From The Straits Times    |
6 survival tips for couples in a long-distance relationship

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Whether it’s career, family or simply travel, sometimes life gets in the way and separates us from our partner. Whatever the situation, a long distance relationship (LDR) is a tough ride to embark on.

Many people try an LDR and sadly, end the relationship during their time apart because they find it too difficult. This is sadly a common outcome for many LDRs. However, there are also many cases of couples who have stayed strong for many years living miles apart and even living in different time zones.

If you’re in a long distance relationship or you’re having to consider it for your own future, fret not. Distance does not mean your relationship is doomed to fail. In fact, it could strengthen your connection more so than you’d ever get have if you lived close to each other.

To make sure you survive, nay, thrive, in your LDR – follow these experienced tips:


1. Always say goodnight and good morning via texts

It sounds strange, but keeping up ‘normal’ relationship etiquette can cement your relationship during an LDR. Always ensure you text (or call, if you can) to wish each other a goodnight and good morning before you go to sleep, and when you wake up.

This is particularly vital for those who live in different timezones.

Waking up to his goodnight text, or knowing he goes to bed and wakes up to your good morning texts, will keep you both feeling like you’re there for each other and help add that familiar ‘normality’ to your relationship.


2. Try a video call daily, if not every other day

This is tricky if you’re in different timezones. You could be eight hours ahead or behind of your loved one, meaning that you’re waking up as they are just going to bed. You both need to focus on work during the day and of course, you both want to relax after work too.

So when, or how, do you carve out quality time to video call?

Video calls play such an important factor for your LDR staying strong. You can easily negate each other’s existence and even forget each other’s importance when you don’t visually see each other for a while. So this is the next best thing. 

Discuss the best time to video call to suit both timetables. Maybe it’s over meals – lunch breaks and dinner? Try to find a time where, for at least 30 minutes, you two can give each other one’s full attention.

It will secure the connection you both have and keep that familiar feeling you both have when being around each other.


3. Manage your own insecurities or jealousy when apart

This is a biggie, the jealousy or paranoia that comes with an LDR. Being away from your loved one is so hard on your emotions in general, but particularly spikes when it comes to issues about trust or cheating.

Even if you 110 per cent trust your partner, it will cross your mind at some point that there might be another woman catching his eye, or vice versa.

The best way to deal with this is head on but calmly. If you have emotional tendencies, try not to have outbursts with your partner and instead rationalise with yourself first. Then, you can talk to your partner and just explain your thoughts.

Chances are he’ll laugh and calm you down immediately, or talk you through it so you forget how you were even feeling before.



4. Plan regular trips to see each other

This is a basic, but, it can be overlooked particularly when work or other matters sweep you along and it becomes hard to take time out. However, committing to planned trips (regular or even intermittent trips) for your future will tie you two together.

It gives you both something to work towards, short term, and you can both get excited making plans for when you are next together again. Even if it’s a long weekend or just seven days – it’ll be worth it.


5. Appreciate your own free time and learn to enjoy it

Given that you’re in love and your partner is not within arm’s reach, you can easily wind up feeling lonely, miserable and fixated on this absence every day, spending every waking hour checking your phone for contact with your soulmate.

This is fine, to a certain extent, but ensure you’re making yourself happy and maximising your time on your own. Whether you’re doing fitness lessons, learning a new hobby or just settling down with a good book on the sofa (or binge-watching Netflix, natch), you need to relish your solo time.

Don’t make his existence, or do we say absence, the key part of your day-to-day life. In fact, you can see this LDR as a positive! It frees up time to explore what you enjoy, what you love, what makes you happy, and that’ll give you more to talk about the next time he calls.


6. Embrace sexting

We don’t mean you need to send full on nudes to each other all day, every day (although if you do there’s no judgement here). Sexting can just be words – naughty words – that get each other excited.

Why is this important? In an LDR, the physical and sexual aspect of your relationship is limited, if not non-existent. Such physical attention is a really important part of a couple’s lives and it shouldn’t be brushed aside simply because it’s physically impossible to achieve.

You can keep the sparkle there by sexting each other or even naughty video calls together during the periods where you’re separated. Not only does it keep you both feeling connected to the other, it also builds up the sexual excitement so that when you next see each other again, it feels like the honeymoon phase.