By Claudia Siron
We discover how to keep a long distance relationship alive with leading relationship expert, Dr Lurve.
The last two years have been a genuine test on our romantic relationships. Whether you’re housebound with your partner, mindlessly swiping left and right on dating apps, or hundreds of thousands of kilometres apart from your significant other, it’s been well and truly tough.
The old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” can most definitely ring true in many circumstances, however for some couples it’s been months – even a year or more – since they’ve reunited with their partner. And in these cases, the absence is actually breaking our hearts. Every. Single. Day.
Giving up can feel like the only way out to retain some sort of sanity from being apart from a loved one, however there are some unique and simple methods in keeping long distance relationships alive.
We spoke to leading love and relationship expert Dr. Lurve about love languages, optimism, and tips on how couples can maintain or even grow their passion from a distance.
Dr Lurve says although there are people out there that make their long distance relationships work, many others struggle with the fact they are physically apart from their partner. “It has a lot to do with your love language, so if your primary love language is quality time or physical touch, it will be pretty hard for you to thrive in a long distance relationship.
“Long distance relationships can also be hard to maintain if there are time differences, especially if you and your partner live on opposite sides of the world and chat time is limited. Another reason can be that you aren’t able to see each other face to face very often, which can make the distance seem bigger than ever – not just physically, but emotionally too.”
Although it’s clear long distance relationships are tough, the love and relationship expert absolutely believes couples can still achieve progress through long distance.
“I think long distance relationships can last, as long as there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. While some couples are perfectly happy spending time apart and seeing each other on occasion, other couples need to have clear goals and dates in a calendar to get through. As long as you have a system in place that works for your relationship, I don’t see why you can’t make a long distance relationship work if that’s what you have to work with.”
Dr Lurve says she worked with a couple in the past who were struggling to keep their relationship above water during the first few months of living long distance. One of them had to move interstate for a work promotion while the other stayed home for their own career commitments.
“This can be difficult when no one is able to be flexible with work and uproot their life for the other person, or stay for their partner and miss a job opportunity, especially during Covid when most people’s jobs are uncertain. They were both resentful as the other couldn’t give up work, so they had to make long distance work but were having a hard time connecting emotionally.
“When the physical presence leaves a relationship, it can be hard to adapt to verbal communication only; this couple came to me and we (virtually) workshopped a few ways we could create time for them to go on a digital date, how they should aim to communicate, and book in future dates to see each other in person, which they were able to do even during a pandemic (quarantine can do wonders sometimes)!”
When it comes to tips and tricks in keeping the love alive when apart, the expert says it’s all about investing in smart tech setups, creative dating ideas and expressing love in alternative ways.
“Thankfully we live in an age where technology is advanced and we don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars using international minutes on a flip phone! One of the best things you can do is invest in a good webcam and microphone to set up face to face calls with your partner and do things you’d normally do if they were around like eat dinner together, watch your favourite show, dance and sing, and even get intimate digitally.
Other things you can do is take it back to tradition and send each other snail mail, that way you get a midweek surprise love letter from your beau or even send a small gift from home.”
If you’re feeling like your love is in lockdown, perhaps experiment with love letters, sentimental care packages, a cheeky facetime that goes somewhere a little different, or even spice things up with a virtual date. Although Covid has been a bitch to our love lives, we shouldn’t let it destroy our relationships with the people we love the most.
About Dr Lurve
Dr Lurve is Australia’s leading love and relationship expert, specialising in helping people navigate the science and metaphysics of relationships. A modern-day cupid for individuals discovering self-love, singles ready to find love and couples ready to make love last forever, she is the singular authority on how to make a long-lasting relationship.
The LurveLab is Dr. Lurve’s signature series of courses, seminars, talks and intensives for those ready to find, cultivate, and keep love. From discovering chemistry to transforming love gone wrong, Dr. Lurve guides couples in creating connections that can last a lifetime. @dr.lurve