Did you know that 1-in-10 marriages start from a long distance relationship? It’s true.
There are many struggles that come with long distance relationships. Navigating professional lives, social and personal schedules, scheduling conflicts with time-zone differences, and the inability to connect physically on a regular basis. Combined with collaboration issues, jealousy, insecurity, it’s honestly quite shocking how 1-in-10 long distance relationships end up in marriage.
It sounds so difficult. So, how do people do it?
A while back I spoke with Connor and Vienna, a couple in a successful long distance relationship, in a podcast about their long distance relationship.
Connor Beaton is the Founder of ManTalks, and Vienna Pharaon is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in New York. Together, they shared how setting expectations and being open to discussing hopes, dreams, agreements, disagreements and beyond openly is the biggest tip they could give to someone engaging in this type of relationship.
From the start of the relationship, it’s very important to set expectations with each other. Whether that be your engagement frequency, your hopes to one day live in the same city, or as simple as what you expect to get out of the relationship. Getting these things out on the table creates open communication which is the key to success in any kind of relationship.
Oftentimes there are covert expectations, that are sort-of unspoken expectations, that need to be voiced and heard in order to keep that open line of communication. We have these with friends, family, and our partners. If these “assumed” needs, or expectations, are not discussed directly then it can lead to let down and disconnect. We all know what happens when we assume, right?
Communication Styles & Needs
Communication needs vary from person to person. Some need a lot of attention and daily contact, while others need much less to feel happy and comfortable in their relationship. Discussing these needs openly properly sets the expectations and can eliminate frustration, let down, and conflicts.
Communication styles and approaches vary drastically from person to person. Introverts, extroverts, and all those in-between communicate very differently. Some rely on interactions with many others to feel complete, while others are content to only converse with their loved ones. Understanding these styles is very important when it comes to jealousy or feeling unwanted.
“Why is he always out with his friends and doesn’t want to Facetime with me on Friday nights?”
“Why does she always seem unavailable when I’m available? What is she doing?”
Again, being open and honest with communication is going to make for a much better relationship. Setting time for each other and understanding each person’s needs and wants makes for smooth sailing.
Putting voice to what you expect, or hope for, is important from the very beginning. Being able to do this without fear, judgement, or requiring too much, or too little, is very freeing. While this is especially important to long distance relationships, it’s really important in any relationship.
What are some of your tips for navigating a long-distance relationship? Drop a comment below.
Listen to the full podcast for more advice on long distance relationships.