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{Single Saints} Making Long Distance Work

Ryan Kunz - April 12, 2012

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Some might say long distance is the wrong distance when it comes to relationships, and long run, they're right. But plenty have had success. The key is communication.

One of my favorite treats is the French bread pizza. It’s an ingenious upgrade on the standard pizza design, can be ready to eat in five minutes, and comes with a handy tray for catching crumbs while you’re eating on the living room couch. However, though it comes in a package of two, even a pair of them is not quite enough to satisfy my hunger, and the price tag is a little more than I’m willing to spend on anything less than the kind of meal that results in my collapsing on the couch afterward in stuffed satisfaction. In other words, I love it, but I have to enjoy what I can get because it’s never quite enough. 

I think a long-distance relationship is a little like that French bread pizza. When you’ve got someone you care about but that person is too far away for you to see with any frequency, you’re often forced to make do without certain relationship luxuries, like physical contact or traditional quality time. 

I’m still trying to figure this out, but I do have a few ideas. 

Have a goal in mind. It doesn’t have to be marriage or anything dramatic, but I do feel it’s crucial to your relationship to set a timeframe and something you’d like to accomplish during that time. You might even suggest that you go for three months or so and then stop to evaluate where things are going. On the other hand, some might stress that it’s important to just let the right thing happen. Either way, you should makes steps to assure you are both on the same page.

Frequent communication. We live in an age blessed with myriad means which with to communicate. Some couples might feel comfortable with daily texting conversations; others might prefer calling or video chat. I suggest mixing it up a little; perhaps you can have a regular Skype day every week, but communicate however you want in between sessions.  

Trust. You’re hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles apart. You’re both going to have exciting lives, regardless of one another’s absence. It’s too much to ask to stay inside and refrain from human contact. Trust each other to stay true; maintain honest communication.

There’s no sure formula for making relationships work, especially long-distance ones. However, There’s a common theme throughout all of these suggestions: communication. When you’re separated, communication is all you have left — so you’d best utilize it.

Your turn: What worked (or didn't work) in any of your long-distance relationships?

© LDS Living, 2012.
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