Getting the chance to study abroad is a great opportunity, but it can be taxing on your relationships. Luckily, modern technology effortlessly bridges the distance between long-distance couples. If you follow these tips, you’ve got a good chance that your relationship will go the distance.
Plan Your Visits
One of the cool things about having a partner far away is that you have a reason to visit a nice foreign place together. Look out for airline sales and plan if you’re on a budget. You can also make a list of places that are reserved for visiting with your partner.
“Take some time with your partner and negotiate how often and what modality you want to use to connect,” said Catalina Lawsin, PhD.
Trust Each Other
Trust is essential in any relationship, but more so with long distance. You have to face the fact that you both will be interacting with many different people throughout the day, so you just have to trust that the other person won’t do anything inappropriate. Being stressed about not seeing each other will only make this situation worse, so enjoy the space you have and don’t smother each other!
“You have to be able to trust the person, or it’s not going to be a happy, healthy experience,” Antonia Hall, MPsych, said.
Communicate As Much As You Can
No matter how far apart you are, consistency in a relationship is vital. Set one day a week or one hour a day that you can talk on Skype or some other messaging app. Don’t be on your phones all the time though — give each other something to talk about when you do communicate.
“People in long-distance relationships must be way more intentional and industrious in doing the work that helps relationships thrive,” said Patrick Cheatham, PsyD.
Practice Patience And Understanding
The main thing about being apart is that you don’t have time to fuss over the small things that irritate you when you’re together. You wouldn’t want to waste your precious Skype sessions on petty things after all. Also, it may be doubly frustrating to fight over the phone or text since you don’t get to see their reactions and facial expressions in real time, so try to hold off any big arguments until you can meet face to face. By that time, you may have even forgotten what got you so upset.
Make Technology Work For You
There are so many ways to communicate nowadays, so there is no reason for you not to touch base once in a while. It doesn’t take much to send them a “good morning” text, which is why you need to do it every day. Another way is by sending photos and videos. If you see anything exciting or eat somewhere lovely, snap a picture and share! It lets the other person know that you’re okay and enjoying yourself, but are still thinking of them.
Maintain Shared Interests
Couples need to have things in common regularly. This ensures that they remain invested in the relationship, even if their partner is temporarily far away. For instance, there’s a new movie out that you’re both interested to see, go ahead and watch it, then talk about it during one of your catch-up sessions.
Continue To Be Spontaneous
Try to have fun even if you’re not physically together. Nothing is more unattractive than a depressed person. Also, you can surprise them by sending little care packages or flowers when they least expect it. It keeps the spark alive without continually being there.
Relationships can work despite the distance. Couples just have to be open to unusual ways of communicating and showing their love through technological means.