One of the biggest challenges couples face is time apart. Working long hours, commuting, travel - it's more common than ever to be away from one another. Even when we know it can't be avoided, the distance has an impact. Having less time together means less opportunities for connection, intimacy, and casual chats. It limits our ability to give and receive affection.
Luckily, there are ways to keep the connection strong, even while spending time apart.
Here are five ways to stay in touch while you're apart:
1 | Texting
Yes, texting. Technology is an amazing thing - you can be in a meeting, at a movie, or on an airplane and keep in touch with your significant other. Send a funny photo, say "I love you," or just let them know you're thinking about them. What takes all of three seconds goes a very long way.
2 | Scheduling phone calls
When you're working like crazy or traveling for business, it's easy to forgot to check in. Putting phone calls with your partner on the calendar is one way to prioritize contact. Set aside 20 minutes in the evening for an uninterrupted phone call. Catch up with one another and de-brief about your day.
3 | Sending gifts
If you're feeling like two ships passing in the night, this is a fun way to remind your partner you're still there. Order something - a book, a favorite cologne, a movie - and have it shipped to the house. If you're traveling a lot, plan for it to arrive while you're away. It's a thoughtful gesture that will serve as a deposit in your emotional bank account (more on that in a future post).
4 | When you are together, make it count
If it's rare you have time off together, don't waste it fighting or doing chores around the house. Make time for fun! If an argument arises, take a few minutes and think, "is this worth it?" "Will I regret spending our time this way?" If the answer is "yes," invite your partner to table the issue or drop it and move on. If the answer is "no," do you best to resolve it peacefully and amicably.
5 | If you think it, say it
It would be great if our partners could read our minds, but they can't. This is another way to prioritize reaching out when you're apart. If your significant other crosses your mind, in any way, shoot them a text and let them know you're thinking about them. Such a small gesture will clue your partner into how much you care and that they are on your mind.
These strategies will help you stay in touch when you're apart. They will keep your relationship in a positive place and prevent you and your parter from slipping into negative sentiment override. (Trust me, you don't want that).
Meredith Silversmith, MA, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Co-Founder, and Clinical Director of Nassau Wellness. Meredith is passionate about her work and truly enjoys her time with clients. She specializes in couples therapy, chronic conflict, infidelity, communication issues, and teen issues. Read more...