. By staying committed to your visits, you will show your partner that you want to be with her every day in the future. If you don’t feel like the relationship is working anymore or you’re afraid to visit, talk about it with your partner instead of calling it off and lying about why. Resolving these issues can help you reevaluate and strengthen your relationship.
Split the costs of the visits and discuss the finances with your partner. If you live at opposite ends of your country or even the world, finances need to be discussed over visits and preparing for your future. Is your fiancé from a country where they don’t make as much money as you? What are they trying to help pay for in terms of visits? What does each of you expect from the relationship in terms of finances in the future? Discussing the financial side of your relationship helps lay the groundwork for the future expectations, agreements, and commitments you seek from your partner.
Discuss where your relationship is headed and your common goals. This helps each partner get an idea of what they should be working on to make their relationship a success. This is especially important in long-distance intercultural relationships. What are you both looking for in life? What are your expectations? The natural conclusion should be that at some point they will begin to live together and even get married. Who is willing to move? Are you both willing to move to a mutually agreeable place? Finding common ground across cultural differences is the key to success in cross-cultural relationships, as it will prevent many arguments in the future.
Relationships are emotional, spiritual, physical and financial investments. Long-distance relationships in general can affect these aspects more than someone you see every day. Be honest with your partner and let them know how much you care and let them know if something is bothering you. If your partner responds positively with the same care and love, you are cultivating positive attributes for your long-distance and eventually short-distance love.
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