Make long-distance love last 1/4

By Drum Digital
09 July 2014

Find yourself in a long distance relationship? tips on how to make it work

ALL relationships need careful tending and nurturing to grow, and long-distance relationships are no different. Not everyone expects to get involved in a long-distance love affair and the amount of work involved to keep it growing or the concerns that develop may take some by surprise.

Tsholofelo Motsepe* (23) met and fell in love with Molemo Rapoo* (25) at university. After graduating they now find themselves in different cities – she’s in Joburg and he’s in Cape Town where he found work with a law firm. Tsholo is surprised by her constant fears of losing him.

“I trust Molemo. We talk on the phone every day and see each other every second month, but I still worry that he’ll meet someone new who he can see every day,” she says. Her fear is a common one for people in this situation. So what’s the answer to making long-distance love endure? Communication is very important. First establish some ground rules as to how you’re going to conduct your relationship and then stay in touch to keep your bond strong and growing, advises Thuli Bottoman, a social worker who manages Joburg’s Family Life Centre.

Commitment and trust are key ingredients for a long-distance relationship to succeed

“Couples should discuss how they’re going to communicate with each other (by phone, email, Facebook or Skype), how often (daily or weekly) and when they will see each other,” she says.

Thuli says both partners need to be committed to making the relationship work.

“It can’t just be one-sided and both people need to stick to what they’ve agreed upon,” she adds.

It is also important to remember that even though you’re one half of a couple, you are still an individual with your own life to lead, says Pearl Ramotsamai, a counsellor at the Family and Marriage Society’s Durban branch.

“Don’t isolate yourself and focus all your attention on your relationship. You’re an individual before you’re a couple and should keep doing activities you enjoy instead of isolating yourself or sulking because you didn’t hear from your partner,” she says.

- Vida Li Sik

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