In your long distance relationship, have you ever wondered if you’re communicating too much, or not connecting enough? Do you feel like you want to talk more, but are afraid of coming off as too needy?
When it comes to how often you should talk in a long distance relationship…it depends. You should both feel free to talk as often as you both want, and at a level you both feel comfortable with. Just make sure you make room for other things in your life.
It’s about quality, not quantity
If you think that spending hours and hours on the phone makes your long distance relationship stronger, I urge you to reconsider that.
Communication is definitely important, but being constantly connected doesn’t automatically make your long distance relationship work any better.
This can be especially true for new long distance relationships. You may feel that you need to be constantly in contact to keep the interest alive. However, going too hard and too fast can have the opposite effect, or set up expectations that can be difficult to break.
Silence is golden
When you start getting comfortable in the relationship and get to know each other better, you may find that simply spending time on the phone with them is a great way to connect.
Some of my favorite moments when I was doing long distance was just sitting on Skype with her. Each of us did our own thing, with the other person there on the screen. It felt like she was right there with me.
Time spent on the phone isn’t time wasted, as long as you’re both enjoying your time together and the routine that you have both built.
What if we don’t have anything to say?
That’s okay! It’s not the end of the world.
In the early days of a relationship, you may want to keep the chatter going to stay engaged with your partner and learn more about them. Lulls in conversation can be a little nerve wracking during this time as you work on finding common ground.
But embracing quiet moments of silence is fine when you’re on a video call with each other. Even when you’re apart, you shouldn’t feel obligated to blow their phone up with random observations or shower thoughts.
Like I mentioned previously, some of my favorite moments were just spending time with my partner, and being together in that moment without having to say a word.
What if my partner wants to talk more than I do?
I love talking with my wife. We can talk about anything and are pretty open about a lot of things.
But sometimes, I just need some time to myself. This happened even when we were doing long distance.
I’m an introvert—every now and then I need some alone time. It helps to recharge my batteries and clear my head. I work on a couple of personal projects, do some reading or writing, and then I can bounce back pretty well.
In a long distance relationship, it’s hard to read your partner based on text messages and voice calls alone. (Although, over time, I did get pretty good at it!)
If your partner isn’t getting the hint, you need to be able to communicate your needs to them.
Even saying something as simple as, “I just need a while to wind down and work on something / get some food / spend time with the dog, can I call you later?” is a perfectly reasonable request.
If it’s happening several times, then you may need to be more explicit in communicating your needs.
Reaffirm your love and commitment to them, and express how much you appreciate that they are so keen to stay connected with you.
Then, explain to them that your personal time is also important in your day to day life. Tell them that you need to find that time exclusively for yourself.
Find other ways to communicate other than talking
We live in a golden age of communication. We can write, photograph, draw, and share in so many ways, all at near instantaneous speeds. Being in a long distance relationship has never been easier.
You can leverage the power of all that technology. Sending each other cute photos or interesting links is still a form of conversation between the two of you. There are a myriad of chat and social apps out there that can help you both connect.
Back in the day, my wife and I used an app called Pair, now rebranded as Couple (and has since been discontinued ☹).
One of my favorite functions was a simple button that automatically sent a little message: Thinking of you.
It was such a small gesture, but seeing it pop up in my phone notifications was one of the greatest feelings, especially if I was having a really bad day.
If you’re looking for a way to just “check in” with each other, I recommend finding your own “thinking of you” nudge. You can use an emoji, or a GIF, or a sticker…make it meaningful for the both of you.
It’s all about what makes you comfortable
In the end, every couple is different. Some couples are okay with chatting for hours and hours on end. Others are okay with just a quick check in every few days.
Realize that various things can affect your communication levels, such as:
- time differences,
- study schedules or work shifts,
- other activities or obligations, and
- your own personal preferences and personality.
Make sure you and your partner have set your expectations when it comes to communicating. When you’re both on the same page, you may both find that you’ll value your screen time together even more.