Taking the Distance Out of a Long Distance Relationship

January 10, 2012

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In my dating history, I, like many of you out there, had to go through a couple of long distance relationships.  From my experiences, I can tell you, long distance relationships are tough.  You have limited shared time with your partner and only a few ways of keeping in touch despite the what seems like infinite distance between you two.  But many couples seem to make them work, making the best of their geographically-limited situation.114438957 193x300 Taking the Distance Out of a Long Distance Relationship

Then comes the day when you and your partner are reuniting for good: you’re finally living in the same area.  This can be a great opportunity to reconnect with your partner, but this transition can be rough at the same time.  You’re going from rarely seeing your partner to having them available all the time.  Research has shown those reuniting couples are more likely to break up than other long distance relationships that remain long distance.  So here are a couple helpful tips to help ease your transition into being a not-so-long-distance relationship:

Be Realistic About Your Relationship During Your Time Apart

Because your partner isn’t around to remind you of how you two are together, people tend to rely on the memories of their relationship more often.  At times, some partners tend to idealize their relationship, and remember it as better than it actually was.  Research has shown that couples with more idealization in their relationship are more likely to break up due to an unstable relationship.  This can happen because when you build up your partner to be better than they actually are in your head, the reunion between you two can get ugly.  You can feel like you’re being reunited with a complete stranger rather than someone you really know and understand.

Visit Each Other as Often as Possible

Although this might not always be an available option, when you have a chance to visit, take it!  Spending quality time together and interacting in person is the best way to get to know somebody and see the reality of your relationship status.  Research has shown more face-to-face time with a long distance partner will lead to a less likely chance of idealizing your partner, which will in turn lead to a less likely chance of instability in your reunion.  If regular visits throughout the time apart are just not possible, try visiting more often just as the reunion nears.  These mini reunions will help you evaluate the relationship overall, as well as help you adjust to seeing each other every day.  If visits are not at all possible, try a video chat service.  Much research hasn’t been done in this regard, but having some interaction this way couldn’t hurt.

Talk About Everything

As the permanent reunion nears, also try having more typical “day-to-day talk.”  Most couples in long distance relationships tend to skip the everyday talk and just talk about the important things.  By talking about everything in your day, you are recreating a similar situation in which most geographically close couples would be in, and you will be getting to know your partner more.  Also, don’t be afraid of conflict.  Long distance couples also tend to avoid conflicts in their conversations because they can’t spend the time to resolve them.  Conflict can be good in that you get to know how your partner deals with stressful situations in their lives, and you two can work on certain areas before reuniting permanently.

 

Transitioning from seeing each other once or twice a month to almost every day can be quite a shock.  Easing into the huge transition is the best way to face it.  By keeping these things in mind, you can successfully change your relationship from an effective long distance relationship to a great geographically close relationship.  Do you have any tactics that have worked for you in the past?  Or do you have anything you wouldn’t recommend trying?

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