While daydreaming about the future, most people don’t think, “Gee, I want to get into a long distance relationship.”, but millions of married people are in them, not to mention those who are dating or others who have met online. The numbers have only increased since the year 2000, as men and women both prioritize jobs more now than ever. It can sometimes be difficult to live in the same city as a significant other or lover and keep the job you love. The reasons for entering into a LDR (long distance relationship) might simply be timing, finances, or preference (some prefer weekend bicoastal rendez vous to the day to day grind). Some long distance relationships are temporary means to an end. For example, when someone has a new job in another state and the other partner is waiting for the house to sell. Or, there are many partnerships where a partner travels every week for work, even if they return in between, which creates a LDR component. And then there is that moment where you meet someone online, unplanned, who lives in another state. You decide to make it work and thus starts your online, long distance relationship.
The themes common to long distance relationships are fun (as they can be fun at first- when your anticipation of seeing your partner grows to wild and sexy extremes) and independent (you have your own life, so there’s no worry about a codependent love affair). The other common themes are less enjoyable and tend to increase with time: Loneliness, frustration, resentment. Imagine a time you really need your partner’s attention, but instead of coming home to them or inviting them over, they’re two thousand miles away and happen to be out with friends, completely unaware of your crises. It’s harder to fly by the seat of your pants and live in the moment, when traveling and plane tickets require planning in advance. Sometimes one partner, or both, meet someone more geographically available and cheating or a breakup ensue. Plus, there’s usually less sex involved, just based on the realities of supply when you’re living far away from your lover. When one partner wants the other to move and they won’t, resentment can brew. All of that, is how LDR’s can quickly become un-fun.
If you approach it like a scientist, there are actual steps and ideas you use to make the relationship last, or get more happiness and pleasure from it while it’s lasting.
Communication: Are you a texter? Or do you prefer to talk on the phone? How’s your relationship with email? To be a successful long distance ‘lover’, you really have to throw out the old rules and create new ones. First, even if you are the fastest and wittiest texter in your state, it likely won’t sustain a relationship with your partner on its own. Texting is nice, quick, pleasurable, immediate. You can flirt by text or even argue by text. However, nothing is a replacement for the sound of someone’s voice and the nuances of connecting on the phone. Which brings up another point, while an old fashion phone with a cord to the wall will suffice as conversation, you’ll get more bang for your buck with FaceTime or Skype. Sure, FaceTime and other video chats make talking from the loo a little less likely and you might want to skip your face mask before you call, but you will feel more connected than texting or a regular phone call.
So, we covered texting and phone calls, which isn’t to neglect the standby’s such as email and IM’ing, but there’s another secret weapon to communication: Snail mail. Postal mail, a.k.a. snail mail, is a romantic gesture that can show more than tell. Handwritten notes, or let’s not get too crazy… typed and printed letters, sent by postal mail with a photograph, present, card, or treat can make your significant other feel special and that helps keep the closeness you want to grow. There doesn’t have to be an important reason like a birthday or holiday, the sweetness
Non Traditional: Classic romantic gestures aren’t for everyone. If your love affair is a little more hip or feisty, consider something a little outside the box. Try delivering food from their favorite restaurant as a surprise. Send them a book and buy a copy for yourself, then read it and discuss. Play an app like Words With Friends or Lexulous and excite your brain through competition. Send a movie gift card and then see the same movie at the same time, in your prospective cities. Talk via video chat afterwards and have a mock date. Even non traditionalists love gifts of chocolate and candy.
Consistency: The most important thing besides the person you’re apart from being likable and worth the extra effort of an LDR, is that you’re both consistence. Many long distance relationships end because people don’t follow through as secluding takes more effort when you aren’t in the same city. If you have a little adult A.D.D. in the mix, use your cell phone calendar and book appointments and phone calls with your person, so you don’t forget. More importantly, call when you say you will, text consistently, follow through, arrange trips (not just to other another’s cities, but to new locations too).
Sex: Sex is the glue that binds relationships together. Not because of the physical act and pleasure alone, but the intimacy and closeness that it builds. Feel sexy. Be sexy. You are sexy! Think of sexuality as more than a room with four walls and a bed. In the modern age, sexual expression is limitless. It might be an email to your partner about a sexy dream you had about them or a special request via text for the next time you’re in person. If your lover likes your body in person, they’ll probably like teasing views of it in photographs (classic sexting) or by video chat. When sex can’t all be physical, it can still be mental and verbal. Unleash your wild side and show your partner you’re worth waiting for and that you’ll wait for them!
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