Dealing with a Long Distance Relationship

Mailbag Question: Dealing with a Long Distance Relationship


I moved to Texas with the intention of working there for a year, maybe more. Within the first three months I met a man and we hit it off from the start. He was everything I had ever wanted in a man in terms of personality and morals. We got to the stage of deciding whether to take things to the next level (boyfriend and girlfriend). This was before I went through some troubles at work. He stood by me 100% of the way and was extremely supportive.


I ended up moving states and I am just not sure I know how to make the long distance work (I really would like to be with him again). In conversations, I have picked up that he still wants a future with me. I am tied up in this contract for another 7 and half months, is it worth trying the long distance or should I move on?


Answer: Dealing with a Long Distance Relationship


Dealing with a long distance relationship is often difficult to wrap your head around. It seems like you found someone who you really connect with and that the two of you share many values. He seemed to show through his actions (during your struggles at work) that he was there for you, which is a good sign for a potential relationship.


We believe long distance relationships are hard, but when done right can work just fine.  We’ve seen couples that are in the military, travel frequently or are in situations similar to yours be very successful in dealing with a long distance relationship.  We’ve also seen couples struggle to make it work.


We could be wrong, but it seems to us your heart is saying let’s give this long distance thing a shot. If that’s the case we recommending really listening to your heart and go with it, especially since it sounds like you could be together in 7 months. Often we hold back and don’t go all out for love due to fear of what could happen and we think that is a mistake. If you are going to be hurt or let down it will happen whether you go for it or not.


You have a much greater chance at happiness when you go for what you want and have confidence you will be able to cope no matter what the outcome.


If you do go for it, there are a couple of things we would recommend for dealing with a long distance relationship. It will be important for you to communicate with each other in a much more deliberate and purposeful way. You’ll want to use all the technology you have available to keep in touch with each other and ping the other person with loving and passionate messages. You can use your phone, email, text, IM, Skype and other forms of communication to keep the love and passion alive while in different area codes.


We would recommend that you don’t try to solve problems through email or text because there is a greater chance of miscommunication and misinterpretation when communicating long distance. Talking about problems or issues is best done on Skype or over the phone.


In a long distance relationship, it is important to setup your relationship guidelines right from the outset so that each of you know what is expected. It is good to ask each other the tough questions you may avoid at first if you were living in the same area regarding sex and other people of the opposite sex. It is also important to discuss who, what when and where in regards to visiting each other.


Another thing you can do that’s helpful is to pursue common interests or activities separately but at the same time so you can share in the excitement of the process together.


Finally, when you are together or communicating with each other make that time count. Most people who live with a lover take for granted the time they spend together. You will have an advantage because you will be reminded how precious your time is together and to take advantage of it whenever possible.

Say Yes to Love,

Dr. Michael Arn & Dr. Ashley Arn