“I wish you were here right now.”
That one line was it. It was enough to make me want to jump on the next flight to Frankfurt and leave everything behind.
I am sure that if you are in a long-distance relationship or are planning to be in one, you can understand my desperation.
Long-distance relationships can be agonizing. They are hard to imagine and tough to live through. You hardly ever come across anyone who has enjoyed this ordeal.
But it’s not as if you get a choice, do you? When you find someone who connects with you, you always desire to be together no matter the distance.
Life happens, and there are all kinds of obstacles that make you wonder, is it worth it?
I can tell you with the experience that it’s always worth it.
I have had my share of long-distance relationships to sort through, and I made many mistakes. But, you learn through your mistakes. Luckily, here you can learn through mine.
Long-distance relationship problems you can relate to
No relationship comes without its baggage. But long distance can test you as a couple.
“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; It extinguishes the small, it inflames the great” – Roger de Bussy-Rabutin.
If you both can pull it off, it’s a tale to tell your grandkids.
Here are some problems that I faced in my long-distance relationship. If you relate to these, you are not alone.
1. Fear and Insecurity
Long distance relationships are full of uncertainty. And uncertainty brews fear.
You will always fear whether you and your partner are strong enough to stay faithful to each other.
The distance, the time difference, and all the other obstacles will always make you insecure about your relationship.
But it’s all normal and can be overcome with trust and love.
2. Lack of physical intimacy
Most couples fear to discuss the lack of physical intimacy in fear of hurting their partners.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it sure makes the rest of you lonely.” – Charles M. Schulz.
There is no way to fill this gap. But the good thing is that we live in the 21st century, and some modern solutions can somewhat help you both.
3. Problem with Communication
Both too much communication or lack of it can cause problems in a long distance relationship.
Too much communication might make you or your partner crave for some space. Lack of communication can make anyone insecure.
You need to strike the right balance to stay happy.
4. Over possessiveness
One of the common reasons why long distance relationships fail is insecurity.
One partner’s insecurity and lack of trust might cause him or her to become over-possessive. It could cause the other partner to feel suffocated in the relationship.
Like in any normal relationship, over possessiveness could cause havoc and lead to the downfall of your long distance relationship as well.
5. Emotional disconnect
Long distance couples often feel emotionally disconnected from their partners.
Your partner is not with you and cannot imagine the hardships you face, the ordeals you go through with your family, or the pressure you face at work.
This feeling of discontent, coupled with lack of attention and other overwhelming circumstances, often leads you to feel emotionally stressed and disconnected from your partner.
It’s important to discuss and resolve these issues in time.
How to make a long distance relationship work?
Relationships are as complicated as you make them be.
All the relationships, whether regular or long distance come with their own set of obstacles. But how you overcome these obstacles is what counts.
Now that we know the hurdles we face let’s figure out how to make a long distance relationship work for you.
1. Have a goal as a couple
Having a common goal and working towards it as a couple helps you get a feeling of togetherness.
Your goal can be anything from learning to cook, or learning a musical instrument or getting fit. Choose a plan that interests you both and encourage each other to achieve the goal.
2. Maintain a countdown till your next meeting
“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” – Charles Dickens.
Fix a date you will meet next again and have a countdown. Nowadays, several apps can help you maintain a countdown.
Having a countdown assures you that you will meet your partner and reduce your anxiety to some extent.
3. Do things together as a couple
Do things that normal couples would do on weekends, watch movies, listen to music, have dinner, and do it all together.
Well, technology can assist you here. Several apps allow you to watch movies or listen to music together in sync.
4. Surprise each other often
My partner surprised me by celebrating my birthday a thousand miles away. She called some friends over at her place, decorated the house, cooked my favorite food, ordered a cake, and made her friends sing Happy Birthday for me on a video call.
I wasn’t there, and I couldn’t taste the food she made for me. But I loved her for the effort she took for me.
Make some effort and surprise your partners.
5. Connect with each other’s family
It is more subjective and might differ for every couple.
Connecting with your partner’s family can be reassuring in long distance and might give you some more perspective into your partner’s life and make you feel more involved in their life.
It’s better to discuss beforehand with your partner if they are comfortable with you connecting with their family.
6. Set a schedule to call each other
Communication in a long distance relationship can get problematic.
Work pressure, adjusting to a new neighborhood, time difference, and many other factors can make your life overwhelming.
If not planned properly, you might end up without talking to each other for days. You don’t want this to happen.
It’s best to have a fixed schedule to call or video call each other. It can be a daily call or weekly call. You can discuss it with your partner and create a plan that works for both of you.
It also gives you something to look forward to in the future.
7. Diffuse the sexual frustration
The lack of physical intimacy is a serious problem you need to tackle in a long distance relationship.
My first advice to you in this matter is to “Talk dirty.”
If dealt the right way, Sexual yearnings can be the bond that keeps you together throughout your long distance phase.
Keep each other interested by flirting, texting messages with sexual undertones, and using puns.
Nowadays, Creative couples looking to explore more can find a lot of technology that remotely enables you to help your partner with self simulation. Nothing is a bad idea if it helps your relationship.
8. Use creativity to communicate
Discussing your everyday routine might get boring and feel monotonous.
Spice up your conversation every once in a while with a bit of a role-play. It might sound somewhat childish, but it’s enjoyable if both of you are involved in the act.
9. Use snail mail to send letters or gifts
Technology has its perk, but it’s all virtual.
Receiving a handwritten letter or souvenir from your partner living miles apart is something that makes it all real and exciting.
“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart” – Phyllis Theroux.
10. Trust and give each other space
“He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.” – Lao Tzu.
The first big mistake you make in a long distance relationship is not to trust your partner.
The next big mistake that usually follows is not to give each other space.
If you love your partner, you need to trust them. Understand that they have a life apart from your relationship and give them the space to enjoy that part of their life.
Your world as well, should not revolve just around your partner all the time. Give some time to your friends, family, your passion and hobbies as well.
Also read about How to get out of Friendzone
Long distance relationships are not easy; I get it. But they are not impossible.
If you do want to make it work, it will require effort from both of you.
You both can look at it as an opportunity. The obstacles you will face in your Long distance relationship will truly test the strength of your relationship. If you can get through this together, you will end up closer than ever.
In a long distance relationship, you might not always have a solution at hand. Instead of giving up, analyze your problems and find a way to work around them.
Communication is the key to a successful long distance relationship. Empathize with your partner’s problem and trust each other and give each other the space to live by themselves. And most importantly, stay positive.
I am an optimist at heart, so I know that whatever problems you face in your long-distance relationship, you will find a way to love your partner more in the end and be together.