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Things to Consider in Long Distance Relationships

Things to Consider in Long Distance Relationships

Some of my clients in long distance relationships have asked my opinion whether I think one can stand the test of the distance. My response is that each individual knows themselves and their relationships the best. What I do share are the following things to consider to help provide stronger groundwork in the beginning and throughout a long distance relationship:

  1. Touch base on Touch-points
  2. Ask yourself: “Am I a good candidate for long distance relationships?”
  3. Proceed with Caution
  4. Start at a 0/10
  5. Quality over Quantity
  6. The Trust Factor

See details on the above mentioned considerations below:

  1. Touch base on Touch-points

You’re late for work. Your day is off to a bad start and suddenly a FaceTime call comes in from your loved one. You take the call hoping to rush off quickly without being late for work but ultimately your talk is abrupt and disappointing for both of you. In local relationships, these inopportune touch-points can be smoothed over with a hug and a snuggle but in your long distance relationship that is not accessible. Before these challenges crop up, develop a communication strategy. Take into account each other’s schedules and accessibility to technology (if this is a factor). If you are concerned about when you are going to see each other then map out a schedule of touch-point dates and times. If you know some nightly pillow-talk will fill an important void, make that known and plan for it.

  1. Ask yourself: “Am I a good candidate for long distance relationships?”

Imagine being at home alone wishing your partner were there. Going to your 14th social event as the lone ‘singleton’ of the group. Sometimes our individual needs just make us incompatible for long distance relationships.  If you are not aware of what you need, how are you going to ask for it?

Often we enter into a relationship blindly accepting how the other person is without giving any thought to if we are really okay with who they are or what the situation brings. Knowing your limits and setting boundaries on what you need and are willing to contribute to the relationship are key. Don’t say yes to something you are not willing to follow through on as this will create tension and ill-will in the relationship.

  1. Proceed with Caution:

Often long distance relationships can be more exciting and consistently fresher compared to a local relationship due to the anticipation of seeing the partner after being apart for extended periods. However, this can quickly dissipate. If you are looking to move on to marrying this person, schedule some real time with each other where you are faced with the day-to-day (doing laundry, paying bills, seeing family members) to provide extra insights into who your partner is. This will serve to bring light to valuable insights such as how your partner manages finances, keeps his or her living space organized and so on.

  1. Start at a 0/10:

Often we put our partners on a pedestal. In the beginning, we may be very excited and smitten before we even know who this person truly is. Be clear on the type of individual you want to be with prior to entering a new relationship to ensure you have a real gauge of what you are willing to compromise on and whether the person is in fact the partner for you. Start them at a 0/10 rather than a 10/10. This way they can go up or down on the scale in a manner truly indicative of the reality of your partner.

  1. Quality over Quantity:

A million text messages each day should not be indicative of how much the other person cares. True connection and opportunity to spend time together (whether virtually or in-person) always serve better in the long-term when trying to get to know someone and to keep the relationship going.

  1. The Trust Factor:

Trust is incredibly important in any relationship – especially long distance relationships. If you start worrying and questioning whether of not your long distance partner is cheating, you need to address what is prompting this suspicion and go from there. Also, if the other person keeps on you about trust when you are not doing anything to indicate this is an issue, your partner may be the one who is untrustworthy.

The other side to this is an open relationship however this will not work if it is one-sided. You need to discuss this with your partner and see if it is something you are both comfortable with and want.

At the end of the day, you know yourself best and as long as you are getting what you need, I do not think a bit of distance has to make or break your relationships.

Have any other advice or experiences you would like to share? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out at me colleen@colleenfava.com

I am a Registered Psychotherapist (Q) and help clients work through their challenges that include issues with relationships. Have any questions about anything specific I do or whether I would be a good fit to be your therapist, I am happy to provide a free consultation.

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Phone: 647-971-9680
Guelph, Ontario
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