10 Ways to Help Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Whilst a little time apart can certainly have you yearning for your loved one, for those who are navigating a long distance relationship, it can be tricky.

Fortunately, long gone are days of waiting for letters from your other half from overseas. Technology has enabled couples worldwide to connect seamlessly, even when on opposite sides of the globe. Contact can be immediate, with instant messaging and video chat apps on smartphones meaning your partner is available instantly – if you’ve got their time zone correct!

Whilst virtual dates may not be as romantic as those in the flesh, having a long distance relationship is achievable should you both be willing to put in time and go the extra mile. You may feel lonely or sad at times, but the team at Expatriate Group are here to share with you some top tips from our expat community to help you tell your own love story no matter the distance.  

How to make a long distance relationship work

Whether your long distance relationship spans a country or continents there are ways you can help develop your relationship. Here’s 20 tips on how to make long distance work.

1.    Communication compensation

Communication can be hard to figure out, particularly if you are a couple who are new to the long distance game. You don’t need to spam your other half with messages and photos every minute of the hours you are awake – be tactful. Distance doesn’t mean you have to smother each other, plus, I can be exhausting. Keep communication natural, fun, and thoughtful.

2.    Manage your expectations

We’re not saying your relationship needs rules or an agenda. This isn’t healthy and will make your romance stagnant. However, it would be beneficial for you both to be on the same page, such as:

  • Is it an exclusive relationship?
  • Will each party be dating others casually?
  • Should we try and touch base daily?
  • Is there a form of communication you each prefer?
  • Do we set aside time every week to virtual date?
  • Does this relationship have a future?

Each long distance couple is different, and what is perfect for some won’t be ideal for you both. Having an open and honest discussion will help you both understand where each other is at.

3.    Be honest about your actions

Your partner will want you to enjoy yourself regardless of the distance between you. However, jealousy and feelings of insecurity can arise when the other is socialising or partying. Never lie about your plans, being honest and upfront alleviates any suspicious feelings and helps show your partner you can be trusted. Neither you or your partner should dictate what the other does, but being mindful of their feelings and perhaps seeing a quick message to let them know you are home safe after an event can be really helpful.

4.    Virtually date

Whether you video chat or voice call, set aside time to spend with each other. Settle down to a meal together, or both watch the same movie at the same time. You can send spontaneous ecards or gifts in the mail to let your partner know you’re thinking of them. Get creative with your gestures and date ideas to help keep the romance alive.

5.    Plan a trip

When you’re long distance and there are no plans to visit each other, it can put a strain on things. Even if it’s months away, cement a date to visit each other, or even meet in another country for a holiday if that is something you’re both interested in doing. Having plans in the future doesn’t mean you forget the now, but it’s exciting to plan for and will allow you to spend some much-needed time physically together.

6.    Be aware of each other’s schedules

If you live in different time zones it is particularly helpful to know each other’s schedules and plans. Even if you don’t, knowing when the other person is free to chat means you can make unplanned calls or video chats, just because. This also eliminates those natural feelings of worry when your partner doesn’t answer your call or read your message. On a personal note, try not to read too much into response times, they’ll be times when they’ve been thrown a curveball and are busy. They’ll be back with you in no time.

7.    Embrace social media

Now we aren’t saying stalk your partner on social media, but interact when they upload photos to Facebook, share a highlight on Instagram, or post a funny Tweet. You’ll be able to have a view into their world beyond the conversations you have. Furthermore, because most social platforms are image-based, you’ll be able to see exactly what they’re talking about when you speak.

8.    Stay positive

You’re in a relationship with this person because you think they’re worth it – remember that on your sad or lonely days. It can be hard at times but having a glass half full mentality and radiating as much positivity as possible will help you through. Making plans and discussing a future together is exciting, but also being grateful for the little things every day is rewarding too.

9.    Keep in touch with their family and friends

Being part of their circle beyond your relationship can be extremely comforting. Being accepted into this bubble and creating relationships with your partner’s loved ones can help make you feel valued and trusted. It also means you have a wider pool of friends to contact if you’re feeling lonely, or if you want to do a surprise visit for your other half.

10.  Be emotionally open

Not everybody is good at vocalising how they’re feeling, but it will be valuable going forward in your long distance relationship. Whether how you’re feeling is positive or negative, your partner will be able to help you navigate these feelings. Never bottle up how you feel and let your partner give you the help and support you need should you be feeling insecure, sad, or fearful. Likewise, you can be there to celebrate their achievements and console them when they need compassion.

Few of us actively plan to be in a long-term relationship. You cannot control your feelings, nor can you control the opportunities or curveballs that life sends your way. If you’re in a long distance relationship, stay strong and don’t forget to cherish the little things your partner brings to your life every day.

If you’re planning on visiting your partner, why not invest in Travel Insurance to ensure you’re protected on your trip. Alternatively, if you’re planning on moving abroad to be with them, International Health Insurance is the perfect solution.

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