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When you see your partner regularly it’s easy to take them for granted. You can see each other every day, live in the same house and not have a meaningful conversation for a very long time. On the other hand, a couple who live apart, might focus more on the hour or so they spend on Skype or face time and dedicate their full attention to their partners during that time.  A research study titled ‘Absence makes the communication grow fonder’ suggests that romantic pairs communicating long distance built stronger bonds and try harder in communicating affection and intimacy than geographically close couples.

What can be the challenges faced by a couple in a long-distance relationship?

  • Trust: Trust is fundamental in a long-distance relationship. Get to know your partner well and work on open and sincere communication while chatting and during face time. Distance can create uncertainty about commitment to the relationship, and open communication is key.
  • Communication methods: Until 10 to 15 years ago, couples in long-distance relationships could only communicate through letters and telephone calls. New forms of communication make it easier to keep long-distance relationships alive. Using Skype, instant messaging, face-time and on-line gaming can make it feel that your partner is close. These methods can also help to increase intimacy and attraction between the couple.
  • Third-party involvement: Having a close ‘friend’ as a confidant while your partner is away might spell trouble. Even if you remain faithful while your partner is away, having a very close friend might damage trust in the relationship.
  • Don’t listen to popular belief: We might find people around you who will frown upon your attempt at a long-distance relationship. Give them a run for their money and give it all you’ve got. You might surprise them…and yourself…

 

– Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness.  She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on anna@willingness.com.mt