Long distance relationships are hard, regardless of whether the separation is temporary or long-term. Without the reassurance of physical touch or quality time, it’s easy for couples to grow apart and forget all the reasons why they began the relationship in the first place.
But this shouldn’t be a reason to give up – if there is the possibility of the couple being reunited, it’s worth putting in the effort to weather the hard times. With a little patience, couples will eventually be rewarded by a richer relationship and a better appreciation of each others’ company.
Communication is a key part of any relationship, and when long distance is involved it becomes even more important. Here are some ways for couples to maintain communication across the miles.
Use Phone or Skype Calls to Stay in Touch
Nothing beats the comfort of hearing the voice of a loved one after spending time apart. Couples should try setting up regular phone dates to look forward to. Phone calls (particularly international ones) can become expensive though, so either limit talk time or investigate the possibility of using Skype.
Skype is a computer program that allows people to chat for free (from computer to computer). All the user needs is a reliable headset or microphone and they can chat free of charge for as long as they desire. The added bonus is that if both computers have webcams than the users will be able see each other as well. Most internet cafes around the world are now set up with Skype capabilities, so even those without a computer can use this option (although they will have to pay for the use of the computer).
Send Unexpected Text Messages
People like to know when someone is thinking of them, and sending a short message of love for no particular reason is sure to provoke a smile. Check with mobile providers for their international text rates – they are often very affordable.
Stay Connected with Regular Emails
One thing that couples who are separated by distance miss are the daily going-ons in life. Sending an email that mentions the small things as well as the bigger things can help couples feel connected and more a part of each others lives. Emails also provide a good way of getting to know each other better. One idea is to send each other lists of questions to answer separately which can later be swapped for comparison.
Be Creative with Postcards and Letters
Everyone loves getting mail, particularly handwritten letters. Even a short postcard will show thought and care. Try to be creative and avoid clichéd writing – try the stream of consciousness style or write funny anecdotes. The collection of letters may even become keepsakes later on in the relationship.
Keep Journals to Swap at Intervals
This is another way of sharing day-to-day happenings if other forms of contact are difficult. Both people should keep their own journal to write regular journal entries into – anything from how they feel that day, to events that happened or things they were thinking. During visits or upon being reunited, they can then swap their journals and read their love ones thoughts at leisure. If the separation is long term, the journals can be mailed by post, which will give couples something to read when they feel lonely.
Don’t Lose Heart – the Separation Will End
There will always be times when couples will feel depressed about the distance that separates them. It’s important to support each other during these times and remember that one day the separation will be over. Stay connected with some of the methods listed above and stay focused on the future. The time and effort spent writing emails, texts and letters will be rewarded with a stronger relationship in the end.