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Sex + Relationships

Helpful Tips on Maintaining a Healthy Long-distance Relationship

As somebody who is currently in a long-distance relationship, I know how difficult it can be. Long-distance relationships are the ultimate test of your dedication and patience. They are not for everyone and that is perfectly okay. However, for anyone that is in one currently, or might be entering into one soon, I am here to offer some tips and advice on how to maintain a healthy relationship while being so far away from the one you love.

1. Communication is Key

I know what you are thinking, and yes, I suppose this does sound like a cliché, but hear me out with this one. Communication is important in more than one way and it is not just a matter of forcing out conversations with your partner every opportunity that you have. Truthfully, that is something you will want to try and avoid. Communication should be fun and it should never be forced. You can’t ask your partner the same questions every day but expect them to give you different and exciting answers.

Communicate your Expectations and Ground Rules

Long-distance relationships can sometimes shine a light onto any insecurities you may have about the relationship if you allow them to, this is often a result of a lack of communication. If you communicate clearly what you expect from the relationship and your partner does the same, then the risk of insecurities diminishes significantly. You should establish things such as whether this is an exclusive relationship or if it’s okay if you go on dates with other people. What do you each expect from the other person while you are away from each other? If each person answers questions like these and any others that they might have, it communicates your expectations and sets ground rules in the relationship; therefore, creating the foundation for a healthy relationship. This also gets rid of insecurities based on questions of where the relationship is going. Make sure to be open and honest with each other about the expectations you have, lying about being okay with something will only blow-up later on.

Communicate Creatively 

Honestly, there are always going to be times when the relationship may not seem as fun and exciting as it used to be, but a way to bring this back is to keep the communication creative. Try and send pictures, videos and voice messages to each other so that they know you are putting in the effort and thinking of them. You can also try tagging them in posts you know they would like or find funny on Instagram or Facebook. Another thing that can be done is sending them the link to a video they might like or find interesting. If you are both comfortable with it, then you could also explore more sensual forms of communication. Communication in a relationship isn’t meant to be constantly stressful, have fun with it and show them that you’re thinking about them.

Know Each Other’s Schedules

This speaks for itself but communicating to each other what your week or day is going to look like is a huge sigh of relief. If you can both communicate what you are going to be doing throughout the week or throughout the day then the other person will know not to call at certain times. For example, you want to make sure that you aren’t calling your partner during a class, or when they are at soccer practice. They need time to have hobbies of their own and so do you. You should both be keeping busy and be invested in yourself and your hobbies. By knowing each other’s schedules, you don’t have to worry about messaging them at a bad time or wondering why they haven’t had time to reach out to you yet. Keep it simple and just establish this early to avoid confusion and frustration.

2. Try to Do Things Together

I know that this isn’t always going to be possible but trust me when I say it is important to try and do an activity together, even if it is just once a week. My boyfriend and I try to have a Netflix Party at least once a week and we are currently binging a new show on Netflix together. Netflix Party is just one way that you can do an activity together though, there are plenty of other activities that can be done together as well depending on how big of a distance it is between the two of you and if there is a significant time difference involved. Other activities you could try would include things such as playing games online together or both of you could take a walk or cook together (with the help of Facetime of course). Doing activities together will help you still feel connected to one another even when you are miles away from each other.

3.Call Each Other Whenever Possible

This is another one that is going to seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it is the simplest things that we forget to do. Setting aside the time and working with each other’s schedules to call or video call will make a huge difference with your happiness in the relationship. Personally, my boyfriend and I will try to call each other, or video call each other, at least twice a week. To some, this may seem like not enough, but you need to remember that every relationship is different. Some people are hours away from each other, or in cases like mine, the people are in completely different countries and on opposite sides of the world. Learning to have some give and take with each other’s schedules when finding the time to call each other will have a largely beneficial impact on the relationship. Sometimes the sound of their voice or the sight of their smile is all it takes to turn a bad day into a good one, so keep this last point in mind even if it does seem immensely obvious.

Rachael Stevens

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Rachael is a fourth-year English major at Laurier, with a double minor in German and psychology.
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