Can long-distance relationships really work?
People can sometimes be pretty dismissive of long-distance relationships. Despite this, they’re very common – especially during the transition from school/college to university, when everyone’s moving from their home towns.
With numerous messaging devices/platforms, it’s easy to keep communication flowing despite being in different cities.
If you’ve met someone and you want to make it work, then it’s worth giving it a go!
But before you do, there are there are some important things to think about (inspired by Hannah Witton’s video below):
Communication is vital in any relationship.
We’re all different. We all have different needs, wants and expectations. Your friends/partners can’t read your mind, just like you can’t read theirs. So, open and honest communication is the way to go.
This is especially important for a long-distance relationship. Firstly, are you on the same page with the very meaning of a long-distance relationship? Something obvious to you may not be obvious to your partner, so communicate your expectations.
Will it be exclusive? Will you both be travelling to see each other? How often are you expecting to see each other?
Once you’re long-distance, remember to keep communicating regularly. Keep your partner involved in your life, stay involved in theirs, even if that means conversations about friends they don’t yet know. Use the many means of communication by texting, snapchatting, video calling, etc. Remember to talk about the bad as well as the good. Keep your partner involved in your life in the way they would be if the distance wasn’t there.
You both need to be completely committed to this type of relationship in order for it to work. Long-distance relationships take time and effort, and some work, and then some more effort.
Trust is necessary for any relationship to work, but it’s especially important for long-distance relationships. There needs to be trust that your partner will live their own life and remain committed to you.
Open and honest communication is a key building block of trust.
4. Create an end point
By end point, we mean abandoning the long-distance part. Knowing when you’ll both be in the same place at the same time does wonders for long-distance relationships.
If that end point is uncertain, as it can be when first moving apart, make sure you have the next meet-up planned instead. Always book something into the calendar so that you have something to look forward to together, even if it’s months in advance.
5. Every relationship is different
As much as advice is helpful, every relationship is different. What works for one long-distance relationship may not work for you, and that’s okay! Look specifically at your own needs and your partner’s needs, and go from there. Plus remember that both of your needs change change over time.
Here’s Hannah Witton with some more handy thoughts: