7 Tips for Long-Distance Couples
“Whether you just met someone in a different city or your partner moved out of town for another job, long-distance relationships are common,” according to relationship advisor and therapist Dr. Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great. In fact, in our fickle economy, many couples find themselves separated because of their professions. Orbuch sees this long-distance situation most often.
Long-distance relationships create extra challenges and stressors. But couples can still cultivate a fulfilling and happy relationship. Here’s how.
1. View the distance as an opportunity.
Orbuch encourages “couples to write down the advantages of a long distance relationship, especially if it is only short term.” According to Orbuch, your list might include: extra time with family and friends; an opportunity to learn to communicate even better; the anticipation and thrill of weekend trips; maintaining your individuality; and spending more time on your own interests, goals and passions, such as “working on your next book, your art, your hobbies [and] exercising.”
2. Establish crystal-clear expectations.
Couples want to make sure that they’re on the same page when it comes to their relationship, especially since distance can lead to many mix-ups.
“These can be difficult and awkward questions to ask, but will save you great heartache and misunderstanding down the line,” Orbuch said. Get clear on things like how often you’ll communicate each day and how and when you’ll visit each other.
3. Have an end goal.