If you or your partner is leaving due to military service, you might wonder how to make the best of your long-distance military relationship.
Fortunately, just because distance separates you, your relationship can still thrive and become stronger.
There are several tips and tricks to ensure relationship success even if distance separates you from your loved one.
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Long-Distance Military Relationship Statistics
While those who serve in the military face unique challenges and stressors, it is not clear that military relationships fail more often than civilian relationships.
Therefore, overall statistics for civilian relationships apply to those in the service, so you can expect your relationship to have a 58 percent chance of survival.
Current research shows that long-distance relationships are doing a lot better than they did previously.
Also, the evolution of technology is given a lot of credit for smoothing the path to success in relationships.
Research shows that those in a long-distance relationship are just as satisfied with their relationship as those in relationships where they can regularly see their partner.
Unexpected Benefits of Long-Distance Military Relationships
When a couple takes the time to invest in their long-distance military relationship, there are unexpected benefits.
For instance, intentional communication that involves active listening is a valuable skill for any couple.
Therefore, those who successfully maintain their relationships over time and distance have an advantage because of the work involved to build trust and positive emotions carry over to their relationship when they can be physically close.
Therefore, when distance no longer separates a couple, the investment in one another continues to pay off.
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Tips and Tricks for a Long-Distance Military Relationship
Relationships evolve the longer you are in a relationship.
New couples who are just beginning their journey will find they have different needs than those in an established relationship.
Couples in new relationships are still learning how to communicate and meet each other’s needs.
An established couple has the advantage of already having an excellent idea of what makes the other happy.
However, this does not mean separation in an established relationship is any easier.
Couples who have been together a long time face severe and stressful disruptions to their daily routine
No matter where you are in your journey as a couple, there are tips to smooth the way.
Communication in a Long-Distance Military Relationship
Communication is vital to success. It is the bedrock to build trust and positive feelings.
This is true for both new and long-standing relationships.
Therefore, it is an area in which to invest.
Ideally, you involve one another in both the big and little events happening in life to maintain a connection.
Technology is fantastic and having access to a cell phone is a go-to for communication.
You can utilize your cell phone to chat regularly, but there are other features, as well.
Sending text messages just to say hello, send a meme, or send a picture to keep your partner in the loop of your life.
Also, do not forget you can schedule text messages to surprise your partner with regular messages.
Amid all the technology, do not forget sending letters the old-fashioned way.
First, if your partner is in boot camp, you do not have access to technology.
Therefore, letters are the way to go.
If you can use technology, there is still something special and concrete about receiving a letter in the mail because it tells your partner you took the time to sit down and write down your thoughts.
If you are going to send a letter, consider sending out a care package, as well.
Depending on the situation, consider adding snacks, pictures, and small gifts to let your loved one know you are thinking about them.
Be careful about what you send, though. If your partner is in boot camp, there are limitations to what they can receive.
Also, if your partner is overseas, consider what is and is not allowed with consideration of the country’s local rules.
Getting letters in the main is fun, but do not forget about email.
Sending emails is a fantastic way to stay in touch, especially considering time zone issues.
Your partner might be asleep when you have the time to send an update. Your information may be outdated by the time you send a letter.
Therefore, email is your friend.
Zoom Video Calls
If we learned anything from the quarantine, it is how to utilize video calls.
Video calls allow you to not just chat with one another, but it will enable you to exist in one another’s lives.
Consider using video calls to watch a movie together at the same time.
Also, preparing a meal and sitting down for dinner over a video call is an excellent alternative to date night.
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Discuss Changes in a Long-Distance Military Relationship
If you are in an established relationship, disruptions to your day’s routine will likely cause stress.
Therefore, it is vital to take the time to smooth out those routines to mitigate issues.
For instance, relationships usually have defined roles with partners having their routines.
One partner may handle all the banking and menu planning.
Therefore, when one partner is gone, those responsibilities are absorbed by the other.
Take the time to show one another how to pay the bills, access the bank account, turn off the water main, and who to call for repairs.
Having these conversations will reduce anxiety for both partners.
It may feel as though celebrating holidays and special days are pointless without your partner, but it is still vital.
Not only should you take the time to celebrate, work to involve your partner as much as you can.
Video calls are a fantastic way to involve your absent partner in the celebrations with just yourself or with a group of family and friends.
Do Something Together
Like we already said, date night can still happen, but it will look and feel different.
Watching a movie or having dinner together virtually is an alternative to date night.
However, consider even reading a book at the same time and discussing it later.
The importance lies in ensuring there are parts of your life that overlap so you maintain a connection.
It is vital to keep an open mind in a long-distance military relationship.
Sometimes the most valuable tool you have is to listen.
When you take the time to listen without trying to fix each other’s problems, you reach two crucial achievements.
First, by simply listening, you allow your partner to voice how they feel without judgment.
Second, you give your partner time to solve their problems and ask for what they need without jumping in to resolve the issue.
Learning the difference between emotional support and the right time to offer practical advice is vital in any relationship.
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Separations are challenging, no matter how long you have been in your relationship.
However, there is a lot of hope for your long-distance military relationship.
These days, technology is an asset in preserving a long-distance relationship, although there are plenty of ways to be a part of each other’s lives without constant technology use.
In the end, finding ways to communicate and work through problems together allow you to build a strong foundation necessary for separations.