With that in mind, I thought I’d share some tips and advice from consultants, authors (and frequent business travelers) Doug and Polly White on keeping the spark alive under the strain of a long distance relationship.
>Business travel is not a vacation:
It’s easy for the spouse or partner left at home to believe that living in a hotel, eating out and having maid service equals a grand vacation. However, anyone who has spent significant time traveling on company business would beg to differ. They would tell you that eating by yourself in restaurants or entertaining business clients or associates is often fun and dynamic, but can also leave one hankering for family time.
>Do simple, everyday things together:
For example, consider making time to watch television together–via cell phone. Before and during the show, talk to each other, make comments about the show, or simply sit quietly and watch until a commercial break. Being linked by phone while doing the same activity makes it seem like you are sitting together on the couch rather than hundreds of miles from each other.
>Share special occasions:
With the advent of Skype and other video-based technology, travelers should never have to miss singing happy birthday, hunting for Easter eggs, or sharing in family celebrations.
>Actively work on your relationship:
As much as you like to be together, you can get used to being apart. To keep the spark alive, make your relationship a priority: Talk to each other. Discuss your goals, dreams, needs and wants. Reminisce about happy times. Tell each other about important and unimportant matters. Review your schedules with each other. Generally, make the other person fully involved in your life.
>Make your reunion a joy:
Don’t save up chores, problems and frustrations for the returning spouse. Your time physically together each week is precious. Likewise, if you have been away all week, don’t spend your few hours at home playing golf with your buddies or with other activities that take you away from your spouse and/or kids.
Doug and Polly White are authors of Let Go to GROW (Palari Publishing 2011).