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To Make a Long Distance Relationship Work, the First Thing Is to Overcome Jealousy
There’s that moment—that flash of jealousy you can’t control when you hear that your significant other (SO) has been spending time with someone else—and you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. It’s a totally normal feeling, but it can ruin meaningful relationships if it gets out of hand.There’s that moment—that flash of jealousy you can’t control when you hear that your significant other (SO) has been spending time with someone else—and you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. It’s a totally normal feeling, but it can ruin meaningful relationships if it gets out of hand.
When you’re dealing with jealousy in a long distance relationship (LDR), it doesn’t just negatively impact your relationship, it can also affect your everyday life. You may start to feel resentful of your partner, angry at the people around them who get to spend time with them, and you’ll be focusing on those emotions instead of work, school, or your other relationships.
Jealously in a LDR can be difficult to solve, because there are communication barriers involved, and you can’t see what’s really happening or feel any sense of control over the situation.
Even though it may be a challenge to overcome jealousy in a LDR, it’s essential to do so if the relationship is going to last until you can be together again. Being consistently jealous isn’t good for your emotional or physical well-being, and jealousy can erode trust between you and your partner.
The good news? There are some strategies you can use to help overcome jealousy and maintain a fulfilling long distance relationship. Here are a few ways to get started on your path to a healthier, happier LDR1 and let go of jealousy.
Comparison is always toxic
When jealousy does come up, stop reading into every little thing. Don’t compare yourself2to other people who may be involved in the situation. Instead, consider why these feelings are coming up.
Is there a trust issue in the relationship? Has your partner repeatedly engaged in behavior that makes you uncomfortable?
When you start feeling jealous, it’s important to take a step back and think about the real problem. In some cases, it may just be your tendency to experience jealousy, which is something you’ll want to work on—use it to challenge yourself and make positive changes. In other cases, it may be a sign that something isn’t quite right in the relationship.
Remember both of you are imperfect and are going to have bad days
You’re not perfect, and neither is your SO. You’re both going to have bad days, and it’s not realistic to think that you can get rid of jealousy altogether. Forgive yourself for those feelings, and then work on them.
Use some of the strategies you’ve learned, and examine why you’re feeling jealous—and how you can react in a healthy way. Success isn’t about always controlling your emotions—it’s sometimes about controlling your reactions so you don’t make the situation worse.
Schedule Time for Deep Connection
We all have busy lives, and it’s much easier to make time for our partners when they’re nearby. In LDRs, it’s all too common to have conflicting schedules and not make the time to fully communicate.
However, strong relationships need nurturing, whether that’s through phone calls, Skype dates, or in-person visits. With the ongoing progress in virtual reality3, you may even be able to be (virtually) in the same room one day! Overcoming jealousy involves at lot of work on both your part and your partner’s, but new technology tools make it easier than ever to make time for one another—you can even go on a walk4 together with FaceTime!
Ongoing virtual communication and attention is important, but it’s also important to make a schedule for in-person visits (or at least some ground rules). That gives you both something to look forward to, and makes being apart a little easier.
Do the Things That Help You Keep Calm and Relaxed
When it comes to overcoming jealous feelings, anxiety can really sabotage your progress. Remaining calm is a great way to help overcome jealousy—and it will improve your overall well-being as well! Staying calm is easier said than done, so you’ll need to make use of both long term and short term methods to achieve a relaxed and calm attitude.
You can start off with simple methods like deep breathing and stress balls, but you’ll also want to incorporate other methods into your life. Yoga and other forms of exercise will improve your mood and give you a self-confidence boost, while meditation and acupuncture5 can help you calm down and look at the world with more gratitude and relaxation.
Overcoming jealousy in an LDR is always a work in progress, but it can help you develop a deep and lasting relationship with your SO!
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