Long-Distance Relationships in Times of Digitalisation

Does the following phrase sound familiar to you? Social networks unite people from all over the world and allow the creation of friendships or long-distance relationships. That’s right, probably not.

Today everyone talks about how much social networks and digitization in general open doors for us. Now it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with old friends, have long-distance relationships or have so-called online friendships, which are created online and usually stay there. So far so good.

But, are social networks really helping us when it comes to maintaining relationships? Doesn’t it distance us more from the innumerable possibilities that the media offer us?

Below are a couple of helpful tips on how to really succeed in maintaining long-distance friendships and relationships through social media.

1: Clearly Define Your Relationship

Let’s say your best friend, partner, or sister is going halfway around the world for a semester abroad. At first, you probably won’t be too happy about this. Despite Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and FaceTime, distance is a true test for any interpersonal relationship. No app in the world can replace a hug, spontaneous encounters and joint activities, which are essential for our psyche and our togetherness. Therefore, it is very important to clarify in advance what is important to you personally.

In this way, you can organize fixed times and time intervals in which you can take time for each other. This makes sense, especially in the case of large time differences.

2: Participation in Each Other’s Daily Lives

It is important to let your loved one continue to participate in your life to the same extent as before. You should not fall into the mode of thinking that you are only allowed to share “important” and crucial things now. Because this is exactly the point where most people start to become estranged from each other. Keep sharing your feedback on the latest Bachelorette episode. Tell each other what you had for lunch and how annoying that colleague at work was. Just because one of you is in a new environment with new impressions doesn’t mean that the other’s everyday life is less interesting and worth telling. A friendship, relationship or any other kind of interpersonal relationship is based on you as individuals. You decide what you share, to what extent and at what time. Making a change here can have fatal consequences for that relationship.

3: Firm Plans for Your Relationship

It is important to let your loved one continue to be as involved in your life as before. You must not fall into the mindset that you are now only allowed to share “important” and crucial things. Because this is exactly the point where most people start to distance themselves from each other. Keep sharing your comments on the latest episode of the apprentice. Tell each other what you had for lunch and how annoying that colleague was at work. The fact that one of you is in a new environment with new impressions does not mean that the daily life of the other is less interesting and worth telling about. A friendship, relationship, or any other type of interpersonal relationship is based on you as individuals. You decide what you share, to what extent and at what time. Making a change here can have fatal consequences for that relationship.

4: Create a Routine

How about a FaceTime call every Sunday evening, just before the start of the new week? This way, you can not only talk long and hard about the past week, but also push each other for the new week ahead.

Routines give us a sense of security, which is especially important in moments of anxiety and worry.

5: Embrace Your Relationships No Matter What!

At the end of the day, one thing can be said. Every friendship and relationship has its incredibly beautiful sides. Especially if both of you are willing to commit to nurturing that bond, it shows how strong your relationship is.

Social media can help make it easier to maintain a relationship, as long as there are clear rules about how to use it. However, if you don’t communicate in advance how you want to proceed, it can also have the complete opposite effect. With both of them getting lost in it and dealing with contacts online and on the site. The important thing is: what you put in, you get out. And as a general rule, every stay comes to an end at some point!

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