How to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work

How to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work

To make your long-distance relationship work you should know what it is and what it involves. The following steps will teach you how to approach your relationship the right way, addressing the main aspects of a long-distance relationship.

  1. Be Clear on What Is a Long-Distance Relationship
  2. Aim for a Healthy Long-Distance Relationship
  3. Reflect on How the Distance Affects Your Relationship
  4. Set Boundaries and Expectations
  5. Set Goals, Make a Plan and Create a Timeline
  6. Improve Communication and Discuss Your Issues
  7. Build Intimacy to Stay Connected
  8. Develop Trust to Maintain a Healthy Long-Distance Relationship
  9. Bring Fun and Excitement into Your Long-Distance Relationship
  10. Get Professional Help from a Relationship Coach

Long-distance couples try hard to make their relationship work. Many, see the distance as an inconvenience. And, when you see it that way, your relationship becomes a struggle.

It is much easier to make your long-distance relationship work when you know how to handle the distance and can make the most of your time together.

Distance can be an opportunity to have a romantic relationship, while having the time to do the things you enjoy. You can use this time to work on your life goals, ambitions and personal development.

In this article, we will explore the problems that come with being in a long-distance relationship and how you can handle them the right way. We will also take a look at different ways you can improve your long-distance relationship.

These steps will help you move away from suffering the distance in your relationship and towards creating a meaningful connection with your partner.

Let’s have a look at each of these steps in more detail…

1. Be Clear on What Is a Long-Distance Relationship

A long-distance relationship is a romantic relationship where partners are separated by geographical distance. It can work for new couples who are starting a new relationship online or for existing couples who have to be apart for some time.

Long-distance relationships work best for a short while, the longer they last, the harder they are to maintain. The two main reasons are the lack of physical intimacy and poor communication.

A romantic relationship involves sexual intimacy. In long-distance relationships, couples may go for weeks or months without seeing each other. A lack of physical intimacy leads to sexual frustration. After some time, this frustration negatively affects your relationship.

The hardest part of a long-distance relationship is being away from your partner. Most of the time, it is due to circumstances rather than out of choice. It is not easy to maintain a healthy relationship without physical affection, the comfort of physical touch, a kiss or a hug. 

Normally, physical closeness with your loved one would help you feel safe, calm, and content. It can be hard to navigate your relationship without the physical feedback from your partner that would tell you how they really feel.

Poor communication is another major reason for long-distance relationships to fail. When you do not express yourself clearly to your partner, it leaves room for misunderstanding and confusion. They cause unnecessary arguments and fights that may eventually ruin your relationship.

One significant difference is the way you communicate. To make your long-distance relationship work, it’s worth learning how to share your feelings with your partner in the right way.

In a long-distance relationship you can’t see your partner’s body language, nor can you touch them. So, you rely on good communication to maintain understanding and emotional connection.

Here’s an article to help you better understand what is a long-distance relationship and what it is not. Once you realise what means to be in a relationship with someone who is not physically present, you can foresee the possible problems and find the best solutions together with your partner.

Recognise a long-distance relationship for what it is, not for what you want it to be.

2. Aim for a Healthy Long-Distance Relationship

Long-distance relationships are great for starting a relationship online or maintaining a connection with your current partner.

However, they work differently from a regular relationship and if you don’t know how to handle the distance, it can bring you a lot of suffering, and potentially destroying your relationship.

If you would like to take a deeper dive into what makes a healthy long-distance relationship, we have an article just for you.

To maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, consider the following:

  • Set your personal and relationship goals
  • Make a plan
  • Create a timeline.
  • Choosing the right partner
  • Decide what type of relationship you want
  • Having common relationship goals
  • Understanding
  • Excitement
  • Boundaries
  • Expectations
  • Agree with your partner that you want the same thing out of this relationship.
  • Discuss what’s not working with your partner, and if you choose to end your long-distance relationship, you can still be friends and be in touch.
  • If your long-distance relationship does not work, you can end it without negative feelings or arguments.
  • Always try to find a way that works for both you and your partner.

If you would like to know how healthy your relationship really is, check out this workbook. This guide will take you and your partner step by step through each aspect of a long-distance relationship. You will discover the areas of your relationship that need your attention, so you can work them out and enjoy being together.

3. Reflect on How the Distance Affects Your Relationship

Long-distance couples tend to blame the distance for all their problems. The distance can strain your relationship, making it hard to remain emotionally connected. Sometimes, you may feel helpless and it may seem that all you can do is wait.

It is hard to understand how someone feels without seeing them in front of you. If your relationship is not working, the same problems might be there, regardless the distance. In fact, some couples may even have more problems living together.

While the distance can complicate your relationship, the problem may be due to the difference in your personalities, preferences, beliefs or values.

To manage your long-distance relationship, it helps to know how the distance affects your relationship and how you can handle it the right way.

In this article, we discuss whether or not distance is good for a relationship and under what circumstances.

Being away from your romantic partner for long periods is challenging. When someone you love is so far away, is almost guarantees you feeling sad, lonely and frustrated.

This guide will help you and your partner discuss your relationship and identify how the distance affects your relationship. In the process, you will also learn how to handle the distance the right way, so you can enjoy your relationship, even when you are apart.

4. Set Boundaries and Expectations

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries relies on your awareness of what is important for you and what you can be flexible about.

These are essentially values and preferences where values are deeply significant, while preferences can be more flexible.

Follow these steps to set the boundaries in your long-distance relationship:

  1. Identify your values and preferences.
  2. Share them with your partner.
  3. Take time to learn what is important for your partner and what are their preferences.
  4. Check that you have heard and understood each other.
  5. Consider each other’s values, needs and preferences when discussing various aspects of your relationship.

To create boundaries in a long-distance relationship, you must know yourself well enough and have good communication to express yourselves and hear each other out. This is the only way to build understanding and create a healthy relationship with mutual respect and care for each other.

Setting Expectations

If you want to make your relationship work, you should know how to manage your hopes and expectations.
To have a successful relationship, set specific goals, make a plan and create a timeline.

When you are getting to know someone, you may be tempted to be liked and try to please them. However, it could be better to be honest and show your true self from the very beginning of your relationship.

If you are starting a long-distance relationship and would like to get to know someone online, this article will tell you all you need to consider.

If your potential partner is comfortable and happy with who you are, you have a chance to have a healthy and happy relationship.

Whether you are starting a long-distance relationship or are in one, make a list of things you expect from your partner and this relationship.

Spend some time thinking about what you want from this relationship and share your expectations from each other and your relationship.

Here is how you can set and reflect on your expectations:

  1. Set your personal and relationship goals.
  2. Make a plan to achieve these goals.
  3. Understand what is a long-distance relationship and what it involves.
  4. Set realistic expectations.
  5. Only make promises you know you can keep and will be happy to do so.
  6. Write down your reasons for being committed to this long-distance relationship.
  7. Discuss common problems of being in a long-distance relationship and how you will handle them.

Expectations are based on goals.

Expectation is a combination of objective goals and subjective feelings. Once you have a goal, reflect on how you feel about this goal and what it would mean for you to achieve it.

Tell your partner: ‘Here is what I expect from you and this relationship’.
Ask your partner:’What do you expect from me and our relationship?’

5. Set Goals, Make a Plan and Create a Timeline

Set Your Personal and Relationship Goals

So far, you have learnt what is a long-distance relationship and have set your boundaries and expectations. Now it is time to set your goals.

Why are goals important for a long-distance relationship?
Without specific goals, you may end up in a perpetual struggle without seeing a way out.

For you to have a chance at making your long-distance relationship work, you need to be very clear on your personal goals and your relationship goals.

Personal Goals

Your personal goals could include:

  • Focusing on your study or work.
  • Doing exercises to keep fit.
  • Keeping up with your hobbies.
  • Hang around with your friends.
  • Spend some time with your family.

Relationship Goals

When it comes to setting relationship goals, it is best to talk about them with your partner to make sure you are on the same page.

Often, one partner has no plans and nothing to do. As a result, they can become needy and clingy. Not only can this be very annoying, but it may also negatively impact your relationship. It would help if your partner were to have goals of their own.

When it comes to setting goals for your long-distance relationship, consider the following:

  • How long will your long-distance relationship last?
  • When will you be able to move in together?
  • Who is going to move?
  • What it will be like when you live together?

If you need more understanding about why goals are important for a long-distance relationship, we discuss it in depth in this article.

Take some time to think about what is important for you to achieve and set your goals accordingly.

If you are serious about your relationship, you should set a moving in date to be together.

If you need some help setting personal and relationship goals for you, your partner and your relationship, our guide will take you step by step on how to do it and what to consider.

Once you have set clear personal and relationship goals for you and your partner, you need a plan to achieve them.

Make a Plan

Having goals without a plan is like having a destination without directions. Navigating a long-distance relationship without a clear idea of how to make it work, will pose many obstacles.

Always make plans together with your partner after you hear each other out. Making a plan together with your partner will give you a chance to agree on what is realistic and possible for both of you.

Approach it objectively, considering your feelings, but not being driven by emotions. Try to make a plan where everyone’s needs are met, without anyone having to sacrifice.

When making a plan, consider the following:

  • How are you going to communicate
  • How often will you talk to each other
  • How often will you be able to visit each other
  • Who is going to visit and when
  • Agree on how often you speak with your long-distance partner
  • Agree on how often you will visit your long-distance partner.
  • Make a plan for managing your long-distance relationship when you are apart
  • Agree with your partner how much you communicate and how often you visit each other
  • How long your long-distance relationship will last and how you will manage it until moving in together
  • Prepare a strategy to handle the problems so that you can avoid unnecessary fights and arguments

If you are in a serious romantic long-distance relationship:

  • Agree on how and when you will move in together
  • Discuss how living together after a long-distance relationship will work for you and your partner

If you do not have a moving in date, you will feel like this separation lasts forever and after some time, you may start feeling depressed and anxious.
Stress and uncertainty can put an extra pressure on your relationship and turn it into a struggle.

A plan will give your relationship grounding and help you feel reassured that you are on track with your goals. It will also help you manage emotional distance and a lack of physical intimacy when you are apart.

Many couples struggle to make a good plan that actually works. We have created this guide that walks you and your partner step by step and makes planning a breeze.

Create a Timeline

If a goal is your destination, a plan is your navigation; then a timeline is a schedule of stops along the way and a date of your arrival.

A realistic timeline is an essential part of a good and effective plan. It will help you keep track of your relationship goals.

A timeline solidifies your goals and plans. With many uncertainties in a long-distance relationship, a timeline can reassure you that your relationship is headed in the right direction

If your goal is to move in together, your plan would revolve around making your long-distance relationship work until then while keeping it healthy and exciting.
In this case, a timeline would include specific dates for your visits and a moving in date.

In this article, we talk in more detail about making a timeline for your long-distance relationship.

6. Improve Communication and Discuss Your Issues

To have good communication with your long-distance partner, consider the following:

  • Your preferred means of communication
  • Days and times when both of you are available
  • Frequency and duration of your conversations

You know you are with the right person when you conversations flow, you don’t need to explain yourself many times over, and you know what the other person means.

Without continuous improvement, communication can become a big problem in your long-distance relationship.

Without physical contact, and without seeing your partner in front of you, you cannot see their body language. As a result, you can not observe their behaviour and miss out on many clues that could tell you how they feel.

It is also easy to misinterpret somebody’s words without seeing their facial expressions and body language. Misinterpretations lead to confusion and cause unnecessary arguments.

Now, suppose you don’t have exceptional communication to prevent these arguments. What are the chances you will be able to work them out?

You may have clear goals, a solid plan, and a realistic timeline for your long-distance relationship. But even then, if you don’t have an understanding with your partner, it will be tough to navigate the rough waters of a long-distance relationship.

Understanding depends on two things:

  1. Being with the right person
  2. Having effective communication

In a long-distance relationship you spend a lot of time away from your partner. During these times, you are alone with your thoughts. And, if you have any doubts or insecurities, they may expand in your mind, before you even get a chance to discuss them with your partner.

Effective communication is essential for you to feel comfortable to express yourself freely to your partner. Since it is such a big part of a healthy relationship, we have a whole article dedicated to communication in a long-distance relationship.

Let’s say, you want to enjoy sharing your lives with those you care about and understand the true meaning of love in a relationship. To do that, you need to learn to communicate effectively, so you and your partner can understand each other better.

Here are the steps to build effective communication with your long-distance partner:

  1. Make a list of your feelings, needs and what you want. 
  2. Next time you discuss your relationship with your partner, share this list with your partner. 
  3. Then, take the time to hear your partner. 
  4. Make notes on what they want and what is essential to your partner. 
  5. Look at all your notes together with your partner. 
  6. Assess what you want and what is possible.

Effective communication will help you:

  • Understand each other, your relationship and your situation.
  • Recognise how much you care about yourself, your partner and your relationship.
  • If you understand and care enough, the next step is to be willing to do something about it.
  • Work out your personal differences and preferences.
  • Work on your communication to maintain an emotional connection and to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.
  • Figure out what you can do to help yourself, your partner or your relationship.

In a long-term relationship, when the disagreement takes place, your honesty and ability to express yourself clearly will help you identify your point view on the situation and understand your partner’s perspective.

This will allow you to enjoy harmony and love in your relationship.

By the way, if you find yourself in a situation where you love your partner and want to make your long-distance relationship work, but facing some issues and don’t know what to do, don’t give up just yet. Here is a workbook to help you improve your communication and address your issues together.

If you have burning issues you need to solve right away, send us a message.
We will find a way for you to have clarity about your relationship and handle your problems with love and compassion.

7. Build Intimacy to Stay Connected

Physical intimacy is part of a romantic relationship
So, when you are away from your partner for long periods, intimacy can become an issue.

  • Be your own person.
  • Find out what’s important for you and your partner.
  • Create a meaningful connection with your partner.
  • Visit each other regularly

Let’s have a look at each of these in more detail. If you would like to learn more about intimacy in a long-distance relationship along with common issues, feel free to come back and check out this article.

Be Your Own Person

To be yourself is to know who you are, your values, beliefs and preferences. A relationship is a union of two people, two individuals. You chose your partner because there is something special about them. So, you wanted them to be part of your life. 

Out of the whole world, they also chose you, because you are unique. Your life’s experiences, values and beliefs, how you deal with problems and how you treat others, define your personality. These are the things that make you unique.

As soon as you find a partner, you forget who you are and what you want. After some time, the relationship becomes boring. In the first few months, you learn all there is to know about each other.

For the rest of your relationship, you think there is not anything else to learn, and your partner may feel the same. So, if neither of you develop, your relationship won’t either. 

Continuing your self-development will encourage your personal growth and will make your relationship more exciting.

Find out What’s Important for You and Your Long-Distance Partner

We all have individual preferences. Things essential to us may seem trivial to others, and vice versa. Therefore, it can go a long way to let your partner know what’s important to you and consider what’s important to them.

Don’t expect your partner to guess what you want and how you want it. Instead, try this approach:

  • Make a list of things you want in your relationship.
  • Apply a scale of importance from 0 to 10 to each item.
  • At the top, are the things you want, no matter what.
  • At the bottom, are the aspects of your relationship with which you can be flexible.
  • Know what is important to you and how much.

Often, relationships become saturated with compromise, and you wonder if it’s even worth it.

Create a Meaningful Connection with Your Long-Distance Partner

When you have been in a long-distance relationship for a while, your conversations may become boring. Unless you find the way to spice things up, you will soon lose interest and risk drifting apart.

You may think you know all that there is to know about your partner. It may seem like there’s nothing else you can learn about them. Spice up your relationship and make it more interesting with some activities that can help you get to know your partner more deeply.

These activities can help you build an emotional connection and make your relationship more exciting.

We experience life through feelings. An important thing to remember is that our feelings change all the time. Our environment, thoughts and circumstances influence them.

Many people find it hard to express how they feel. To express yourself clearly you need to have an emotional vocabulary.

Without sharing how you feel, having an emotional connection with your partner is next to impossible, especially in a long-distance relationship.

Next time you talk to your partner, ask them how they are feeling at that moment. 

You may hear something like ‘ok’, ‘not bad’, ‘fine’ etc. If you hear that, it’s a sign that your partner may not know how or are uncomfortable expressing their feelings. 

Learn to talk about your feelings!

Here is an article to help you improve communication with your long-distance partner.

Visit Each Other Regularly

Schedule regular visits to maintain physical intimacy while you are in a long-distance relationship.

Let’s say you have excellent communication with your long-distance partner, and you are able to work out your problems. You have developed an understanding that allowed you to make common goals and a solid plan to achieve them. You also have an exact timeline, so you know what is going to happen and when.

It sounds like your long-distance relationship is on track to success, right? Well, almost.

There’s something else… This one thing can really put your relationship to the test. What is the biggest challenge in a long-distance relationship, arguments, drifting apart, losing feelings, developing feelings for someone else?

These are all very common problems in long-distance relationships. But, you can work out most of them with understanding, trust, and effective communication.

The one thing that will push your relationship to the limit is the lack of physical intimacy. So, Why is it such a big deal?

When you are romantically involved with another person, you expect to be physically close to them. You expect to see your partner, feel them, spend time together, experience and share sexual intimacy.

When you are apart for long periods, the only time you get to be physically close is when you visit each other.

Now, if you have time and money to visit each other as often as you’d like, the distance is not a big deal. However, many couples don’t have the luxury of visiting each other regularly and as a result, have a severe lack of physical intimacy in an otherwise comforting romantic relationship.

Here is an article that talks about different way you can make the most of your visits.

Usually, if you have a relationship with another person without physical intimacy, you would call it friendship, right?

In a long-distance relationship, that’s pretty much how it is. Yet, couples continue to call it a romantic relationship. Why? Because they love each other and want to be together.

The only way to make your long-distance relationship work in terms of physical intimacy is to visit each other as much as you can, have a clear goal of moving in together and avoid the distance lasting a long time.

If you want to see each other more frequently but are feeling powerless to do anything about it, this workbook will give you a different perspective on your relationship. It will also help you build intimacy and make the most of your visits and learn to manage your relationship when you are apart.

Agree on how often you will visit each other, while planning your conversations and activities.

Ideally, you would be able to visit your long-distance relationship partner as often as you’d like.
Regular visits allow you to maintain physical connection and have a healthy romantic relationship even if you are spending some time apart.

However, many couples do not have the time, money or opportunity to visit each other often enough. So, not seeing each other often enough will lead to sexual frustration, lack of physical intimacy, and eventually, your relationship may start falling apart.

Physical touch is a basic human need that is very important to us. However, the degree of importance varies from person to person. Physical intimacy gives the reassurance that you are connected.

Ideally, you may need this reassurance every day, but it may still be ok for you to be intimate say once a week. If this is the case, it is normal to feel distant from your partner if you don’t get to touch them for more than a week.

Try this activity to get started:

  • Recognise the importance of physical intimacy for yourself and your partner.
  • Apply the scale of importance from 0 to 10 to your preference. 
  • Ask your partner to do the same, and compare your findings. 

If your needs for physical intimacy are different, it can affect your relationship, so have a chat about it.

If you are struggling with intimacy in your long-distance relationship, this step by step guide is for you.

8. Develop Trust to Maintain a Healthy Long-Distance Relationship

To develop trust in a relationship, it helps to know what trust is.
We could say that trust is a belief that something will happen a certain. In a relationship, it is a belief that your partner will do what they say they would.

Trust is built from previous experiences. In other words, you can develop the trust that your partner will do things a certain way because this is what they have done in the past. This is why cheating for the first time in an exclusive relationship breaks the trust that partners would only be intimate with one another.

While trust is usually built on past experiences, some people may chose to trust their partners completely from the very beginning. This perhaps is not the best way to go about, particularly in online relationships.

A healthy way to build trust is in small steps. Begin with something that does not mean much to you and build slowly to trusting your partner with more significant things and information.

A point of caution!

Since trust is merely a predictable behaviour, it does not automatically mean a healthy relationship.

For example, your partner may consistently behave in an unhealthy way. So, by staying with them, with time you begin to trust in that behaviour, even if it is an unhealthy one. This would make your relationship unhealthy, even though you trust your partner.

A healthy relationship relies on trust in a healthy behaviour.

Here are some tips to help you developing a healthy trust:

  • To maintain trust share your feelings openly and honestly with your long-distance partner.
  • Take time to hear your partners feelings, doubts, and concerns without judging them.
  • Always make your decisions together.
  • If your feelings change, or you drift apart, discuss this change before making any unilateral decisions.
  • If you need some space to reassess your long-distance relationship, agree on having a week without talking or seeing each other to reflect on how you feel and what you want.

If you need to address trust issues in your long-distance relationship, this workbook will help you and your partner do just that. You will be taken step by step to have an opportunity to bring up difficult conversations and address your concerns.

9. Bring Fun and Excitement into Your Long-Distance Relationship

We create romantic relationships to bring something special into our lives. A special someone can fulfil our life in many ways.

How amazing is it to have a person with whom you can share your intimate thoughts, doubts, struggles, and joy?

But what if something goes wrong? What if the distance gets too much to handle?
Long phone calls, for example, lead to excessive communication and boring conversations.

The moment your communication becomes dull and monotonous, a healthy relationship becomes so much harder to maintain. Many long-distance couples focus on the struggles of being in a long-distance relationship.

In reality, a long-distance relationship has a lot of benefits. You get to share your life experience, thoughts and feelings with another person who cares for you. And at the same time, you get a lot of time to spend on the things that are important for you personally.

So apart for the lack of physical closeness, it is a win-win. But closeness is still a problem. So how do you deal with it?

I should mention that there are two types of intimacy: physical intimacy and emotional intimacy.

Physical intimacy involves physical connection, touching, looking into each other’s eyes and having a sexual experience. These things can only be fulfilled when you’re physically together.

So we could say that to maintain physical intimacy, you need to visit each other regularly and occasionally go on different trips to explore the world together.

To maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, you also need to maintain emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy is the feeling of being emotionally connected.

Effective communication and understanding is one way to maintain an emotional connection by having meaningful conversations.
But, you can also spend time together while playing online games, having virtual dates, engaging in relationship building activities and exchanging romantic gifts.

You can consider spicing up your long-distance interaction and trying some fun activities you can do while in a long-distance relationship, check out this workbook.

Fun and excitement is essential to make your long-distance relationship work. Here are some ideas to spice up your long-distance relationship:

  • Talk about feelings and make necessary arrangement for virtual sex, regular visits and an open long-distance relationship if it comes to it.
  • With effective communication, you can maintain an emotional connection.
  • Regular visits will help you with physical intimacy
  • Specific goals, detailed plan and a realistic timeline, will reassure you that the distance will not last forever.
  • Relationship-building activities, fun games, and romantic gifts will help you keep your long-distance relationship more engaging, fun and exciting.

Try to implement these into your relationship. You might be pleasantly surprised just how much your long-distance relationship will change as a result.

If you would like to to be taken step by step through this process, here is a workbook for you.

10. Get Professional Help from a Relationship Coach

Usually one partner is seeking help with their relationship. One of the first questions we ask: ‘Is your partner willing to work with you to resolve the issues?’

Provided both partners are willing to put the time and effort to improve their relationship, online coaching is the perfect way to get their relationship on track. This is particularly helpful for couples in a long-distance relationship.

Couples who have disagreements and conflicts find it difficult to find a solution by themselves.

When it comes to coaching couples, we remain impartial, unbiased and open to fully understand each partner’s point of view. We achieve this by having individual sessions with each partner before having a joint session with everyone involved.

If you would like professional help with your long-distance relationship, here are our coaching options for couples and individuals. We also have sex and intimacy coaching if this is something you feel you would like to work on.

Coaching helps to break the cycle of defensive behaviour and unwillingness to hear each other.

This allows us to recognise the feelings and needs as well as thoughts and doubts of each person and find the most amicable solution that works for everyone. 

Through this process each partner can be heard and understood. Partners also get a chance to understand their partner’s point of view.

If you and your partner are serious about making your long-distance relationship work, but would like to do it in your own time, our complete step by step guide is what you need.

Conclusion

A long-distance relationship works differently from a regular relationship.

Sometimes, you may resolve your issues by talking about them openly and honestly. Imagine you are trying to help another couple in the same situation.

A popular belief is that long-distance relationships are really hard, and almost impossible to make them work. And, of course, if you don’t know how to handle them, it can bring you a lot of suffering.

If you are struggling in your relationship, it may be time to decide if you want to suck it up and stick it out, make your long-distance relationship work or let it go and move on.

A long-distance relationship can be an opportunity to be romantically involved with another person while having a lot of personal time and space to do the things you enjoy.

That said, long-distance relationships do indeed have some challenges. The biggest challenge is a lack of physical intimacy that can lead to sexual frustration and put extra strain on your relationship.

A long-distance relationship is challenging for most people. But, as we have seen, it does not have to be. Following the steps above, you no longer have to just ‘make it work’, you can make it fun.

You can see the long-distance as a source of your struggles or take it as an opportunity to reflect on your relationship and your personal development.

When you focus on trying to make your long-distance relationship work, soon enough it will become work.

Knowing your own feelings, needs, and preferences will bring depth to your personality.
Sharing them with your partner will help you create a meaningful connection. This will bring understanding to your relationship.

Long-distance couples tend to see the distance as a source of all their problems.
While the distance changes the dynamic in a relationship, some problems are related to partners being incompatible in some ways.

You can do all you can to make your long-distance relationship work. But, if it does not work, you should talk about it with your partner and if it comes to it, separate on good terms.

It can be a difficult decision to make, particularly with all the emotional turmoil. To help you make the decision without regretting it later on, consider getting a few sessions of relationship coaching.

Should you decide to end your relationship, you now have the tools to talk about it and separate on good terms.

Long-distance couples face many problems. But if you know what they are, you can prepare for them. You can fix many problems with long-distance relationships through trust and effective communication.

If you found this article helpful, share it with others who need some guidance in their long-distance relationships.

If you are serious about making your long-distance relationship work and want a more hands on approach, our complete step by step guide is for you.

Main takeaways

  • Apply effective communication to maintain the connection with your partner.
  • An open and honest conversation can reassure you that your relationship is going great.
  • Knowing that you can express exactly how you feel, gives you a sense of security.
  • Get clear on what you want and what your partner wants for yourselves as individuals and for your relationship.
  • Use the 3 steps above to build trust and freely express how you feel and what you want.
  • Make a plan that meets your individual needs and sets you on the right path to a healthy long-term relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do long-distance relationships work?

Long-distance relationships work for people who meet online and want to get to know each other better. They also work for couples who are relocating and have to be apart for some time. In any case, it’s better if you can make it a short phase in your relationship.

How to make long-distance relationships work online?

To make a long-distance relationship work online, you need to have clear, open, and honest communication. It’s only possible if you work on improving your communication. You also need a clear plan on how to manage your relationship long-distance and a strategy to fix problems when they come around.

How to make long-distance relationships work in college?

Long-distance relationships can be hard to maintain while in college. You can try to make it work, but more often than not, it will keep you away from enjoying your college life.

How to make a long term long-distance relationship work?

Long-distance relationships are not meant to last for a long time. A romantic relationship implies physical intimacy. In a long-distance relationship, you only see your partner once every few weeks or once a month. Lack of physical intimacy can lead to sexual frustration and negatively impact your relationship and your overall well-being.

How to make a long-distance relationship work again?

If you already had a long-distance relationship that didn’t work, stop and ask yourself why. Sometimes, emotions take over, and it’s hard to say this situation for what it is. Having some time away from a relationship will allow you to see it from a different perspective. Once you can identify what didn’t work in your previous long-distance relationship, you can learn from it and do better next time.

How long can a romantic relationship last without physical intimacy?

Every person has a different need for sexual intimacy. If you are in a long-distance relationship, you may need physical intimacy more than your long-distance partner. In this case, it will be harder for you to cope with being away from them for a long time. The healthy way to deal with it is to talk about your feelings and needs with your partner. Together, you can find a way forward that works for both of you.

How to build a relationship?

We form a relationship with a person because we like them; we feel good when being around them. We like people similar to us.
At the beginning of the relationship, everything seems beautiful, we feel butterflies; we are full of love. Holding hands, we dream about the perfect future together and how we will build it exactly the way we want it.
Then, we make the biggest mistake that will most likely ruin our relationship. This mistake can manifest after a few weeks, or it may take years if you are determined to make it last.
We unknowingly idealised our partner and ‘expect’ them to remain the same way for years to come.

Do relationships change over time?

Partners that have been together for a while evolve at different rates. In some cases, these two people differ from how they were at the beginning. But the expectation that they are still the same person as before remains.
When our expectations are unfulfilled, they leave us feeling lost and confused. The worst part is that they worry us, but without the awareness of that ‘expectation’ we won’t understand why we are feeling this way.
Something just does not feel right. Unawareness turns little annoyances into grievances and resentment. The relationship is strained further by our daily routine, everyday chores and arguments. Our partner is not as he/she used to be.
Our inherent expectation that our partner’s behaviour will remain the same forever, will only lead us to unhappiness and disappointment.

How do you overcome disappointment in a relationship?

On our first dates, we put a lot of thought and effort to be the best we can be, even to the point of becoming somebody else. All that just to be liked and loved by that special someone. We call this period of extra effort – falling in love, floating in the clouds, the honeymoon phase.
While it can be fun, this behaviour is not sustainable in the long term. Before long, it turns out to be too much, both people show their true colours as they feel more comfortable with each other. Suddenly the expectations are not met, arguments ensue, and resentment takes over passion.
We wonder if this is what we have signed up for. All we want is for everything to be ok again and we wait and hope that somehow things will get back to how they were.

How do you build a healthy relationship?

Remain yourself in any situation. You attract people who will like you for who you are and not for who you are trying to be. If you are making this extra effort, it shows that you are not happy with the way you are. In a romantic relationship, it may feel like ‘you are not enough’ for one another.
Reassess your expectations of yourself, your partner and your relationship. Face with the possibility that you are expecting love and harmony forever.
Share your discoveries with each other, communication and honesty are key.

How to become emotionally strong?

Get to know yourself better
Spend some time alone and explore your goals and desires and be honest with yourself.
Learn to enjoy our own company
We tend to wait for someone special to bring the best of us and love us unconditionally.
In fact, all it means is that we can’t be bothered (or don’t know how) to manage ourselves and want somebody else to do it for us. Be honest with yourself.
Trust yourself
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed, lost, confused and afraid. If you recognise any of these feelings, it means you are already in touch with your inner-self.
It is time to learn to manage these emotions (more on this in another article). By acknowledging your feelings, you are opening a channel of communication to your inner-self.

Why is it hard to make a long-distance relationship work?

The main reason long-distance relationships are hard is because couples approach them as a complete romantic relationship. However, without physical intimacy, a romantic relationship is incomplete. Some long-distance couples never see each other in real life while consider themselves in a serious monogamous relationship. However, a serious romantic relationship involves living together, relying on each other and sharing everyday experiences while getting to know each other better.

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