From my experience of helping couples create solid long distance relationships, I have compiled the following information for this article. Long distance relationship psychology advice has much to do with what you shouldn’t do in addition to what you should do.
While you follow this long distance relationship advice and apply it to your particular situation, its important to realise that all this advice is useless without one very important thing – the desire of both parties to make it work.
If you have that, this advice will fall into place for you both but if this desire to make things work is not present in either partner, problems in trying to implement the advice will surface.
The 4 Dos and Don’ts in the Psychology of Long Distance Relationships
The following is a good guide to maintain a healthy long distance relationship. In truth, it applies much the same for a regular relationship but with a few key differences.
Dos of long distance relationships
- Surprises: Surprises have the effect of showing that you care. You’ve taken the effort of doing something out of the ordinary, which shows that they are on your mind. With this said, its the surprise that counts and not the actual cost involved. Something as simple as an e-greeting card every now and then can help build the connection between you both in a long distance relationship.
- Create a number of different communication methods: In past times, letters and the telephone were the only method for communication between couples on a long distance relationship. With such a limited means of communication its no wonder that long distance relationships built a reputation for failing. However new forms of communication, mostly developed in the past ten years, make long distance communication for couples much more personal. Skype, Instant messaging, video phones and online gaming can make it feel as thought the other person is right there with you.
- Work on sharing a hobby: Having a hobby to talk about will help keep your mind off the fact that you are physically apart. If there’s a TV program that your boyfriend/girlfriend really enjoys then take the time to watch it so you can share it together every week. If they follow a sport, then follow it with them. You don’t have to play it but if its an important part of their life, then being able to talk about it together is important.
- Keep them up to date: If you want to show them what you got up to on a certain day you don’t have to just tell them about it, you can show it to them. Taking pictures and short videos of things you came across helps build intimacy in any relationship and not just long distance ones.
Don’ts of long distance relationships
- Non-committal relationship: A major reason for long distance relationships failing is one or either partner going into the relationship with the mindset of “lets see how it goes”. They know long distance relationships are more difficult than regular relationships and so they almost expect it to fail before they begin. An important piece of long distance relationship advice would be both to agree that you are committed 100% to your relationship before it begins.
- Third party involvement: A major mistake I have come across people mention in their long distance relationships is the involvement of a “comfort friend”. You may want to consider that close friend as just that a close friend, but the fact that they’re in your immediate presence while your boyfriend/girlfriend is away, can spell trouble. This can put the long distance relationship at risk of you cheating. The fact you have another person close by, will also damage trust even if nothing happens between you both.
- Don’t listen to popular comment: The general belief out there is that long distance relationships don’t work. If you believe they don’t work then you will prove that to yourself by having this long distance relationship fail. It’s called the power of attraction. If you believe in something it has a higher chance of happening. If you believe you’ll be rich, you’ll work that bit harder to achieve success. If you believe long distance relationships don’t work, then you may find yourself subconsciously trying to damage the relationship so as to prove that you were right in that assumption.
- Trust: This is probably the most critical factor in any long distance relationship advice. From my experience, I can tell you that anything done to damage trust in long distance relationships will almost always end in its demise. It doesn’t have to be full on cheating. Rather even only being caught out on a lie by your partner can cause them to question if they can trust you. If one partner doesn’t trust the other in a long distance relationship; this in itself can result in them looking somewhere else for fear their other partner already has someone and them being left high and dry in such an event.