Long distance relationships are nothing new, just look at Odysseus and Penelope in the Odyssey! However, technology does offer ways to connect that were not available in the past. These types of relationships can occur in established couples or in the beginning of a new, budding partnership.
Sometimes these relationships even form between two people who have never met face-to-face. However, there are plenty of challenges to making a long-distance relationship work and remain healthy for both people. Before we look at ways that you can help the relationship remain healthy, let’s look at some of the challenges that this type of affair.
Challenges of Long-Distance Relationships
Relationships that have miles between the partners can be difficult for many reasons. There are issues that could potentially make the relationships unhealthy or deteriorate the connection between two people.
Probably the biggest challenge is healthy communication (although this is a potential challenge for any relationship). Communication is important for the success of a relationship, and it is important that we express the way that we feel to the people we care about.
With long distance relationships, it can be hard to find a balance of the right amount of communication that properly displays our feelings, needs, and desires. There are ways that you can improve your communication skills. In fact, you can go to BetterHelp and find a couples counselor qualified to help you grow your relationship and effectively communicate, even if the relationship is long distance.
Jealousy can also be a challenge for long distance affairs. While jealousy is normal, it can also cause some problems. When we aren’t around, we may be jealous of the time that our partner spends with other people. Sometimes, this can lead to possessive behaviors that can spell disaster for a healthy connection.
The lack of physical intimacy can also cause troubles. Physical connection is important for healthy relationships. This is not to say that it is impossible to have a healthy relationship with only occasional physical intimacy, but it does present a challenge that must be overcome.
Trust is also a crucial aspect that contributes to the success or failure of any relationship. When we are not in the same location as our partner, we may not trust that they will be faithful. Even if they are faithful and honest, the lack of trust can cause serious problems.
Since communication is one of the biggest challenges, it is important to address it. These days, we have the ability to communicate with people all around the world at any time. This can be beneficial but can also cause some other issues.
The amount of communication depends on the couple. Some will be healthy with communication nearly all the time. However, others will find that this is too much. It is important that you tell your partner how your feel.
If you grow tired of texting or talking on the phone, try some new communication methods like video calls or letters sent by snail mail. You can even have virtual dates by video chatting and watching a movie together or playing an online game.
Then, you will also want to plan times when you can do things with each other in person. This is crucial and will help you grow your relationship. You should always strive to be a part of one another’s lives when possible.
Sometimes there is a problem in a relationship that is not addressed, and it just gets worse. If there is a misunderstanding or conflict, then it is important to talk about it. Sometimes it can be more difficult to bring up sensitive or important topics to the conversation when you are not with the person face-to-face.
However, it is always important that you do not leave the conflict to stew and fester until it becomes a much larger problem. The way to do this will differ depending on the couple. Some will prefer to bring it up, but to have the more in-depth conversation in-person. Others will want to go ahead and resolve the issue on the phone or video call. Find what works for you.
Being away from the person you love can be hard and it can be easy to focus on the negative aspects of the distance. However, you can change your attitude. Try to be grateful that you are able to talk to them using technology or appreciate the special times you have with them in-person.
You may also have more time available for personal growth or hobbies. This can be beneficial as well and allow you to focus your undivided attention on your partner whenever you do talk to them.
You should also try to respect the reason that you are physically apart from each other. The reason could be a job or career, education, financial struggles, family emergencies, or a number of any other reasons. Respect that reason and allow the relationship to grow despite the distance. Try not to force yourself to be in the same location as them and understand that the situation is what it is for a reason.
If trust is an issue, big or small, do not just leave it to grow into jealous and paranoia. Instead, work on being more trustful and using active listening and assertive communication skills to develop more honest connections. Be open about your separate growth and other activities.
Try to limit secrets or abolish them altogether. Even if something you do seems insignificant, it may blossom into a larger problem if you do not disclose the experience or situation. Try to focus on the things you share and trust about the other person.
Long distance relationships can be hard, but it possible to have a healthy relationship with someone in a different geographical location. However, to do so you have to have trust, honesty, and open communication. You should also strive to see each other in-person whenever possible. Finally, tackle any potential problems before they grow into major issues within the relationship.
Author Marie Miguel’s Biography:
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.