5 Ways to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Last

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Published Date|
May 7, 2024

5 Ways to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Last

In the beginning, long-distance relationships can feel romantic.

You daydream about your partner constantly, you check in with each other about your day, and you may even go the extra mile and start exchanging hand-written notes.

But after a while, you realize you miss having your partner around. The physical aspects of relationships become more glaringly absent, and you start to wonder how anyone makes long-distance work.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re relationship experts. For over 15 years, we’ve helped our clients learn how to have successful and satisfying relationships.

After reading this article, you’ll know what makes long-distance relationships work, long-distance relationship red flags, and five ways to have a lasting long-term relationship.

Do Long-Distance Relationships Work?

Yes, long-distance relationships can work.

Relationships require commitment, love, communication, mutual understanding, and support - and you don’t have to live in the same place for all these aspects to work. 

While being physically close to someone can definitely make these things easier, it doesn’t mean that they can’t happen in a long-distance relationship - especially with all the technology we have access to these days.

Still, like any relationship, common mistakes can make long-distance relationships harder.

Common long-distance relationship mistakes include:

  • A lack of communication
  • Not sharing small details with each other
  • Focusing on the negative aspects of the relationship
  • Forgetting to take care of your own emotional needs
  • Not paying attention or losing focus when talking to your partner

It’s normal for every relationship to have ups and downs, and these mistakes are common because they’re easy to make (and can be easy to overcome once you notice them.)

What Does an Unhealthy Long-Distance Relationship Look Like?

While long-distance relationship mistakes are common, there are some you shouldn’t ignore.

Red flags in long-distance relationships include:

  • A lack of interest in what’s happening in each others’ lives
  • Planning a future that doesn’t involve each other
  • Frequently cancelling your online plans
  • A lack of trust in each other
  • Having constant arguments

5 Ways to Have a Healthier Long-Distance Relationship

Try these five tips to have a healthier long-distance relationship.

long-distance relationship tips

1. Identify your own insecurities

Despite the fact that you’re far away from your partner, long-distance relationships can amplify your insecurities.

If you’re feeling anxious about something your partner said, you can’t just walk into the next room and have a quick conversation about it. You’re stuck waiting for them to return a text or a phone call, which can leave you spiralling about the state of your relationship.

What insecurities do you have in relationships? Are you someone who struggles with trust or has a hard time opening up?

Be honest with yourself about the aspects of relationships that make you uncomfortable, and be willing to talk about them with your partner.

2. Focus on communication

Communication is important in any relationship, but verbal communication is the life-line of long-distance relationships.

You may rely on physical cues and quality time to strengthen your relationship with a partner who lives near you, but a long-distance partnership requires excellent written and verbal communication to stay connected.

To improve your communication, try:

  • Choosing a consistent time every day to check in with each other (even sending a quick text at lunch to update how your days are going works well)
  • Stay focused during phone calls and video calls, and limit distractions
  • Have fun virtual dates, like online movie or game nights

It shouldn’t feel like a chore to communicate with your partner. You don’t need to be perfect communicators in order to have a successful relationship - it’s okay for you to need space sometimes. Just make sure to be open and honest about your feelings.

3. Create something to look forward to together

This tip comes from author Mark Manson, the mind behind The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

Make sure you always have something to look forward to with your partner, whether it’s the next time you’ll be able to grab dinner together in-person or if it’s the date when you finally get to move into your shared apartment in your new city.

Whether these upcoming milestones are large or small, having something to look forward to together is important. It reminds you of the common goals you have and is one more step toward the time when you’ll be able to be together permanently.

Having an event where you can come together can help stop you from moving even further apart.

4. Know how to recognize when it’s not working

Long-distance relationships can be hard for even the strongest of couples.

If it’s not working, don’t try to ignore the situation.

Watch for these signs:

  • Talking to your partner feels like a chore
  • You don’t want to check in with them about your day
  • You feel like you can’t trust each other when you’re apart

Have an honest conversation with your partner about what you both want and if your goals are still aligned.

Do you have plans to ever live in the same city? Do you still have compatible goals for your future?

If you still want to make things work, speaking to a relationship professional can help you identify how to strengthen your long-distance relationship.

5. Try out online couples therapy

Whether you’re struggling with communication or having a hard time maintaining trust, an online couples therapist may be exactly what you need to help your relationship thrive.

Online couples therapy can help you:

  • Learn problem-solving skills
  • Improve your communication
  • Align your goals for the future
  • Grow your sense of mutual respect and support
  • Understand each other’s needs, desires, and emotions

Next Steps for Healthy Long-Distance Relationships

After reading this article, you know five ways to help your long-distance relationship succeed.

Here at KMA Therapy, our talented team of therapists are here to help you get your relationship back on track.

Register online to connect with our team or download our Therapy 101 Guide to learn more about how therapy could help you.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these related articles:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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