In the first part of my blog, I spoke about some changes that a couple pursuing a long-distance relationship after a summer romance might need to adjust to. In this blog, I will discuss some ideas that might support a couple with making this shift.
Communicating about your goals for this relationship
Communicating about the relationship goals, be it the short-term goals and long-term goals for the relationship, is very important. Take the time to reflect and communicate about your expectations, needs, and wishes at the different points of your relationship. For instance, would you consider travelling to meet the other person? Are you hoping for this relationship to be an exclusive relationship? These questions, together with other expectations that you might have, are important to discuss. Your expectations, needs and wishes might also change with time and with the level of investment in the relationship, thus it is useful to communicate about these regularly. These conversations ensure that both parties are aware of each other’s expectations and goals for the relationship. Lack of clarity might result in anxiety, hurt and misinterpretations, so talk clearly about the direction that you wish your relationship to develop towards.
Discover the strengths that as a couple could help you overcome the barriers brought about by a long-distance relationship
Research shows that couples that are geographically separated may invest more attention to their resources as a couple that would support them with cultivating aspects of their relationship, for instance their levels of communication and intimacy despite the distance (Dargie et al., 2015). When a couple focuses on and enhances their resources, there is a higher chance that the couple feels more equipped to face challenges and as a result would feel more confident to be creative in finding ways to adapt and solve problems.
Develop new routines that work for you both
While it is not always easy to navigate your way through time differences, work or school hours, and day-to-day routines, it often helps to have a certain sense of routine for the two of you to get in touch. That would help you to not get caught up in your busy routines and miss on making time to speak to one another. This does not mean that spontaneity in your contact is not important as well; but it is also often helpful to plan slots of time when you can connect. This way you can also look forward to your time together knowing when it will happen.
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.