Today it's possible to find your soul mate living across the state, country, or world. Unfortunately, these relationships are more difficult since you'll need more time, money, and patience. However, this doesn't mean that these relationships are impossible. With the right mindset and understanding, they can actually be quite successful. Of course, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to make this happen.
Work on Your Communication Skills
Communication is so important. This is especially true of verbal communication since you can't see the other person's body language unless you meet virtually. Miscommunication is bound to happen and when it does you simply have to be patient with the other person. There will also be nights when one of you is too tired to talk on the phone. With this in mind, here are a few ways The Huffington Post suggests you work on your communication skills together:
- Be patient and don't send late night texts saying you want to break up.
- Tell your partner how you're feeling, whether you're depressed or tired, so they know how to react instead of getting into a fight with you.
- Utilize all forms of communication that you have available to you – chat on the phone, send sweet texts throughout the day, share pictures of your daily life, write thoughtful emails, and have online video dates.
- Schedule regular dates that you treat like in-person dates. Set up times to use video then treat those times as though they're special – even going so far as to get dressed up and light some candles, maybe even have the same wine available. You may even want to read a book or play a game together.
- Learn how to ask good questions. This helps keep the conversation interesting[*1] and purposeful. It also helps your partner know that you're aware of their daily life and care enough to want to be involved.
- Never be afraid of discussing your relationship goals. Talk about whether you want to move to the same city and when. This helps you be on the same page.
- While these tips should help you communicate better, remember that fights and mis-communications are bound to happen. These even happen in relationships where people see each other daily or even live in the same house together. The fact that you're dealing with a great number of miles between you may even make these things happen more often. When you do argue, learn how to apologize and work through it. Don't take things too personally, but try to move forward instead.
Find Ways to Share Your Life Together
While communication is a major part of any long-distance relationship, finding ways in which you can spend daily life together is also vital. Most people who are in successful online relationships will tell you that communication simply isn't enough[*2] . Finding ways to have these daily experiences together is important, regardless of how many miles apart you are. Here are a few ways in which you can make this happen:
- When one of you has to wake up early for work, have the other person set their alarm and call you as your backup alarm. Even if you're not a morning person, this could result in a nice conversation so you can start the day together.
- Don't just send each other pictures of your day. Send videos too.
- Don't wait until the end of the day to have a phone conversation. Call and text each other throughout the day so you're part of each other's daily life.
- Make it a point to celebrate everything together no matter how big or small it may seem. Life is full of successes and knowing that your partner is there for you makes them even more rewarding.
Plan to Have Time Together in Person
All of these things are great but they'll never be recompense for the time you need to spend together. Unfortunately, you can't do this too often because you're living different lives and obviously money is also a factor. As such, you really do need to set up some ground rules for when you'll see one another. The Huffington Post recommends that couples never go more than 6 weeks without seeing one another in person – you really should visit one another every 2 – 3 weeks though.
Coming together for an in-person visit is definitely worth the effort. Maybe you can even find a place that's in the middle of where you two both live so you can meet up there. Regardless of where you meet, make sure you do it. When you get together there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Make big decisions in person so miscommunication doesn't happen as readily. You can both see each other's verbal cues which really helps here.
- Don't spend all of your time together alone. This is tempting since you don't spend a lot of time together. Of course, it's also important but so is spending time together with other people. Doing so allows you to get to know each other's friends and allows them to get to know you as a couple so they see why you mean so much to one another. This also makes phone conversations more meaningful because your partner can picture who you're talking about.
Don't worry if every visit isn't perfect. There are a lot of considerations that go into these visits – whether to spend time alone or with a group; whether you need to work or study during this time; whether you need to have an important conversation. These are just a few things that make such trips “real.” However, if you actually take the time to keep your relationship “real” when you aren't together, this really won't be so scary when you are together. By embracing the ups and downs of your relationship when they do happen you'll feel more comfortable with them regardless of where you are.