In these times of speed dating and instant divorces, insecurity 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 open to fears and anxieties about the other person’s commitment. So if you in a long distance relationships and scared of losing your partner, here is what you can do to make things work.
Establish the parameters
If you have just entered in a long distance relationship, it is best to lay down a few rules early on rather than wait and fall prey to insecurities later. Some issues which you could discuss are whether you are just “seeing each other” or if is it alright to refer to your boyfriend as your boyfriend. Also clarify whether this is an exclusive relationship or you are allowed to date other people. These questions might be awkward to bring up at this point but thrashing out the dynamics but will in fact save you a great deal of anxiety and heartache down the line.
Keeping the channels of communication open is important to the success of any relationship but in one where the partners are separated by physical distance, it is crucial for its very survival. Talk over the phone, Skype or VoIP programs as frequently as you can and web-chat for the visual connection. 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 diminishing your anxieties about losing your partner.
Avoid excessive interference
While it is important to be involved in your partner’s life, too much intrusion can make him defensive and ultimately lose interest in the relationship. It is alright till the point you ask your partner about his plans for Saturday night. But once you start calling him up on the said evening and checking whether he is actually with the people he said he’ll be with, your partner is likely to miffed by your interference and even upset at the implication that you don’t trust him to tell the truth. This kind of intrusion is most usual when you are already in the grip of insecurity and fear losing your partner. But asking him repeatedly where he is and who he is meeting this evening is hardly the right way to go about coping with your fears.
Adopt a rational outlook
This involves understanding and accepting a long distance relationship is not like others and that it has its own comforts and challenges. Keep in mind that you will never be able to count on your partner’s physical support for most things and that you might have to spend a number of special occasions without him. So if Valentine’s Day is round the corner, instead of shedding tears and wringing your hands over how he is spending it, do something positive like ordering his favorite box of chocolates online and having it delivered to his place. Again if you are down with ill-health, instead of blaming your partner for being absent and “never there for you” focus your energies on look after yourself and getting better. Adopting an irrational attitude is unlikely to help you to overcome fears and insecurities about losing your partner. Rather having a calm and practical outlook will enable you both to cope with the challenges and enjoy the benefits of a long distance relationship.
Don’t fall prey to jealousy
One of the easiest ways to destroy a perfectly healthy relationship is to give in to jealousy and this is especially true when you are scared of losing your partner to someone else. 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. 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.
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 woman in intimate circumstances at a nightclub. After your partner offers his side of the story, put an end to the matter then and there. Picking on the same issue again and again will not only get you nowhere, it will more likely distance your partner even further. All you can do is to ask your partner to tell you the truth – whether you trust him to tell the truth is another matter altogether.
Look at the bright side
If you know for certain that your partner is not cheating on you and yet to still fear losing him, try to focus on the bright side of a long distance relationship. 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. Looking at the pluses of an LDR and doing your bit to keep your relationship exciting will go a long way in overcoming your fears and insecurities and allow you to enjoy your relationship whole-heartedly.