Talk About Long-Term Goals & Expectations

It’s important to think of the future and ensure that you and your partner’s vision and expectations for your relationship align. Have conversations about what you both want for the future of the relationship, including how long you plan on being long distance. When you communicate about each other’s goals and expectations for your relationship, you will feel more connected and have a stronger foundation for your relationship to continue to grow and thrive both during and after long distance.

For more information about communicating your goals and expectations for your relationship, check out our video!

Share Feelings & Overcome Conflict Over the Phone

An important part of thriving during long distance is to learn how to adapt to communicating in a new way. Because you may not see each other in person very often, it is crucial to be able to share your feelings and be vulnerable over the phone. When you are having serious conversations and bringing up challenging topics, try not to do so over text, as it is much easier for your words and intentions to get lost in translation. Instead, schedule a time to talk over the phone or video chat when having these conversations.

By being intentional and addressing you and your partner’s emotions – both the fears and joy – you can build intimacy and overcome challenges, which will build a strong foundation for your relationship to grow and thrive!

To learn more about communicating and overcoming conflict over the phone, watch our video!

Find Things You Can Do Together, While Apart

It is important to find ways to spend time together while you are apart to continue to build and strengthen your relationship. Although you are not physically together, there are many great ways to spend time together and create shared experiences from afar. Here are some things that you and your partner can do to build connection and spend time together during long distance:

  • Watch a movie or TV series together. You can do this by watching the same thing while on a video call. There are also apps and websites such as Rabbit, which allow you to watch a movie or TV series with another person through the app/website. This is a great way to share your interests and stay connected with your partner!
  • Read the same book. If you both like to read, you can take turns choosing a book to read at the same time. As you read, you and your partner can have conversations about the book you are reading, which can help you feel more connected and have fun while apart!
  • Plan a video chat date night! A great way to spend time together during long distance is to plan date nights over video chat, such as FaceTime or Skype.
  • Find online games you both like to play. If you and your partner enjoy video or computer games, a great way to spend time together and feel more connected is by playing multiplayer games together, while talking on the phone.
  • Listen to music together. Another way you and your partner can connect and spend time together during long distance is to share your favorite music with each other. You can create playlists for one another to listen to, helping you learn more about your partner and feel closer to one another.

We encourage you to try out some of these suggestions or to find other shared interests and activities that you can do together while you are apart!

Plan Visits Ahead of Time

Planning trips/visits ahead of time whenever possible is essential in long distance relationships. While you can continue to build connection and intimacy while you are apart, it is important to make sure that you are planning time to be together in person. Knowing when you will see each other in person again also gives you something to look forward to while you are apart. It can feel reassuring and comforting to know that you have a day on your calendar where you will see your partner again!

For more information about planning visits and other activities that allow you and your partner to spend quality time together, while apart, check out our video!

Trust and Be Trustworthy

Trust is key to thriving in a long-distance relationship. Though it may feel more challenging when you are apart, trusting your partner will not only strengthen your relationship, but it will also help you feel more at peace. Practice honesty and transparency to foster trust in your relationship. Talk to one another about your friends and family and keep each other updated about what’s happening in your lives. Be sure to communicate your fears, joys, failures, and successes; let each other in and be willing to be vulnerable. It’s much easier to trust and be trusted when you are open and honest with one another.

For more tips on how to trust and be trustworthy during long distance, watch our video!

Communicate Creatively

Technology is great for communication, especially in long-distance relationships, but we encourage you to get creative with your communication instead of solely relying on technology!

Try some of the following ideas:

  • Write a love letter and send it via mail.
  • Send a care package with your partner’s favorite snacks, a card, and a picture of you two together.
  • Deliver flowers.
  • Send them a book that you can both read at the same time.

By using one of the ideas above or a creative idea of your own, you are showing your partner that they are loved and valued. This will also foster increased gratitude, intimacy, and affection in your relationship.

Quality Communication

Long distance relationships rely on quality communication. Because you are not able to see each other as often as you would when living closer together, it is important to set aside time to talk. Though texting is a quick and easy way to stay connected with your partner throughout the day, we encourage you to spend time calling or video chatting for more quality communication that fosters intimacy and connection. When you are talking with your partner, be sure to try your best to stay in the present moment and make the most of your time together.

An important part of communicating effectively during long distance is setting realistic expectations about how frequently you will talk. If you both have very busy schedules or if you must work around a time difference, you may not be able to talk as often. However, it is still important to set aside times where you both know you will be available to ensure that your communication does not fall to the wayside.

Keep in mind that quality communication does not mean you always need to have serious conversations. It may look like video calling while you cook dinner or watch the same movie. Sometimes, just being connected while doing simple tasks that you would normally do together can help you feel closer and build intimacy.

Quality communication may also look different for each couple. A good rule to follow is to communicate as much or as little as you need to feel connected. Some couples may need to talk every day, while others may feel more comfortable with less frequent communication. Talk to your partner and figure out what works best for both of you to feel like your needs are being met in the relationship.

Some little things you can do to promote connection and communication in your long distance relationship include sending one another messages of gratitude, sending “good morning” and “good night” texts, and texting each other things you love about one another.

To learn more about communicating effectively during long distance relationships, watch our video!

Set Ground Rules

When entering into a long distance relationship, it is important to communicate your expectations and needs to one another. This will ensure that you are both on the same page and will help you avoid miscommunication about what your relationship will look like during long distance. It will also help you and your partner create an open line of communication to discuss what is working or what may need to change throughout your time as a long distance couple. Some questions you may ask yourselves may be:

  • How often will you communicate and what does that communication look like?
  • How often will you call/video chat?
  • When will you visit one another?
  • How long do you expect long distance to last?
  • What are your expectations for your relationship after long distance?
  • How will we handle arguments or other challenges during long distance?

Once you have communicated your expectations and needs to one another, set ground rules to help you manage these expectations and needs and maintain a healthy relationship. This may look like planning visits that you both can look forward to or setting aside certain times of the day where you call one another. It is also important to remember that your expectations and needs may change over time, so it is important to be flexible and communicate regularly about what is/isn’t working.

Check out our video about managing expectations during long distance relationships!

Change Your Perspective

While long distance can feel daunting, it is important to remember that your perspective and attitude can greatly impact how you and your partner approach and navigate this new phase of your relationship. It is normal and okay to feel scared and worried about what long distance will look like and mean for your relationship. Recognize and honor these feelings but don’t let them define how you handle long distance.

We encourage you to shift your perspective and view long distance as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship and grow closer with your partner. When you look at long distance as something that can lead to a healthier and happier relationship, you will feel more motivated to do the work necessary for your relationship to thrive. Maintaining a more positive outlook will also help you overcome and grow stronger through the challenges you face.

Check out our video about changing your perspective and putting a positive spin on long distance!

Long Distance Relationships Thrival Guide

Many couples find themselves in long distance relationships because of career shifts, job opportunities, continued education, and other life circumstances. It can be challenging to navigate and maintain a healthy relationship during long distance, whether it’s only for a few months or for several years. However, there is hope. Relationships can not only survive during long distance – they can thrive!

Long distance creates an opportunity to strengthen your relationship by focusing on communicating effectively, taking one another’s needs into consideration, and making important decisions about your future as a couple. We have created a Long Distance Relationships Thrival Guide with tips to help you strengthen your relationship and create a deeper connection with your partner during long distance. Stay tuned throughout the rest of this week and next week to learn how your relationship can thrive during long distance!