How to Prevent Cheating in a Long Distance Relationship
In these times of online anonymity and quick hook-ups, temptations can dog even the best-suited couples who seem to have it all. Long distance relationships on the other hand are saddled with the additional burden of physical separation which leaves partners vulnerable to straying. If you are in such a relationship yourself and worry about infidelity, here are a few tips on how to prevent cheating in a long distance partnership.
Make an effort to keep the love going
It is a fact that every relationship needs to be nurtured in order to blossom, but in a long distance relationship it is especially crucial that you put in that extra bit of effort to keep it going. Be creative in coming up with romantic ideas to spice up your relationship even if it is separated by distance. Have Skype dates with your partner when you both are free or play online romantic games with each other. Make it a point to send gifts and packages on important occasions like birthdays and Valentine’s Day besides planning trips as frequently as your resources allow. All this will help you and your partner to look forward to something in the relationship and thus minimize chances of emotional vacuum which are primarily responsible for infidelity.
Keep in touch
In a long distance relationship, it is extremely important to communicate with each other by phone, email and text messages. A good way of bridging the distance just a little is to use a web cam, Skype or VoIP programs since these offer a way to visually connect with each other in real time. Unless you are physically incapable of talking, pick up your partner’s phone calls even if it is to say that you’ll be calling back. Your conversations need not always be about how much you are missing your partner and how miserable you are without him. Simply share what happened to you at work today or something interesting you noticed on your way home. Similarly instead of asking open-ended questions to your partner like ‘how was your day’, put specific questions like ‘how was your presentation’ or ‘what did you have for dinner tonight’ which are more likely to elicit an involved response from him. Over time this kind of regular communication will become second nature to you both and in the process each of you will feel like an integral part of the other’s life thus vastly diminish possibilities of losing your partner to someone else.
Also, make it a point to involve your partner in your practical life. When the two of you are living separately, it is easy to fall into the habit of taking decisions on your own. But take care to involve you partner in matters where you both are concerned. For instance, ask your lover what he or she thinks of a Caribbean cruise the next time you can be together. Or inform your partner before you make any changes to a joint bank or credit card account.
Beware the green-eyed monster
One of the easiest ways to destroy a perfectly healthy relationship is to give in to jealousy. If you are suspicious of your partner’s co-workers, friends, flat mates and other social acquaintances, it not only this means that you don’t have enough trust in the relationship but sometimes it can actually push your partner into an affair. If you keep asking him/her about an particular co-worker or neighbor or pointing out how attractive he/she is, even if your partner had not noticed the person before, he/she may start giving the person a second glance now and who knows what may follow. Remember that like every other individual, your partner too is innocent and worthy of trust until proven otherwise. So interrogating him every time he is out having a drink or demanding why you got his voice mail so late at night, is as unhealthy for your peace of mind as it is potentially fatal to your relationship. Likewise avoid making empty allegations. Both you and are your partner are entitled to have a full-fledged social life and just because you are away from each other does not mean that you have to shut yourself out from society. Worst of all, if you charge your partner with being unfaithful to you without any concrete evidence, it means that the faith in your relationship has gone and every relationship –long distance or not – is bound to collapse without the foundation stone of trust.
Adopting a wait-and-see stance
Very often couples living away from each other do not believe that their relationship can work but at the same time they are reluctant to let go of each other. If you keep sitting on the fence, waiting to see how things might turn out, then this is not a relationship at all and will get you nowhere. On the contrary, the other person might take advantage of the confused status of your relationship and start dating someone else. So if things are still murky, have a frank chat with your partner. If you do not believe you can make this work, move on gracefully but if you truly feel that you both love each other, then address the modalities necessary of how you can go about it.
Clarify trust issues
If indeed you believe that you have just cause for concern, then plan to talk to your partner. Choose a time when you know he will be free and let him know in advance that you will call. Instead of launching into angry words and dramatic accusations, use a calm tone of voice while speaking to him. Also avoid using feelings and emotions as justification for your insecurities and fears, rather state in clear words what has given you cause for worry like perhaps a female voice in the background when you called him at two in the morning or a co-worker who claimed to have seen your partner with another man in intimate circumstances at a nightclub. After your partner offers his/her side of the story, put an end to the matter then and there. Picking on the same issue again and again will not only distance your partner even further, but more likely push him/her to the arms of the very same person you are accusing your partner of cheating with. All you can do is to ask your partner to tell you the truth – whether you trust him/her enough to tell the truth is another matter altogether.
Lead an active life
One of the best ways to keep yourself away from an affair is to develop a support network of friends and family who can fulfill your social needs. If you are distressed at seeing all your previous pals with their partners over the weekends, make friends from the same sex who are single or in the same situation as you are. While friends of the opposite sex can also be supportive, spending too much time alone with them can be potentially dangerous – apart from giving cause for suspicion to your partner, it can also lead you to an emotional affair. Best of all, cultivate interests and hobbies that you love and can pursue in a group. You are now free to pursue your own interests and have ample time to learn new skills besides being avoiding the day-to-day wear and tear of ordinary relationships which often drive couples away from each other. Best of all you no longer take each other for granted and relish every moment of togetherness with a zest you never knew before.
Finally your strongest resource in surviving temptations will be having faith in the relationship. There is no dearth of pessimists who are ready to write off long distance relationships as impractical and thus impossible to maintain. Don’t believe all that critics say because once you give in to their negative comments, you will always feel haunted by its risks – both imagined and real – until it will actually destroy your relationship. Instead, focusing on the pluses of an LDR and doing your bit to keep your relationship exciting will go a long way in helping you to avoid affairs and allow you to enjoy your relationship whole-heartedly.