Physical distance can be an enormous challenge for many couples who long to be together but for one reason or another must live in separate cities, states, or in some extreme cases, even separate countries. Dating is hard enough as it is but when you add physical distance to the mix, a whole new set of challenges tends to creep up. Long distance dating is not for everyone. It requires a great deal of patience and a realization that the odds for long-term success are not always favorable. Only you can decide whether or not long distance dating is right for you but if you do choose to give it a shot, improve your chances of success by reviewing the list of doís and doníts below.
- Be sure to establish a mutual agreement - It is extremely important for both partners to know exactly what they are getting themselves into. Decide early on whether this relationship will be strictly casual or if you hope to eventually develop something more intimate with your partner. If either of you plans on seeing other people, that needs to be disclosed as well. Whatever agreement you and your long distance partner might come to, be sure that it is realistic so that you can help to avoid future disappointments.
- Keep the lines of communication open - open, honest and frequent communication is a big part of any relationship but is even more crucial when there is a great distance involved. Communicate as frequently as possible with your partner and make it a point to be available when you say that you will be.
- Send care packages - when it isnít possible to be physically close to one another, make an effort to remind your partner of how much he/she means to you by putting together and sending a care package. Maybe you can bake some homemade cookies and send it to your sweetie along with a greeting card or use what you know about your partner to show how thoughtful you are by sending a box of something that appeals to his/her unique interests. If sending out a whole box of something isnít possible, you can keep it simple by creating and sending out your own greeting card that expresses your feelings. The point is to give your partner an unexpected surprise that will let him/her know how much you care.
- Schedule visits as frequently as possible - obviously financial considerations and time limitations will play a big part in determining how often you and your long distance partner will be able to see each other but in order for the relationship to flourish, it is important that you both try your best to make frequent visits a top priority. You should also think about who will be doing most of the traveling and how the traveling expenses will be divided so that it is fair and balanced.
- Take advantage of technology - technological advances have made it easier than ever for long distance couples to interact with one another even when they are miles and miles apart. If you canít physically see each other, get the next best thing by setting up a Skype account so that you can enjoy video calls with your partner. You can also make use of technology by sending text messages, emails or using instant messaging services.
- Feed jealousy - if you or your partner is uncomfortable with something, it is important that you discuss and resolve it as quickly as possible. Jealousy is one of the biggest challenges that long distance couples face and should therefore be addressed immediately in order to prevent it from getting out of hand.
- Uproot and move in together too quickly - when you are dating somebody who lives far away, it can often be tempting to rush things so that you can be in closer physical proximity but this is where a lot of long distance couples go wrong. Spend a reasonable amount of time doing the long distance dating thing and getting to know each other before making any drastic, life-changing decisions that you might end up regretting later on.
- Bottle up feelings - holding things in will only allow them to fester and probably become even more intense. Make sure to express your feelings to your partner and to encourage him/her to do the same with you.
- Give more than you get or vice versa - be sure to keep things equal in your relationship. If you are giving more than you are getting in terms of emotional support, traveling expenses or anything of the sort, you might want to re-evaluate the stability of your long distance relationship. The same applies even if you are the one getting more than you give. Relationships are about balance so if you cannot keep it equal then chances are that you wonít be able to keep it going for very long either.