Navigating Long Distance Love. How to Keep the Flame Alive

I’ve had a few long-distance relationships, not many, but enough to know they are hard. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it is impossible. Hindsight, I wish I would have given it more of a chance. Dating near my home had been attracting the wrong men. I started dating long-distance when I met a man 2 hrs away and within a short amount of time, he had to move across the country. We had to plan everything and when we did see each other it was an adventure. Certainly, compatibility plays a huge role in developing a healthy relationship. This one ended due to incompatibility.

 Everyone should be true to what they can do when dating and if it isn’t for you, certainly honor that.

My biggest issue with long distance is getting to know the real person and not the facade that might be presented during the early dating process. However, given that that same dynamic happened even when close, I realized there just isn’t a better way.

A certain amount of taking chances, but also trusting your gut needs to be in place either way. Not trusting the person you just met, but trusting yourself to see the signals. Trust building takes time and emotional intimacy will grow as you gain attraction and spend time together.

There are pros to long-distance dating.

  • You have more time to contemplate the health of the relationship and not get too caught up in seeing each other too often.
  • You get to have a life outside of dating someone as they aren’t close enough to embed yourself in their life.
  • More talks and less doing things. Creates a chance to really spend time communicating.
  • Planning your time together more consciously as it is short and you want to make the best of it.


Navigating Long Distance Love. How to Keep the Flame Alive

  • How can you establish effective communication patterns in a long-distance relationship?
    Decide how often to communicate with each other. This will change as the relationship moves forward. Keep in mind that momentum is very important and communication more frequently might work better for keeping the attraction growing.
  • What activities can you do together despite the physical distance?
    Watch movies together via video and talk about the movie later, and have a dinner date on video chat. Read the same book, and go on walks together while you talk. Share Spotify music, games, or podcasts. Get creative in how you plan your activities. It can be fun.
  • How can you build trust and maintain emotional intimacy?
    This can be the toughest one. Building trust and watching closely how actions match words will maintain emotional intimacy and trust will grow. Since they are long distance some of this will surface once in person. You’ll get to see if what they say their life is is what it actually is. One way to do this is to plan ahead for a future in-person visit. This keeps you looking forward to and building up positive tension. You will have to decide early on how you will meet in person. Plan airline tickets or road trips in advance. Talk about plans for your dates while together so you use the time wisely and keep the energy high. 
  • Are there ways to surprise and show love from afar?
    You can send gifts, have spontaneous chats, or send emails, or text messages that you are thinking about them.
  • How can you manage the challenges and uncertainties that come with long-distance love?
    Pay attention to words matching actions just like you would in person. Long-distance relationships require very committed people. If you don’t feel the commitment is there, time to investigate. Make sure you are included in their daily life via video chat just like you would if you were dating in person. Meaning seeing their house, car, meeting friends, and hanging out with them when they are socializing. Look for transparency in their life. 

Love from afar can be too challenging and you might decide it isn’t for you. Finding the right person means we have to be open to where they show up. If the match is right and you want to put the effort into keeping the flame alive use your creativity and imagination. You can come up with ideas to have love and passion in your partnership. When navigating long-distance love, it is very important to communicate consciously.

Photo by Dollar Gill Unsplash