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5 tips to make a long distance relationship work
What I hear about long distance relatioships
It is often said that long distance relationships do not work. Everyone that finds out that I am in a long distance relationship makes it a point to tell me that it will never work. My question is, why not?
I have been in a long distance relationship for a little over two years now and we are going strong. It is hard, I won't deny that but I think I have found 5 ways to keep the long distance relationship going and interesting.
Tip 5: Send flowers
It's corny and it's something that everybody does for their girlfriends right? Wrong, you'd be surprised how many of my female friends complain about not getting flowers from their boyfriends. I really don't know why but I think there's a special thought associated with flowers. Or maybe it's the surprise of something simple but nice. I took my friends complaining and made sure I didn't make the same mistake.
My girlfriend lives in Philippines and unfortunately like other western countries it is a lot harder to find a florist that delivers. Luckily I had one of my friends that live in the same country as my girlfriend. So I wired her some money and got her to buy some flowers on my behalf and have them sent to my girlfriends workplace.
The reaction to her getting flowers at work was amazing. I instantly got a FaceTime call from my girlfriend with a massive smile on her face not to mention her colleges in the background making a big deal about it. Yep, I felt like the best boyfriend in the world.
So from my experience tip 5 for keeping a long distance relationship going is to send some flowers to her work place or home so that she knows that you are thinking of her.
Tip 4: Plan dates
Planning dates when both of you are in different countries sound impossible right? It is if your dates are location based. My girlfriend and I for the last two years apart have been on plenty of dates. How is that possible I get asked? Simple, plan something that'll work over Skype or any video communication software.
Here's some example of some dates I have planned:
I went online and found a gourmet pizzeria in the city my girlfriend lives in and ordered online. I also ordered a pizza for myself and I co-ordinated both deliveries to arrive at the same time. What unfolded was my pizza came first. Hence I had to tell my girlfriend when I was Skyping that I was lazy and ordered pizza for dinner. Around 15 minutes later there was a knock on her door and to her surprise she too had a pizza.
We both ate our pizzas over Skype and had a general chit chat much like you would if you were actually eating a pizza at a fast food restaurant. Nothing was different apart from the few thousand miles separating us.
Walk on the beach
One of the best long distance dates I took my girlfriend on was taking her to the beach. It was summer in Australia and our sunsets are just beautiful. I wanted to share the beauty of the sunsets here and living so close to the beach it was the ideal place to share this with her.
On my girlfriends day off I drove to the beach all the time talking to her and not explaining where I was going. When I got to the beach I quickly wrote a message on the sand and turned on the video so the first thing she saw was the writing. A message saying that I love her!
She naturally appreciated the thought of me taking her to the beach and the writing on the sand. But the best part of the date was yet to come. The sunset! The sunset was magnificent and sharing that with her made her so happy but also sad. She missed me!
From my experience dates that make your partner miss you isn't bad at all. It shows that they care and want to be there with you. I have had plenty of virtual dates with my girlfriend that have ended in tears just because she missed me. Not a bad thing, but a good thing! A health long distance relationship is when you miss your significant other.
Tip 4, plan virtual dates to keep things interesting.
Tip 3: Surprise her and fly over
When I see my girlfriend in the flesh for the first time in a long time I don't want to let her go from my embrace. It's as if our bodies are reconnecting and the overwhelming feeling of happiness only can be experienced with people in long distance relationships. You see so many examples of this with soldiers returning home from their overseas deployment.
This feeling is amplified when a visit is a surprise. Last year I surprised my girlfriend by flying in on Valentines day and walking into her place of work with flowers and gifts. She was blown away and she had no idea what to do. Her co workers and customers clapped and sighed and I stood there saying to myself "yep, let me give myself a pat on the back for this effort."
Tip 3 is to be spontaneous and fly over and visit your partner.
Tip 2: Communication
Communication is the key to any relationship and when you are miles away from your partner this is far more important. My long distance relationship with my girlfriend would have been over in a matter of weeks if we didn't speak as much as we do.
Recently while traveling though Europe I didn't get too many chances to speak to her and as a result I missed her like crazy. It caused so much issues that we ended up arguing for most of the time I was travelling.
Long distance relationships rely on mental stimulation from your partner. It's obvious, when there's no physical interaction you need stimulation from somewhere. Good conversation can fill that void and keep things interesting.
Always communicationg to your partner is easy these days with apps on your mobile devices. I use Skype and FaceTime and on occasion WhatsApp and Viber. There's no excuses not to stay in touch and hence tip 2 is to communicate.
Tip 1: Have an end date in mind
Have you ever played basketball against another person or team without using a basketball ring? Or played soccer without a goal? If you did, how do so score and subsequently know who won? A long distance relationship without an end date is like playing basketball or soccer without a ring or goal. How do you know when the long distance relationship ends and a normal together relationship begins?
For more than 6 months of our relationship my girlfriend and I didn't have an end date set. To be totally honest, this cause our relationship to stagnate. I wasn't happy and I started to question if this was something I wanted to continue. Previous to the slump in the relationship I always set dates in the calendar when we were going to be together. Whether I flew in or she flew to me didn't matter as long as we had dates to work towards.
Having a goal in the way of a date when the long distance relationship ends and a relationship together begins in a must! Let's face it, long distance relationships is not forever and as such tip number 1 is to always have an end date in mind.