Are you REALLY speaking each other's language?
It is no secret that long distance relationships are a challenge. If you're currently in one, most of your friends have probably told you — "It will never last!"
With all those nay-saying voices in your head telling you there's no chance in hell your love will survive, it's normal to wonder to yourself: Can I make this long distance relationship work or will I just end up with a broken heart?
Well, I'm here to tell you — don't give up on your long distance love yet.
There’s a powerful secret you need to know: If you and your partner can learn and nurture each other's Love Language, your relationship can and will thrive!
Successful relationships, whether long distance or not, are the result of one main thing — the ability to meet each other’s needs, in particular our need to feel loved in a specific way. Author and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman identified five main ways people like to receive love, and that way is known as their Love Language.
The most effective way to make your partner feel loved is by demonstrating your affection and devotion via their Love Language.
You and your partner can find out what your respective Love Languages are by taking the quiz here. Then, you can start lighting up your long distance relationship by focusing on ways to show one another attention and affection in the language you each appreciate most.
Here's how to use Love Languages to help your relationship strong across the miles:
1. Words of Affirmation
FYI — this is my Love Language, so I thrive in my long distance relationship because my partner excels at sharing meaningful, kind and uplifting words with me, even though he's miles away. I feel truly loved. Being physically present is not necessary to speak Words of Affirmation. So, when this is your Love Language, no amount of miles, borders, or oceans can stop your love from growing.
2. Acts of Service
When Acts of Service is your Love Language, you feel loved when someone helps you out. Even though, in a long distance relationship, your partner is not around often to take out the garbage or fold the laundry, perhaps they can do some research, pay the online bills or help you by providing advice over FaceTime or email. It's important to establish ways your partner can help you out in your everyday life despite the distance.
3. Receiving Gifts
Hello, online shopping! When your Love Language is Receiving Gifts and your partner has a Paypal Account or a Credit Card, then you're set. No amount of distance can stop flower deliveries, special "I'm thinking of you" gifts, or even a card in the mail. To you, a gift is "a thought in action" and love flourishes when those special deliveries arrive.
4. Quality Time
When your Love Language is Quality Time, you feel loved when your partner makes real time for you. To keep your long distance relationship strong, it's important to agree on a schedule of times when you know you two will be together. The security this provides is invaluable. Also, a benefit of being in a long distance relationship is that you never take your time together for granted. You've learned to maximize every moment of your Quality Time when you have it.
5. Physical Touch
If holding hands makes your heart melt, then Physical Touch is probably your Love Language. This is one of the hardest Love Languages to nurture in a long distance relationship. You'll need to get highly creative to make sure each other's love is FELT by the other person.
If your partner communicates to you his desire to kiss you or hold your hand, does that help you feel loved? If you imagine his arms wrapped around you every night before you go to sleep, does that bridge the miles? Only you will know if your needs are being met in your long distance relationship. And, when you are physically together, make sure to schedule lots of alone time.
One more secret about long distance relationships — Stop listening to any friends telling you it will never work. They base their well-intentioned advice on their own needs, not yours! Only you and your partner can decide if this is the right relationship for you. But if you both want it to work, it absolutely can!
Diane Taylor is a coach, speaker, and facilitator. She is passionate about helping others discover and unlock that which is preventing them from the love they desire. Learn more about Diane and her work at ElevateLove.com.