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You find yourself in a long-distance relationship with someone whom you don’t get to see very often. Naturally, you want to know if it is possible to have a healthy long-distance relationship and how can you make it work without seeing each other. So, here is what you need to keep in mind.
- Make sure the distance doesn’t last for too long
- Keep in touch with your feelings and reality
- Check how serious and committed you are to this relationship
- Set clear personal and relationship goals
- Make a realistic plan to be together in a near future
Let’s look at these steps in more detail…
1. Make Sure the Distance Doesn’t Last for too Long
A long-distance relationship without seeing each other can only work for a short while. A long-distance relationship is a period in a relationship during which partners cannot be together for various reasons. Some couples met online, others on holiday, and some were already together but had to separate because of work or some other commitments.
Having a romantic relationship when you are far apart can be complicated, it requires you to know what you want from the relationship, good communication, commitment, and planning.
The longer the long-distance relationship last, the longer you will have to manage to be apart from each other. A long-distance relationship that lasts for a short period is not much of a problem, and you can easily deal with it. But, the longer it lasts, the more effort you and your partner will have to make. Here is an article on how long long-distance relationships should last.
While a long-distance friendship or a casual relationship could work well, a long-distance romantic relationship is a whole different thing. The problem with having a romantic long-distance relationship is two-fold.
On one hand, you usually see your long-distance partner once every couple of weeks or even less often. On the other hand, you’re not open to having sexual relationships with other people, unless you are in an open long-distance relationship.
The only way you can maintain physical closeness in a long-distance relationship is by regularly visiting each other and going on trips together.
However, it’s not easy to let go of someone with whom you are in a relationship. You get used to having this person in your life, and you feel that without them, you will have emptiness in your life.
So, before considering anything else, an obvious piece of advice, which should not be disregarded is that if you haven’t met the person you consider your partner it’s hard to consider this a complete romantic relationship.
You don’t really know who this person is without seeing them and spending at least some amount of time together. You need to meet the person first before considering having a relationship.
If you would like to go deeper into what it take to make a long-distance relationship work, take a look at this complete guide.
2. Keep in Touch with Your Feelings and Reality
The first step is to recognise a long-distance relationship for what it is rather than what you wanted to be. The main challenge in a romantic long-distance relationship is the limited or absence of physical intimacy.
In a romantic relationship, you want to be physically together with your partner, this is a normal expectation. In a long-distance relationship, however, physical closeness is only possible when you get to see each other during your visits.
Here is a workbook for you to improve intimacy in your long-distance relationship.
So, imagine. You would want to know if long-distance relationships are at all possible. And the short answer is that they are possible.
The next question would be. Are healthy long-distance relationships possible?
We answer this question fully in this article, but here is the summary.
To make a long-distance relationship work is one thing, but having a healthy long-distance relationship is completely different.
Many long-distance couples suffer because of physical separation, they constantly miss each other while feeling they are victims of their circumstances.
This poses the next question if such a relationship is worth it at all? Check out this article for all the pros and cons of long-distance relationships.
While every person needs to decide whether or not a relationship is worth the struggle and suffering, we can outline several points that refer to a healthy relationship. So, what does a healthy long-distance relationship look like, and what does it take to have one?
In a nutshell, a healthy relationship contributes to the life and well-being of you and your partner equally.
We could say that a healthy relationship is one you enjoy. Also, it is a relationship that contributes and helps you and your partner achieve your personal and relationship goals. If you would like to learn what it takes to have a healthy long-distance relationship, here is a deep dive.
3. Check How Serious and Committed You Are to This Relationship
An interesting question here is if a relationship where partners have never met can be considered a real relationship? If this is something you would like to explore, take a look at this article.
Generally speaking, a relationship is as real as you make it. If you enjoy talking to someone online and discussing different topics, play games, and talk about your life, this can be a very real and meaningful relationship. But, what about the romantic side of things?
You may consider a romantic relationship as one where you share deep details about yourself and your life with your partner. Perhaps you talk about sexual and sensual topics and are sexually aroused during your conversations. And, if this is satisfying to you at this moment, then all is well.
But let’s be real for a second here. Is it normal for you to expect physical interaction with the person you consider your romantic partner? And, the answer is of course, yes.
In this case, how long can you be fulfilled in a romantic relationship without this physical connection? Because at some point, this physical desire will become strong and significant. And when it does, you will no longer be satisfied with having a romantic relationship without seeing each other.
This leads to a whole lot of problems most long-distance couples face. It is well worth getting acquainted with what they are, so you know what you are dealing with.
At this point, unless you have a viable plan to be together your dissatisfaction will grow, and sexual frustration hopelessness and helplessness will quickly become a part of your relationship. They may also take over the satisfaction, you previously had just by having interesting conversations and sharing your personal life.
The fear of emptiness or attachment can be so intense that some people choose to stay in a relationship, even if they are unhappy.
There is a difference between attachment and a bond. When two people have a bond, it’s a connection with awareness. Attachment is more like being together out of habit. While a bond is strengthened by understanding and connection, attachment makes people stay together out of fear of losing that person.
If both of you want a relationship, then you need to check your resources to make it happen. Then you need to talk about who is going to visit, how often can this happen and if both of you can do it.
Ideally, you should be visiting each other at least once a month. Click here to learn how to make the most of your visits.
Sometimes if the distance is quite far you might not be able to do so. In this case, it is more important to remain emotionally connected, but you should aim to meet at least once a month.
Consider if this is a serious relationship or if it is a relationship you want to be serious in the future so that you can discuss moving in together or moving into the same city so that you can be closer to each other
Many couples try to make a long-distance relationship work. But it’s more important to have a healthy relationship than putting effort into something that makes you miserable. If you would like to see how healthy your long-distance relationship really is, have a look at this workbook.
4. Set Clear Personal and Relationship Goals
Knowing exactly what you want for your personal life will make things easier when deciding if being in a long-distance relationship is for you. When you are honest about what you want for yourself, then you can clearly see if what you want aligns with what you want from a relationship, either a long-distance or normal relationship.
The most important part is that you and your partner have clear and common relationship goals if you are to make your long-distance relationship work. You can take some time and go as slow or as fast as you want in your relationship, but both of you need to aim for the same things in your relationship. Then, both of you are working towards the same future together.
You and your partner should have similar goals when it comes to a relationship. So, take some time to talk about your goals and expectations from this long-distance relationship and your relationship as a whole. These goals should include the place where you would like to live, and whether or not you want to have children.
As well as the lifestyle and values you would like your children to have. You can then discuss your personal goals to see if this relationship would help each of you achieve these goals or whether you are expected to make sacrifices.
Once you are clear on your goals it is time to see how you and your partner can achieve them. In other words, are your goals realistic, achievable and attainable?
You may very well discover that you want something that you cannot see a way to get it right away. In this case, avoid making conclusions and allow some time to brainstorm ideas to see if you can make things work. So the takeaway here is being realistic but not limiting.
Here is a guide to help you set personal and relationship goals together with your partner.
The next step is to make a solid plan and a timeline of how and when you will achieve these goals.
5. Make a Realistic Plan to Be Together in a Near Future
Now you might be asking, how can you have a healthy romantic long-distance relationship without seeing each other. A simple answer is that you can have a healthy long-distance relationship as long as you have a realistic plan to be together.
First of all, you should at least meet the person to consider the other person as your partner. You’d be surprised how many long-distance couples haven’t even met in real life. You might even be one of them…
While making a plan you may encounter some obstacles, and that’s okay. As long as you have trust and effective communication you should be able to discuss the challenges you face.
In a productive, healthy and respectful way, making a plan can also help you realise what your goals are and if they are realistic and achievable, or if they’re more like dreams that you consider unattainable.
If you don’t know how to approach your partner about making a plan, this workbook will make it easy for you.
Being in a romantic relationship without seeing your partner is very hard and can only work for a short while. Make sure you consider the following:
- Be clear on what you want from this relationship
- Stay emotionally connected
- Set realistic expectations
- Assess your time and resources
- Establish how often you can visit each other
- If you haven’t met for the first time your first step is to meet
- Set a timeframe for your long-distance relationship how long will you need to make it work without seeing each other
If you’re trying to make a long-distance relationship work without seeing each other, take a moment to reflect on where you are with satisfaction and fulfilment.
Have you reached a point where you are unfulfilled because the physical desire is stronger? Do you have sexual frustration and an overall feeling of dissatisfaction? If you haven’t reached that point and you’re happy with conversations then it is great.
However, if you find yourself struggling and suffering because there is no way you can be physically together despite your strong need to, maybe it’s time to reconsider your relationship. It doesn’t mean that you have to break up. What it means is that you need a reality check. If you have developed a degree of trust while enjoying talking to each other, that is a definition of a good friendship.
So, if you are limited by your circumstances and resources to be physically together or at least close to each other may be an option of a healthy friendship is more interesting. In an option of a toxic romantic relationship.
At the same time, having a solid plan to be together, shows that you are very serious about this relationship, and are completely committed to making it work. In this case, the success of your long-distance relationship depends on your ability to manage the distance, and how it affects your relationship.
You can check out this article about intimacy in a long-distance relationship if you would like to learn more about it.
In summary, there are several things you can do to feel more intimate with your long-distance partner. You can have romantic dates or a video call that include anything from playing naughty games though having virtual sex, masturbating, having a bath at the same time, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you maintain a long-distance relationship?
To maintain a long-distance relationship you need trust and effective communication to maintain intimacy, stay emotionally connected and solve relationship problems. You also need to have a goal of closing the distance and a realistic plan to achieve it.
How often should a long-distance couple see each other?
In long-distance relationship, you would want to see each other at least once every two weeks. As a rule of thumb, the longer your long-distance relationship last the more frequently you need to see each other in real life. Likewise, if you have a specific date for moving in together in a not so distant future, you can allow more time between your visits knowing that this is only a temporary situation.
Can a relationship last without seeing each other?
Without seeing each other, your relationship can last for a short while. You can maintain a healthy long-distance relationship as long as you recognise that it is only temporary and you have a clear and realistic plan to move in together. Trying to make a long-distance relationship last for months on end without a clear direction, can bring a lot of suffering into your lives.
Can long-distance relationship work without meeting?
A long-distance relationship without meeting is not a serious romantic relationship. Without ever seeing another person, you’ll end up in the relationship with an idea of someone rather than with an actual person. For example, you may have a relationship with someone because you enjoy your conversations and whatever you do online. Such relationship, however is more like an online friendship and should not be confused with a romantic relationship, particularly a serious one.
How do you know if your long-distance relationship is serious?
You know your long-distance relationship is serious if you have a goal of moving in together and a realistic plan to achieve it. If you are serious about your relationship you also must be able to visit each other at least once every two weeks. Like any other relationship, to make it work, a long-distance relationship requires a certain amount of effort and resources aside from dedication, commitment and willingness.
Who should visit whom in a long-distance relationship?
In a long-distance relationship, ideally you and your partner would visit each other. Often, circumstances make it easier for one partner to visit another more easily. So, it really depends on your individual circumstances. As long as you have an understanding and an agreement of why one of you is visiting more, you should be just fine.
How long is too long for a long-distance relationship?
Having a long-distance relationship that lasts more than a year is generally too long. This is particularly true for couples who have never met and those who cannot visit each other once every 2 weeks. Of course, this is only a generalisation and as long as you can maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, the duration of it is up to you.
What makes long-distance relationships fail?
Long-distance relationships fail when couples see such relationships as in an ongoing commitment. So, first of all, you should recognise that a long-distance relationship is a temporary situation meant to last until you can be together. Long-distance relationships also fail when partners don’t have effective communication and don’t know how to handle the distance. This can be learned and improved. The one thing that can break a relationship without the possibility of fixing it is losing romantic feelings and drifting apart.
How Healthy Is Your Long-Distance Relationship?
If you are having doubts about your long-distance relationship and are not sure if you should try to fix it or let it go, here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.
Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.
However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book an individual coaching session for yourself or a couples coaching session for you and your partner.