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The experts say that long distance relationships are on the rise and with online dating and people moving for work, I can see this as a true statement. This is also true with the lack of eligible heterosexual men in cities like Atlanta who are gainfully employed and HIV negative, women, especially black women have to try to find love in less than traditional ways and when they do, long distance relationships seem to have become the norm.
Since I am currently in a long distance relationship, let me share with you my tips for making long distance relationships work.
The most important thing to remember when in long distance relationships is making sure that you make time to connect. This is my number one tip because although communication is important in every relationship, when you are in a long distance relationship, you have to set aside time every day to talk to each other whether over phone or video chat without any distractions. If you’re not able to jump on a call every day at least send a text to at least touch base and let them know you’re thinking about him or her.
Planning is the key. Pull out a calendar and plan your next visit. By setting dates to visit one another you create anticipation and excitement. Planned dates are something to look forward to and keeps the spark alive. Plan visits as often as possible and not just when it is expected, such as for holidays. Make sure to take turns making the trip to see one another, otherwise resentment may build up.
Everyone in a relationship, whether dating or married should read, 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. It is so important to first know your own Love Language and in turn, learn the Love Language of your mate. Often times we express our love in our own Love Language and fail to understand that of our significant other. By learning their Love Language you’ll better understand how to meet their needs in the relationship whether you are far or close!
Long distance relationships are not easy, trust me and as women, we sometimes have these over the top expectations of what things “should” be like. By setting realistic together you’ll have a better chance of navigating the trials and tribulations that come with long distance relationships. If you remember to stay focused on the big picture of one day being in the same place together, you won’t allow each other get too caught up in the small stuff.
When you don’t get to see each other everyday, you may not know what they are going through in his or her life all the time. Therefore, rather than letting our minds run wild when they are late, or they don’t call or text when expected, we must give him or her the benefit of the doubt and the space to explain. Most importantly, we must be understanding to what they are going through even when we are not there to fully understand.