The ongoing fashion for travel combined with rapidly developing communication systems has meant that long distance relationships are a way of life for many couples. And yet you still find that a lot of people (mainly concerned friends and pessimistic family members) are sceptical about the arrangement, stating that distance is just too big an obstacle to overcome in the long term. However, with perseverance, wilfulness and forward planning, I think anyone can make this kind of relationship work, whether theyíre in London dating or in Lisbon dating. Here are some key dos and doníts to keep your relationship runningÖ
DO speak to each other every day
Frequent communication is essential to every long distance relationship. Itís all too easy to get caught up at work or with your friends and you might unintentionally get into the habit of forgetting to pick up the phone. But the core of every relationship is communication, so if youíre not talking, somethingís not right. Thatís when an even bigger distance begins to grow between you. So, whether itís a text message or a three-hour-long phone call, make sure you speak every day. Expense shouldnít be used as an excuse here as there are plenty of ways to communicate for next to nothing Ė particularly over the internet using the genius of programmes such as Skype
.DONíT let yourself get paranoid
Itís one thing to speak to your partner every day, but itís another to be constantly checking up on them. Greater distance necessarily creates mystery around each otherís actions and therefore an increased paranoia. Because of this, trust is so important Ė you should always try to trust whoever youíre dating
until they give you a very good reason not to. Just because youíre far apart doesnít mean theyíre going to be unfaithful. Control your paranoia and stop yourself calling up every five minutes to ask subtle questions about their new friends on Facebook.DO plan your time together carefully
Letís face it Ė online communication and telephone calls just wonít cut it for very long. You need to try to see each other at least once a month Ė human contact is very important! Obviously, the regularity of your visits will depend on how far apart youíre living, but whenever the next one is, make sure youíve planned every aspect of the trip. Get out the calendar and agree on which dates suit you both Ė book tickets
months in advance to save money and spend the rest of the time planning your time together. With so much to prepare, youíll find that you miss them just a little bit less, and the time between visits passes more quickly.DONíT be a slave to your relationship
While itís good to try to see each other often, donít put the relationship before every other priority. Maintaining your own independence is also important. If thereís a family wedding or a big presentation at work to prepare for, donít be afraid to re-arrange plans Ė theyíll be fine with it as long as you explain yourself.
DO try to find a way to change things
Always be thinking and working towards changing things. If the relationship is serious, one of you will need to take a big step at some point. The possibility of you living in the same town or even under the same roof should always be the ultimate goal.DONíT take any big steps before youíre ready
While you should keep an open mind about overcoming the problem of distance, donít feel forced into taking a massive leap before youíre ready. For example, you may be thinking of moving up to where they live, but that doesnít mean you have to move in together straight away. Distance is a strong motivator and can sometimes make you move too fast.
Stick to these simple rules and youíll never need long distance relationship advice