praying with phone

We live in a time where it seems like it would be easier to do long distance dating. We have the ability to text, FaceTime and instant message our loved ones instantly. We can check in on them through a quick look at their status update. You can feel so close to a person, even when they’re far away. While technology can make things easier, there are a number of other things you can do to strengthen your relationship when you’re living in separate places, or have trouble being close to your partner. There are also things you can do to help your relationship grow significantly when you’re far apart. Here are six ways to make long distance relationships work for you.

Be vulnerable with your partner and honest about weaknesses.

Dating someone who is far from you isn’t easy. That’s why it’s important that you’re honest about what you’re feeling. Are you feeling anxious, nervous or concerned about the future? If so, that’s normal. Opening up to a partner can make us feel vulnerable and exposed, but it is the most important ingredient of a trusting, healthy relationship. For a relationship to be balanced, partners must be able to depend on one another and feel that they are needed and appreciated for the support they give. While vulnerability is often seen as a weakness, it’s actually a strength. On top of being vulnerable, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself about your weaknesses. When you play off your weakness as just harmless things that happen, you’re more likely to easily write off excuses for further indiscretions. Nobody says that relationships are easy. They take a lot of work but if you push through all the hardships and turmoil, then you can find ways to emotionally communicate better with your partner.

Don’t rely solely on technology.

Being able to connect through FaceTime, social media and text are all ways that have made it easier to stay in real-time contact with each other. While it’s great to keep the lines of contact open, there’s also value in having things around you to remind you of your partner. This may be a special sweatshirt or teddy bear you were gifted. It may even be a souvenir gathered during a date you once had together. These are wonderful reminders of their presence that will make you feel closer to them.

Avoid toxic conversations and situations.

When it comes to any important decision, make it a point to think about whether it’s good for your relationship. When you’re in a long distance relationship, you don’t have the person you love right there with you so you have to make the important calls by yourself. You should always avoid situations that could be toxic and harmful because this can leave the relationship irreconcilably damaged. If you stop and think about it, the answer will generally come intuitively. This may come down to how much time two important points: whether it will make things stressful between you, or if it involves people who in some way threaten your relationship (texting or chatting with your ex is a great example of this). If you don’t even want to ask this question, that’s a red flag.

Watch a series together and check in each week.

When you’re far from each other, it’s impossible to do physical activities together. However, you can do them together, but separately. This is when Netflix and Hulu really come in handy. You don’t have to be together to catch a new series and talk all about it. Pick a series to watch together and check in each week about the show. This is a great way to learn what makes the person you’re dating laugh, cry or simply get emotional. It’s also a great way to stay connected. Make sure you both are watching at the same time so nobody is pacing too far ahead.

Discuss the future.

The beauty of a long distance relationship is that you spend a lot of time communicating from afar. Likely, your hopes and dreams come up quite often. You should address the future when you have a good sense that things are progressing in your relationship. The closer you get with the person you’re with, the more imperative it becomes to talk about where you want things to go. This is a conversation you don’t need to force. Instead, let it happen naturally. You should know your partner’s desires – if they want to stay in the same career, if they want to be a renter or an owner, if they want children. The more effortlessly you can allow information to come out as part of your normal conversation, the less pressure your partner will feel.

Know each other’s desires.

You know you’ve found a good partner when they want to do everything they can to help you fulfill your desires, even when you’re far away from each other. Knowing your partner’s hopes for the relationship will not only help you discover where your partner wants the relationship to go, but also what has most affected your partner’s life thus far. What happens in our past has a major impact on our future. Discover what your partner wishes for the two of you. Is it to be closer to each other? Is it to maintain a solid friend? Find out where they see things going in the relationship. You may be surprised by their answers and where some of these wishes have the potential to take you two together.

Doing these things will lay the foundation for a solid long distance relationship. If you’re already doing these things, your relationship is probably on the right track. Being able to effectively communicate with your partner is everything. Whether you’re asking each other simple questions about the past or understanding each other’s goals, having healthy conversation when you’re apart will bring you closer in the long run. The more you practice these things, the more your relationship will flourish.

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