It’s common for couples to be in relationships in which they can’t see each other often; and, contrary to popular belief, long-distance relationships can work as long as the couple is willing to do what it takes. You will need to ask yourself if you are willing to put forth the effort to keep the relationship engaging and interactive between you and your partner. Taking the effort and consistently reaffirming your commitment are a couple essentials for making a long-distance relationship work.
When you’re in a long-distance relationship – or one in which you can’t see your boyfriend often -- you have to make communication frequent and substantive. Make time each day to at least hear your boyfriend's voice and find out how his day has been. Send text messages throughout the day to encourage your boyfriend at work or send a joke to help him relieve stress. Jocelyn Voo, writing for CNN.com, reports that advances in modern technology can make your boyfriend feel a little closer to you. Use Skype or other video messaging websites to have face-to-face communication, which allows your boyfriend to have visual stimulation and keeps you fresh on his mind.
Whenever possible, make time to see your boyfriend in person, and cherish the time spent with him. If your boyfriend works out of town, schedule time to go and visit him – or encourage him to come and visit you – and be sure you don’t have any other obligations while visiting with him, such as work from home or pressing phone calls. Tell friends and family members that while your boyfriend is in town you will be largely unavailable. Enjoy an intimate dinner, stroll in the park, bowling game or anything else the two of you like to do together while visiting with your boyfriend.
Staying positive is essential for your long-distance relationship to remain healthy. Distance, coupled with a pessimistic outlook, can encourage the development of insecurity within your relationship. Licensed psychologist Dr. Suzanne Phillips, writing for PBS.org’s “This Emotional Life,” agrees that “An invaluable component of a secure relationship is an optimistic attitude toward your partner and the future.” Be candid about any insecurity you have within the relationship, such as fear that your boyfriend may find another love interest closer in physical proximity to him. However, once you’ve expressed this concern, and your boyfriend reassures you that he hasn’t found anyone else – nor is he interested – move on from this issue to avoid unnecessary conflicts and pressures within the relationship.
If you notice you are a little insecure about how the distance may impact your relationship, make it a priority to attend to your emotional needs while your boyfriend is away. Keep a journal to help you sort through irrational thoughts and difficult feelings. Try to identify if an insecurity you have – such as your boyfriend potentially cheating – is a valid concern based on previous transgressions or an issue that you haven’t resolved from your past. Talk to friends or a mental health professional about some of your concerns if you need additional support. In addition to working on your emotional health, prioritize eating well, exercise and using effective stress management techniques to keep you in good spirits in your boyfriend’s absence.
Although there is physical distance between you and your boyfriend, it doesn’t mean that the two of you can’t engage in activities that enhance intimacy. As Dr. Phillips notes, with the availability of today’s technology, you and your boyfriend can get creative in sharing intimacy with one another. For visual stimulation, send private photos to your boyfriend, suggests Dr. Phillips. Use your discretion and creativity to keep the fire burning hot between you.
K. Nola Mokeyane has written professionally since 2006, and has contributed to various online publications, including "Global Post" and Modern Mom. Nola enjoys writing about health, wellness and spirituality. She is a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.
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