How to manage long distance relationship
Therapists Share How to Make Long Distance Relationships Work
After endless searching, you finally found someone worth holding onto. And you’re really happy together. But through certain circumstances, you find yourself separated from the one you love by miles and miles of distance.
No matter how much you love each other, there’s probably a part of you that wonders how or if your relationship will survive the long distance between you.
Long distance relationships can be made easier with the right support, try Lasting:
First of all, be comforted in knowing that long distance relationships can absolutely succeed. In fact, most couples find themselves geographically separated at some point during their dating or marriage relationship.
Many couples even point to a season of long distance as the cornerstone of a stronger relationship.
With that in mind, our team of relationship experts at Lasting have compiled a list of their very best tips for maintaining, surviving, and even thriving in a long distance relationship or long distance marriage.
We hope it’s just a matter of time until you and the one you love are side by side again. But in the meantime, here are some therapist-approved recommendations to strengthen your emotional connection, ease the ache of geographic separation, and help your relationship go the distance.
We are living at a time when we have unprecedented round-the-clock access to one another. For those in a long-distance relationship, devoting extensive free time to catching up can be a tremendous gift—so long as you’re both on the same page about it.
Some couples want to feel connected every hour. Some find it tedious to talk every day. Discuss with each other what works for the general frequency and length of time you will spend texting, talking, or video chatting in a day or week. And be open to modifying your communication tendencies as life creates new and unexpected demands.
Decades of research indicate the most satisfied relationships are those in which each partner successfully responds to the other’s emotional calls. Emotional calls are the thousands of tiny attempts to connect with each other. It’s one of the concepts explained in depth in the marriage health session of Lasting, the leading relationship health app.
At the core of every emotional call, you’re really asking each other one question:
“Will you be there for me?”
Responding to each other’s emotional calls can seem tricky within a long distance relationship. You can’t physically show up for each other’s milestone days or reassure someone with a hug. But that doesn’t make this crucial element of relationship success any less important.
Instead, long-distance couples may need to be more intentional about responding to each other’s attempts to connect. If you’ve scheduled a time to talk with your partner, make that call a priority, just as you would any work meeting or doctor’s appointment. If your partner has an important day, call or text preemptively to find out how it went. By weaving your partner’s needs into your day, you’ll demonstrate that you’re there for them, no matter how far apart you might be.
Relationships can be hard, but Lasting is here to help. Get started with a free week:
Doubts, insecurities, and jealousy can run high in long distance relationships simply because you’re spending so much time away from each other. This is why therapists at Lasting recommend using frequent verbal assurances with one another. They help minimize these negative feelings and clarify where you stand as a couple.
The next time you talk, tell your partner how much you love and appreciate your relationship. And if you’re feeling uncertain about where you stand, don’t be afraid to ask for reassurance for yourself. “I love you and wish we could be together today,” is as wonderful to say as it is to hear.
Whether you’re together or far apart, you and your partner will continue to grow and change as life moves forward. That is both normal and a good thing—even if it forces your relationship to change some in the process.
According to Lasting’s therapists, long distance couples who have a secure attachment together are able to let each other grow and mature. They find ways to stay connected and push each other forward. In a secure attachment relationship, personal growth and change is healthy. It’s a product of security and safety in the relationship.
One of the best things you can do to promote a secure attachment is supporting your partner as they grow in their individual strengths and interests. While it might be frustrating if her new volleyball practice cuts into your nightly catch-up time, it’s important to encourage her to do what she loves—just as she should for you.
Research shows that interdependent relationships are proven to be the healthiest form of relationships for marriage. What does that mean? That means you and your partner do things in sync together while maintaining your own separate identities as individuals. Chances are your long-distance circumstances are forcing you do to more things independently than you would probably like, which is why it’s really important to identify a few activities you can do remotely but together.
According to marriage therapist Liz Colizza, having shared experiences with your long-distance partner increases the cohesion of your relationship. “Finding things you can do together as a couple pays off big time in helping you feel more connected. That’s a huge win when it feels like the distance is pulling you in two different directions.”
Whether it’s using Lasting, reading the same book, streaming the same show while talking on the phone, playing games online, listening to the same playlist, or even eating at the same chain restaurant on the same night—all of these can help you and your partner feel more interdependent and, ultimately, more connected.
p.s. Did you know? 94% of couples report new strengths when using the Lasting app together.
Whether you’re living under the same roof or oceans apart, all couples need to learn healthy ways to talk about and resolve conflicts. Bigger problems can arise if you ignore little struggles or are unwilling to address sensitive topics.
One military spouse experienced this when she and her husband were dating long distance. “I never felt comfortable bringing up tricky issues over the phone. But when I went to visit him, I didn’t want to ruin our time together by starting an argument. It created this vicious cycle where I felt I could never share what was bothering me. I would eventually blow up and break up with him. It was so unfair though, because he had no idea anything was even wrong.”
If you’re struggling to bring up difficult topics, using the Lasting app together can help ease you in to those conversations. You can also get more personalized support with a therapist through Talkspace.
Learning how to talk about difficult topics takes time and effort, but it’s essential to the health of your long-distance relationship to not let small problems balloon into bigger ones.
Being separated from the person you’re madly in love with can hardly seem like a positive thing. But where you can’t immediately change your circumstances, you can immediately change your attitude.
One of Lasting’s users shared how he came to appreciate his long-distance status. “I know it sounds crazy, but I loved being in a long-distance relationship. I could devote 100% of my attention to my girlfriend when we were together. When we were apart, I focused on classes and spent time with my friends. That worked really well for us while I was in law school.”
Frustrating as it might seem to be separated, try to think of a few ways your long distance relationship is actually beneficial. Do you have more time for hobbies or working out or spending time with friends and family? Make a list of the positive aspects of long distance and focus on these during the harder days when the distance is really getting to you.
There’s no doubt you’ll have days when your long distance relationship seems especially difficult. You might even be tempted to do something impulsive—like quit your job or drop out of school—just so you can be together with the person you love.
While that might sound romantic, remember there’s an important reason you’re living far away from the person you love right now. That reason may hinge on a professional, financial, or family situation that needs to play out properly until the timing is right for you both to be together geographically.
Don’t let months or years of progress go to waste out of impatience to finally be together. Your relationship will be stronger in the long run if you finish what you’ve started and finish it well.
Anyone who’s been in a long distance relationship can attest to the underlying heartache of being apart from the person you love. If you’re in a relationship with the person you want to spend your life with, at some point you’ll need to craft a plan to join your worlds together.
Whether this involves a wedding, an engagement, a job change or a relocation, be sure your plan considers the right next step at the right time for both people.
Having the hope of being together long term can help you ride out the toughest days of being apart from one another. That little bit of hope can go a long way toward making the one you love seem not quite so far away.
How do you know if the one you’re into is “The One”? Download Lasting and check out the Dating series.
How to Survive a Long-Distance Relationship
If you’ve found someone you connect with, you probably don’t want to let the opportunity for love pass you by simply because you two don’t live in the same place. You can still have a healthy, satisfying relationship with someone even if you only see each other a few times a month (or even a year). Still, being in a long-distance relationship requires work, and you have to take steps to make sure both you and your partner feel connected with one another while not physically together.
For advice on how to navigate a long-distance relationship, we turned to Kavita Patel, a life and relationship coach; here, she shares tips for couples, including how often to see each other, how to feel connected when you aren’t physically together, and how to communicate whether you are together or apart. The main takeaway? “Emotional connection and support are so important in a long distance relationship,” she said. “Keeping in touch and involving each other in daily feelings and situations is powerful to keep a feeling of intimacy flowing.”
Meet the Expert
Kavita Patel is a life and relationship coach who helps people find and maintain love.
Pick Up the Phone
“It’s so important in a long-distance relationship to stay connected. Talking on the phone and FaceTiming is the best way to stay connected because so much can get lost in translation via text,” said Patel. It can be easy to go through the busy day relying on texts and without picking up the phone but don’t fall into that trap. Make time to have in-depth conversations where you can hear one another’s voices or see one another’s faces.
Talk in the Morning and at Night
“Doing a check-in during the mornings and in the evenings before going to bed is also really important,” said Patel. “That way you feel like you’ve connected at the beginning and end of your days. That way even though you aren’t physically together you still feel like you are part of each other’s days."
In a long-distance relationship, the mornings and the nights can also be the times of the day when you feel loneliest because that is when you would normally be alone together. “Also, so much can come up for us within a day emotionally so to also have those check-ins you can feel emotionally supportive,” said Patel. “Having that emotional support also really shows the strength of the relationship.”
Meet in Person Regularly
“It’s important to see each other as much as possible,” said Patel. “I know depending on the distance it can feel hard, but it’s important.” She said the goal is to see one another in person at least quarterly. Even better is if you can make it work to see each other monthly.
Always Have Your Next Outing Planned
It’s important to always know the next time you are going to see each other in person. Having an exact date when you know you will see each other again will mean you both always have something to look forward to. When things get hard, you can know exactly how long you have to make it until the next meeting.
Visit One Another in the Places Where You Live
When you’re in a long-distance relationship it can be tempting to plan fun, exciting trips to see each other. Or it can feel practical to meet one another in the middle of the two places where you live. But make sure you visit one another where you each live also, said Patel. “Having trips to see one another in the locations you live is important so each person can see how the day-to-day for each other works,” she said.
Ask About Each Other's Feelings
“Show your care and concern and your willingness to be there through it all,” said Patel. Ask questions including: How can I support you? What is it that you need most from me right now? How are you feeling? “These questions allow the person feeling disconnected to reflect and share what’s really at the heart of what they are feeling and thinking. For the person asking it shows care and gives them clarity on what is needed most to come back to connection and love.”
Be Prepared to Schedule Emergency Visits
If one partner is feeling disconnected or lonely, it can be important to schedule a visit to see one another, said Patel: “If one person is feeling disconnected then it’s time to see one another as soon as possible.”
Surprise One Another With Gifts
When you aren’t together physically, it’s important to show your thoughtfulness in creative ways, said Patel. “If you know she would love flowers, get flowers delivered to her,” she said. “If you know he is feeling under the weather, then get food delivered to them as if you were there taking care of them.”
Don't Be Afraid to Sext
While sexting (sending sexual texts) might seem like something only young, new couples do, this can be a great way to keep the spark ignited, said Patel: “Keeping the romance alive is also about sexting. " It's important to find a time that works best for both of you to engage in these activities.
For example, don’t sext someone when they are stressed preparing for a big meeting at work.
Get Romantic Over Facetime
Put time aside as a couple for romance, even when it’s virtual, said Patel: “You can FaceTime and get intimate that way, so you are both connecting with each other to keep that attraction alive.”
If Something Feels Off, Talk About It
“If something has changed within the relationship, it’s important to begin to question if you are both on the same page and have the hard conversation of whether it’s time to let the relationship go,” said Patel. “Ask what has changed and what is different.” She said you might also have to ask if there is someone else if you feel like there might be. Trust your instincts.
Prioritize Each Other
Long-distance relationships take work, and it’s important that both partners are putting that in and prioritizing one another. “It’s not worth it anymore when one person stops choosing the other,” said Patel. “If someone starts to distance, does not commit to plans, starts to withdraw, it’s important to talk through that. It’s just imperative for both people to feel like they are being made a priority in whatever ways that make them feel good."
“It’s also really important for each person in the relationship to be aware and reflect on what they need most or what does feel good within the relationship when certain words, experiences of actions take place,” she said. In other words, it’s important to know yourself so you can tell your partner what is important to you and what you need to make this work. “You can’t just place all your happiness in the other person’s hands without giving them a roadmap to your heart,” she added.
Look at the Positives
There are many positives to a long-distance relationship, said Patel. “What’s beautiful about long distance relationships is that you won’t take each other for granted because you aren’t in each other’s daily lives,” she said. “Seeing and being with one another can feel fresh and new.” When you are feeling sad or lonely or frustrated, remember that long distance relationships offer some benefits that couples who live in the same place don’t have.
Cherish Your Moments
No matter how you are connecting, it can be powerful. A FaceTime session, for example, can be as meaningful as a dinner date because the person is fully present and right in front of you. Regardless of how you are coming together, try to live in the moment. “It’s powerful because you value and cherish each moment way more when you are in a long distance relationship,” said Patel. “That is true whether you are connecting in person or virtually.”
10 Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary in a Long Distance Relationship
how to maintain a long-distance relationship with the help of technology - Personal experience on vc.ru
We at Live Typing make applications for people and love to talk about technologies that help people in various non-standard situations. Our colleague Vlad and his girlfriend Kristina met remotely for a year and a half. In the article you will find their tips on what gadgets and services will help couples who are separated by the coronavirus to maintain relationships.
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When Vlad and Christina started dating, he lived in Omsk, and she lived in St. Petersburg. Before the guys could move in, a year and a half passed, all this time they maintained relations at a distance and pumped great in this matter.
In order not to move away from each other and to be constantly in touch, the couple used different software, devices and Internet services. Unfortunately, during the quarantine period, many cannot be close to their loved ones, the life hacks of our heroes will help such people keep in touch and more comfortably survive the forced separation.
If you decide to maintain a relationship at a distance, be prepared that the format of your communication on the network will change. All messages, photos and videos are a kind of blog that you maintain for one person. As part of this blog, you need to talk about everything that happens to you.
Here it is important to give as many details as possible: what did you do today, with whom did you communicate, what did you see, what did you like, what upset you. It is important that a person who is far away can understand and feel you better than you live.
Vlad, ex-project manager at Live Typing
Don't use the same messenger to chat with colleagues, clients, and your significant other. Sooner or later, this will unwittingly create unnecessary tension.
Imagine: you have dozens of working correspondence in Telegram, you are online almost the whole day and answer important messages, and personal correspondence goes by the wayside. Sometimes messages from loved ones hang unanswered for several hours.
Feelings aside, this situation seems normal: personal life should not interfere with work. But in the eyes of a partner, everything looks a little different. In fact, he spends hours watching you sit online and ignore his messages. Even the most understanding person will sooner or later become insulted and lonely.
A separate messenger gets rid of unnecessary negativity. When you enter it, you make it clear: "I'm online just for you." Choose the messenger in which you and your partner have the least active contacts.
It can be a popular messenger from another country, which few people use in our country, or a messenger that everyone forgot about after switching to WhatsApp and Telegram. For example, ICQ - check it out, it survived the redesign and became pretty cool.
You can also chat in Zepeto, but it's better to look for something more convenient
Voices from colleagues and friends irritate many people, but with a loved one everything is different. When there is no opportunity to meet live, it is pleasant to hear each other's voice.
Seeing each other is very important, so try to make regular video calls. It is not necessary to sit in front of a laptop for hours every day and have long conversations. A Skype or Zoom call creates the illusion that you are spending the evening at home like a normal couple.
You can cook dinner and then eat it in front of the camera and chat at the same time, or go about your own business, periodically exchanging phrases. All this time it will seem that the loved one is really in the room.
Sometimes we didn't turn off Skype when we went to bed. It is very pleasant, it seems that you really fall asleep next to your loved one, you hear his breathing and how he tosses and turns in his sleep.
Christina, English teacher
Cinema and music
In their free time, almost all couples watch movies and series. Organizing a joint viewing remotely is also not a problem. Hug and hide with one blanket, unfortunately, will not work, but you can still achieve the effect of presence.
The easiest solution is to make a Skype call and watch the movie at the same time. It's easy, but inconvenient. It is almost impossible to start the video synchronously, and as you watch, the desynchronization will only increase due to the fact that you start to pause the movie to discuss the moment or move away for a while.
The film is on pause, discussing the moment
Guys are advised to watch movies in Syncplay. This is a desktop sharing program. You create a common room, run the same files on both computers, and the program synchronizes timing and pauses through the server.
The service has a built-in chat, messages pop up at the top of the screen, so you can comment on the movie as you go. By the way, about the comments. They still need a phone call. You can start a video call on smartphones or laptops to laugh together at funny moments and be afraid at scary ones.
Web services such as Gaze or Togethr TV are useful for watching YouTube videos in sync. They work on the same principle as Syncplay, only you need not a file to run, but a link to the video.
Share your favorite tracks
In order to listen to music and share playlists together, it is better to subscribe to a family subscription. That will work out cheaper. The music service can be anything: Apple Music, Yandex.Music, YouTube Music.
There is now a huge selection of multiplayer games for PC, consoles or smartphones. Even if you are not a gamer, you should take a closer look at these products and choose something that is interesting for both.
The game has a cool opportunity to interact with each other and do something together: build a house, make ammo, hunt deer and cook it. Seeing each other's characters and being close in the virtual world is a very interesting practice.
A cool theme for separated couples is survival or sandbox games. When you try to survive together, it brings you closer. And it's also the perfect option to have fun during a pandemic.
For example, I recommend 7 Days To Die and Don't Starve - cool co-op survival with a lot of variety. And of course, Minecraft. If you haven't played yet, try building your world there.
List of games from Christina and Vlad:
Don't Starve, 7 Days To Die, Minecraft - perfect for a pandemic.
The Way out, Divinity Original Sin 2 (dive head first for a hundred hours).
Diablo 3 - for PlayStation.
WoW, Fortnight and other top Twitch multiplayer games for PC.
Tales Of Wind, Zepeto and any games from the category Play online together - for smartphones.
When a woman does not let you into the house in the game 7 Days To Die
Streaming is suitable for both games and everyday life: you can show your loved one how you cook food, walk around the city or do something that is important and interesting.
Private live streams with link access can be done via YouTube. But there is one catch: you need to carefully monitor the music in the background, otherwise the broadcast will be banned due to copyright infringement.
Twitch is suitable for gaming streams, but it’s impossible to get cozy there, since all broadcasts of the service are public.
You can start streaming almost in one click through Geeforce Experience (for owners of Nvidia video cards) or through Stream labs OBS.
Streams in Single Player is quite interesting. Sometimes I specifically asked Vlad to run them when he plays to cheer for him. You can also write something in the chat while watching, it turns out another moment of interaction.
Gifts and surprises
In a long-distance relationship, everything is built on micro-moments, it is very important that both partners constantly show feelings, be active and find ways to surprise each other.
Even a sudden sticker or voice can cheer you up, and to please your loved one with something material, any delivery service and even a transfer through a mobile bank will do.
Sometimes it's worth going further and making a more original surprise.
For example, the creators of the Sandsign service offer to surprise a loved one with an inscription in the sand. You come up with a phrase - and the performers write it on a picturesque beach in an exotic country and take pictures.
Vlad came up with a chic surprise, ordered an inscription-a declaration of love in the sand through the Sandsign service.
I received an email with a photo and a link to a video taken by real people on a tropical beach. It was unusually pleasant to see the recognition and hear the sound of the waves.
To get even closer and feel the romance of the past millennium, you can write a real paper letter. If you do not want to do it yourself, use a special service in which your electronic text will be handwritten and beautifully designed.
Separation is temporary, so as not to forget about it, discuss the future together, share your dreams about what it will be like. To make dreams come true - turn them into clear plans.
All this time, Vlad and Kristina have been creating lists and notes in Notion and Evernote, which can be edited and compiled together.
Note down everything that seems important and interesting: countries you want to visit, furniture you need to buy, restaurants or events you want to visit together.
We are now continuing to take notes and update the lists. Something disappears and something is added. We have expanded our notebook with different topics and plan many aspects of our lives in it.
Unfortunately, remote couples are completely unable to touch each other. But the desire for tactile sensations, like sexual attraction, does not go anywhere, various devices help to compensate for the lack of physical proximity.
Fitness bracelets help you physically feel the presence of another person. For example, with Mi Band, you can add each other as friends and send signals to them using the Nudge function.
You press the button in the Mi Fit app, the partner's bracelet starts to vibrate, and the heart icon lights up on the screen. The Apple Watch has a similar feature, through which you can send messages to each other with a heartbeat.
It is better to send such “hello” unexpectedly: it is something like a spontaneous manifestation of love that lifts the mood.
If you want to buy a separate device for remote interaction, take a closer look at the twin lamps, with which you can wink in the evenings. Another option is synchronized rings that will convey the touch of a partner.
Sex shops sell special toys for couples. For example, the Lovense kit, which includes female and male devices that connect to each other using a computer or smartphone.
Partners can choose the synchronous mode, in which the toys follow each other's movements and change speed and power at the same time. You can also control the devices manually, in this case, one person, like on a DJ console, adjusts the rhythm, vibration strength, rotation speed for the partner's toy.
If you can't find time for a synchronous meeting, you can save the session you like and use it at any time.
The application also has a chat and video call, but to feel calmer, it is better to use more secure applications, for example, Telegram.
It is clear that it is impossible to lead a full-fledged sexual life remotely, but you need to support it in every possible way. The main principle is not to be afraid to be frank and honest, and sometimes feel free to say vulgar things.
All words, phrases and intonations are even more significant than in real life. Be ready to experiment and show yourself, this is a very useful experience, it helped us to better discover and understand each other.
You can have different attitudes about tracking the location of the second half, but at a distance this option can be useful for security. If one of you lives in a strange city all alone, it will not be superfluous for your partner to know exactly where you are.
If both agree, you can use Life360, an application that allows you to track the location of the user and send notifications when you left work or returned home. On the iPhone, this functionality is available in the built-in Find My app.
How not to go crazy
After a year and a half of communication at a distance, Vlad and Christina had their own set of rules, thanks to which their relationship developed and became stronger.
Need strong feelings
It is unlikely that you will find the strength to build long-term relationships at a distance if you do not have real feelings and plans for a life together. If it's not serious, run.
The main thing is honesty
Relationships will not last long without honesty. Being apart is already difficult, and unspoken grievances will only aggravate the situation. To prevent this from happening, discuss your views, habits and grievances, tell how you feel about various controversial things.
During the last year and a half, we worked through so many moments that when I finally moved in, we already knew each other well, because we discussed many things honestly.
We had this idea that we should be extremely sincere. Because at a distance it is difficult to detect how another person feels. There was also a rule that if there is some kind of resentment, then you need to deal with it on the same day so as not to accumulate negativity.
Don't expect to be like offline
No matter what technology you use, the key is to understand that a remote relationship cannot be the same as a regular relationship. In order not to be disappointed, you just need to accept it.
Many things we have given much more importance than if it happened in an offline relationship. At a distance, the lack of intimacy is felt very strongly, so sometimes you need to force yourself to do some things that you would not do under other circumstances.
Try to see you live
After about six months, separation becomes difficult to bear, and people begin to move away. Therefore, if possible, you need to plan at least small meetings.
To make them interesting and rich, you should immediately plan some activities, but do not overdo it and leave days for improvisation and time to just mess around together.
The first month after the meeting will be difficult. It will take more attention to each other in order to enter the old rhythm and come to terms with a new separation.
Do not close
Ignore is the most terrible weapon of a distant relationship, it is more difficult to survive than open rudeness. For this reason, quarrels at a distance proceed differently than usual.
In real life, you can sulk and be silent for a while, but it's better not to do that at a distance. When you ignore your partner, he does not see you and is left alone with the darkest thoughts. Therefore, you need to pull yourself together as soon as possible and start a conversation.
If emotions are overwhelmed and you want to be alone, warn about it. Don't be silent.
When there is resentment, you need to get as much information as possible and understand what exactly went wrong. You may have to communicate for several hours, the main thing is to achieve results and get rid of the negative sediment.
Once you speak honestly for the first time, it will become a habit, the next situation will be easier. Honesty will become a part of your life.
Need your rhythm
Every couple has habits and rituals, such as having dinner together or going out on weekends. At a distance, rituals are also needed: it is better to plan calls, watch movies or streams in advance. It calms and gives confidence in the future.
Use this experience
In many ways, long-distance relationships are no different from ordinary ones. Therefore, some habits should be transferred to your future life together. The principle of honesty and openness will continue to help out, and the ability to plan will make life more convenient.
What we have overcome is a tremendous experience and now it is much easier for us to act in many situations. In addition, now we can quite easily experience short separations, because we know how to behave.
Share your story
Have you been in a long-distance relationship and were you able to maintain and increase it? Looking forward to your advice in the comments!
Long-distance relationships: how to understand whether they are worth continuing
In 2020, due to the pandemic and the restrictions associated with it, many faced the fact that personal relationships had to be transferred online. At the same time, novels quite often begin with a long-distance relationship. What are the features of such an interaction and what mistakes should be avoided, says psychologist Alena Golzitskaya.
Alena Golzitskaya, systemic family psychotherapist, researcher at the Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, specialist in the service for the selection of psychologists Alter
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Is it worth it to start a relationship at a distance
First of all, let me remind you that, as a rule, all romantic relationships are initially relationships at a distance (if you have concerns about this format, then perhaps this thought will cheer you up a little) . Nowadays, no one starts dating with a wedding and living together (I don’t take extreme cases into account), and the first meeting and initial communication increasingly takes place on the Internet, and not in the real world. The period of getting to know each other, associated with the search for common ground, the development of rules for interaction, the formulation of prohibitions, and falls on the very “traveling” format, when partners for the most part meet either somewhere in public places or on the territory belonging to each of them or online.
In this sense, relationships at a distance (at least in the initial phase), in essence, are not so different from the face-to-face format. Perhaps it is worth noting that when communicating at a distance, the effect of rose-colored glasses can be more pronounced - when we look at a partner not realistically, but prefer to rely on our own fantasies about him: at first, this effect is supported not only by hormones, but also by whether there are we have the opportunity to move into the field of real interaction or not.
A shot from the film “Before Dawn”
Otherwise, long-distance relationships are just as capable of giving us a cocktail of very different, sometimes conflicting feelings and emotions, for which (not least) we are looking for a romantic partner: euphoria, delight, surprise, doubt, fear, rage, happiness.
But after a while partners in whatever format they meet, the question invariably arises: what's next?
Is it worth continuing a relationship at a distance of
When should you doubt that a new relationship is worth investing time and effort into? First of all, focus on your own feeling of comfort in communication. I'm not talking here about natural anxiety in anticipation of contact with another person (especially romantic) - this is normal and happens to almost everyone at first.
Before you really get into partnerships, ask yourself a few important questions:
- Do you take the initiative to communicate with each other?
- Are your interests and needs taken into account in the course of communication?
- Do you often feel embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid when interacting with this person?
- Does your partner respect your point of view, especially if it differs from his/her point of view?
- Do you often have to give up your plans in order to meet a person, while he does not meet your halfway?
- Can you be yourself and feel comfortable in communication with him/her?
- Do you often see the coincidence of these promises and their implementation, can you trust a person and his actions?
If most of the answers to these questions are “no”, then there is a very good chance that long distance relationships will not develop into a closer format. This is due to the fact that the person with whom you begin to communicate has a clearly expressed priority of his own needs, neglecting yours. In such conditions, it is almost impossible to build a good relationship - you will always find yourself in the position of a giver, and in return you will not receive anything significant.
Still from the movie "Romantics 303"
Why start online dating
The most popular way to start a romantic relationship remotely is online dating apps. Let's say you met someone on Tinder or Badoo. Before we go any further, it is important to understand the purposes for which you enter into such communication. If this is an expansion of the circle of friends, unobtrusive correspondence or meetings for entertainment, then, probably, you will not be faced with the task of getting to know the person deeply, building a trusting contact for a long period of time. Then, it is quite possible that you will continue to communicate with some new acquaintances mainly in a remote format, and such relationships will not burden either you or the other side.
But what if you are looking for more serious interactions and want to build real relationships that eventually develop into partnerships or even family? In this case, nuances begin to appear that are worth paying attention to.
Users of online dating services note that some people with whom they communicate do not seek to leave the virtual format at all. Most often, these are either those who do not want to burden themselves with spending (time and money) on a partner, but want to get a source of arousal or satisfaction of sexual needs without much tension, or those who in this way feed their own illusion of having a wide network of contacts. In both cases, counting on the development of a serious relationship with such candidates is an empty undertaking, because none of them sets themselves such a goal.
Alas, when communicating through dating services, there is a real risk of getting stuck in unproductive long-distance relationships with those who profit from someone else's gullibility. (Of course, we are talking only about individual unscrupulous users, but vigilance does not hurt.)
Frame from the movie "LOL [laugh]" into a similar trap, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do we often use real chances to communicate not only online, but also face-to-face with a communication partner?
- Is my friend's contribution of time, money and effort to our relationship equivalent to my own contribution?
- Can I refuse to communicate with my acquaintance on sexual and other difficult topics if I feel uncomfortable, without fear of losing our contact?
- Does the communication partner respect my reluctance to move into the plane of intimate communication online, if I consider it untimely/unacceptable?
- Can I comfortably organize our remote communication in accordance with my own work and other employment?
- Do I feel that my partner allows me to take a break to think about the answer, am I free / free to answer when it suits me, without feeling pressure from him / her?
Again, if most of the answers are negative, then you are at risk.
Are long distance relationships always unproductive
Of course not. There are circumstances when a long distance format of relationships is forced and inevitable - for example, if people live in different cities or countries, with a very tight schedule, special working conditions, or in emergency circumstances. Here are the main characteristics that make it possible to look at such relationships as promising.
- Important - Your partner's clear need to know you deeply as a person, interest in your daily activities and environment.
- A person tends to have steady, regular contact with you, and if there is an opportunity for face-to-face communication, he will definitely use it.
- A partner demonstrates respect for your needs, does not impose his beliefs and views, gives space to be yourself and feel organic at the same time.
- He/she is ready to be near (even at a distance) not only in moments of joy, but also in difficult situations. You are sure that you will not be left alone with your difficulties with the wording “figure it out yourself / yourself, this does not concern me.”
- When entering into a conflict interaction, the partner does not slip into insults, does not humiliate, but tries to look for common ground for the further development of communication.
If your long-distance relationship meets these criteria, then it may indeed be worth the effort to strengthen it.
A still from the film “One Day”
How to maintain long-distance relationships
Let's be honest: it's not easy. First of all, because any serious relationship requires a predictable prospect, if not a life together, then the possibility of regular meetings live. It is very important for a couple to have common goals in the future, to make common plans.
In a long-term relationship at a distance, there must be an element of hope for togetherness - without this, they quickly fade away. It is impossible to imagine a long distance relationship in which partners do not live together at all even from time to time and have nothing in common in the physical, real world.
Try to discuss the plans of each of you and look for intersections: if you are talking about weekends or vacations, try to figure out where to really spend this time together.
Long distance relationships are always a test. It is worth noting that people with a special psychological profile often choose this format voluntarily - it is often difficult for them to stay in the presence of loved ones for a long time, as they do not know how to maintain a sense of their own autonomy without a sense of guilt or shame. Probably, during their growing up, parents or close adults did not set an example of harmonious coexistence with a partner, and they do not know how it is to be close to someone for a long time without the desire to distance themselves territorially. It can be difficult for such people to cope with the emotions that overwhelm them in a relationship, and one of the main options for solving this difficulty they see physical separation, withdrawal or departure.
In other words, sometimes long distance relationships are not a forced decision due to circumstances, but a purposeful vector for the development of interpersonal interaction. Only those people who in one way or another complement each other in their need to territorially regulate proximity can stay in such unions for a long time. In such a case, changing the format of the relationship may require the person to make a major change in how he or she interprets their feelings when the partner is physically around. Often, the help of a psychotherapist is required here, since behavior patterns are a stable thing, and their correction takes time and effort.
Still from the film Love, Rosie
How to protect yourself from infidelity
What other difficulties do people face in long distance relationships? Of course they have trust issues. It is very difficult, being hundreds of kilometers away from a partner, to be absolutely sure that he / she keeps his promise not to change. The credit of trust here is provided not only by verbal exhortations, but also by how transparent your interaction is - whether the partner had reasons not to trust you, whether you have faced lies from him / her before. It is also important whether the topic of betrayal was a trigger in the parental family of your lover or beloved.
If you or your partner have doubts about mutual fidelity, you can agree to be as accessible as possible for contact with each other: tell us what and where you will be doing in the near future, and most importantly, with whom. In turn, you can ask your partner to let you in on their plans for the day/week.
Honesty and openness in communication reduces the degree of wariness and makes you feel more confident. If this strategy does not work, then perhaps there is reason to discuss these doubts in more detail.
Since long-distance communication is limited by means of communication, sometimes we overreact to pauses in correspondence or to unanswered or rejected calls. How many quarrels happened because of the answers to the questions “Why were you online, but didn’t answer me for so long?”, “Why didn’t you pick up the phone?”, “Why didn’t you call me back ( a)?" and so on.
Try to be careful in your judgments. We are all living people, each of us has our own life, working and private. Always remember that there are several possible explanations for the lack of a quick response: your partner could be late for a meeting, be out of network coverage, or simply fall asleep earlier after a long day at work. Be patient - it is worth sounding the alarm only with regularly repeated refusals to answer messages or calls.
What if reality doesn't match expectations
One of the psychological mechanisms that most often manifest themselves in long-distance relationships is projection: we endow our communication partners with properties and traits that they may not have in reality. We complete their image in our head to understandable to us, but almost always it is illusory. Interestingly, some people prefer to remain in their illusions and fantasies without even trying to clarify how the real partner corresponds to the fictional one.
That is why, if you are planning to build a strong and long relationship with your lover/beloved, try to make contact in physical reality as soon as possible. Even if you often communicate via video calls and chat a lot, you still lose a significant part of the information about a person - about how he, for example, “feels” or how he smells. For a really deep relationship, these parameters are very important. None of us are perfect. The idealized image in your head is usually devoid of flaws, and the later you "devirtualize", the more painful it can be to face reality.
A still from the film “The Story of Marriage”
How to diversify communication at a distance
As a rule, online communication is characterized by a preliminary agreement: “We call each other at such and such a time in the evening. ” But such strict planning of personal contacts often makes them routine and forced.
Try to build communication more flexibly - when you feel like it, when there is an impulse to call or write. Of course, it is worth taking into account the lifestyle of a partner and not getting stuck in his work schedule, for example. But find a way to add spontaneity to communication, especially if the relationship is already established and you are confident in it. Then an unexpected photo, a note with a confession of feelings or a wish for a good day will once again become a pleasant reminder that you are thinking about your lover or lover.
Remember that communication should be desirable - both for you and for your counterpart. Consideration of his/her personal boundaries, as well as a request for mutual respect for yours, is an essential condition for the success of any partnership, both virtual and in person. To build a productive relationship, only passion and love are sometimes not enough.