7 Habits of Happy Long Distance Couples

Some people think it's impossible, but there are ways to make a long-distance relationship work. A lot depends on the two people involved - if you're more interdependent you'll obviously have greater challenges than if you're very independent. And, as an American living in the UK, I have to say that updates in technology since I first came here nine years ago have made it much easier to stay in touch with the people you care about (seriously, Whatsapp and Facetime will save your relationship)). But that doesn't mean it won't be difficult.

Basically, there has to be a lot of trust between you. Part of that is trusting—really trusting—that the relationship will work over a distance. You'd be surprised how many couples don't believe this.

"The first rule of staying in a long-distance relationship is believing it's the right answer," Love Maze founder Chris Armstrong tells Bustle. "As simple as it sounds, the number one killer of long-distance relationships is doubt. Couples who 'try' but don't have much confidence in themselves will turn any obstacle in the relationship into a reason for doubt and doubt. Therefore, the relationship will always be will take a step forward,” so you have to believe in it for it to work.

But once you get the hang of it, it still requires a lot of maintenance. Here are seven habits of happy long-distance couples, because you have to get creative:

1. They schedule time to stay in touch

This may be obvious, but it's important. You need to figure out how much contact each of you needs to feel safe in your relationship—and it doesn't have to be the same amount. If one of you needs a little more comfort, you have to give it to them. If you find this difficult, don't be afraid to create a schedule. "Communicate, communicate, communicate," Armstrong said. "Like do it often, but more importantly, find predictable, prescheduled times to do it. This avoids any confusion about expectations and eliminates excuses."

2. But they don’t track each other

Track their every move, if only to drive you a little crazy. Like I said, you need to trust your partner, and that includes letting them let go a little bit. I know you are probably waiting for a reply and your Whatsapp has two blue ticks and they have been online since, but please give them some breathing room.

3. They are creative

You have to find weird ways to connect with each other. Sending postcards, small gifts, even pizza if you know they're staying the night - there are many ways you can creatively show that you care from afar. "Long-distance relationships put intimacy to the test," says relationship psychotherapist Rachel Mohrban-Wachtel. "While physical connection isn't as common, there are things couples can do to keep the excitement alive in a long-distance relationship."

4. Telephone. gender.

You can practice before going in so it's not too awkward—and know that it might be a little awkward. But things will get better. Unless you can completely stop having sex while you're apart, having sex (or sexting) over the phone or Skype can keep your relationship strong. In fact, a 2013 Cornell University study of 63 heterosexual couples found that long-distance couples felt more intimacy and communication in their relationships and had more communication than those who were geographically closer. What an intimate conversation and activity . Therefore, your sex life can actually benefit from LDR. When it comes to sex, you need to set some clear rules beforehand about what's allowed and what's not.

Armstrong says you have to set boundaries and expectations. "This goes hand in hand with the second biggest killer of long-distance relationships: cheating," he said. While you may think that cheating is absolutely out of the question in your relationship, you should still communicate with your partner what the rules are and what to do if one of you gets into trouble.

"You might be surprised how many times someone gets caught using distance and expectation as an excuse, and ignorance as an excuse. 'You're there, I'm here, 876 miles apart. I didn't know we were considered completely Exclusive' says the cheater," Armstrong said.

5. They do their own thing

I said you can't stalk your partner, but it's much easier if you have your own thing. Sitting there missing your significant other will only make you feel resentful. You may forget about yourself and feel like a person waiting for a partner. "Our culture has become a culture that pursues romantic relationships," dating coach Monica Parikh tells Bustle. "I recommend putting your own life first. Develop hobbies, interests, and friendships that will help you grow into the best version of yourself."

This is true when you're single, in a relationship, or in a long-term relationship. If you've been busy with friends, work, and hobbies, it can actually feel good to take some time to spend with your partner. This is much better than sitting there waiting for them to text.

6. They examine their relationships

Even if you start out strong, it's important to check if you both can handle the distance. If one of you seems to be handling it well and doesn't bother to stop and ask the other how they're doing, tension and anger can build.

"I think that in any relationship, if I don't feel honored, valued or prioritized by my partner, it's not going to be a lasting relationship where my needs are met," Jeffrey Sumber, MA, MTS, LCPC, tells Hustle. "Whether it's with a partner who lives in the same house or a long-distance relationship, we all need to meet basic needs and need to feel special and valued." Frequently checking in, rather than just assuming your partner is okay, means you can respond when problems get out of hand Solve the problem before.

7. They make the most of their time together

Long distance relationships work best when you value the time you spend together. Depending on how far apart you are and your schedules, you may or may not see each other frequently, but no matter what, you should make that time special. A 2013 Cornell University study found that in order to maintain romance in a relationship, couples in LDR communicate more frequently and discuss deeper issues such as love, trust, and plans for the future.

In this way, a long-distance relationship can actually make you appreciate your partner more. The time you spend together isn’t just sitting on the couch watching TV—you’re communicating and connecting about more meaningful topics.

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