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You’ve met someone who lives far away. You have feelings for each other and may even be considering a long-distance relationship. But how can you know that such relationship is for you and what can you do to make it work?
- Get to know yourself and what you want from a relationship.
- Learn about your partner.
- Check that you and your partner are compatible.
- Check that you and your partner want similar things from a relationship.
- Make a plan to move in together.
In the beginning, it helps to know what you want from a relationship and what it takes to make it work over a distance.
If your relationship becomes serious, will you have the opportunity to move in together?
In any case, it will take a couple of months for you to get to know each other to see if your conversation flows, you characters match and your goals align. If you find the connection, consider spending more time together, to see what it is like in real life.
Until you meet a person, all you have is your idea of how they are based on the information they provide.
After visiting each other for a few months, you may decide to move in and see what it is like living together. Consider it as a few months trial and try to avoid making any long-term commitments. It will give you a peace of mind and an alternative solution in case either of you do not feel good about living together.
However your relationship unfolds, try to have fun and keep it interesting and exciting.
While you will want to do all you can to make your long-distance relationship work, it is equally important to keep it interesting. The moment you or your partner lose interest, you should reassess your relationship.
To make it work, you need to know how long the distance will last and how you will manage your communication and physical intimacy.
1. Get to Know Yourself and What You Want from a Relationship
Before you consider a relationship, get to know yourself as much as you can.
The journey to self-awareness and self-development is a lifelong endeavour. However, to create a healthy relationship, there are a few things you must know about yourself:
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What are your life goals and ambitions?
- What are your values and beliefs?
- What are you looking for in a partner?
- What do you want from a relationship?
When you know what is important for you, you can plan your life around these values. When something is less important, you can be more flexible about it.
Knowing your values and preferences will help you set the boundaries in your relationship. If you are vague in expressing your values to others, it can be harder for them to understand your preferences and respect your boundaries.
In the beginning of a relationship, both partners tend to compromise their values. Compromising is not great as it can give rise to negative feelings, resentment, and conflicts down the line.
To maintain a healthy relationship, each partner should dedicate a certain amount of time to themselves, doing what they love. Hobbies and interests are the very things that bring excitement to one’s life. If you can maintain an exciting personal life, you will have more to share in your relationship.
When it comes to your personal beliefs, having a relationship may challenge these beliefs. Generally, it is a healthy process as it will allow you to see and reflect on your beliefs and choose the ones that contribute to your life and the ones that get in the way of your joy, fulfilment and success.
As long as you have trust and good communication with your partner, they are an ideal person to give you a different perspective on your life, views, and beliefs. This, of course, goes both ways.
Knowing yourself and what you want will help you narrow your search for potential partners.
Imagine you have found your special someone with whom you click. You really enjoy spending time talking online and have fun during your visits. Now, it is time for you to get to know each other better to see if you are ready to take this relationship to another level.
2. Learn About Your Partner
At this point, you should know everything that is important for you and all the things you love doing, so you can share them with your new partner. Now it is time for you to ask different questions to learn more about them.
When you are clear on everything that is important for you and your life, you are in a better position to know the kind of person that can contribute to your life and share your interests and excitement.
- What are your partner’s hobbies and interests?
- What are your partner’s life goals and ambitions?
- What are your partner’s values and beliefs?
- What personal qualities are important for your partner?
- What does your partner want from a relationship?
Maybe you do not need to be forward and direct right away, but these questions can give you a direction for your conversations, so you can find a flow and get to know each other.
To help you along, take a look at this workbook that takes you step by step through different aspects of your communication.
3. Check that You and Your Partner Are Compatible
Thanks to the time and effort you took to understand yourself and your partner, by now you should get a pretty good idea if you have common interests, share similar values, beliefs and want the same from a relationship.
Working through the communication workbook, you would have discussed the most important areas of your life and your relationship.
The clearer you are on your goals, the easier it will be for you to stay on track towards reaching them when you are in a relationship.
When you begin a relationship, it is easy to lose track of your personal life goals. To make your long-distance relationship work, you will need to make some life changes and contribute a part of your time towards building intimacy and connection.
A lack of physical intimacy is one of the main reasons long-distance relationships fail. To help you prepare for it and give you the best shot making it work, this workbook on how to be intimate in a long-distance relationship can potentially save your relationship when everything else fails.
A long-distance relationship has the benefit of having your personal space to yourself, allowing you more time for yourself. Many long-distance couples make a mistake of spending all their free time talking to each other online. This leads to boring and meaningless conversations where one of the partners loose interest in such relationship.
To avoid this mistake, use our step by step guide to improve communication with your partner, so you can build a strong emotional connection and resolve any disagreements in a healthy way.
When you are single, you can dedicate all of your time and effort to your life goals and ambitions. When you start a relationship, you will need to balance the time you spend towards your personal goals and the time to making your relationship work.
It really helps to know your life goals and ambitions when it comes to a relationship. At the same time, you also need to know your partner’s goals and ambitions. Knowing each other’s goals will help you stay on track towards achieving them while supporting each other along the way.
This will encourage your development as individuals. Once you know what your partner wants from life, you can see how you fit in.
If you are unsure about your goals or how to approach this conversation, our guide will take you through setting goals and talking about them, step by step.
4. Check that You and Your Partner Want Similar Things from a Relationship
Long-distance relationships can be challenging to navigate, so it helps to know what you want and expect from your yourself, your partner and your relationship short and long term. Knowing your goals will help you maintain the focus when things will seem overwhelming and confusing.
For example, if you are not looking for a serious relationship, you may not need to have deep conversations about living together and having a family. In this case, you may visit each other occasionally and have fun travelling together.
On the other hand, if you want a more serious relationship and potentially have a family, you need to be honest upfront about it.
If you are looking to have a family, but the other person is not, you may struggle with your relationship, despite having strong feelings for each other. Different ideas about your relationship and the future will inevitably affect the dynamic of your relationship.
Being on the same page is essential to avoid confusion and to manage your expectations. Having open and honest conversations will help you build an understanding, which is essential for a healthy relationship, particularly long-distance.
In summary, to have a healthy relationship, you should know personal and relationship goals for you and your partner. You also need to share them with each other to see if they align.
5. Make a Plan to Move In Together
By this point, you should have a clear idea about what you want from your partner and a relationship.
You have discovered if you have enough things in common to have fun to keep your relationship interesting and exciting.
As your relationship develops and your connection strengthens, you need to set a timeline and make a plan for moving in together. Before closing the distance, make sure to spend enough time getting to know each other online and in person.
To make a new long-distance relationship work, you need to understand that the distance is temporary.
While you can maintain a casual relationship over a distance, a serious relationship implies and being together and sharing your lives.
A successful long-distance relationship can be considered the one that got you through the distance to living together, while making the most of your time apart. To achieve that, effective communication is a must. It helps to stay emotionally connected when physical intimacy is not possible.
If you find yourself growing apart or struggling to maintain emotional connection and understanding, check out our step by step guide.
While considered a luxury, regular visits are essential to develop and maintain physical intimacy. However, it is not only the frequency of your visits, but also how you spend your time together that determines the quality of your relationship. To help you handle the distance in the right way, we have created this step by step guide that addresses the key issue in a long-distance relationship – the distance itself.
Some long-distance couples tend to spend months in a so-called serious relationship, talking about marriage and children without seeing each other.
So, planning your first visit is something you should consider fairly early on.
Dating is for people to get to know each other. So, it is OK to date online and visit each other every few weeks.
It may be that visiting each other every 2-3 months is what both of you want, and that is also OK. The important part is that both of you want and are happy with your arrangement.
Once you have got to know each other, spent time together and decided that you love being together, the next step is to move in for at least a few months to see how you get on.
Living together will give you an opportunity to test your relationship to see if can work long-term.
If marriage is important for both of you, go for it. If you are happy living together, that is also perfectly fine.
If you are serious about making your long-distance relationship work and want all the help you can get to make sure you leave no stone unturned, here is our complete guide that takes you step by step through every aspect of a long-distance relationship.
Make sure you are with the right person
- How do you know if he or she is the right person for you?
- Are they interesting to be with?
- Are you feeling fulfilled by spending time together?
- Do you have common goals, values, and beliefs?
- Do you get on well?
Some questions for you to consider
- What are your personal and cultural beliefs?
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What is very important for you, and what are the things you can be flexible about?
Get to know each other
- Do you have common values?
- Can you understand each other?
- Are you ok with your partner’s beliefs and values? Are they ok with yours?
- Share your personal goals, ideas, values, and beliefs.
- Talk about your relationship
- Consider how your personal goals, values, and beliefs fit with those of your partner.
- How do you contribute to each other’s lives?
- Can this relationship fulfil your goals and contribute to your personal development?
- Do you understand each other?
- Is it easy for you to talk and discuss your opinions, particularly those that are different?
- Are you interested in each other’s point of you?
- Do you want the same type of relationship and the same goals?
- Do you want the same things in life and in a relationship?
- How can you tell if your relationship can work?
- Do you have the same relationship goals?
If you want to raise children together, have a conversation about the future of your relationship. Consider what it would be like to raise your children together.
- Do you agree on your values and believes enough to raise your children in harmony?
- What school are they going to go to?
- What values do you want them to help?
- What kind of upbringing and lifestyle can you see for your children?
If during this process you discover that your goals down the line or your beliefs can get in the way of your relationship, you would have to compromise your values, or you may choose to end this relationship. Take a look at this article to help you decide when to let go of a long-distance relationship.