Dealing with different lifestyles

In addition to being in different locations, you and your partner may be living different lifestyles. Naturally, this could be the case in any usual relationship; that one of you is at school or university or working, or has to work and study, or works and has made an amateur profession out of a hobby, while the other is occupied with one of the others. In a long distance relationship however, the chances of having different lifestyles are that much greater, as you two most probably didn’t meet under normal circumstances. And, of course, the cultural and time differences don’t make your situation any easier.

The main thing is to share and explain to your partner how your life works on a daily basis, what your expectations are of your partner and how much time you can spare for your relationship. In turn, your partner explains how their life works and you two can construct a communication schedule from there.

Understand that there will be times in anyone’s life when things get terribly strenuous. If one has exams or a deadline at work, one may not have time to Skype every night or be distracted by regular I.M.s. You need to be understanding of each other at these times and give each other the space to get the work done. You may find that you’re a bit grumpy when you’re under a lot of stress; try not to take it out on your partner.

It’s also a good idea to synchronise things which you can control. Work when your partner is working, so that you can have mutual free time. Do other things at the same time too, like meals – which you can have together on Skype, and exercising, and you can check in on each other afterwards. This way you can hold each other accountable to deadlines and enjoy each other’s progress.