Going the Distance: The Trails & Triumphs of a Long Distance Relationship

Is your love long distance Royals?

I’m starting to believe that it is! Everyday, I get a fair amount of hits looking for ways to maintain a long distance relationship. And the one post that I have on the subject doesn’t really offer up many tips on how to maintain one. Well, seeing as how my “short” long distance romance is coming up on its one year anniversary- I thought I’d share some of my feelings about the trails couples face and how to triumph when they decide to “go the distance”.

TRIAL #1: “Because the other person isn’t physically there, you’re basically in the relationship alone everyday.”

This has got to be the hardest parts of being in a long distance relationship. You don’t see the other person everyday for the little things that make a relationship so personal. There’s no meeting up after work or running over really quick to just hang out. Everything you do together has to be planned out weeks in advance and that can quickly take the spontaneity out of a relationship. It can be daunting to pencil in something as simple as dinner and a movie.

How to TRIUMPH: Incorporate Your Mate in as Much as You Can

My boyfriend and I have to constantly work at this. This isn’t something you do every now and then…You need to SEEK OUT ways to bring that person into your everyday life. Send them text messages throughout the day letting them know you’re thinking of them. Make sure you hear each others voice EVERY night. Call each other while doing everyday things like cooking or doing the laundry. Watch TV shows together! When little things happen that you want to share with your boo, send the text right then or call them. “You won’t believe it babe! The funniest thing just happened to me….” If you wait, you’ll often forget.

TRAIL #2: “Long distance is a breeding ground for miscommunication”

Because you’re using methods like the telephone, email, Skype and text messaging- There are so many opportunies for misinterpreting  what the other person is trying to say. I can attest to the fact that I have gotten myself into trouble by not being clear in my communication. This is something I personally have really struggled with. I’m just not as quick to communicate as my boyfriend is. Another big disatvantage of being long distance is that you lose that element of “non-verbal communication”. As a matter of fact, humans take most of their context clues from body language!

How to TRIUMPH: Find a communication style that works for you

Hands down you need to drastically increase communication. But it’s also important to find out what your significant others’ communication style is and discuss it. And if your communication style doesn’t work for the other person, you’ll have to adjust accordingly if you want things to work. I’ll give you an example: My boyfriend is a “let’s take care of the issue right now” sort of person. I believe in that too. But I don’t often take that approach because I’m not able to clearly verbalize my point of view when I’m smack dab in the middle of emotion. He on the other hand knows exactly what he wants to say emotions be darned.

Well when we first started dating, even though it wasn’t my style- I made it a point to try and deal with issues as they were happening. And you know what? It blew up in my face. I just can’t verbalize myself when I’m emotional. I end up saying things I don’t mean or saying something that completely confuses him AND myself. So one day I had an epiphany. I told him, ‘This isn’t working for me. We’re on the same page as far as wanting to deal with our issue quickly, but I need time to get my thoughts together. It may take me 5 minutes or it may take me until the next day. But I need you to understand that and know that I’m committed to working out any miscommunication we may have.”

And you know what? He understood! Sometimes communication will be trial and error until you figure out what works for the two of you. The main thing is you BOTH have to be committed to communication. It will be the heart beat of your long distance love.

Trail #3: “No one is looking over your shoulder…You’ll have to hold yourself accountable.”

You and your boyfriend/girlfriend are going to have to have a conversation about what you deem appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Is it okay for them to have friends of the opposite sex? Are you comfortable with them dancing with someone else at a party or club? And because your mate will be seen as single when they go out, are you showering them with enough attention that they won’t be tempted to stray? Think about it. If you’ve allowed your affections to wean off significantly, your mate is 10x more likely to be receptive to someone else’s attention. And let me just say this right now. Other people don’t have as much respect for your relationship as you think. Many a folk will jump at the chance to steal your man or woman. It might not start out that way, but every romantic encounter started out with, “Hi.” This is how cheating and a whole slew of other problems creep in.

How to TRIUMPH: Set boundaries and build confidence in your mate

If your girlfriends want to go out, who are you going to dance with when everyone gets paired off? These are boundaries you need to set from jump street. If the thought of your girl/guy dancing with someone else sets your blood to boiling, you need to let them know. Especially before you see a picture posted somewhere on Facebook. It’s extremely tempting to allow thoughts of jealousy to make you paranoid, but you have to actively fight those feelings and understand that your mate is battling them too.

Without embarrassing him completely, I will tell you that my boyfriend and I are extremely affectionate towards each other. We still hold hands, say I love you everyday and kiss/hug often (when we’re together). All of this builds confidence in our relationship. It assures the other person that we still find them desirable and attractive. And that’s important! Sure, that guy who tries to talk to me might be perfectly nice. But he can’t hold a candle to what I have! And I need to make sure that my boyfriend knows it and vice-versa. When we’re together, we are “that couple” all hugged up on one another. But you know what? It works! A year later and I feel more lovey-dovey than ever before.

So tell me long distance lovers? What little things do you do to keep the love alive? Leave a comment below and help a couple out! Or if you’re in a long distance relationship and need some advice…Just ask!

Live & Love Royally,

J. Clarice

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7 thoughts on “Going the Distance: The Trails & Triumphs of a Long Distance Relationship

  1. This is a well-versed blog! A lot of the tips you added actually set the ground-work for ALL couples including those who live with or very near their significant others. I’ve been down the long-distance route as well and there were many trying times. But I definitely can attest that communication was indeed the key to why my relationship has blossomed to what it is today. I definitely would like you to expound on your thoughts on communication in relationships in general (might spark an interesting convo) I feel that its a general consensus that if you are in a long-distance relationship you have to “try harder” but this is indeed true for ALL relationships! Understanding and Compromising becomes the name of the game. But if you master communication now, you sure set up a solid foundation for when you two get closer. Heck, communication gets no easier when you live in the same house. Sometimes the closer you get the more you take it for granted. In all this to say, those skills you elaborated on are definitely great tips to use in both long and short distance relationships alike!

    • Very true! I feel like the habits I’m learning now are really going to benefit me in the long run. I can definitely say that “effective” communication has improved an already great relationship. I try to keep my relationship private and off of Uptown Urban, but I just KEPT seeing people being directed to my blog because they were searching for info on long distance relationships. But you’re so right…This really is for ALL relationships regardless of the distance! I really hope it helps someone!

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