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How to Establish Trust & Intimacy in a Long Distance Relationship

by Kristen Moutria, studioD

A long-distance relationship is full of unique obstacles and challenges that may be difficult to overcome if you are not completely devoted to your partner. You may wonder if you can trust her since you do not see her every day or if you will feel the same way about her after being apart for so many months. However, by figuring out the expectations you have for your relationship, making communication a priority, surprising your partner and focusing on her positive traits, you will help establish trust and intimacy in your long-distance relationship.

Figure Out Your Expectations

Explain your expectations for your relationship so that your partner knows what you expect and can work to fulfill those expectations. You should also attempt to understand what your partner wants to get out of your relationship to help ensure that both of you are on the same page about your relationship. For example, you might want to chat with your partner via webcam every night, while he feels he only has time every other day. Work on solutions that work for both to stay connected in your relationship.

Keep Communicating

Make communicating with your long-distance partner a top priority in order to establish trust and intimacy in your relationship. Communication is the first and most important strategy to enjoying a relationship from afar, states Kate Brauer-Bell, author of "The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide: Secrets and Strategies from Successful Couples Who Have Gone the Distance." Because you cannot see each other in person regularly, make a point to connect in some way every day, whether it be by email, phone or webcam. This will enable you to stay up to date with the happenings in your partner's life while forging a strong connection.

Surprise Your Partner

Surprise your partner by visiting him in person when he least expects it. A spontaneous visit will be exciting, romantic and much more fulfilling than chatting on the phone. Breaking up your relationship with meaningful visits such as these will give both of you energy and perspective when it comes to your long-distance bond. Take lots of pictures together and make a point to get together regularly. Having something to look forward to will help you make it through the hardest moments of your long-distance relationship.

Focus on the Positive

Since a long-distance relationship is more difficult than a local one, focus on your partner's positive traits in order to maintain trust and intimacy. While it is not healthy to be completely unrealistic, idealizing your partner a little bit will help you navigate through the disappointments and challenges of your relationship, according to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of "The Search for Fulfillment."


  • The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide; Chris Bell, Kate Brauer-Bell
  • Long Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide; Gregory Guldner

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

Photo Credits

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