If given a choice, we are pretty sure that no one would pick up a long-distance relationship for themselves. Many people believe that long-term relationships are never going to work out. Your parents may discourage you and your best friends may advise you not to take it seriously, just in case you get your heart broken.
The long distance makes many things unachievable, such as communication. It’s impossible to have a face-to-face talk and you guys probably can only fight through Skype. If you guys are in two countries with a jet lag of 12 hours, it’s even hard to video-chat each other every single day. Things are getting worse and worse in this case and, unfortunately, neither of you is able to control it. The extra distance can easily make each of you exhausted and finally give up the initial commitment that you made.
The good news is that you are not alone. Over 14 million couples define themselves as being in a long-distance relationship. If you're a college student, the numbers are even higher. About a third of college relationships are long-distance relationships and 70 percent of college students have been in a long-distance relationship at some point.
A long-distance may be rough, but it has its own surprises too. Here are five simple tips to keep your love alive and strong, based on my own experience.
1. Try to communicate regularly and efficiently.
As long as there is a problem existing, do not pretend that you guys are good. Solve it as soon as possible and don’t leave it overnight. If you reserve this one problem, more will eventually build up, which can cause you break up.
2. Learn to trust and be honest with each other.
As long as it’s a serious relationship, you should have faith in your partner. You can openly talk about your concerns, jealousy, insecurity, and whatever else. Don’t try to hide all of these things. Be honest with each other. There might be a time when you hear something negative about your partner, but don’t assume things. A better way is to figure it out by yourself and ask him/her directly. Give him/her enough time to make his/her own choice.
3. Do similar things.
Recommend books, videos, TV shows, music, movies, etc. to each other. When you get to read and watch similar things, there are more topics that you have in common to talk about. This is a creation of shared experiences, even though you guys are physically apart. For example, my boyfriend and I share an Amazon account and we can see each other’s purchase history for kindle books and movies. We usually read the same book together and it is much easier for us to start a conversation in this case.
4. See it as an opportunity.
View it as a learning opportunity for both of you. Keep learning and being yourself when you are away from your partner. This is the only way that your other half is not going to get bored of you. Distance is not always a bad thing because it gives each of you more personal space, more time to be with friends and family, and do whatever you find enjoyable. I always believe that the quality of your partner depends on where you are and who you are. See distance as a test of love. As an old Chinese saying goes, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” He/She may not worth committing to if he/she can not even bear a temporary separation.
5. Be a good listener.
Sometimes, the only reason why your partner calls you at midnight is because he or she wants to have someone to talk to. At this time, even though he/she is complaining, be patient. It is a good chance for you to know what is going on in your other half's life and to give him/her advice. You have to show your value to him/her and prove that you are irreplaceable in his/her life.