Though many people refuse to even consider a long distance relationship, I believe proximity-challenged couples can thrive if they are well-matched and willing to put in the work required to keep their relationships moving forward!
If you are in a long distance relationship, it is good to check in with each other every few months to determine if you are still on the same page – and to make sure you are not settling into a rut. Like with any relationship, you want to stay in for the right reasons; and, convenience and familiarity are not the right reasons. ~smile~
- Are We Making the Most of our Time Apart? Like I said earlier this week, time apart can be a valuable tool for couples if they choose to embrace it! Are you spending ample time communicating, talking about the future, discussing plans and goals, and getting to know each other on a deeper level? Are you using the time to further your education, get grounded in your career, set aside money, and get your ducks in a row for the future? Or, are you wallowing and complaining because you cannot be together? Being apart is extremely tough, but you can use the time to prepare for when you will be together! Keep your eyes on the prize! ~smile~
- Are We Making Future Plans, or Happy Keeping Life the Way it is? Eric has often said that he has no problem with online dating sites as long as the couples who meet online do not perpetually stay online. In other words, if you meet online, don’t be content with a screen-to-screen romance. Meet, connect, and decide if something could grow between you. The same is true for long distance couples who met in person. Either decide to part ways, or plan to move forward with your relationship – if marriage is a real possibility. You don’t have to decide immediately, but if in a little while you sense that marriage probably isn’t going to happen long-term, it’s probably best to exit the relationship.
- Are We Prioritizing Each Other? When your sweetie is not in your face, it is easy to let other tasks slip into his or her spot on your priority list. When a relationship is new, it is often the focus of your life; but, after couples have been together a while, it gets easier to say, “Hey, let’s not talk tonight. I have a lot going on.” Once in a while that is fine, but if it becomes a habit, you are sure to weaken your connection. If a long distance relationship is going to work, couples need to be intentional about making time for each other – even when they are tired or facing inevitable conflicts.
- If We Lived in the Same Town, is it Likely that We Would Stay Together? A long distance relationship couple needs to ask: Is our distance helping us avoid problems we would have to face if we lived near each other? Does the distance serve to give us the “best” of both worlds – a relationship to cling to and a distance to evade emotional intimacy?
- Are We Willing to Move to be Nearer to Each Other? Most people cannot drop everything and move across the country at a moment’s notice; but, when neither person will consider moving, where can the relationship go? If neither of you are willing to move, it is probably time to part ways.Before you decide, consider the idea of moving from all sides. Can you imagine your life without him or her?
- Are We Growing Closer or are We Growing Apart? If we are growing apart, are we concerned about it or okay with it? Does the loss of connection bother either of us? Does it seem like time to part ways, or are we committed to working on our relationship?
- Could We Benefit from Pre-Engagement Counseling? Eric and I work with couples via Google Hangouts and Skype, and in doing so we have had the opportunity to help a number of long-distance couples receive a quality relationship coaching program regardless of their locations (as long as both parties have solid internet connections). We love providing couples who cannot meet together in person with quality pre-engagement and pre-marital programs. We strongly recommend pre-engagement counseling so couples can be made aware of, and work through, their specific relational dynamics before getting engaged. Once couples are engaged, it is much harder for them to be objective about their relationship. Check out our pre-engagement counseling package! Or, if you want to slowly dip your toes into the relationship coaching waters, we recommend beginning with The PAIR Test! (But, even if you’re engaged, we would still love to work with you too!)
Whether you have to get on a plane to see your sweetie, or walk down the street, it is good to check in with each other every few months to make sure you are in a good place. In the meantime, have weekly debriefings to make sure there are no underlying issues or concerns that have not been discussed. Pull weeds often and keep your relational garden healthy!
Do you and your sweetie check in with each other on a regular basis to make sure you are in sync?
(If you like the item in the picture for this post, you can find it in this Etsy shop. Note: we are not at all affiliated with this Etsy seller.)