Long distance relationship becomes more common these days. Some couples got to know each other in the same city, but they were forced to live miles apart due to various reasons such as job relocation, study abroad and etc.
Although we can talk to each other every day by phone or skype, it is still different from seeing each other in person and being able to hold hands.
I have seen a lot of couples get married after years of long distance relationship. However, I have also seen couples who couldn’t make long distance relationship work and broke up eventually. There are a few common problems:
1. Fear Of Being Cheated On
“I am worried that he’ll fall for another girl!” Or “I am scared that she’ll cheat on me, and I can’t stop it!”
It is totally normal to feel this way when you and your boyfriend/girlfriend are staying far away from each other. Just like the old saying “out of sight, out of mind”.
It is not enough to keep the spark alive in a relationship by just calling/emailing each other. Each party in the long distance relationship has his/her own social circle. Most of the time, they hang out with their respective friends and friend’s friends and colleagues without their girlfriend/boyfriend around.
This increases the chances of your boyfriend / girlfriend falling for other people. This is also one of the top reasons why long distance relationships fail.
There are a few ways to reduce the possibility of infidelity.
Let your boyfriend/girlfriend know that you trust him/her and give them complete freedom to do whatever they like to do.
One of my friends used to be in a long distance relationship. She demanded her boyfriend to stay at home after school to Skype with her and not go out drinking and partying with his buddies.
Because of this, her boyfriend tried to think of all kinds of excuse to go out partying. We humans have a tendency to fight back when we feel being controlled and restricted.
So, controlling your partner will eventually backfire. That is why we do the opposite, we give our partner space and freedom. Now, the responsibility and choice is in your boyfriend/girlfriend’s hands.
It is not you trying to prevent them from cheating, but it is them who decide whether they want to risk their relationship by being unfaithful.
It also helps to have regular communication with your boyfriend/girlfriend, so you know what is going on in their life and show that you care about them.
This way, you will always be on your partner’s mind. It is also important to have transparency in your relationship. You share with each other how your day is and what you do during the day. It builds trust and strengthens the bond between couples.
It also means that other people will not have much opportunity to get in between you and your boyfriend/girlfriend.
Make sure that both of you change your Facebook relationship status to in a relationship and make it visible to everyone. It not only gives your partner a sense of security, but also reduce the possibility of other interested party to hit on you or your partner.
On top of that, the risk of being caught cheating by mutual friends can stop either party to think twice about cheating.
2. Not Sure About The Future
Sometimes, when you and your boyfriend/girlfriend are living apart without knowing exactly when you two will reunite in the same city. This uncertainty breeds insecurity and hopelessness. It is easy for either of you to feel like giving up on the relationship.
If you have been in a long distance relationship, you must understand how much more efforts you need to put in to keep the relationship alive. It is not just phone calls. It is not just driving hours across cities to see her/him. It is much more than that.
If there is no certainty about when you two will be together again, it just makes you feel discouraged to want to work so hard for the relationship.
I know one couple who just got married after 8 years of long distance relationship. They broke up many times in those 8 years, but they finally made it.
The boyfriend showed us thousands of flight ticket stubs on their Facebook. It is evidence of how hard they worked for what they believed is real and worth fighting for.
Another one of my readers told me her story. She got to know her boyfriend through a mutual friend. Her boyfriend lives in another country.
Her boyfriend has been asking her to move over to be with him for years. She also wanted to be with her boyfriend very badly and tried very hard to find a job there but to no avail. So, she had no choice but to stay where she is.
Over the years, she grew less and less enthusiastic about moving over because her life is here and all her friends are here. If she moves over to his country, she has to start all over again. The same goes for the guy. It became very clear to her that there is no future with him. They broke up in the end.
For a long distance relationship to work, we need to have a plan to get back together in the same place. Without it, it is just a matter of time that either party will give up on trying.
3. Uninteresting Conversation Between Couples
You find it impossible for you and your partner to run out of topics to talk about because you two could talk to each other all night long when you just started dating each other.
However, when all you do with your partner is talking on Skype or on the phone( which is typical of a long distance relationship), you will find very soon that you two will have less things to say to each other. It is always the same topics every day. The conversation gets shorter and shorter, from hours on the first few days to less than 10 minutes months later.
Don’t worry. It is normal that conversations get boring. But, the good news is that you can do something about it. Boredom is a choice.
You can choose to continue the boring conversation day after day. You can also choose to spice things up, such as joking with your boyfriend/girlfriend, flirting with them, teaching them something over the phone or Skype and etc.
4. Longing For Boyfriend/Girlfriend To Be Here With You
Even though you try to talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend every day, it cannot replace physical touch. We yearn the feeling that we get when we actually hug and kiss each other.
Especially if we are going through some tough times, we need more than just words of comfort and hope. We need our loved ones by our side and hold our hands and tell us that everything will be okay.
Do you ever miss your partner when you have no one to dine with after work or come home to an empty room or see other loving couples around you?
It is this loneliness that makes long distance relationship more challenging. If we can find ways to pass time faster, we won’t be able to have so much time getting caught up in this loneliness feeling.
Loneliness is also one of the top reasons for either partner to go stray. To maintain a healthy and lasting long distance relationship,we need to minimize the possibility.
There are a few tips for you:(1) Occupy yourself with enjoyable activities, so you will feel time pass faster;(2) Try to engage in time limited activities. Do you notice that time goes by fast when you are sitting for an exam or you have very little time for a big project?
5.Fights And Arguments
It is normal for couples to have fights and heated arguments. I always have a rule with my husband that we will solve our disagreements and make peace with each other before we go to sleep. For us, we know that if we sweep our problem under the carpet and let it accumulate, it will only come back and haunt us in the future.
For couples in a long distance relationship, it is even harder because one party can just hang up the phone or sign out of Skype without solving the conflict. If you think back for a moment, you can realize that quite a lot of the fights and arguments are useless and meaningless.
Sometimes, it is just one party feeling too frustrated by the long distance. One of my friends used to fight a lot with her boyfriend for no real reasons. When she talks on the phone or text her boyfriend, she doesn’t feel as understood as in a face to face conversation. She was feeling frustrated because her boyfriend didn’t seem to understand what she really meant so they fought a lot.
Communication between couples plays a very important role when it comes to stopping fights and clarifying conflicts.
As soon as problem arises, we should try our best to talk it out and solve it before we end the conversation. A few tips for couples who have fights regularly:
- Your boyfriend/girlfriend is not your enemy.
- No matter whom wins the argument, there is no winner if you both want a healthy and lasting relationship.
- To avoid escalating the conflicts, we should always look at things from your boyfriend/girlfriend’s perspective.