Episode #72: Tips for How to Keep a Long Distance Relationship Alive

Dr. Connie Omari:

I am really excited about this episode and this show, especially number five, because I think it is going to be the absolute solution that you need to make sure that your long distance relationship is healthy and where it needs to be so vital to the end and make sure we get all the tips that I have to you already know the first one is going to be okay, not just any communication, because it’s not like you can say, Okay, I’m going to wait for my husband or my boyfriend or my girlfriend to get home from work today.

Well, you can, but it’s not like you’re going to be coming through the door to have that conversation. So you’re going to have to be creative, I would say? Are you doing chat or mail? It amazes me how limited people are with communication. And of course, we all have phones, you know, but can you be more creative with that? Can you get an opportunity to do a video? Find a way to make sure that you can really, really, schedule times, you know, prioritize times like, maybe you can have dinner together, maybe you can, like, over the phone or via video, that actually goes into our next one.

So I’m going to pause on that thought process right now. I really want to make sure that you can receive what I’m trying to say, which is to be intentional about your communication. Don’t just assume that because you’re in a different location, you can’t talk. You can talk on the phone. You can do MIDI either with a real envelope with a real piece of paper or a postcard with a real stamp or two. Yes, that goes to what we were talking about with trouble days, okay? There’s no reason why you can’t watch Netflix and chill on the internet. Y’all can watch a movie; I’ve actually done this. And I’m embarrassed to tell you about the show that I was watching because it’s absolutely hilarious. So when I was living in North Carolina and my husband was still in Virginia, we used to watch Oh my god, I shouldn’t be alive. That was the sequel. It was so good. It was so good. And we literally did this before Netflix. So I guess we were watching it on cable, and we would get home. And we would just have the phone on, you know, because we had Facebook there, but it wasn’t like it is now, and we definitely didn’t have things like Instagram and FaceTime. And all these fancy ways of communicating via video—we would just turn the phone on, leave it charged, and watch the show together on cable, like cable television, and it would be so much fun.

So, you know, that’s the same. That’s what’s different from watching Netflix and chilling when you’re face-to-face. You can do that with dinners; you can do that with, you know, during the pandemic, there were all types of ways that you could go to a museum and just watch, you know, what’s going on in the museum, or you could just Google virtual date ideas. There are many, so take the time to make sure that you know that you can date because I’m giving you permission to, and there are tons of resources and tons of ways to do it, but I would just recommend the things that you genuinely enjoy. You know, maybe it’ll be a little awkward to go into a restaurant, but take out, you know, from a local Chinese place, and you’re just doing it together and having dinner just like you would if you were living in the home together. Google some virtual ideas. As soon as you learned about your situation with long distance, okay? Tell the person, Okay, I am fearful that this is going to happen, or I don’t trust that you’re doing what you say you’re going to do. Or, because of my past experiences, I don’t believe that I can have a healthy relationship that’s all online just to be open and honest. If it’s truthful, you know, your partner needs to know your partner. I think it’s all good that you’re living separately; your partner might not have any of these concerns, and your partner may not be doing anything.

You know, a lot of times they are not like a partner, to put it this way. If a person wants to be unfaithful to you, they’re going to be unfaithful to you whether they live with you in the same city or in the same home, just like they would if they were far away. So the issue really isn’t about the distance. It is about where your relationship is. So if you’re having these fears, these doubts, and these anxieties, these things need to be brought to the forefront. You need to be having a healthy and effective conversation about him so that you can get on the other side. And so that both partners can know what’s going on. And also, be open to hearing what your partner has to say about these fears and anxieties about which she has set goals and expectations. How often are you going to meet in person? How many times will you talk a day? You know, some people post up, and you might feel like it’s not important to talk every day. But for me, I need to hear your voice every single day, which is why that’s going to be a big problem. If we’re not on the same page. If we have one person who has one expectation for what’s reasonable, another is going to be talking or texting, you know, these cute and dandy text messages when they’re romantic. But when it’s been five days and you haven’t heard the person’s voice, is that okay? Is that something you’re willing to accept? And if that’s all the other person wants to give, why, you know, let’s say, is it better to avoid the conversation? Let’s communicate about the conversation.

Why are you feeling like the only way you can communicate with me after being separated is through me? is through a text message? And how does that make you feel? So set goals. How often do you want to talk? When do you want to talk? When’s a good time? I know that in the morning, as I’m getting my children ready for school, I don’t really want to talk to anybody. Late at night, I go to bed early because I have to get up at four o’clock to start my day. So what is your schedule? Like? How can that be compatible? That can be a little bit harder because, depending on how far away your partner is, he might even be in a different time zone. I know; my husband goes to Africa once or twice a year, and then we’re six hours apart. So it requires some intentional, you know, disruptions to our schedule because I prefer to talk early in the morning. He does too, but early in the morning for him is like two o’clock for me, you know, and I don’t want to talk at two o’clock, so it just requires us to say, Okay, what do we need to do to make sure that this distance is maintained at this time? Is it worth it if it isn’t made more cumbersome? Because whatever it is that’s been keeping you physically apart, when you add the additional relationship problems to it, it’s just going to be so much worse. You don’t want to do that. So scheduling time and being intentional about your communication will certainly help you set goals, set boundaries, and make the most of the time that you have together. At some point, you will see your partner again, right? So make sure that you enjoy those times.

And this way, I really, really want it to key in on this conference conversation. Because a lot of times we get so focused on the part of our relationship that is not ideal, the separation can be so overwhelming that we don’t make the most of the time. What can you do when you do see each other? That will really cause you to connect with it, but what are some other things? What are some of these images? What to do when you first meet or have been dying to go to the restaurant or things like that? What can you do that will really take your relationship with your partner and your significant other to the next level? Alright, that’s all I have for you today. My final message is that dating long-distance does not have to be a death sentence. It can be a beautiful thing with the right tools and resources. I hope this video has given you some tips and strategies for dating in a healthy way and having a healthy marriage. Until we meet again, thank you for allowing me to be on your healthy relationship journey. Peace and blessings. Dr. O.