In order to maintain the lasting love we long for, you must continually look for ways to make your partner feel loved in a long distance relationship.
The best part? Actions create actions. Trust creates trust. Generosity creates generosity.
AKA: If YOU want to feel loved, then YOU need to show love!
There are many ways to make your long distance partner feel special everyday. Even if there’s tension in the relationship, you’re struggling, or feeling unappreciated.
Here are the best ways to make them feel loved. Do these, and watch your relationship thrive!
How to Make Your Partner Feel Loved in a Long Distance Relationship
1. Actively Listen to What They Say
Imagine you’ve waited all day long to hear your partner’s voice. It was the first thing you thought about when you woke up in the morning. Plus, they will not believe what happened to you at work today!
You’ve been chomping at the bit for hours, desperately waiting for this one conversation that’s going to help make all of the crap you’ve put up with today evaporate and remind you about the good things in life and love.
When the moment comes (AT LAST!) and you finally get the call, the first thing out of their mouth is, “Hey sweetheart, how are you doing? I’m completely exhausted and had a really crappy day at work.”
Quiz time: Do you respond with:
- “OMG, I understand completely! You wanna hear about a crappy day … let me tell you …” and then proceed to talk their ear off for the next 2 hours without taking a break.
- “I’m so sorry you feel that way baby. I love you so, so much … do you want to tell me about it, or maybe you should just get some rest tonight and we can chat properly tomorrow?”.
It’s completely natural when your time “together” is limited to want to completely unload all of your burdens in rapid-fire succession. In any relationship, however, it’s critical to learn to really listen to what your partner is telling you, even when you have lots of other things on your own mind.
Few things make people feel less important or valued than when they express something meaningful and are met with limited emotion, no empathy, and a segue into a completely unrelated topic. Think about it, how do you visualize them reacting when you’re unloading all of your struggles? You imagine them asking more questions, right?
So, instead of letting all your pent-up words about your own dayful of drama burst from your chest like an alien, try to wait patiently and truly listen to their words.
Ask questions like “How did that make you feel?” or “What do you think was behind that?” and “What are you thinking about it all now?”
Listening and empathizing with your partner makes them feel much more loved, important, and happy. And when they are feeling heard and supported they will be much more able and willing to listen and empathize about the things going on in your life.
Actions beget actions. Empathy begets empathy.
2. Spread the Happy’s Around
Do you know it takes 7 positive comments to “balance out” the impact of one negative or critical comment? And that’s just one minimally negative comment like, “I hate the weather outside today.”.
If you say something like, “I hate how long it takes you to return my texts, you should do it faster” … forget about it! That’ll be burned into their brain for the next 5 years, despite 1,000 positive comments about how much you love their texting skills.
This dynamic is called the negativity bias.
It basically means that negative statements and events have more on an impact than positive statements and events. We pay more attention to negative things other people say about us, we spend more time thinking about them, and we give those sorts of negative and critical statements more weight.
Negativity bias is a very real thing and has the potential to cause serious damage in long-distance relationships. When stress levels reach maximum and your limited time together is spent trying to work through problems or process hard times, or arguing… it takes a real toll on everyone’s mental and emotional health.
So even during times when you’re stretched and stressed, try to remember to share some of the “happy” stuff, too.
Tell your partner you love them, and that you miss them. Tell them how you thought about them today (and when/why). Talk about things that have made you smile or laugh lately. Look for small ways you can compliment and encourage them. Tell them about the things they’ve done or said that you appreciate or respect.
Make it a point to, every single day, tell your partner how unbelievably important they are to you. Tell them early and often how they make you feel when you’re lonely or sad; how you feel so much better now that they’re in your life; how amazing and awesome they are; how monumentally important and precious the memories you have with them are; and how much you look forward to the future.
You can post flattering pictures on your social media, write love notes for no reason at all, and send them meaningful gifts as physical proofs of your love.
As Pierre Reverdy says:
“There is no love, there are only proofs of love.”
It simply isn’t enough to know in your heart that your long-distance partner is the most important thing in your life. It isn’t even enough to tell them once a week. They need regular reminders every single day. We all need to share our problems and our pains, but don’t forget to share some of the “happy’s”, too.
3. Blow Them Out of the Water with a Surprise
Imagine your sweetheart waking up and getting out of bed like it’s any other day. They’re sad that their soulmate is in another bed, way too far away from them.
They long for your warmth, voice, and touch. As they’re going about their day with no expectations, something incredible happens. They get a gift from the person they love the most in the world–a gift that reminds them just how truly lucky, blessed, and special they really are.
Really want to blow them out of the water? These long distance touch bracelets are the answer to keeping you connected no matter when or where.
4. Make Your Partner Feel Loved by Joining Them Where They’re At
How good are you at “joining in” with your partner on things that are important to them?
Will you watch movies with them that you’re not super keen to see? Play games online that you don’t really love? How do you “stretch” to show up for your partner in ways that you know are important to them?
For example, my wife loves drinking a glass of wine or champagne with her dinner. I’m not much of an alcohol guy, so when she asked me if I was want a glass, I typically stick with water. However, I do drink wine in social settings with my friends. It didn’t even cross my mind that this could be hurting my wife’s feelings, or that he message I was inadvertently sending was that conforming for her wasn’t important to me, but conforming for my friends was.
Now, I always accept when my wife offers me a glass. The thing is, being the amazingly thoughtful wife she is, she knows it isn’t my favorite thing so she doesn’t ask me too often.
If you don’t pay attention to what your partner means when they’re communicating their needs, there are going to be loads of problems. Something that may not matter or seem important to you can at the same time be extremely important to someone else.
So be observant, and then strive to be generous with your time, energy, money or love, in ways that are important to them. If you make some sacrifices to “join them” in something that’s important to them, they will truly feel like a king or queen.
And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t keep score.Nothing makes someone feel less important than keeping a running tally on whose turn it is to do what.
If they’re truly your king or queen, aren’t you willing to go to any lengths for them? Does it really matter who calls or visits whom as long as you spend time together?
When you keep score in a long-distance relationship everyone loses.
5. Be like Elsa and Let it Go!
Things happen. Unkind words will inevitably be said. Feelings will be hurt.
When things like this do happen, you don’t have to just suck it up silently. You can be assertive and communicate exactly why your feelings are hurt.
In fact, it’s often better if you do, because if you make a habit of bottling up your words and emotions you can eventually simmer with frustration and resentment, or explode like the finale of a firework display on the fourth of July (And it will NOT be pretty).
So tell them when you’re upset or frustrated. Just do it as calmly and kindly as you can. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, and use “I” statements instead of “You” statements, which come off as more accusatory.
You know about “I” statements, right? I feel very (Feeling) when thinking about (Situation) because (Why).
And then you can offer a solution or invite discussion.. For instance: “I feel very unhappy when thinking about you spending all night at the bar with your phone off because my previous partners have been unfaithful to me.
Can we work out a solution that gives me more peace of mind?”After you’ve expressed yourself wisely, and worked through the issue, then let it go.As they say, “Holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.
Don’t bring it up in the middle of your next fight; don’t use it on a list of past grievances in the future; and don’t use as a tool to get something you want. Work hard to assume your partner has good intentions. And work hard not to “sweat the small stuff.”.
Long distance relationships are hard enough without you letting insecurities rear their ugly heads because of a cryptic comment here and there, or getting your feathers too ruffled by small annoyances.
Ready to Make Your Long Distance Partner Feel Loved?
If you’re unsure of where to turn next. You should join our free LDR Support Group where you can ask questions and get thoughtful advice from other long distance couples that have navigated similar experiences.
We hope to see you there!