Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. It can be a tough holiday for deployed or otherwise distant service members who are dating someone back home.
Maintaining long-distance relationships under normal circumstances can be difficult. Those challenges can easily intensify in a relationship shaped in part by military service.
Here are five things to help you keep your long distance relationship strong:
A lot hinges on trust when two people enter a long-distance relationship, especially when one of those people is deployed overseas. Trust comes in many forms. Trust that your loved one will not cheat on you. Trust that your feelings are being considered and validated. And of course, trust that the decisions made take both people’s feelings into account. Without trust a relationship with so many miles separating two individuals will fail.
When someone you care about isn’t close by it’s easy to find yourself getting lost in missing him or her. The best thing you can do for yourself is keep busy. Keeping busy can be achieved by adopting new hobbies, devoting spare time to volunteer efforts or even learning a new skill. Keep in mind the best ways to keep yourself busy will also make you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Missing a loved one all the time is a good way to forget to live your own life. This is why keeping busy can be so helpful to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Communication is always important, but when two people are separated it’s especially key. Take the idea of a date night for example; it is time set aside to make sure you get to catch up with one another. So when you’re separated from your loved one having regular video chats would be a great way to have a long-distance date night. You can find more advice on ways to communicate in this article on Deployment Romance. Setting aside and scheduling this time also gives both parties something to look forward in the short term.
Not sharing your feelings can be incredibly damaging. Feelings of frustration, deception or depression will tear at your heart. The result is your relationship being denied a fighting chance. Keep those feelings out in the open and talk through them with the person you love. Another part of this sharing of feelings is the idea that both people involved will be sensitive to each other’s feelings. If you can talk all day about how you feel but your partner isn’t hearing you, there’s no benefit in talking at all. This task may not be as simple as it seems, but it could be the best thing to do for your relationship and your well-being.
Taking advantage of every moment spent together is probably the most important thing to keep in mind. In a long-distance relationship the time spent together has already been cut drastically short, so anytime your loved one is home remember to laugh, love and live in the moment. Time spent together is precious and should be treated that way. Don’t make a big deal about little annoyances; be forgiving, and remind them of the love you share.