How to Make Long Distance Relationships Last
© Nicole Paschal, All Rights Reserved
After marrying a foreign man and having family, work, and commitments in two different countries, we have had our share of being apart. Therefore, we had to develop ways to not only maintain the relationship, but to somehow help it retain it's sizzle. Below are 8 tips for keeping a long-distance relationship hot!
When two people live together, they often ask one another for advice. Whether you’re asking your husband or boyfriend about which color dress to buy or whether to take a new mortgage, it’s likely you value each other’s input. When you separate, don’t forget to include him in those same decisions as much as is feasible. For example, if you have a big interview and don’t know whether to wear the black or grey suit, use your phone and send him/her a pic the night before. Allow your partner to text you back with a recommendation. Too often when people are apart, many times they go into what I call single "survivor mode," leaving both parties feeling isolated from the life of the other. Since modern technology allows, get input. Your relationship will benefit from the inclusiveness as you continue to act as a single unit, although miles away.
Share the Inconsequential!
Throughout the day, share the small, inconsequential things you find that amuse you. For example if you see an extremely funny meme, or a picture of a puppy you find absolutely adorable, send the link to your partner. If the weather is beautiful that day, you can take a picture with your cell phone and send it to your love. Small gestures like this not only include the other person in your day to day life, but it lets them know that you are thinking about them and wish they could experience the same as you. Also, for the newer couples, it allows your partner to learn more of your personality and your “likes” although you are far apart.The photo, cartoon, or whatever you share is also a great discussion piece to learn more about each other. My husband loves photography and recently opened an instagram account where he can share photos with me of things he finds interesting throughout the city. After 5 years of marriage, I still learn things about him through the pictures he takes.
Develop a routine!
Long distance couples, especially those that are married or lived together, should develop a routine where you plan to do something together. How do you do something together when you are miles away, you ask? Well, thank goodness for the internet. With modern technology it is possible. Plan a date and time that you will meet up online. Make sure it is the same time every week if possible. During this time you can play board games together with sites such as pogo.com. Or you can watch funny Youtube videos, or the same movie and chat as you watch. My husband and I had a ritual of viewing action films on Friday when we were together. After we were separated, we missed this occasion. So, when there’ was a movie I really wanted my husband to see with me, we made a plan to meet online. I’d rent it and he he’d find it online and we’d start the movie at the same time. During its play, we’d make comments about it with each other as it played. It allowed us to continue the same tradition as before. Besides online board games and movies, academically-oriented couples may elect to meet after having read the same book and discuss it via skype or some other messaging system.
Spontaneous Gift Giving!
How can someone be spontaneous while many miles apart you ask? Fortunately we live in the 21st century and there are multiple ways to keep the “surprise” in a relationship. For those that appreciate tangible spontaneity, we are blessed with many modes of shipping. Surprise your love one with a sexy gift out of the blue. If you are a woman, you can send your man some sexy new lingerie you purchased and tell him to bring it with him the next time you meet. Having the lingerie in his possession, will have him yearning to see you in it and in the meantime, fuel his imagination about just what will happen once you have it on. The same can be done for sexy handcuffs or any other naughty gift you may have in mind. It also works in reverse whereas a man may send lingerie to his girlfriend far away and ask her to bring it with her upon their meeting. For relationships that may not be that far along, intellectual property gifts are the answer. You can send your loved one an unexpected book for Amazon Kindle or Cloud Reader.
Realize the Power of Video
During our daily lives we do things and attend events that we just wish our loved ones far away could see. Use your phone, tablet, or some other recording device, so you can record the event and send it to your loved one to experience as well. For example, I recently attended a parade and had a great time. I recorded the favorite parts of the parade with my Ipod to share with my husband later. Since it often takes too long to send extensively long videos over Skype, we use a program called dropbox.com. We both have the program installed on our computers and I am able to upload the video into the dropbox and send him a link to watch when he pleases.
Go Retro With a Handwritten Letter
I know, I know, I’ve spoken so much about how great the internet has made 21st century long-distance relationships, but when it comes to letters sometimes personal is better. Certainly, the days of the handwritten letters seem far behind us with the popularity of email and IM programs, but something can still be said for how it conveys sincerity. Penning a letter to your significant other every once in a while will offer sense of closeness to your partner that email does not. Your partner holds within his/her hand something that was once in yours and gets to see your honest thoughts and impressions. Many times, we are hasty with our words, for better or for worse, when writing online. The letter offers an opportunity for contemplation. The letter makes you feel as if you should write something such as, “My heart quickens its pace every time you are near.” Whereas an email urges you to write, “You know I’m feelin you, right?” See the difference. Also, for the daring, you may want to spray a bit of your perfume or cologne on the letter to increase the personable quality of the letter. Your partner will feel as if you are there as he/she read your words from the heart.
Make a Promise to Meet-And Keep It!
Schedule a date when you will see each other in person again and keep your promise. Really, there is no explanation needed here. Keeping your promises and having physical contact is necessary for all relationships to progress.