In a perfect world, you get to live with the person you love. Geography only comes into play when she has a girls’ weekend or goes to visit her grandmother without you. But there are a lot of people out there who have to make do with visits, since they are forced to live apart due to work, school, military duty or prison.
It is a challenge being in love and living apart, but there are lots of ways to make things bearable between visits. This article will give you some ideas of how you can keep the relationship strong when you are separated for long periods of time. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, and it can also make for some amazing conjugal visits.
Preparing For The Separation
The first thing that both of you need to do is prepare for the adjustment of being apart. Most relationships start out with the two of you leading separate lives, and then you gradually merge your personal lives together as you spend more time together. By the time you move in together or get married, the odds are you are seeing each other for 12-18 hours everyday. The sudden removal of that presence from each of your lives will require major adjustments to how you live your lives. In order to smooth over the initial shock, you need to prepare each other for what is coming. Here are some tips:
If possible, take her with you when you go apartment hunting in the new city. If she is part of what you are doing, it will be easier for both of you.
Plan your first visit before you leave, and subsequent visits before the first visit is over. This will give you both something to look forward to, and help to lessen the stress of separation. Instead of focusing on being apart, you can now focus on planning or anticipating the next visit.
Make sure she is prepared for being alone. Don’t leave her with three days of yard work, or other time-consuming things to do. Make sure she is going to be able to function once you leave, otherwise there will be a lot of frantic phone calls and you won’t be able to help.
Make sure your new phone number and contact info is in place before you go. Encourage her family and friends to support her when you are away. The last thing you want is for her to be sitting at home getting depressed.
Maintaining The Relationship
Like any relationship, you can’t take your partner for granted. This is especially true in a long-distance scenario. All the things that happen during the day that you share at night when you are together are the ‘glue’ that keeps a relationship functioning. The same goes for time you spend together. A trip to grocery store may not seem like a big deal at the time, but it those everyday things that sustain any relationship. The challenge is to maintain that familiarity when you apart. Here are a few ideas:
If you say you are going to call everyday, then make sure you do. Any slippage from an agreed upon schedule will erode the new long-distance relationship you are building. Even if you can only say a quick hello, stick to the plan you both agreed upon.
Talk about everything when you talk on the phone. You don’t have to limit yourself to only ‘interesting’ things that have happened during the day. Treat the call ass if you are both sitting on the couch chatting.
Buy a web-cam. They are cheap, and then you can have some video with your audio.
If money is tight, there are ways you can talk online for free. All you need is a headset with a microphone, and you can say goodbye to long-distance bills.
Make sure you get her talk about her day as well. You both need to become comfortable in this new way of communicating, particularly if you are unable to visit on a regular basis.
Things To Avoid
Since you now have a lot of miles between you, the last thing you need to do – or for her to do – is to put any more stress on your relationship. Some people take advantage of the situation, and stray. But most don’t. If you really want your relationship to work, then you need to make sure that you don’t do any damage to it while you are away. This list will give you an idea of what not to do.
Don’t act like you are single. If you do, then the women you are meeting will assume you are. This will lead to flirting, nights out, etc. When you start to meet people in your new city, then let them know you are in a relationship with someone. You don’t have to talk about her every time you go out, but if they know from the start you are taken, then they won’t think of you as single.
Don’t fight with her on the phone. If you hang up mad, you will only feel worse. Try and work things out before you end a call because you can’t hop on a plane every time you have a disagreement.
Don’t get her jealous or suspicious. If there is a hot girl at the office that hits on you every day, you need to ask yourself – does my girlfriend/wife really need to know about this? The answer is no.
Don’t forget about her. If you forget to call when you say you are going to call, it might get her very upset. If you think there might be a reason you can’t talk at your normal time, let her know the day before.
Make Every Visit Count
The final bit of advice we can offer is to make sure that when you do visit, make the visit a good one. This doesn’t mean you have to be doing something special every minute she is there. But you should introduce her to the friends you have made, so that she can put faces to the names you keep mentioning. She needs to feel as comfortable coming to visit you, as you do when you go home and hang out with all of your friends.
Eventually, you will both be living together again. In the meantime, make sure you keep working on your relationship, or you may not have a relationship when you are ready to move back home.