Love From A Long, Long Way: 5 Keys To Success
The most difficult thing to deal with in a long distance relationship, is the most obvious thing: the distance. But distance alone won't make or break the deal. All of the usual relationship necessities, like communication, honesty and trust, are still very important when dealing with a loved one from afar.
One of the first keys to success in a long distance relationship is effective communication. It is important for both persons to feel that they are an active part of the others' life. This is best accomplished through communication. There are no specific guidelines for communicating from a distance, but the overall stability of the relationship is likely to remain well-grounded when both parties are able to speak openly and often.
Two more important keys to a successful long distance relationship are trust and honesty.
"When my husband first left for Iraq from Germany, the most difficult thing for me was having to constantly wonder what he was doing, and where he was going," says Alicia whose husband works as a network switch specialist in the 72nd Signal Battalion, 5th Signal Command, Mannheim, Germany.
"I wasn't worried about his strategic locations, but more about those days and nights when I don't get to talk to him. Sometimes, it can be well over a week.", says Alicia.
Trusting the person at the other end of a long distance relationship can be difficult. People often have a hard time believing the words that are passed along during phone conversations if they can't actually see the source, or unless they truly trust the source. For those who have trouble with trust, the other person's social life, and how much or how often they are tempted by others of the opposite sex, often enters the mind.
But this can be overcome with honesty and openly communicating the terms of the commitment. Couples who trust one another, and who also effectively communicate their thoughts and expectations, have a much better chance of participating in a long distance romance.
Two people involved in a long distance relationship must also have respect for each other, and each other's lives. This includes family and children, careers, and free time.
One area of contention often experienced by long distance couples, is the expectation that a persons' free time should be spent conversing with their mate. However, when there is a significant distance that separates a couple, each person still requires their own space. This space may consist of taking a trip with the kids and not speaking for a day or two. It may also involve a busy career where one person spends a large amount of time working, instead of telephoning or emailing.
Finally, if you want your long distance love affair to stay on track, you must remain committed to each other. This is one aspect of any relationship that must remain healthy, and is crucial when great distances separate mates. Without it, honesty and communication may suffer greatly.
Part of this commitment, includes creating time to spend with together and setting up visits at some point.
Another important part of this commitment is learning to cope with longing and lonliness. Being open about your feelings concerning the distance will help prepare you for whatever future steps you plan to take in your relationship.