Trust is difficult for many people in relationships. After all, there are a lot of feelings on the line and plenty at stake. Trust takes time and effort to build and maintain. When we add distance to the relationship equation, establishing faith in someone’s actions and intentions can be a challenging process.
Here are my top tips for building trust in a long-distance relationship (LDR):
Communication is the keystone in all relationships. Without proper communication, the foundation of a relationship won’t be solid enough to stand the test of time—or distance. Thanks to modern technology, those in long-distance relationships have plenty of ways to keep the conversation going no matter where they are.
Keep in mind that even if we are continually messaging our partners, we should still make time to communicate verbally in a profound and meaningful way on a regular basis. It can be helpful to treat these conversations like a virtual date. Carve out some time each week (or a few days per week) and commit to it. Some couples even like to schedule meals together through the use of FaceTime or Skype.
Too many couples, whether in a traditional relationship or one that’s long-distance, fall into the trap of hiding their fears, worries, and doubts from each other. The strongest relationships thrive because of couples’ ability to open up and share what plagues them. When we hide and bottle up what worries us, we are essentially creating a ticking time-bomb of emotions that will implode the second we run into a problem.
A policy of openness and honesty becomes even more important when distance is involved. LDRs are hard and come along with a huge bag of mixed emotions like loneliness, fear, and doubt. Expressing such emotions to our partners allows us to work through any issues as a team and figure out ways to lessen the emotional weights that have been placed upon us.
Sometimes when we don’t hear from someone when we’re supposed to, or their response differs from the one we want, we jump to conclusions and assume the worst:
They must be out with another person, right?
They must not love me anymore.
They’re getting tired of the work this relationship requires!
In most cases, such thoughts are just that—unhealthy thoughts that are born out of insecurity or fear. LDRs invoke such insecurities in droves if they go unchecked and unspoken (hence the need for openness and honesty!). If you find yourself in one of the thoughts above, try not to feed the negativity that’s associated with it.
Instead, consider the dozens of reasonable explanations your partner might have for their actions. Perhaps they got stuck at work, or their phone is dead. Maybe they had a bad day and just can’t feel excited about anything at the moment. Whatever the situation, there is most likely a logical reason for their behaviour.
Building trust in a long-distance relationship is most certainly not impossible. It can, in many ways, be more complicated than in a close-proximity relationship. However, with the right mindset and enough effort, you and your long-distance lover can have a rock-solid relationship full of trust and respect.