OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Coping with Your Long Distance Relationship

Some Things You Can Do to Make Your Separation Easier on You

Face the fact that you can’t always be first.

Even though you are apart, you may not always be your partner’s first choice for weekend or vacation time. Remember, what your partner does probably says something about what she/he wants on that particular occasion. It does not necessarily say anything about you.

Work on strengthening those areas in which you are insecure.

This can apply to either of you and to your relationship. Sit down with each other before you separate, and come to a clear mutual understanding about what you can and cannot take. Look at those areas that you know will create problems for you and make sure they get discussed with your partner. Make sure your partner does the same.

Learn to let go—dependency can lead to jealousy.

It is especially important at this time that each of you work on becoming independent, fully functioning people. We each have rights to privacy, different experiences, and opinions. There is a great relief too, in knowing we are not entirely responsible for someone else’s happiness.

Remember that no one can meet all of the social, emotional, intellectual, and professional needs of another person.

Consider the time your partner spends with others as indications of his/her respect for them, not of disrespect or lack of care for you.

Celebrate the special bond between you.

When you do have a chance to be together, be sure to set aside time for the two of you to be alone and really talk about your relationship. Give it the same loving care and attention you would give anything you prize.

Work out a set of clear, mutually agreeable ground rules.

Do this before you separate, but be aware that these may need to change somewhat over time. Try to maintain reasonable expectations and flexibility.

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