Sometimes love strikes in the oddest places – so what if you meet someone who lives many miles away, perhaps even on the other side of the globe? EliteSingles asked psychotherapist Hilda Burke for her tips on how to maintain a successful long-term relationship.
1. Quality over quantity
Although some couples may choose to speak to one another every day, there’s no need to stress over keeping in constant contact when you have other commitments. Instead, stick to the mantra ‘quality over quantity’; plan out your call times and really try to stick to them.
“Communication doesn’t need to be every day – that can become quite a pressure, particularly when you are located in different time zones.”
2. Write love letters
Old fashioned? Yes. Out dated? No. Everyone likes receiving something in the mail, and there’s something so romantic about seeing a loved one’s handwriting.
“Letters are a wonderful way to foster intimacy, no matter how close or far from each other you are.”
READ MORE: The 5 habits of a happy couple
3. Really connect
Many couples find the lack of physical touch the hardest thing about sustaining a long distance relationship. And it’s not just the lack of sex – an absence of hugging, kissing and caressing can heavily effect the perception of your closeness as a couple. So compensate for the void. Find a way to really connect as a couple; whether it’s sending photo updates of your day, sharing an online journal, or reading a book together and having book club-esque discussions.
“You can’t just flop in front of telly and zone out, you have to communicate properly with one another – you really need to make an effort to bridge that physical gap.”
4. Plan rendezvous!
When you are spending time together plan your next trip to see one another, so you’ll always have something to look forward to. Hilda thinks it is best to “Try and meet at least once every three months – any longer and it’s just too much time apart.”
“If possible, try to spend longer than a weekend together because this will better reflect the reality of everyday life with your partner.”
5. Be open about future plans
If you’re in a long distance relationship, it’s probably because you can imagine being with that person long-term. So talk about it. Would you like to get married one day? Are you on the same page about whether to have children or not? Are you happy to stay in a long distance relationship for many years or would you like to have a limit to how long you live apart? Don’t shy away from the big questions – planning for your future together is vital to strengthening and making your long distance relationship work.
“In any relationship both parties should have roughly the same goal as to what they want the relationship to be… it’s good to have the comfort of a sense of a shared vision.”
READ MORE: The steps to building a healthy relationship
6. Be spontaneous
Don’t let all the planning take away from the fun – bring spontaneity into the relationship by surprising your partner with flowers, a small gift… or an unplanned visit!
7. Have date nights
Date night doesn’t only have to be whilst you’re physically together. Try setting aside some time to concurrently watch a film together.
“Use the app Letsgaze to make date night easy!”
They say that if a relationship can survive the distance, it can survive anything. So don’t see distance as a drag – your unique situation means you’re building a strong foundation for a sustainable, long-term relationship. So if you’re making it work despite the distance, keep on keeping on!