As you pick up the phone and start to talk to your partner, your eyes become dreamy as you imagine being with them, but in between calls your mind is wondering whether your long-distance relationship will work or not.
This is a common situation for people in long distance relationships. It’s common to start considering how to make long distance relationships work for you.
Today I’d like to reveal untold secrets to long-distance relationships that actually work, so you can benefit from using these powerful strategies to enrich your love life.
Table of Contents
Do Long Distance Relationships Work?
Honestly, the answer can be yes and no.
There are three key components in keeping a romantic relationship alive and thriving:
- Shared vision
- Emotional connection
- Sexual intimacy
Clearly, in a long-distance relationship, the third key component is absent because you can’t be intimate with your partner in the bedroom when you are in two different locations.
Keep in mind that a relationship with emotional connection but without intimacy is actually just a friendship. Obviously, you don’t want to friend-zone your partner or have this happen to you.
In order to ensure the health of a long distance relationship, try to put the following strategies into place.
How to Make Long Distance Relationships Work
When you are in a long-distance relationship, you need to build a shared vision, be responsible for how you feel, and support each other emotionally… but without always relying on your partner to pick you up when you are feeling down. Remember that to maintain attraction and not be friend-zoned, you need to consistently be in charge of how you feel.
Since you may only see each other sporadically, it’s also important to deal with any intimacy function issues so that they don’t hinder your ability to connect with your partner when you’re together. This will also enhance your own self-esteem and the emotional and physical connection in your relationship.
Trust is very important in a relationship, and a long-distance partner needs to know that their investment in time and energy is going to yield a happy and fulfilling life together.
Use the following strategies to ensure the health and longevity of your long distance relationship:
1. Create a Shared Vision
Building a very strong shared vision will not only increase your emotional connection but enhance attraction for your partner. Here are two examples that demonstrate this point.
Example 1: Sarah and Joe are in a long-distance relationship and are building an online business together. They have a shared vision of growing their personal development business to become hugely successful while benefiting as many people as possible. Their goal is to live in the same city within 1 year.
Example 2: Alex and Samantha are a couple in a long-distance relationship. Between them they have two children (a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl). Both love their children very much and want the children to have a happy family life. Because they want to role model a happy relationship for their children, Alex and Samantha are planning on moving to the same city in the near future.
In these two examples, these two couples have an obvious and straightforward shared vision. As a result, their long-distance relationships work well as they are committed to creating a happy future.
Whether you are in a long-distance relationship or live in the same location, having a shared vision with a higher purpose is key to staying focused on what you want to create. This is especially important during times of disagreement.
However, many couples don’t really have a strong shared vision and are not clear on what they want to create together. This lack of a shared vision can make your long-distance relationship unsustainable.
Make Sure You Are in Alignment With Your Partner
It’s important to make sure you’re in alignment with each other’s desires so you can build a strong shared vision with your partner. This can happen if you have a business or charity that you are building together, or if you are developing yourselves as individuals and as a couple so that you role-model what an ideal relationship looks like to your children.
Even if you aren’t interested in starting a business, you can still consider something realistic and practical, such as designing a particular kind of lifestyle that you and your partner can share together within one or two years.
Creating a shared purpose will make you and your partner look forward to creating an exciting life together.
Never underestimate the power of anticipation!
The stronger your shared vision, the more likely you will be determined to stay together and work to create a happy future during times of high stress.
2. Strengthen Your Emotional Connection
You should work on constantly strengthening the emotional connection with yourself as well as your partner. This requires being responsible for how you feel and not putting all your needs on your partner.
Living apart can be challenging, but it’s not good to dump all your concerns and day-to-day worries and stress on your partner as this can cause them to question your attractiveness as a life partner.
The fastest way to get knocked back to the “friend-zone” is by sharing every moment of every day. This is because it is boring and leaves nothing to your partner’s imagination.
While it may be tempting to call your partner every day, being in constant contact can actually make your partner less attracted to you and damage your long-distance relationship.
Developing yourself as a person through having a life outside of your relationship is essential for all couples in a long-term relationship. Sharing exciting discoveries through meaningful communication builds a genuine connection and can lead to intense attraction.
An Exciting Way to Enhance Connection
To enhance your emotional and intimate connection, consider using sexting to make your long-distance relationship work for you. Short, cheeky text messages can have a much higher impact than just sharing your day and helps to create sexual tension to be enjoyed by both partners.
In this way, you can respond to each other’s messages at a more leisurely rate… keeping in mind that the longer you wait before responding, the more attraction you will spark in your partner.
Timing is a powerful tool. Respecting your partner’s needs outside of your own goes a long way toward enhancing their attraction for you. Sext your partner when the time is right, i.e. when your partner is not having a meeting with their boss, lunch with their niece, or visiting their parents, etc.
To enhance physical as well as emotional attraction, it’s important to demonstrate confidence and self-esteem. This includes inside as well as outside the bedroom.
3. Discuss Sexual Intimacy
This is something that most people don’t want to talk about. However, cultivating intimacy is essential for developing a healthy and happy relationship.
In a long-distance relationship (especially in the early stages), it can be tempting to focus on your emotional connection and all that’s going well and not address any potential threats to your relationship.
In my practice, I have experienced several couples in long-distance relationships who refused to discuss the topic of sexual intimacy with each other.
Usually, avoidance about sexual intimacy indicates a personal concern in this area, and in many cases, a partner is worried about an issue affecting sexual function. These issues are very common (31% of men and 43% of women report difficulty in this area) and can greatly affect a person’s self-esteem and self-worth. This will often lead to avoidance of discussing this very important topic.
This is a dangerous choice that will generate anxiety and frustration in the relationship as one partner begins to wonder why their partner is not interested in being sexually intimate with them. It is, in fact, a common cause of relationship breakdown in a long-distance relationship.
It’s important to note that intimacy issues are usually caused by focusing on the wrong action at the wrong time, which is something you can work on.
In western culture, sexual intimacy is often viewed as a taboo topic, and this leads to much confusion, frustration, and disappointment when not discussed by a couple.
This is amplified in a long-distance relationship, where couples often focus on building their emotional connection. They may wait much longer than other couples before discussing intimate needs, meeting in person, and being able to engage sexually.
If you choose not to discuss intimacy with your partner in a long-distance relationship, you are basically sailing your ship without a rudder, and this can result in dwindling interest, as well as lowered libido and sex drive.
Hence, it will serve both partners to learn some skills that can help you fulfill intimate needs in your long-distance relationship so that you can make your long-distance relationship work for both of you.
Ways to Fulfill Intimate Needs in a Long-Distance Relationship
While it’s important to discuss your intimacy needs so you’re on the same page, fulfilling these needs in a long-distance relationship can be a little more challenging.
As I mentioned earlier, you can start to sext your partner. This does not require nudity. In my opinion, when you are still wearing something, you look even sexier because that gives your partner some space for imagination, which is very important in terms of keeping the spark fresh in your long-distance relationship.
It’s important to focus your attention on how you want to feel. Imagination is a powerful tool at your disposal, which you can use to enhance your awareness of feeling intimately connected. You and your partner can set up an intimacy call, where you describe in detail what you imagine doing to them. The partner on the receiving end “tunes in” to that experience and images how wonderful that would feel.
Focusing your attention on how it feels enhances your awareness of feeling, whereas focusing your attention on the mechanics of providing that act keeps you in control.
Your imagination can also sabotage your happiness, so be careful where you are allowing your imagination to take you.
Another way to fulfill intimate needs in a long-distance relationship is to channel your intimate desire into something creative, e.g. writing a novel, going to the gym, or transforming your career.
Realistically, when your intimate needs are not met directly by your partner, and you’re not focused on that being a problem, then you are more likely to build something phenomenal for yourself.
Just make sure you don’t try to suppress your arousal as “trying not to think about it” will just enhance your awareness of it. This is because where your focus goes, energy flows.
Long distance relationships require conscious effort and attention to detail. Like any other relationship, you need to communicate your desires and dreams for the future and take steps toward achieving them.
More Tips on Handling Long Distance Relationships
Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?
We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.
1. Compare Yourself to Others
People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.
In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.
Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.
2. Be Mean-Spirited
People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.
If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.
3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day
Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse.
Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.
People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.
If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.
4. Dwell on Failure
It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.
People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.
For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”
Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:
5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem
People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.
Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.
6. Try to Please Others
They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.
7. Close Yourself off
Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.
As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.
You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:
8. Follow and Avoiding Leading
People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.
9. Fish for Compliments
If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.
You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.
10. Be Lazy
People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.
This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.
11. Shy Away from Risks
When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.
People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.
Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.
The Bottom Line
Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.
If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.