Long distance relationships are often considered more challenging than geographically close relationships, but despite the challenge of distance, you can enjoy a positive, healthy and long-lasting relationship. Research has found that some of the best predictors of success in long-distance relationships are partners' abilities to communicate effectively and their positive attitudes about the relationship and long-distance relationships in general. To be a good boyfriend in a long-distance relationship, focus on your communication skills and maintain a positive attitude about your relationship.
Be a Good Communicator
Say what you mean and mean what you say. When we communicate with each other in person, we rely on multiple forms of communication to relay our messages, such as body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. When we communicate from a distance, we are often limited in our forms of communication, which makes being very clear and unambiguous all the more important.
Share your feelings with your partner. We often rely on nonverbal forms of communication to relay our feelings to one another, but if your partner cannot see the look on your face when you come home from work, she may not be likely to pick up on the fact that you had a bad day. Learning to share your feelings with your partner while you are apart will help you become a better communicator when you are together.
Find the right balance between too much and too little communication. Discuss with your partner how much he wants and needs to hear from you and share with him how much you want and need to hear from him. Inundating your partner with communication all day may make it difficult for your partner to be productive, whereas going for days without contact could exacerbate your partner's feelings of loneliness and make him question your commitment to the relationship. The perfect amount of communication will vary from relationship to relationship and from person to person, so this is a matter that you and your partner should negotiate so that you both get satisfaction from and feel confident in your long-distance relationship.
Think Outside the Box
Use creativity to find activities that you and your partner can do together despite being apart. For example, rent the same movie and watch it at the same time, communicating through text or chat while watching the movie to simulate watching the movie together.
Investigate the various technologies available for long-distance communication. In addition to the well-known forms of computer-mediated communication, such as Skype, new gadgets and apps come on the market every day. Some of the most exciting developments for couples in long-distance relationships include technology designed to simulate physical human contact, such as a T-shirt that simulates a hug.
Find a creative way to help your partner with a day-to-day activity or chore that you would help with if you were nearby. For example, hire someone to cut your partner's lawn, clean the house or cook a meal.
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- When Distance Is Problematic: Communication, Coping and Relational Satisfaction in Female College Students' Long-Distance Dating Relationships
- Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships
- Maintaining Long Distance and Cross Residential Relationships
- In Times of Uncertainty: Predicting the Survival of Long-Distance Relationships
- Try to agree on specific times when you will communicate with your partner each day.
- When talking with your partner, give her your full attention and avoid interruptions.
Karen L. Blair has been professionally writing since 2001. Her work has been published in academic journals such as the "Journal of Sex Research," "Journal of Social and Personal Relationships" and "Psychology & Sexuality." Blair received her M.Sc. in psychology at Acadia University and her Ph.D. in social psychology at Queen's University. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow and research consultant.