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My boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship and I am starting to feel anxious about it. For the first year of our relationship we were in the same city but he then had to transfer about six hours away for his job. I’m concerned about the relationship surviving the distance. What’s your advice for dealing with this?
Relationships can be stressful and challenging even when the people live in the same area. Distance can certainly make things a bit more challenging, so your concerns are warranted. Plenty of people though thrive in a long distance relationship and you can too. Here are some things you can do to ease your anxiety and assure you maintain a solid relationship:
- Define the relationship and have an end-goal. Are you just dating? In a committed relationship? Headed towards engagement? Marriage? Try to reach a mutual agreement as to the status of the relationship.
- See the geographic separation as temporary.
- Schedule visits and look forward to them.
- Maintain daily contact to ensure a strong emotional connection.
- Replicate doing things together as best as possible. For example, watch a movie simultaneously then communicate after to discuss it.
- Keep in mind, he’s in a new city and will likely get involved with new social activities and meet new people. Be supportive and look forward to meeting them. Keep any feelings of envy under control.
- Consider the benefits of a long distance relationship: people often lose a part of themselves when in a relationship. So now you have an opportunity to pursue your own interests that he isn’t into while maintaining the relationship.
- Remember: absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.
Jonathan Alpert is a Manhattan psychotherapist and author. He appears on national TV commenting on sex and relationship issues as well as lifestyle, mental health, and hot-button issues. Get more of Jonathan’s great advice in his new book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. And you can follow Jonathan on Twitter at @JonathanAlpert