r20Relationships can be hard, but long-distance relationships bring a new meaning to the idea of what is hard in the relationship. The emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical needs of the relationship must be fulfilled in alternative ways. Long-distance relationships can be successful when they are cultivated on the art of communication and trust between the partners. Prioritizing your goals with your partner and speaking with them and making it known to others how you feel about them can help intensify your relationship.

So, what if you start to notice a breakdown in your relationship or you feel something lacking? There are things you can do, even from a distance to reassure your partner, you are in the relationship for the long haul.

Keep your Skype or phone call dates. Cancelling on your partner might imply to them, they are an afterthought or just an alternative if nothing better is going on. Keep your scheduled Skype/phone calls as you would a date. After all, you are dating your partner right? Make sure you inform your friends or family of your plans to spend the evening talking to your partner and that you are unavailable at that time. If you need to cancel for an emergency, let your partner know so they don’t feel stood up.

Communicate about anything and everything. Be honest about how you are feeling, share what you are passionate about and what activities you are currently involved in. Talk to your partner with video chat, instant messenger, email. Write an old fashioned letter to your lover as a surprise or a romantic gesture. Send your partner little gifts in the mail you think they would enjoy. It is the little things that let them know you are thinking of them during your everyday when you are apart.

Visit each other and never cancel them unless it is an emergency. Refusing to commit to an agreed visit or cancelling on your partner for alternative vacation can cause irrevocable damage. By staying committed to your visits, you will demonstrate to your partner your desire to be with them on an everyday basis in the future. If you no longer feel the relationship is working out or have some fear about visiting, discuss this issue with your partner instead of cancelling on them and lying about the reason. Resolving these issues can help you reevaluate and strengthen your relationship.

Split the costs of visits and discuss finances with your partner. If you live on opposite ends of your country or even the world, finances need to be discussed about visits and preparation for your future. Is your fiancĂ© from a country where they don’t make as much money as you? What are they trying to help pay for in terms of visits? What do you each expect from the relationship in terms of finances in the future? Discussing the financial aspect of your relationship helps to lay a foundation for future expectations, agreements and commitments that you seek in your partner.

Discuss where your relationship is headed and your common goals. This helps each partner to have a sense of what they should be working towards making your relationship a success. This is especially important in intercultural long distance relationships. What are you both seeking in life? What are your expectations? The natural conclusion should be that at some point you will begin to live together and even marry. Who is willing to relocate? Are you both willing to relocate to a mutually agreeable location? Finding a common ground between cultural differences is a key to success in intercultural relationships as it will prevent many arguments in the future.

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