How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work - 20 Secrets To Success
By: Carlos Cavallo
A long-distance relationship can be one of the most challenging situations for dating. If you want to know how to make a long distance relationship work you gotta know what most women don't know!
There are a lot of barriers to keeping a long distance relationship healthy. A lot of people don't believe that long-distance relationships can work.
The truth is that long-distance relationships can work just as well is a regular relationship. And with so many people working from home and from far away, it's more likely that your next relationship will be a long distance relationship.
As I like to say, any relationship can work - IF you MAKE it work.
One of the best rewards of a long-distance relationship is that you really can't take your partner for granted. You wait so long just to see them and hold them, that you appreciate them much more.
In celebration, I want to share a few tips with you that can help you make your relationship with him work no matter how far away from him you are.
First of all what is a long-distance relationship?
It's really any relationship where you are more than a couple hours from your partner. Where you have a significant time or distance barrier to getting together.
When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I dated a few women who were close to San Jose. While those two cities are not terribly far apart, Bay Area traffic made the distance pretty huge. Sometimes it would take a couple hours to get there.
So take a look at your situation and consider that if it is inconvenient to get together, or you are unable to get together more than once per week, you may have a long distance relationship.
Let's share some secrets about making a long-distance relationship work...
Secret #1: Believe It Can Work
It may be hard to believe your relationship can work. You may have tried a long-distance relationship in the past and had it fail.
On the other hand, you may have tried and come close to succeeding.
The very first step has to be to generate your faith in this relationship.
Of course your belief won't guarantee it will succeed. But if you don't have faith in the relationship it will be very hard to make things work.
If you have reasons that you're scared or insecure about the relationship, you should take some time to write those reasons down. Journaling is an excellent way to exorcise your fears.
And also check in with him. Make sure he has faith in the relationship as well.
If you have the right tools and the right skills, it's actually not difficult to make a long-distance relationship work.
Secret #2: Don't Go Overboard
What I mean by overboard is that you don't want to focus too much on this relationship just because you're far away from each other.
Sometimes we over-work and pay too much attention to a long-distance relationship. You really don't need to spend any more time on it then you would if you were dating somebody just across town.
Be aware when your insecurities show up and complicate things, as well. (I'll talk about this more in the next secret.)
For now, check in with yourself and with him to make sure that you aren't being too focused on this relationship.
Secret #3: Tame Your Crazy
Insecurities can drive you nuts when you're in a long distance relationship. When all you have is time to think and ruminate, sometimes we let our imaginations run wild.
We imagine scenarios of infidelity or losing the connection and our attachment. It stirs up a lot of childhood wounds and fears. This is why it's a good idea to make sure you are working on yourself at the same time you're working on any relationship.
I recommend a counselor or therapist to help you get through some of your childhood issues. Because inevitably these will hold you back from having the kind of relationship you want.
If you've ever experienced extreme insecurity or fears or anxiety in a relationship, you know how disruptive and connection-breaking they can be.
If you know that you have a tendency to freak out within a relationship, you must get a grip on that right away. At the very least, maybe give him a warning that it might happen from time to time and all you need is some reassurance.
The more you can inoculate him, the more prepared he can be. And he will love you for it.
Secret #4: See This As A Blessing
You might be tempted to see a long-distance relationship as being a bit of a curse.
you're far apart
you can't see each other whenever you want
you long to touch each other
you spend a lot of time dreaming about possibilities
There are so many different reasons why you might think you are in an unfair situation.
But in reality, you actually have a blessed situation. You have to be able to see the bright side and the advantages of having a long-distance relationship.
After all, couples that see each other all the time very often don't appreciate each other. And when you're dating someone at a distance, you have the luxury of getting to know them better. You don't have to rush into intimacy.
Just think about all the different reasons that it's a blessing instead of a curse and you will instantly reframe yourself into happiness instead of misery.
Secret #5: Give It Structure
Every relationship requires some structure. The most important part of this structure is simply a schedule.
Have a schedule that you agree on that will help you navigate the lonely times. It's good to set up your calls in advance.
You also want to make sure to schedule in some quality time as well as quantity time. Set up a two or three hour video call on the weekend when you can sit and really get to know each other. Have a video date.
Having a structure will ease your insecurities and anxieties. You'll know when the next communication is happening, and you'll be able to relax.
But you can also end up communicating a little too much. Let's talk about that in the next secret -
Secret #6: Watch Out For The Texting Monster
It's easy to fall into texting as your default communication with him.
But be careful. You can very easily overdo it.
Men aren't as excited about texting as women often are.
You also don't want to fall into the trap of placing too much importance on communication that doesn't carry any tone or emotion in it. (i.e., texting.)
Sure you got emoji's, but the really important communication should always be face-to-face or voice to voice.
Secret #7: Fire It Up!
You gotta make things hot in your relationship.
When you're dating somebody at a distance, you run the risk of not communicating enough emotions and intimacy.
There's a lot of different ways you can do this, even when you're in a long-distance relationship. I explain a lot of them in my program: Long Distance Love
But you want to make sure you are focused on keeping things spicy between you and him as much as possible. One of the greatest challenges is intimate connection over the miles between you.
I'll explain more about how you can overcome this at the end of the article.
Secret #8: Dates Are Destiny
You've got to keep dating each other. Even if you're in a relationship over distance, you still need to put the same kind of pattern of dating in a long distance relationship.
The more you can keep your relationship following the pattern of a close relationship the better.
You need those concentrated times to talk with each other. To connect.
Be careful about missing out on dates just because you think you have a completely different relationship. If anything, dates are even MORE important in a long-distance relationship.
Secret #9: Keep Visiting
Of course one of the most important parts of a long-distance relationship is the time you spend together in person. Obviously this is going to be less frequent than you might like, but you do have to make time to travel and see each other.
This is also a sign of devotion to the relationship you're trying to build. Each of you should travel to the other at least a few times each year.
If you "settle" for a long distance relationship that never "gets it together" - it's not likely to survive.
Make sure you are scheduling in trips to get together. You cannot create a relationship that will last if you don't occasionally get to hold each other and connect in person.
Secret #10: Have A Plan
If there's one thing that most couples miss, it's that they need to have a goal for their relationship. If you're dating someone locally, the goal is pretty obvious. You almost take it for granted.
Until you need to define the relationship.
But if you're dating someone long distance, you should have some kind of plan figured out for the two of you.
The plan would include:
dates to travel and see each other
times to call each other each week
your different methods of connecting and communicating
a discussion about things that don't work for you and what you want to avoid
an idea of what you would like the end result of your relationship to be - moving closer, engagement, marriage, etc.
This is something you should start working on after you have established that you both are going to really work at making this work.
Secret #11: Avoid The Mistakes
Most of success in life is simply avoiding the mistakes. And there are plenty of mistakes to make a long-distance relationship.
It's not about knowing if a long-distance relationship will work. It's knowing how to make it work.
No one can tell you if this relationship is possible or not. You have to make it happen.
Part of that process is to find out where your potential landmines are and avoid them.
If you simply avoid the mistakes, you will probably succeed where most others would fail.
Secret #12: Beware the Naysayers
It's also very important to watch out for people who shoot down your dream. A lot of people want to make you think they "know better" than you.
So watch out for people who don't understand your relationship and situation who try to discourage you. While there are a lot of challenges to a long-distance relationship, there are challenges to any relationship.
It's usually just a matter of choosing your challenge.
People too weak to follow their own dreams will find a way to discourage you from yours.
Secret #13: Don't Fight The Separation
When you're in a long-distance relationship, you will find yourself apart more than you will be together. You have to come to terms with this.
Every bit as important is that you also don't struggle or fight against this fact.
You will have separation from time to time. If you try to change this, or you can't accept this, you may find yourself acting out against it.
I was in a long-distance relationship where I fought the separation. I felt like we had to be together or else I couldn't take it. This was my own insecurity talking.
As a result, I relocated halfway across the country to be with her.
We lasted about a month.
Now, if I hadn't done this, the relationship may not have lasted anyway. But the point was that I needed to be patient with myself and our time apart. I rushed it.
Secret #14: Stay Time Sync'd
Another challenge of distance is that you may not be in the same time zone. It could be just a couple hours or it might be up to half a day.
You'll want to stay in some kind of coordination with each other's time zone. Know when he is getting up and when he is going to bed. And he should know the same about your schedule.
Not only this but you should also know what your calendars are like. What days you have certain activities, when you have free time, and so forth.
When your time is at least coordinated, you'll have a feel for where the other person is during their day. This can lead to a feeling of more connection.
Secret #15: Send A Tchochke
Another good way to stay in contact with each other and connected is to send something physical to each other. It can be something as silly as a Rubik's cube, or a keepsake item.
Sending each other a physical object is a good way to create a feeling of reality in your relationship. Because so much of it is imagined, you might run the risk of wondering if you really even have a relationship.
Sending something to each other can make a huge difference in your feelings of connection.
Secret #16: Use the Snail
And while you're at it, using snail mail - otherwise known as the U.S. Postal Service - is another great way to stay in contact. You can send anything from books to keepsakes to food (if you're close enough).
Maybe even sending articles of clothing with perfume on them might spark some fantasies from him!
Secret #17: Be careful - don't smother!
One of the most important tips I can share is that you want to avoid being "too THERE" with him.
What I mean by this is that you don't want to smother him with your attention. Men need space to breathe in a relationship, the same way you do.
Again, if you are having a long-distance relationship it will be tempting to nurture it too much - or pay too much attention to it.
Don't treat your situation as fragile. Every relationship will have its stress, and it's that stress that shows you how to grow together and strengthens your love.
Secret #18: Watch out for social media
You may be tempted to connect more often on social media as well. This can be dangerous. (It's even dangerous for couples that are not in a long-distance relationship.)
You may find yourself looking for hints or clues or letting the fear of missing out (FOMO) influence how you communicate with him. It can be a very ugly spiral of insecurity.
Be aware of how much time you spend checking up on him on Facebook or other social media. Stop yourself if you find you're doing it out of compulsive emotions.
There is a right way and a wrong way to use social media in a long-distance relationship. This is also something that I explain how to handle in my master class: Long Distance Love
Secret #19: Fill In the Blanks
Don't forget to keep each other aware of what's going on with your families and friends.
If you are together in the same location, you would be talking about this stuff anyways. So don't neglect talking about your everyday family life as part of your conversations on Skype or even your occasional email.
Knowing what's happening in each other's lives will give you a sense of relationship that is more real to you.
Secret #20: Know what to do - and when
You may have noticed by now that most of the things that will help you in your long distance relationship will not always be texting or social media or even using a computer.
There is a right time and the right place for each strategy in a long-distance relationship. If you wing it and just improvise, chances are it won't work right.
Everything I've told you here works, but you also need to know WHEN to use it effectively.
Timing is extremely important.
And even more important is knowing how to fix a mistake when you make it.
If you don't know the plan - the roadmap - for a successful long distance relationship, it's unlikely you'll figure it out "by accident."
In fact, the only accident likely to happen is the end of your relationship.
I have a plan for you, a simple map for how to make your long distance relationship work.
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