Local relationships can be challenging
enough. Distant relationships, unless you really enjoy time alone, can
be more difficult. You can enjoy a long distance relationship if you are
willing to work on it. Give your relationship a chance to
survive and thrive!
Love can ignore distance
and grow more intimate with sharing
I live in Canada, and my fiancée is working
in Fiji. We nearly split up a few times, but since your coaching we are
planning our future together. It's only ten more months ...
There are many reasons for long-distance relationships. Lovers
may hope for a future together; we coach people by telephone and Skype; family
members may enjoy a sense of togetherness, and team members need to keep in
touch. Long-distance relationships need at least as much care and attention as
Long-distance intimate relationships can be difficult and
challenging. While frustration, insecurity, boredom and suspicion can be
destructive, the most deadly threats to future happiness are temporary
replacements ... or affairs.
Your attitude is crucial - recall the good times and wonderful
moments that you enjoyed together. Remember those times you knew that your
partner loved you and cared for you. Realistically plan for more and better
times like that.
Long-distance casual relationships (pen-pals) are great for
people who are interested in each other's lives and cultures. Long-distance
intimate relationships are for people who are committed or devoted to one
another, and and willing to make sacrifices now for their potential future together.
All important relationships require care and attention.
Probably everyone in a relationship feels frustrated sometimes, and distance
can worsen the frustration. Long distance relationships will test you both.
Remember that real relationships have real relationship conflicts! Some
key questions are:
- Do you like who you are?
- Are you attracted to healthy people?
- What are the consequences of betrayal?
- What does exclusive relationship mean?
- What is your track record with relationships?
- What is important about this particular person?
- Does this person share your life goals and values?
- Do you have enough patience for a distant relationship?
- Are you entangled (obsessed, addicted or bonded)
to this person?
- Are you attracted to this person - or to what
this person has or represents?
Making the Distance Closer
Perhaps you met online and you live far apart, or maybe once
you were in a relationship and one of you moved. Maintaining a long distance
relationship can be challenging if you and your partner decide to keep your
relationship together while you are apart. It's difficult but not impossible.
Long distance romances can work; and they need extra effort and planning to
manage the distance and time apart.
- Define your relationship ... are you both clear
on the boundaries and goals of your relationship? Although these
conversations may be awkward, they can help prevent heartache and
wasted time. Are you casual friends? Colleagues? An intimate affair?
Exclusively dating? Hope to marry? Or what?
After our session, I asked my (distant)
girlfriend, "How do you hope to benefit from our relationship?"
She was annoyed at first, but I said that I am not telepathic, and I told her my
hopes and dreams ... defining our goals helped us both focus on what we want.
- Communicate often. Communicate your feelings as well as your
knowledge. Tell each other about your successes and failures. Perhaps use Skype
or other internet programs to chat, perhaps with web cameras. E-mail is useful,
although e-mail can increase the risk of misunderstandings. Write love letters
as appropriate. Send small gifts
We talk most days using Skype.
The connection is not always perfect, but its much better than
silence. Sometimes I think that we talk more than if we were
- Do things together. Long distance couples
can benefit from doing other things together besides the Skype or phone calls.
People in relationships share things. You can, for example,
read the same books, walk in nature or watch the same movies more or
less simultaneously, and then compare and contrast your experiences.
Perhaps start hobbies or projects that you can enjoy working on together.
It didn't seem very realistic, but we
followed your ideas about doing things together - apart. It's great! And talking
about how we each did similar things really helps us feel together.
- Know the benefits of a long distance relationship. You can
enjoy more time with friends and/or family, studying or building a
business. Maybe build a nest egg with overtime. You have time to
consider your choices and you can enjoy being physically close
after a long absence.
Since my husband was sent
to Iraq, we found some benefits of long distance relationships
... it's not easy, but it's so important that he continue being a
father to our two sons.
- Be relaxed and flexible. If you both want to be in
a relationship, stick with it. If one of you decides that the other person is
not appropriate—or that someone else is more appropriate—your relationship
changes, whether you live on both sides of the planet or in the same home.
Many times we both thought that we had
no chance. We both had interesting offers from other potential partners. You
showed us that if we can hang in there for one more year, we can survive
anything. We will ask you for
premarital coaching soon!
- Talk about your past and your future together. If you want to be
together, discuss how you're going to get there - show each other that your
relationship is going somewhere and that efforts and frustrations are not
We remind each other of our great times
together, and talk about how we can have more great times. We both research
places that we want to visit, budgets and travel details.
We recently decided to get married on a beach in Hawaii.
- Create relationship standards. Shared values and shared goals
support stronger relationships. Know and compare your values. Can you
accept each other as you are, can you practice trust and honesty, seek
spiritual unity and maintain open communication?
- Be optimistic. Stay positive and focus on the positive aspects
of a long-distance relationship can keep your relationship alive. Use your
personal time for your interests as well as your career. A long distance
dating can help both of you be more creative, communicate better and test (and
express) your feelings.
As long as we see the long-distance phase of our relationship
we can communicate our feelings of security and
happiness to each other.
- Assume positive intentions. Jealousy and drama destroy relationships.
Long distance relationships are difficult. Trust that your partner is trustworthy
until proven otherwise. Avoid interrogating your partner. Don't be naive, but
allow yourself and your partner to have social lives.
Common Concerns of Long Distance Dating
A partner worth having is a partner worth waiting for. If
you share something wonderful then although a long-distance relationship
may not be easy and you'll both cope with loneliness, the reward for waiting
can be worth every lonely second. The deciding factors that can stop a long
distance relationships from reaching successful conclusions are ... the
relationship skills of the partners.
We help motivated adults manage their emotions and improve their
relationship skills. Contact us solve emotional and
Online Couple Coaching,
Counseling & Soulwork Therapy
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