This article is primarily aimed at people who are in a long distance relationship and other situations where there may be considerable distance between both parties involved. If the relationship has begun to make you feel insecure, lonely, sad or increasingly emotionally distant, you’ve come to the right place (at least I hope). While tangibly bridging the gap may be impossible, there are a number of ways to make your day-to-day less uncertain, keeping compromise to a minimum.
Don’t Assume anything
Due to the fact that most communication relies on body language, it’s conspicuous absence in long distance relationships can (and often does) cause feelings of uncertainty, leading to constant misunderstandings and insecurity. If you find that everything always seems to be fine when you finally see each other, that all the uncertainties seem to be temporarily swept away, consider making all contact as crystalline as possible from here on out.
Never assume your partner can read your mind, never assume that they know, making sure feelings are as transparent and concise as possible is doubly important in a long-distance relationship in comparison to a traditional one. Don’t hold back, fraying emotional knots tend to worsen without the safety that only presence can provide.
Establish a routine
Much of the pain in long distance relationships comes from the uncertainty of contact. Unless your partner or you are in a situation where routine may be impossible (such as the army), erecting a tentative contact schedule can greatly reduce insecurity by providing a comfort-zone and granting a measure of control.
As far as I’m concerned, given the tech and options available, there is simply no reason not to attempt to draw-up a come rain, wind or shine communication schedule, even if it is only once a week and even if it is only a brief hiya on Gmail. Not only does this provide you both with a cemented go-to point, it also bolsters the fact that you continue to be in a relationship.
As with any stressful situation, keeping busy diminishes the vortex of uncertainty by providing you with energy, goals and limiting the time you spend twiddling your thumbs in anxiety. This could mean:
- Finding new hobbies.
- Getting ahead with work.
- Doing some exercise.
- Kick-starting new social circles.
- And on…
Keeping your new objectives small and manageable has been shown to improve your self-confidence and general well-being in both the short and long-term. While it can take some motivation to get the ball rolling, it can end up making a seemingly intolerable situation manageable, by taking a metaphorical baseball bat to your existing stress.
Explore other means of communication
Are you sick and tired of talking to your boyfriend’s avatar, and not being able to hear his voice? It might pay to have a look at the tremendous amount of tech that has arisen recently to band-aid this distance dilemma. You might be surprised at how many options you have available at little to no cost. Improving the quality of your relationship may be as simple as a Skype application on your cell phones, eliminating the I’m not at home factor entirely (if that is what you wish).
Don’t underestimate the evolution of good old email. Most newer providers offer a full-line of services such as a live chat or webcam integration. Many people are not aware of what their commonly used free services are able to offer them. As my ancient German teacher used to constantly remind me, do ze homework!
P.S: Most camera technology is currently very cheap. Acquiring a high-definition portable webcam nowadays costs as little as $20, and is easy to carry about.