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  • Writer's pictureNana Barratt

6 Steps to Managing Long-Distance Romantic Relationships

Photo Courtesy of Wix

Do you feel like your relationship is losing its spark? We understand it's hard to keep in contact when you have other priorities and live far from each other, but don't give up! Here are 6 steps to managing long-distanced relationships:

1. Make a schedule

If you feel like you're losing touch with your partner, evaluate the situation and schedule them as a priority. Could you message or call them during your work break, during chores, or take time out of your hobbies? What form of contact works for you and them? Could you plan ahead or do you prefer spontaneous contact? Besides this, do you know when you'll see each other next?

2. Be honest

Have you told the other person how you're feeling? Is the person not responding? Is it because you're busy, or perhaps the other person doesn't have a connection with you anymore? Is there a way you can bring that spark back? It's worth looking at your previous messages or thinking back to old conversations to see when the lack of contact started. Is there anything that seems out of context, perhaps offensive or like there's no interest in the conversation?

3. Message check-ins

If you regularly message, keep it up as long as you're not feeling stressed. But if you ever feel strapped for time or you're just not in the mood, tell them your feelings and ask for some space. When you have a better mindset, check up on that person - ask them how their day was and what their plans are. You don't have to contact someone every day to let them know you still care. Instead, try checking in every few days, and send them a "good morning" and "goodnight" message.

4. Weekly calls

While messaging is the easiest option for most, others don't feel the emotional connection within a message. You may think, 'is this person just quickly messaging me to keep me entertained, or are they trying to relieve their own boredom?" or "do they really care about me, maybe they're just releasing their own worries on me?". Do you need that weekly call or video chat to feel reassured? If they don't call you, why not try calling them? When is a good time to call? It doesn't have to be a long or regular chat, but remember to let the other person know how you're feeling if that's the case.

5. Plan a visit (or a trip)

If you live quite far from the other person, have you tried arranging a trip to see them, or meeting halfway? Is there a place in particular you want to visit, anything you want to do? What is your timeframe and budget? Think about upcoming holidays, even Valentine's Day next year - why not plan a romantic getaway? The best thing about planning a trip is that you have endless opportunities and activities, and you can plan it as far in advance as you'd like. It also gives you something fun to look forward to!

6. Accept the situation

You've tried messaging, calling, video calls, planning a trip, but what if that romantic connection has gone for good? It's heartbreaking, but sometimes it's impossible to manage a long-distance relationship. Unfortunately, life takes over and people get busy. What's important is that you know you've tried everything to keep that spark alive, but if you're starting to get stressed, it means you're trying too hard and you need to let go. Think about all the amazing people you have in your life and remember you're not alone.

Deanna (or "Nana Barratt") is an MA Creative and Media Enterprises graduate from the University of Warwick. She previously studied Popular Music, but decided to take a different career path into writing. She now writes about music, the TV and film industry, and East-Asian culture, and gives student advice and lifestyle tips.

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