An outline of crucial mistakes to avoid for a successful long-distance relationship
You’ve met someone that inspires you to love again but because of unwanted circumstances, you’re unable to be together. You decide to give this long-distance relationship thing a try but you’re worried about how the time apart could change the relationship. You have your doubts and don’t know if it’ll be worth the sacrifice. I recently went through an eight-month long-distance relationship that failed but not before learning some valuable lessons.
We were physically together for nine months and apart for eight. I met her while I was backpacking through Australia. We were great friends at first but as these things go, one thing led to another and we both said the L-word. We traveled the country in a van together and lived in a paradise of shared solitude. We became vagabond bohemian van dwellers who lived worshiping the moments we shared. We woke up every day with the rising sun and drifted into sleep every night embracing each other in a love cocoon. We laughed together, we suffered together and we stank together. We got to know each other in ways no one else had known us. We created a love story that you rarely read in books or see in movies. It was her and me against the world. That is until our Visas expired and we had to fly back home to Canada. Where we lived 3413.6 kilometers apart.
In this post, I’ll outline the main points that were crucial in the failure of my long-distance relationship and how you can ultimately learn from my mistakes.
1. Don’t have an end goal
This is the number one thing you can do to ensure that your long-distance relationship goes nowhere. Not having committed to an end goal where both of you can be physically living together, or at least in the same city, will haunt the relationship with doubt and insecurities. Both partners have to create a clear goal that’s prioritized and worked towards. The ideal thing to do would be to have a clearly defined goal at the beginning of the long-distance.
If you want the relationship to make it through this tough time apart then you must be able to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Lie to each other
honesty is key to any relationship. This is especially true with long distance. You should have full trust among both partners for the relationship to go anywhere.
Trying to avoid telling your partner the truth to make yourself look better or telling them ‘white lies’ will always bring more trouble than its worth.
Always be honest, no matter how hard it is. Once you catch your partner in a lie no matter how big or small, the dynamics change, insecurities are formed and the love evolves into something not so beautiful. Trust is a precarious thing that is easily lost.
3. Don’t Visit Each Other
Rami Fu, a dating coach, says that “ideally every three months is the minimum” that you should be seeing each other. This he says is “so you don’t forget why you love that person in the first place and get some sex. It will also allow you to see how they evolve as a person during your time apart.”
Have clear plans to visit each other before the long-distance begins.
4. Do things you know your partner doesn’t agree with
I’m not saying you shouldn’t let loose and have some fun once in a while but you should always consider your partner when doing things. If your partner tells you it’s not okay for you to drink until you’re blackout drunk then you should either stop drinking or quit the relationship.
Consider how your partner may feel when you behave in a certain way and as I said above, honesty is key.
5. Cheat on each other
This is an obvious one but there are times when different people have different definitions of cheating apart from the objectively defined ‘having sex with someone else definition.’
Some straight girls like to make out with other girls for fun while in a committed relationship. Your last partner might’ve thought that was okay but your partner now may not feel the same.
Set personal boundaries from the start that cannot be crossed. This way, you understand the expectations you both have for each other and avoid any surprises.
6. Prioritize most things in your life over your relationship
The Golden Rule to a successful relationship, according to writer Barry Davret, is to make your relationship the top priority in your life. To summarize Barry’s insightful article on relationships; when you make that person your top priority, you find it easier to compromise on the sacrifices necessary in making a long-distance relationship end with both partners being together. Making that person your top priority in your life will create a stable relationship geared toward a successful future.
I’m not saying they should be your only priority because that’s a formula for a toxic relationship. If you’re committed to this one person and you love them enough to see a future with them then they should be your top priority.
Following the golden rule makes love gestures come second nature to both partners. When you make that person your top priority and they do the same, there will be no doubts, no insecurities, no hesitations. It will inevitably work.
Long-distance relationships are hard. Sacrifices are necessary to make the relationship a lasting one. If you both choose to make the relationship your top priority, everything else will fall into place. All the sacrifices will be worth it and all the time apart will be nothing to a lifetime with a person who you worship the present of the moment with.
If you have any experience with long-distance relationships, I’d love to hear any crucial points you think I’m missing from your success or failures. If you’re currently going through a long-distance comment below and tell me what the most difficult part has been so far.
Good luck to everyone and remember; succeed or fail, always take it as a lesson.