Long Distance, Now What?

Close up of couple joining two smartphones together with a photo of an attractive man and young woman in love holding a red heart. Love concept

Going long distance can be one of the most dreaded relationship challenges. Growing up, I was often told, “Long distance never works” and “you should just break up because they’ll cheat on you anyways.” Terrifying! These messages kept me from entering relationships that might involve long distances. However, I’m here to tell you that not only can long-distance work, but it can also bring unexpected benefits. Due to my partner’s work, he is relocating out of state for a couple of months at a time. Initially, this was scary and induced a lot of anxiety. How was I going to acclimate without him? Would he cheat? Would I cheat? What did we consider cheating? How would we find time to connect? All these questions and more flooded my mind.

So what happens when you choose to ignore those negative narratives and instead choose your relationship? First things first, all relationships are personal. Only you are the expert on your relationship, and only you can decide if long distance is something you are willing to work at and navigate with your partner. Let’s be real—it will be a struggle. We grow accustomed to one way of living, and change is difficult. However, adaptation is how we have survived as humans, and I believe your relationship can adapt too.

Step 1: Communication

Communication is the foundation of every relationship. It is crucial to define the boundaries of your relationship. Monogamy, polyamory, and open relational dynamics are as unique as each person involved. Do not assume that your partner aligns with what you believe to be true. Be curious and spend time reflecting on what you would consider a boundary violation or cheating. Also, acknowledge what expectations you have for each other. Do you expect daily phone calls? Do you expect cybersex? Be transparent and honest. Unspoken expectations can be relationship killers.

Step 2: Get Creative with Connection

Being long distance does not mean you lose connection. Being apart can create longing, which can increase desire and connection with your partner. With so many platforms available, allow yourselves to be playful and experiment with what feels good for both of you. Send each other memes or funny videos through social media, use FaceTime or Zoom to connect and be intimate, and talk on the phone. You don’t need to be monotonous with your style of communication and connection.

Step 3: Gratitude

This is the perfect time to start a gratitude practice. A gratitude practice can help remind you of what makes your relationship strong, enduring, and fun! It gives you space to recognize your own strengths, passions, and independence. Having a long-distance romantic relationship opens up space for you to reinvest in other relationships in your life, such as family, friends, and your relationship with yourself.

Hope

The goal of this blog is to give you hope that long-distance relationships are not only possible but can also strengthen your bond with your partner, other relationships in your life, and yourself. I have learned to adore my alone time while my partner is away and find joy and admiration in knowing he is thriving in his career. I won’t say it’s always flawless and easy, but it is worth it. You can navigate long distances with communication, creativity, respect, and gratitude.

TL;DR:

  • Communication: Define cheating/boundaries and set expectations.
  • Creativity: Get creative with connection—use FaceTime, send Snapchats, etc.
  • Gratitude: Practice gratitude for yourself, your partner, and your relationship. Recognize and appreciate the other relationships in your life (familial, platonic, etc.).

Long distance can work, and it can bring unexpected rewards. Embrace the challenge, and you might find your relationship growing stronger than ever.  And if you find yourself needing supporot in navigating long-distance relationships, reach out now!

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