5 Tips on How to Avoid Jealousy in a Long-Distance Relationship—A Personal Take

'Finding out how to keep a long distance relationship alive is like solving a Rubik's cube that always changes its colours.'

Now, I’m not sure if having someone in a happy, healthy relationship can offer the best advice. But I think having my significant other gone for months on end—over 6 months in total for the entirety of 2023—allows me at least a small allowance of authority on how to avoid jealousy in a long-distance relationship.

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How can a long-distance relationship work?

Finding out how to keep a long distance alive is like solving a Rubik’s cube that keeps changes its colours. But, as they say in ‘Interstellar’:

“Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it.”

Feelings of jealousy will still bob up, try as you might, even for people who are in open or polyamorous relationships. These are negative feelings or negative emotions that show up whenever our needs are not met. But as scary as they are, jealous feelings will still come, the same way they will go.

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How to Avoid Jealousy in a Long-Distance Relationship:

1. Clear Communication

For my partner and I, we found a simple way to gauge where each other is emotionally. Whenever each of us is agitated or has feelings of dissatisfaction, we’d ask each other this: 

Do you want comfort or solutions?

That question has been our go-to to maintain effective communication because that question gives us an idea of how we can move forward. 

And whenever there is a discussion between one another, each partner has to come from a place of understanding. For my partner and I, we lay all our cards on the table and see how we can help each other deal with them. Because it’s not a matter of finding ways to stop feeling jealous in your long relationship. Personally, it’s about working with the feelings before working through it. It’s about finding out why we’re feeling the way we’re feeling.

Additionally, you don’t need to have a solution right there and then. When we’re apart, we usually just text. We’d plan for calls too. But I remember feeling weird when I felt lonely. Because I thought I’d get used to it, since it’s the second time he needs to be away. It was super uncomfortable for me, because it felt like I was leaning too much on him, especially when he’s so busy with work. But he told me that it has to be fair for me as well. So we devised an action plan, we’d tell each other if we can’t text as much on a certain day. That way, we both set expectations for ourselves, all the while honouring each other’s emotions and needs.

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2. Establish Boundaries and Expectations

Once you have an idea of what each other needs and wants, now we get to the nitty-gritty. Setting personal boundaries and relationship boundaries takes a lot of conscious effort because of all the moving parts: meeting guy friends, female friends, or even people from previous relationships.

So, how do you demarcate the boundaries of your relationship? Some people allow their partners to get intimate with other people, especially since cutting all innocent relationships is so difficult when the partner is apart. Others see open relationships as an ideal solution, though some set rules on how much they’d want to hear about the other’s dalliances.

Bottom line: you have to make sure you’re meeting your needs. If you feel that you need to see more of your partner online, you have to let them know. Conversely, if your partner feels that the constant contact is getting too much, you have to try and give them space too. There is a pretty fine line between constant communication and excessive communication.

That said, relationships always require compromises, and both sides have to meet halfway to build a successful relationship.

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3. Building Trust

Perhaps the most challenging moments in long-distance relationships come from the introduction of new people into each other’s life. If you’re in a committed relationship with only one partner, it can get difficult to navigate. There may be feelings of hurt, as well as feelings of uncertainty when a romantic partner falls for someone else. You yourself may have feelings of helplessness as well, especially when your partner keeps talking about someone they keep seeing.

However, regardless of the nature of your relationship, it’s best to let each other know about someone they’re interested in. One fatal relationship mistake is to bottle it all up because that will lead to destructive behaviours.

So, voice out your feelings of insecurity. Only then you both can figure out what each other needs. Not to mention, you both get to avoid unnecessary arguments.

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4. Plan Together

Couples that plan together, stay together. (Or maybe we’re just both two Type As vibing together on our Google Sheet). But even social media is coming around to that: there are plethoras TikToks and Instagram reels of ‘weekly couple admin’. But you don’t have to do it weekly, starting with a monthly check-in with each other to plan out calls or meetings.

Making plans together can help you feel more connected with your partner, in the sense that all parties are working towards something, together. It’s a great way to understand each other’s schedules and habits as well. You can start with:

  • How often will we talk?
  • Do you prefer phone or video calls?
  • When will be a good time to call?
  • How quickly can you respond to messages?
  • What do you imagine our sex life to look like?
  • Are you open to phone sex or sexting?
  • How often can we afford to see each other in person?
  • Who will be visiting?
  • If we’re in different time zones, will we talk when I’m headed to work and you’re going to bed?
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There are even video games that you can play together too, even if you’re continents apart. But making plans together can also teach both partners how to better adapt to each other’s communication styles, habits, and personalities.

With that, it’s easier to discuss the endgame too: do you both move in together or stay apart? There are no right answers here. After all, there are long-distance relationships that still live happily apart, where partners don’t decide on the endpoint of the relationship. 

But you need to gauge if you and your partner are on the same page. Do all of you want kids? Are you willing to move to a new city? It’s best to avoid assuming, even if things are going well. So voice your thoughts and plans, and see if the vision aligns with your partner.

That said, it’s important to know that the point isn’t to pressure anyone into a decision, because things may change down the line too. This is all extra effort, but it can help nurture and maintain a healthy long-distance relationship.

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5. Focus on Yourself

As much as you’re one part of a whole, don’t forget your own life too. It’s an oft-repeated advice, but nurturing the internality of your inner self helps you take your mind off of negative emotions. This really helped me through the long bouts of loneliness when my partner isn’t in Singapore.

We’re both very ambitious. He is pursuing his career in performing arts across the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, I’m trying to break into the local literature and theatre scene. We both have things to do, and that distance gives us both a chance to recalibrate and refocus on ourselves and discover activities that fulfil us too. Suppose what they say is true then, that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

And soon, you can find your rhythm in life, with new things to do and new people to meet. The last thing you want to brew resentment while waiting on your partner to reply to your messages.


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