Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long Distance Relationships

posted by Michele Olson

Say the words “Long Distance Relationship” to someone and the reaction will usually be a wince or a grimace. They don’t have a great reputation. From the time a first-time college student really understands the concept of a “hometown honey” to Hollywood’s blatant display of marriages falling apart because couples are never together, LDR’s are definitely not encouraged by many people.

There are many couples in the “real world” who have no choice but to live with long distance relationships over a period of time. The military is a prime example of living apart until Uncle Sam says you’re free to go! The age of internet dating has also opened up the possibility that Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful is across the country. Job transfers, ailing family and even the worsening economy can cause to people who would rather be together to live apart.

Fortunately there is technology, web sites and books that can help you put your best foot forward when it comes to long-distance relationships.

The first thing you have to do in such a relationship is really talk about it. What are your expectations? You need to know that you are on the same page when it comes to what your version of a long distance relationship means.

If one person has the expectation that you will talk every day and the other person thinks you’ll be texting once a week…there are going to be issues.

Speaking of texting…thank goodness for technology! Imagine the day when it would take weeks to get a letter somewhere. (Think Little House on the Prairie or any historical Hallmark Hall of Fame movie!)

If you haven’t already, you need to acquaint yourself with cell phones, texting, Skype (and you even get to see each other!), instant messaging, email and the whole host of options out there which will allow you to stay connected because of technology.

While researching this article, I came across a Separation Inventory you can take that will help prepare you for this unique path. The corresponding website actually says that the founder, Dr. Gregory T. Guldner who wrote the book Long-Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide is unavailable until Feb. 2009 as he’s serving our country in Afghanistan. Now that’s walking the talk!

If a long –distance relationship is a part of your life now or in the future, rest assured that there are many resources for you to help you with more than “making the heart grow fonder.”

The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Apart by Tina B. Tessina

The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide: Secrets and Strategies from Successful Couples Who Have Gone the Distance by Chris Bell and Kate Brauer-Bell

Long-Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide by Dr. Gregory T. Guldner

Sampling of websites:

Any tips on how you have handled a long distance relationship? Please blog!


Anonymous said...

Long distance relationships can work, and even bring a couple closer because of the yearning for each other's company that goes along with it. Communication is key- whether email, snail mail or phone call- keeping in touch keeps the connection. Being apart makes being together again all the more satisfying! ~Lisa said...

Thanks for the ideas Lisa. That brings up another good point, attitude toward the situation. Being committed to making it work really goes a long way too. Keep blogging!