Overcoming a Long Distance Relationship With a Plan!

by

Out of sight out of mind? Or does absence make the heart grow fonder?

With increases in technology more and more individuals are working to sustain relationships with others who are miles, time zones and sometimes even oceans away. Most often when we hear the term long distance relationship we immediately think romantic dating relationships; however, marriage relationships and non-romantic relationships with family members or friends also fall under this category.

Moving to Auburn this past August, all of my relationships instantly became long distance – My friends from college moved all over the country, my family remained in Florida and my boyfriend started graduate school in New York City. I was immediately faced with figuring out how to manage multiple relationships with miles between me and the ones I loved.

One way to manage such relationships is through making a plan for the next time you will be together. Research suggests spending time together, via phone or e-mail, planning for the next visit, helps to produce feelings of stability and certainty – which can be hard to cultivate with few face-to-face interactions.

For my boyfriend and me, planning unique activities, such as going to the Bronx Zoo to ride a camel, or simply discussing what we are looking forward to during the next visit, perhaps sharing some chocolate doughnuts together, helps us get through the months apart. While it is important to plan, it is also important to leave room for spontaneous or even everyday activities. Despite all the bike riding and hiking adventures we shared together during his visit to Auburn several months ago, we both agreed our favorite time together was simply cooking dinner. The key is to find stability through making plans while remaining flexible to what each visit has to offer!

Does and Don’ts of Long Distance Relationship Planning

DO spend time apart discussing plans for your future time together

DON’T over plan or try to fit weeks worth of activities into one weekend

DO allow room for spontaneity

DO enjoy the mundane activities – Just because you do not see each other often does not mean every activity needs to be “special”

DON’T get frustrated if you do not accomplish all of the plans you made prior to being together

DON’T feel pressure to be overly sexually active during the visit with a romantic partner. This can quickly sap up any spontaneity.

Spend some time today with a long distance romantic partner, family member or friend making a PLAN for your future time together! What exciting PLANS are you making?

For further reading on making a romantic long distance relationship work check out this Health Discovery Blog!

Larissa Ferretti

Graduate Research Assistant

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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One Response to “Overcoming a Long Distance Relationship With a Plan!”

  1. Reyes Schubert Says:

    I discovered your site because I’ve been exploring ways to get more confident with girls. Recently I broke up with my fiancee and I’m a bit nervous about returning to the whole “singles scene”. I’m afraid to say my “skills” with talking to girls are rusty, to say the least!

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