Putting in effort is essential for any relationship to flourish, and that is even more true in case of long distance. The pandemic has turned a lot of relationships into involuntarily long distance ones, and it is more important than ever to ensure your partner and you are mindfully strengthening your foundation in order to maintain a functional and fulfilling relationship, no matter how many miles or time zones apart you are. A little work and a lot of love can make your long distance relationship go the distance.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it might also bring forth difficulties. According to Dr. Shreya Chakravarty, Psychologist, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, “Insecurities, FOMO, anxiety, and the feeling of loneliness that creates doubts regarding the worth of the relationship are some of the most common challenges of a long distance relationship”. These problems can, in turn, give rise to trust issues. The physical distance from your partner can also lead to an idealised image of each other, setting up higher or false expectations, initially obscuring flaws that could bring forth disappointment in the long run. Not being close to each other can be hard, but it does not have to be hopeless. Building trust is important, and here are some ways you can do so for a healthy long distance relationship.
Tips For Building Trust
1. Prioritise quality time: Be mindful about carving out quality time with each other from your schedules. Dr. Chakravarty says, “Prioritize and schedule ‘WE’ time. Make your partner feel and realize they are a part of your life”. Plan virtual dates. Eat together over video call, or watch a movie together on virtual watch parties hosted through apps such as Metastream or extensions like Teleparty. Plan visits for the express purpose of seeing each other and not as an addition to work related trips.
2. Establish proper and effective communication: Technology has brought the world at our fingertips. Communicate over multiple online methods, be it email or WhatsApp or video calling. The variety can make your communication more dynamic. Talk about your feelings honestly. Do not jump to conclusions easily, and try to engage in patient discussions during fights.
3. Give space: While it is important to stay in touch as much as possible, make sure to respect each other’s independence, and recognise that your schedules may not always line up the way you want them to. Have confidence in your relationship, and do not overwhelm your partner with excessive checking in.
4.Validate your bond: Dr. Chakravarty advises, “Don’t become a liability, but a strong support system to your partner. Validate your commitment.” Be someone your partner can rely on. Take note of their likes and dislikes. Make your partner realise that you respect your relationship, and do not take them for granted.
5. Accept responsibility: Every relationship has its ups and downs. If your action hurts your partner or your relationship, own up to it. Acknowledge your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions. A simple apology could go a long way when it comes to conflicts.
6. Keep the intimacy alive: Not being in geographical proximity can hinder your intimacy. Engage in flirty banter over the phone, or express your attraction for each other through text messages or letters. Communicate openly about sex. Keeping in mind consent, boundaries, and internet safety, explore digital methods of exploring your connection.