Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, not always. But, today, it often happens that couples must spend extended periods of time apart and, whether it’s a budding relationship or an old marriage, the time apart is difficult. What are the best ways to keep the flame alive? Try these 15 tips, and see where it leads:
1. Keep Expectations Reasonable
Quiet, companionable times are often as fulfilling as exciting dates. That’s true even if you’re in the same place all the time. So, don’t fret if the hassles of traveling to share a weekend together have you both too tired to party. A quiet dinner followed by stargazing can be good, too.
2. Vary the Scene
Go home, go away. Go camping, go to the beach, go to the zoo. Don’t go anywhere. Invite friends for a potluck. Play scrabble. Don’t be afraid to see one another on the other’s turf. It will enrich your relationship.
3. Make Time to Laugh
A comedy show, a costume party, miniature golf that you’re both terrible at, or fishing with nary a catch. Try to decide what makes each of you laugh; then determine to do that one thing more often.
4. Meet Family Members
If you’re dating, it’s important to have a link and an understanding of what has shaped the other. Family does that. If yours is an established relationship suffering from enforced separation, your family can also be a grounding influence. But, know when to sneak away from family groups, too!
5. Write Letters
Yes, real handwritten letters on real paper are meant to be read — and re-read — in private. If you’re not sure how to do it, consult the best love letters ever written.
6. Ease Up
Don’t feel your time together has to include an hour-by-hour update of your time apart. Very little is that important. Resolve to live in the present when you’re together.
7. Practice Self-Reliance
You may miss your partner. You may miss your partner terribly. But, you will survive the separation. No one can predict whether the relationship will survive. Don’t over-dramatize the situation, and practice being strong. You will become so.
8. Be Adaptable
If you exist in separate circles in separate cities, the logistics of your togetherness may be the biggest drawback to your relationship. Know that when you cannot arrange a physical reunion, there are other ways: Phone, email, Facebook, Skype — you get the point. Even if you were in the same city, there would sometimes be last-minute complications.
9. Plan Ahead, But Give Up Rigidity
Plan with the calendar, and make adjustments as you go along. However, be scrupulous about dates that have special meaning to you — birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, awards ceremonies. Some events are truly important.
10. Strive for Balance
Don’t overdo the activity when you are a couple. Don’t go home more frazzled than you were before getting together.
11. Make time for friends
Friendship centers people, individually and collectively. Cultivate friendships wherever you are, old ones and new ones. You can even check out websites where biker singles meet and make new friends.
12. Communicate Your Doubts
Uncertainties, misgivings, fears, and doubts are the thoughts you should share when you’re together. Speaking of problems helps to defuse them.
13. Send flowers
A romantic gesture, yes. But a potted plant — or a mini-herb garden– can be a constant reminder and a daily reason to smile.
14. Finally, Relax!
Yes, it’s hard. But, all relationships take effort. And many things that are worthwhile require a lot of work. Hang in there!
15. Allow Some Space
Even if your times together are limited, some alone time can be beneficial. An afternoon of shopping, or a quick jog in the park — alone — can be refreshing, invigorating and inspiring. Don’t force togetherness. Meet new people and make new friends. If you prefer online communications, check out websites created for biker singles and talk to like-minded people from all around the world.