If you're in a long-distance relationship, you already know that being away from your partner can feel like a major obstacle standing in the way of your ideal relationship. You've finally found a wonderful partner, but due to circumstances out of your control, living in the same place isn't currently an option. It's easy to feel like the distance defeats the purpose of even being in a relationship at all. However, if you and your partner can cultivate the qualities that help long-distance relationships thrive, it is totally possible to have a happy and healthy partnership without living in the same place.
According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, even though maintaining a long-distance relationship may be tough, it is very much possible. "Despite the challenges, successful long-distance relationships happen every day," Dr. Klapow tells Elite Daily. "If there's a strong emotional bond, effort, and dedication to helping each partner feel safe, connected, and independent, long-distance relationships are realistic." If you're considering starting a long-distance relationship, or are already in one, here are some important qualities that can help ensure your love thrives. Take notes! You've got this in the bag.
1. You've Planned Out Your Visitation Schedule
Both parties should be on the same page about how often they see each other in person. Scheduling visits far in advance will ensure that neither of you ends up disappointed. "Have a schedule if at all possible," recommends Dr. Klapow. "Know when you are going to be together and when you are not. Predictability will help create a rhythm to the relationship and allow you to function at a higher level when you are not with your partner."
2. Your Expectations For Communication Are Realistic.
Being in a successful LDR means that both people have realistic expectations when it comes to how often you communicate. Make sure that whatever routine you come i up with feels doable for the both of you. "Trying to make up the time you are not together by talking, emailing, texting, or video chatting constantly creates a level of expectation that can’t be sustained," explains Dr. Klapow. "You can’t virtually be with someone every hour of every day, so stop trying. Keep the contact regular (daily) but regimented so that communication doesn’t take over your life."
3. Both Partners Can Function Independently.
One of the most underrated aspects of LDRs is that you have extra time to fully focus on your goals. According to Dr. Klapow, if both partners can learn to embrace their lives and independence without the daily presence of their partner, the relationship is much more likely to thrive. "Enjoy your independent time in a healthy, productive, and satisfying manner," says Dr. Klapow. "The stronger your life can be in terms of actions, hobbies, work, and other people, the healthier you will be. This will help you effectively navigate the challenges of a long-distance relationship."
4. There's A Deep Level Of Trust Between You
When you're in a LDR, it's important that there's an established level of trust between you and your partner. "If you are constantly doubting what your partner may be doing, the relationship is doomed," warns Dr. Klapow. "If you can’t let go of what they do daily and trust that it is not putting the relationship at risk, then the foundation of the relationship will erode."
5. You Feel Comfortable Being Honest.
Honesty is an important part of every relationship, but if you're trying long-distance, it's even more essential. "The communication skills for each of you must be at the top of their game," says Dr. Klapow. "You need to be able to and feel open to talking about anything and everything, even topics you probably would hold off on if you were closer." If something is bothering you, don't be afraid to let your partner know.
LDRs may require more effort to maintain, but if you're both willing to do what it takes to make the relationship work, they can be just as solid as same-city partnerships. Try not to get discouraged by bumps along the way, as it may take some time to settle into a rhythm you're both satisfied with. Learning, growing, and making the necessary adjustments are all parts of the process that will keep your relationship strong during periods of separation.