Long distance relationships have always been a reality. While earlier it was caused more often by professional or educational aspirations, in these days of internet romance long distance relationships have become all too common. However the speed with which couples embark on such a relationship is often matched by how quickly it falls apart. If you don’t wish the same thing to happen to you, here are a few tips on how to save a long distance relationship from a breakup.
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Set the parameters
If you have just getting to know someone located in another city or if your partner is moving to a new place, it might be useful to establish the parameters of your long distance relationship early on. Some issues which you could discuss are whether you are just “seeing each other” or if is it alright to refer to your partner as your boyfriend/girlfriend. Also clarify whether this is an exclusive relationship or you are allowed to date other people. Addressing these points might seem awkward initially but down the line it will not only help you both to be clear about mutual expectations but also prevent you from falling prey to insecurities and anxieties.
Explore all possible means of communication
Every relationship needs effective communication to thrive but when couples are separated by physical distance, it becomes necessary for the very survival of a relationship. While traditional means of communication like letters, cards and phone calls are always welcome, get tech-savvy and instantly connected to your partner by online chatting, VoIP programs and Skype for the visual connection. These days the latest advances in technology have ensured that you can even have online ‘dates’ and ‘dinners’ with your long distance partner. Your conversations need not always be about how much you are missing each other. Just enquiring about your partner’s day or sharing tid-bits from your own life will help you both to remain connected to each other on a regular basis. Over time this kind of interaction will become second nature to you both and in the process keep the lines of communication open should you need to discuss more important issues.
Give each other some space
While the latest technological marvels have ensured that you can view your long distance partner’s face at the touch of a button, breathing down their neck all the time can in turn get counter-productive. It is perfectly alright ask your partner about his plans for Saturday night. But once you start calling him up on the said evening and checking whether he is actually with the people he said he’ll be with, your partner is likely to miffed by your interference and even upset at the implication that you don’t trust them to tell the truth – all the right ingredients for an impending breakup. Rather let your partner know that while you enjoy hearing from them and keeping in touch, you are mature enough to let them live their own life too. This will not only prevent you from appearing insecure and clingy but in fact keep your partner interested in the relationship.
Go the extra mile
Literally so. While frequent airline travel or road trips to your partner’s town might get expensive, there is no substitute for the real warmth of your loved one’s touch. However If you need to watch your pennies at the same time, agree to take turns to fly down or meet somewhere half-way. Face to face meetings will not only make the physical separation seem worth the while but more importantly give you and your partner an opportunity to thrash out a lot of issues which may have been bothering you.
Address major differences
A common reason for breakup in case of long distance relationships is lack of trust and suspicion regarding the other person’s commitment. If you feel your long distance relationship is getting bogged down by these issues, then plan to talk to your partner. It could be over the phone or by email but Instead of launching into angry words and dramatic accusations, use a calm tone of voice while addressing your concerns. Also avoid using feelings and emotions as justification for your insecurities and fears, rather state in clear words what has given you cause for worry like perhaps a female voice in the background when you called him at two in the morning or a co-worker who claimed to have seen your partner with someone in intimate circumstances at a nightclub. After your partner offers his/her side of the story, put an end to the matter then and there. Picking on the same issue again and again will not only get you nowhere, it will more likely distance your partner even further. All you can do is to ask your partner to tell you the truth – whether you trust them to tell the truth is another matter altogether.
Avoid breaking up long distance
If you believe that your partner is lying and that you have certain proof of their infidelity, you might be tempted to put an end to your long distance relationship rightaway. However breaking up long distance is not really the wisest thing to do under such circumstances. Not only there is a fair chance that you are not seeing things clearly or your partner’s side of the story, but breaking up over the phone or email will not give you the proper closure that you need in order to move on. Instead if you believe things are really that serious, then try and arrange a meeting with your partner. This need not be an excuse to patch up but rather a way to put forward as clearly and rationally as possible why you believe that this can no longer go on.
Look at the bright side
Finally, adopt a positive attitude where your relationship is concerned. It is best to accept from the very beginning that a long distance relationship comes with its own challenges – you might miss being together on some special occasions or the nights might seem too long and lonely every now and then. But try looking at the plus points and use this occasion to learn new skills or pursue new interests which you may not have been able to do had you been living with your partner. Best of all your unique circumstance will prevent you both from taking each other for granted and help you relish every moment of togetherness with a zest you never knew before.