In an earlier post we discussed the importance of communication within a long distance relationship. We wanted to continue with some other points that will keep spirits high and the motivation going to get though this period!
It is important to have mutual goals together. It is a great way to bond over, similar to having shared interests to discuss about. You can talk, plan, adjust and fantasize what kind of plan you two want and how you want to achieve that. Not only does it have the benefit of acting as a shared element between you two, but you are actively working on your future together, which is a major plus. It doesn't necessarily have to be something big as migrating or living together to start out with, simply planning how you are going to spend your next time together in person can be just as much of a boost. Or learning something together and practicing works great as well. You can use these goals to get to know each others culture, language and heritage if you'd want to.
When planning visits you can search for certain events that show your countries culture, or you could be learning each others language so that over time you'll be able to speak both. Important is that the goals have to be realistic. Don't set out goals that you know from the start are impossible to achieve. If you feel like you can't fulfill your goals it might work against you, instead of giving you the boost it is supposed to give you. See how far you two can make it and work together to reach what you've set your eyes on. Be real and honest, and you will grow together along the way.
Open and honest
And this goes for more than just the goals you set. Be open and honest to each other in every aspect of your relationship, including the communication we talked about before. Discuss the things that worry you, how you feel and think, both the positives and negatives. This way you can be there for each other during the good times and bad times. Telling your thoughts and feelings shows that you trust the other and it'll give them the opportunity to help and comfort you or share the enjoyment. On top of that it may even prevent a lot of confusion and concerns with your partner. Yes, they will be concerned when you tell them you are feeling unhappy, but nothing compares to the unknown.
For example, we would be able to tell if the other one was feeling bad, anxious, down or depressed simply by the look on their face or through the way a message was written. We noticed this and decided to tell honestly when we had a bad day, rather than trying to solve it on our own. We are both people that rather suffer in silence while looking for a solution, but this would only create confusion and anxiety with the other one, because we were totally oblivious why the other would act so out of the ordinary. And even more in an LDR your mind can go a long way from simply "he or she isn't feeling well today" to "are they having doubts about the relationship", and that is something to avoid as much as possible. You don't have to go in full detail if you're not too comfortable with that, but give enough for the other person to know what the situation approximately is, so that they don't have to worry more than they do already because they care about your well being. Having such open communication allows you two to be closely involved with each other and create a strong bond even though you're at a distance.
Now this involvement doesn't only show when help or comfort is needed. There are many ways to be involved in your partner's life. Be involved in their daily life and duties and show interest in what they do. Do they have a soccer match on Saturday? You can ask how the game went and if their team won. If you are aware they have a presentation this week you can wish them good luck right before they step up to do it. Did they go to the theme park with their friends? You can ask if they had a good time together and maybe made some pictures to show. Something so small and simple but it can make a big difference in how close you feel to each other. It's about paying attention to what the other person tells you and keeping them in your mind. It might be difficult sometimes, but keeping up with these more "trivial" aspects of each other's lives makes you two much stronger and more confident in the relationship.
Being interested and taking the time to remember shows that you care and invest in each other. Some people may have difficulty to remember and that is okay. If you are one of them you can make use of a calendar where you write down your partner's schedule. You can even tell and show your partner your schedule to let them know that even though you forget things quickly, you went out of your way to make sure they don't, and that can only be appreciated.
Aside from the each other's daily schedules you can (and should!) definitely have certain date nights as well which you can spend together as a couple. Watch a movie or series, read a book to each other, play a game or simply chat. Planning these dates are an important way to stay connected and involved, and are fun because you get some good one-on-one time together to catch up.
Another way to be connected is by working on your sexuality together. We know that some of our demographic might be a bit young on this, and therefore we do say that everything should be done at your own pace. If you have experience with your sexuality already that's great, and this could be of benefit to you. If you haven't, don't worry. This is not a "make it or break it" point, but for those who desire such intimacy it can be helpful.
We have so much technology to communicate with each other today, which can be used for this purpose as well; phone sex, Skype sex or sexual pictures are all possibilities. And be creative so to keep it spicy! Surprise the other with a sexy outfit or play a game to rise the tension. In all honesty, you two are the limit in what you like to do. Just be sure to respect each other's boundaries and choices. If you're not comfortable doing anything like this over the internet, or in any way, be honest and say so. Never feel forced to do anything.
Have a life
And as a final point that is often forgotten: Have some time for yourself besides the relationship. You definitely need some time for yourself, every person does. This could mean everything from just listening to music on your own to hanging out with your friends. You need a life of yourself, to recharge, to get some rest from the stresses of an LDR. In our previous post on communication we talked about Nathan going to the bar with his friends. That was his way to relax, give his mind some rest from the stressful distance and allowing him to get some new energy to continue.
You need to find a balance between the time you spend on your SO and the time you spend with the people around you or alone. You shouldn't feel bad for wanting to have some me-time, and you should be able to say this to your SO without any repercussions. Individuality is important, stay true to yourself and do what you love. This will end up with you being able to tell all your experiences to the other person and share it with them as well, involving them in your life again.
Giving each other the space to do so is crucial to the happiness of the other. If this space is not given or communicated it may result in the other turning unhappy and sulky. Be understanding of each other, especially if the other person is having a difficult time and needs a moment to themselves.
All in all these are the points that should definitely be taken in consideration when trying to have a successful LDR. It will require patience, understanding, compassion and perseverance, but in the end you will have a solid foundation to continue your relationship on. Stay strong and keep in mind that the reason you're doing this is to be with the one person you're meant to be with, and they are more than worth it.