Turn Setbacks into Setups
Take The Distance Out Of Your Long-Distance Relationship With These Tips
July 16, 2019
So many of our relationships thrive on convenience, whether that means relaxing with a friend and watching Netflix or strolling to a local coffee shop to meet up with your sibling.
But these days, the world is more global. Technology has made it easy for us to connect with friends and family around the world in no time at all. We can easily pick up our phone for a quick text or to send a message on social media. But ironically, these “easy” forms of communication can sometimes make it hard to keep our connections alive.
Even with our closest relationships, it takes time and effort to preserve that closeness—and sometimes a video chat is better (and a little more human!) than a “Like” on a social media post. Here’s how to use technology to keep the distance out of your relationships, rather than letting them fade away.
Say something, and say it often.
The way to maintain any relationship is communication. Sure, there’s always one person who’s a little more likely to strike up a conversation, but when that connection moves online, it’s especially important that both people make a regular effort to approach each other to start the communication, ensuring it’s a two-way street.
Set aside time for each other.
We all get busy. And when our friend or family member isn’t physically with us, it feels easier to postpone a hangout if we need a little more time in our day. But that mindset will quickly drain away your time together. Instead, try to set a regular “date.” Sure, it sounds a little unglamorous to add a meetup to your calendar, but it’s an easy way of signifying that your relationship takes priority in your life—and that it’s worth clearing your schedule for.
Plan to have some fun.
With any relationship, it’s important to create shared experiences that help you both stay invested in that relationship—and an easy way is to have some fun! Go beyond texting and emails to do something you really look forward to: compare the results of online quizzes with your friends, cover a topic that’s dear to your heart with a mentor, have a video chat date with your SO, or find an online game you enjoy playing with family.
Take things with a grain of salt.
Whenever you do end up texting or emailing friends, don’t forget to consider the psychology of online relationships. As you communicate online, you’re missing out on essential cues that people usually get during a conversation, including body language and tone of voice. Studies have shown that upwards of 90% of communication is nonverbal, which is a significant amount to miss out on. Keep this in mind as you chat, reminding yourself that negative-sounding responses are more likely to be simple miscommunication.
Accept that it’s going to take more effort.
When you can’t just hang out together in person, it takes a little more effort to keep your relationship alive—and that’s true whether the person in question lives across town or around the world. Accept that you’ll have to actively think of ways to nurture that connection, keeping your relationship strong without face-to-face interaction.
Whether you’re worried about your relationship with a friend, family member, partner, or an online coach like ours here at Hundred, just remember to put in a little extra effort to keep your connection strong. With that deliberate choice, you’re making your relationship that much more meaningful to both of you.