In 2013, over 75% of engaged couples reported that, at some point in their relationship, they had been separated from their partner. This is indicative of the changing nature and increased success rate of long-distance relationships. Considering all the ways modern technology enables people to stay in touch, long-distance relationships can be as fulfilling as traditional ones. One key is asking questions that define the relationship and keep it moving forward.
Trust and faithfulness are key elements of a long-distance relationship. When you are going to spend a great deal of time apart, you have to trust that your partner is maintaining the boundaries of your relationship. However, many people have different ideas about what constitutes cheating. Some draw the line at physical contact with another person. Others believe that emotional intimacy -- deeply personal conversations and exchanges -- are a violation of trust. This is why it’s important to ask your partner how he defines fidelity to make sure you’re on the same page.
Knowing the Limits
Few people want to be in a long distance relationship forever. At some point you hope to be in the same place as your partner. In some long-distance relationships, like a military deployment or in a college relationship, the end point is already clear. If your relationship is more open-ended, it’s important to know your partner’s plans. How long are you expecting to lie apart? What’s an acceptable amount of time before you move to the next level? Knowing your expectations in advance will help the relationship continue to move forward.
One of the benefits of a long-distance relationship is the anticipation that builds up between dates. This anticipation can increase even more when you and your partner have specific plans to look forward to. Ask your partner what he wants to do next time you're together. The more you know, the better you can plan and dream together. If you want to surprise him, ask him about his interests and his idea of a dream date and plan accordingly. Then you can tease him with hints and other clues. This will make the waiting more fun and the relationship stronger.
Communication is the key to a successful relationship, especially a long-distance relationship. Keeping yourself informed about your partner's day-to-day activities will help keep feelings of loneliness and jealousy at bay. Talk as often as you can, at least once a day if possible. Share the details of your own life but be sure to ask him how he's doing, what he's doing, and what he has planned for the day. The more you feel involved in each other's lives, the stronger your bond will be.
- Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images