How To Build Trust In A Long Distance Relationship? Part 2: Actions
Welcome to “How to build trust in a long distance relationship? Part 2: Actions”. I hope you enjoyed Part 1. If you have not read it yet, click here to read Part 1: The Golden Rules.
Many people have asked, “What exactly do I need to DO to build up the trust between me and my distant partner? It seems so hard!” Definitely, it’s harder than close distance ones because there is a lack of physical interactions. There are many trust-building things close distance lovers can do but not long distance ones. A very good example is giving your partner a surprise presence of yourself. (Although it’s still possible in a long distance relationship but it’s very hard to carry out in reality due to many limitations.) Another example is holding hands on the road. This can build up a lot of trust for close distance lovers.
Moving on from the 7 golden rules, I have compiled a list of 8 actions that you need to carry out CONSISTENTLY to build that trust in a long distance relationship in an effective way. Attention! The key here is consistency. You do not do these occasionally or when you feel like doing it. They must be done consistently – that means everyday! (If possible)
The 8 Actions That You Need To Do Consistently
1. Communicate Everyday
Given the lack of face-to-face and other physical interactions, communication is especially important in a long distance relationship. It is the only way to build trust and keep the relationship going.
This communication can be done in many ways. It does not have to be a long, heart-to-heart talk every time. It can simply be a message or picture. Just remember to constantly update your partner about you and what you are doing. By talking to your partner frequently, your partner can feel that you care about him/her. This is because we tend to share more with people we care. So if both of you are constantly sharing and communicating with each other, the trust will grow.
I understand people in long distance relationship may be caught up in their own activities and may be tired after a day of works/activities. But please don’t use that as an excuse. If your partner knows that you are willing to spend time talking to him/her despite your tight schedule or tiredness, it is definitely a trust-booming and love-booming factor between you.
Attention all long distance lovers who are in different time zones! I know communication is even more challenging for you all than those who are not affected by time zone. I just learnt my tips in this eBook: Long Distance Relationship Miracle.
“If you both are spaced apart so far where you guys have a time difference of more than two hours, you will have to set a schedule. Pick out routines where you can match the time as much as possible and talk or spend time with each other. If you don’t have a routine, make one. Also be sure to prioritize one day where you get to spend the whole evening together. Remember to talk to each other throughout the day for a little while at least. In this aspect, a long distance relationship won’t really differ from the normal kind of relationships but it will just require you to invest some extra effort into it in order to get to the baseline. You can’t be neglectful about it.” – extracted from Long Distance Relationship Miracle
Personally, I do try to talk to my girlfriend everyday despite the busy army life I am having now. I will always try to use the short break I have during the day to send a few messages to her and try to have a chat before we sleep. But, there are times that I need to stay outfield for training. The longest time I stayed outfield so far is 6 days. That means 6 days without any form of communication with my girlfriend. It’s tough. But once we’ve gone through it, any difficulty seems minor. The most important thing here is about the communication before I left for training and the trust we’ve built over time.
2. Common Goals & Dreams: Plan & Commit To Them
I have discussed about the importance of having a common goal and clear expectations in Part 1. Now, it’s time to execute. The tip here is that you must commit to the goals. You must actually put in efforts in your daily lives so that your partner knows you are actually working on your relationship, and thus build up more trust in you.
On top of that, you can talk about the goals with your partner in your chat when suitable. Normally, you will feel sweeter and trust each other even more after chatting with your partner about your future dream life. It acts as a good way to remind both of you of your goals and create the momentum in building the relationship together.
It’s a huge waste when you have an end goal in both of your mind but you don’t show your eager to achieve it. In this way, you will not be putting in 100% effort in pursuing the goal and expect it to happen in time to come. But, you will soon realize that you are further and further away from the dream life you want with your partner. Long distance relationship really needs you to put in the extra effort to work it out.
3. Get To Know Your Partner’s Friends & Family
This allows you to better understand your partner’s daily life. When you are more familiar with your partner’s friend’s and family, you will feel more involved in your relationship.
Personally, I’m getting along well with my girlfriend’s friends and family. I have her mum’s LINE as well as some of her best friends’. I do chat with her mum sometimes and she will also share with me things via LINE. (Anyway, she’s my future mother-in-law, so I need to be familiar with her :P) It’s to my advantage to get more of her trust and support.
Let me give you my reasons for this point:
- Getting to know them also means that they are getting to know you. When they know more about you, they will trust you more. More trust means more support.
- Family and friends’ support for your relationship is crucial for both of you because you want to get their well-wishes.
- Their support is a big momentum for your relationship to move on.
- Lastly, you have more interactions with your partner and there are more things to talk about.
Tip for guys to keep in mind: Your girl will definitely want YOU to mix well with her family and friends. It means a lot to her!
4. Plan Your Next Meet Up
Always have the next meet up planned in advance because this means there are things that both of you can look forward to. This will keep your relationship going.
Let me put it this way! Think of long distance relationship as a marathon. (It is indeed a marathon if you need to be separated for very long.) Those meet-ups along the way are the checkpoints. If you have checkpoints during your marathon run, you will know how long you’ve run and how many more checkpoints you can expect. This will push you on checkpoint by checkpoint and finally reach the end point. Without checkpoints, you may quit along the way when you feel exhausted. Long distance relationship is the same. Although you may not have the exact end date for the long distance situation to end, but the checkpoints along the way will be your biggest momentum to spur you on.
Can you see the importance of always planning for the next meet up now?
5. Surprise Factor!
This is really important. When you’ve been together for quite some time, you may feel bored because you are doing the same thing again and again. This is where the surprise factor comes in!
Do give your partner surprises every now and then to keep your relationship fun and interesting. You CAN be romantic in a long distance relationship. At the same time, it helps in building trust as well.
Let me teach you how… here are some suggestions for you that I have done before!
- Mail her surprise presents/cards on your special days (Valentine’s Day, Birthday, Anniversary…)
- Record and send him/her surprise video (E.g. Record yourself wishing him/her happy birthday…)
- Buy chatting App sticker/theme for your partner (The sticker & theme I’m talking about are things like what LINE, a chatting App, has)
- Draw out your own story! (See my example in this post (coming soon))
- Surprise presence of you. (This is hard to achieve in long distance relationship. I haven’t gotten a chance to do it before because my relationship is a really really long one. It’s a 4 hours flight between us. But, this is something you should be planning for if reality permits.)
Although the amount of choices is less than close distance relationship, there are a lot more as long as you can creatively think of. Just the present itself, it can include a lot of things and choices. I will be posting more reviews about the gift options.
Remember! Be a creative and romantic person so that your partner has a lot to expect and look forward to from you. This will definitely build more trust between you. Just be careful, don’t break it. Don’t let your partner down!
6. Work On Your Trust Issues
Again, jealousy is a common challenge for long distance lovers. Each of you will be engaged in different activities at different places. You will go out with your own friends. You will have completely different schedule. You will have little time for each other. All these are challenging your relationship and the trust between you.
What you need to do is not let this fact to break the trust. Instead, it should work the opposite way.
Follow my advice, step-by-step:
- Inform each other about your schedule.
- Tell each other what kind of people you will be interacting/working/going out with.
- Tell him/her not to worry, you will protect yourself and do the right thing.
- Whenever anyone of you feel uncomfortable with something, let the other one know.
- Tell him/her what’s your feeling regarding the issue.
- Discuss the solution together.
- If there is no real solution, explain to your partner that you have no choice or there are no solution. BUT, remember to comfort your partner and promise him/her something regarding the issue so that he/she will feel better and trust you more.
This is how you may want to work on your trust issues. Instead of begging your partner to trust you, what you should do first is to explain the situation and discuss together. In this way, both of you will feel that you are caring for each other.
7. Remember Important Dates
Girls are commonly known to care a lot more about important dates than guys. Some guys even say that girls are too fussy about the dates. But, being a guy myself, I think the girls are right. Those dates are very important especially for long distance lovers.
For both of you, these are the days that you could celebrate and give each other presents, which means, these are the opportunities to give your partner surprises to build trust and love. You already miss each other so much and face the tough long distance, why not make these opportunities given to you more meaningful and useful?
For the guys, even though you may not think some of the dates are important to you, but you already know that girls are “fussy” about this. Why not take the opportunity to make her happy and strengthen your relationship?
For the girls, if your partner seems indifferent to the dates sometimes, don’t react in such a way that will harm your relationship. You should playfully hint or remind him about it on the day or even prior to the day. The last thing to do is to get mad at him and blame him. It may be his fault to forget. But if you are looking at a long term relationship, it’s not worth to risk your relationship on this.
Remembering the the dates and make full use of them will only benefit you!
8. Make It To Important Events
Being there for special celebrations and engagements is an important way to support your partner and relationship. There are many important events. Being in a long distance relationship it is not possible to make it to all but you must at least try to plan and make it to some.
If you are able to put aside something just to attend the event for your partner, do let him/her know what you have put aside is for him/her. This will make your partner feel special and loved and hence improve the level of trust in you.
Here comes to the end of part 2 of How to build trust in a long distance relationship. It’s been a long post again but that’s because I have so much tips that I want to give them all to you.
Let me end off with my last advice for you in this post.
Follow your heart and DO everything that will strengthen your relationship. Take massive but well-thought-out ACTIONS to build the relationship that you deserve!
I wish you all the best to your relationships!
I hope you enjoyed the read. Don’t hesitate to comment below or contact me directly if you have any questions. I would love to hear how you find my tips and advice 🙂
Next: Part 3: Common Pitfalls