In Summary

The challenges facing people engaged in a long distance relationship are unique. They require more planning, time and attention than a traditional relationship but, if both parties are committed to making it work, then there is no reason why it cannot be as satisfying as any other relationship.

Whether you are trying to schedule your next phone call, or just miss cuddling up with your significant other, it can often feel like a challenge to maintain an emotional and sexual connection while engaging in a long distance relationship. Here are ways to make your long distance relationship work.

Point out the finish line
Ali Male, a relationship counsellor, says one of the most difficult parts about long distance relationships is the uncertainty surrounding when you will be seeing each other again.
“Schedules, finances, and particulars will undoubtedly influence the frequency of how often you are able to see each other, but having a certain deadline as to when you will see each again makes the distance much more bearable. Also, if it is not possible to see each other so often, make a particular time in year flexible so that one of you can travel and meet the other,” he advises.

Rhitah Kirungi says she has been in a long distance relationship for almost five years. She stresses that regular communication among couples is important to keep the relationship strong even when you are not physically together.
“Make sure that you always keep in touch, let your partner know almost everything that you are doing no matter the distance. This regular communication will keep you closer and will strengthen your relationship. Send texts and emails daily and have phone calls or Skype dates as often as you wish. Since the invention of video calling you can even watch your favourite TV shows or movies together at the same time,” she says.

Honesty
Kirungi says it is important for couples in long distance relationship to be honest with their partners.
“Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, and apathy. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will soon or later start bothering you. Do not try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It is better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to disclose it when it is too late,” she notes.

Keep texting
Angel Mugisha, who is in a long distance relationship, says text messages that have loving messages and sometimes only understood by the lovers can keep your relationship warm and enjoyable.
“Texting can keep you attached, and it will also keep the love blooming. Send your partner some teasing and funny texts and keep them engaged. Don not give them space to feel lonely, let them know that you are always there for them,” she says.
Mugisha says she has done that whenever her partner is away and it has always worked for her. She says texting her partner always keeps her engaged living her with limited or no time to feel lonely.

Send photos
Kirungi says sending photos lets them know what you look like and pictures also act as reference point whenever they miss you. “Pictures always tell the story well…. Do not get tired of sending several pictures to your partner. Show them how you look like, if you are a family person take photos of the children and send them as well. Whenever you go for any event, take photos and send,” she says.
However, Kirungi says sending photos should not mean sending nudes that may end up in the wrong hands.