Living apart from your partner is not what you want from a relationship, but sometimes it is forced upon you by circumstances. Perhaps one of you is in the military or had to take a job in another city. If your partner is from another country you may also have to wait for them to be granted permission to join you. Whatever the reason, it isn't easy to keep a relationship going - and it can be very stressful. So if you're living apart from your partner, here are some tips on how to cope …
1. Regular Communication
When living apart from your partner, regular communication helps. It's really easy nowadays; there are numerous ways of keeping in touch, such as Skype, email and Whatsapp. But don't just stick to online communication. Sending each other letters and parcels can help you feel closer and it's always a pleasant surprise to receive mail.
Chat to your partner regularly through Skype, which is a brilliant way of feeling closer to someone when you're physically apart. I use it to keep in touch with family, and it's much better than just talking on the phone. Most laptops have an integrated webcam now. While it's obviously not the same as being with your partner, it's comforting if you can see them while you talk.
3. Plan for the Future
Being apart can be more bearable if you know that there is a time limit involved. If you don't have a firm date for when the separation will come to an end, keep discussing your plans for the future together. When do you hope to be able to live together? How will you manage to move to the same city as them (or bring them to your city)?
If one of you is in the military or works on an oil rig, clearly visits are impractical. But wherever possible, you should try to visit each other. When distances are relatively short, weekend trips are probably better than longer, more occasional ones. This way you can space out the visits and you'll know that it won't be too long until you see each other.
5. Honest Communication
Talk to your partner about how you feel, not just about the separation, but if anything is stressing or worrying you. It's tempting to only talk about 'happy' things, as you don't want to spoil the time you are able to spend with your partner (either online or in person). Encourage them to talk about how they feel as well.
It's not going to be easy living apart. But for whatever reason it's necessary, so don't get angry and unhappy about it. Accepting that you are obliged to live apart for a time will help make it more bearable, whereas if you mope you're going to be even more miserable.
7. Your Own Life
You have a lot of time to yourself, so make the most of it. Lead your own life and enjoy it. Go out with your friends, enjoy your hobbies, and get out of the house. Some people would envy you for being free to spend your time however you want!
It also helps to agree on some guidelines as to how you're going to manage the time apart, such as how frequently you will see each other and how often you'll communicate. And remember that your time apart will come to an end. Have you ever had a long-distance relationship?