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Surviving A Long Distance Relationship: 7 Powerful Secrets To Rekindle the Love and Keep It Alive

April 13, 2008
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All relationships take work. But a long-distance relationship is even more difficult and it can sometimes seem impossible to keep love alive when separated. But love can be a powerful motivator and, if you're dedicated enough, you can make a long-distance relationship work.

If your man is overseas, you may be concerned that his need for affection may lead him astray ' but with the right attitude and a little creativity, your long-distance relationship can be rewarding, exciting and romantic. You just have to work a little harder to keep the flame burning while you're apart.

1) Write love letters.

One of the best things about long-distance relationship is receiving ' and sending ' love letters and romantic poetry. Even relationships where a couple live in the same house can benefit from expressing feelings on paper, and it's even more special when there are miles between you.

So take advantage of the distance and craft a love poem for him that's as romantic as anything out of a Jane Austen novel. Handwrite a two-page letter, send a flirty text message or type out a romantic e-mail.

You don't have to embarrass yourself with gooey sentimentality, but the more detailed your love notes, the better. As long as you're sincere, you really can't go wrong.

2) Live in the present.

Instead of emphasizing the distance between the two of you, focus on the love you share every day, and how grateful you have each other to rely upon.

It's natural to plan for the future, but if you're always talking about how terrific it will be the next time you're together, you're not enjoying the present. Don't live for "someday" ' appreciate each other right now, even with the distance, and don't pin all your happiness on some far-off moment down the road.

3) Build trust.

If you show that you trust your partner, they will return the favor. Even couples who live together fear infidelity, so it can especially tough to trust that your partner overseas is being faithful.

But if both of you agreed to be true to each other while in separate cities, states or countries, or continents, then you should trust that neither of you will risk your love too easily.

So if you let him know you're confident in your relationship ' and reinforce that you're happy to wait for your partner ' the two of you will have more of a chance of succeeding.

4) Be careful with your words and tone of voice.

Because you aren't there to read his body language and facial expressions and feel his hug ' and vice versa ' pay extra attention to way you communicate.

If something you read strikes you the wrong way, ask him to clarify. Make sure that your own writing is clear. If you're having a tough day and the stress is creeping into your voice while you're on the phone, make sure to tell him why you're tense and that it's not because of him. It's easy to miscommunicate when you're not face-to-face, so head off any misunderstandings before they start.

5) Don't idealize your partner.

Lovers tend to idealize each other in long-distance relationships, building them up to be people they aren't.

It's natural to think highly of your partner, but don't have unrealistic expectations of how perfect your life will be when you're finally together again. You'll only be setting yourself up for a massive disappointment if you do.

6) Involve him in your everyday life.

It's important for him to feel connected to you. Tell him about even the most mundane details about your day, keep him up to date about your life.

Share gossip about the neighbors, tell him about a movie you saw, talk about the new software you're installing on the computer. Some long-distance couples will set their VCRs to record a movie or TV show so they can watch it together, chatting on Instant Messenger or on the phone while watching at the same time.

Having these special "dates" will keep the two of you close, just as sharing the most boring details of your life will keep you conncted as a couple.

7) Close the distance every now and then.

Even if you feel your long-distance relationship is going along just swimmingly, there's nothing like a planned or totally spontaneous get-together to spice things up.

Save up for a plane ticket and surprise your lover with a weekend visit. Sometimes you just need a little reminder of the physical connection you two have, not just the emotional one.

Your long-distance relationship can work ' even thrive ' with a little effort and creativity. Even if your partner is starting to feel a little distant, you can rekindle the love with a few romantic gestures and a lot of compassion.

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