Long-distance relationships are never easy, but thousands of people get through this setup each and every day. Whether you fell in love online or your jobs keep you apart, you and your significant other can find a way to make your relationship work despite the distance. In the guide below, we provide some helpful couples therapy tips for long-distance relationships so you can make the most of your situation.
Use Video Chatting Services (Snapchat, FaceTime, Skype, Etc.)
The internet is a powerful tool for long-distance couples. It can keep you in contact with your partner no matter where he or she may be in the world. Make the most of tools like Snapchat, Face Time, and Skype to communicate with your spouse while he or she is away. You can send videos to one another or have face-to-face chats throughout the day. You will of course need to check with one another’s schedules to find the appropriate times to talk but make an effort to do so as often as possible. Even something as simple as sending a picture message to your spouse during your lunch break will go a long way in keeping you two connected.
Work Through Your Trust Issues
Some of the biggest problems we see in long-distance couples counseling is trust. It’s a lot easier to trust that your partner will not cheat on you when you get to see him or her every day. If your husband is on a business trip with a group of women from work, it’s logical for you to be a little worried about his whereabouts. He may feel the same way about you. Trust issues like this are going to lead to stress, arguments, and bad experiences for both parties. It’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Speak openly with your spouse about your concerns, and accept any reassurance he or she provides. The more trust you put in your spouse, the more likely he or she will trust you in return.
Send Thoughtful Text Messages Throughout The Day
One of the best ways to work through trust issues in a relationship is to show your spouse that you are in fact thinking about him or her throughout the day. Send a thoughtful text message at an unexpected time to show that you care. Something as simple as, “Hey baby, just wanted to say I love and miss you” can go a long way. That little message couple quickly brightens up your spouse’s day. If you don’t have a chance to send a text message, an email or voicemail will provide the same effect.
“Hang Out” Together Whenever You Can
Perhaps the biggest thing you miss in a long-distance relationship is the ability to just spend casual time with the other person in your relationship. You don’t get to watch TV with your husband when he gets home from work or watches your wife make you breakfast in the morning. With that in mind, you can create the feeling of hanging out with your spouse by watching a show together on Netflix or setting up a Skype chat while you eat your meals. Even if one person is eating breakfast while the other is eating dinner, you can still feel like you’re in the same room.
Keep Each Other Informed About Daily Operations
It may seem silly to tell your spouse about each and everything you do throughout the day, but this is another opportunity for you to communicate and stay connected. You could make this part of your morning routine: breaking down a list of what the day has in store for you. Send this to your partner and he or she can send the same in return. You can update one another about your progress throughout the day and share in each other’s successes and missteps. This information would be boring to most people, but not to the one you love. He or she will revel in the idea of being a part of your life.
Make Sure You’re On The Same Page About The Relationship
It’s important to set rules and boundaries for your long-distance relationship. These will prevent one person from feeling like he or she is in a one-sided relationship. Understand what each of your expectations is. Do you plan to remain monogamous? Are there limits to the activities you can do while your loved one is away? If you are not married, are you allowed to date, other people? Is your partner allowed to do the same? These are all points of discussion you should go over as a couple so no one ends up hurt because of a miscommunication.
Make The Most Of The Time You Get Together
Whenever you do get to see one another, make the most of it. Keep your cell phones at home and spend a day just enjoying each other’s company – free of distractions. Try new activities together, and practice other couples’ therapy exercises whenever you can. This will give you a sense of closure when it’s time to separate again.
Hopefully, there will come a time when you no longer have to live in a long-distance relationship. Look for a way to live closer to your spouse so you can enjoy even more time together. Until then, the tips above will help keep your relationship running strong.