Long distance relationships aren’t an ideal situation for most people, but sometimes being together in person on a regular basis isn’t on the cards for you.
How to make a long distance relationship work is the first question on your mind when you find out that you can’t be with your lover, but this relationship structure is tough to deal with. You have to contend with physical distance, issues with figuring out schedules, particularly in different time zones, and a lack of a physical relationship when you’re apart.
You have to dedicate yourself to making a long distance relationship work if you want to keep it going over the long run. Here are a few ideas on how to strengthen your long distance relationship.
VIDEO CHAT DATES
Facetime, Skype, and Google Hangouts provide you with plenty of options to have video chat dates together to learn how to make a long distance relationship work. Texting, IM, calling, and emailing have their places, but being able to see body language on top of hearing his voice makes all the difference in the world. Ideally, you get a chance to have a video chat date once per week, or more often if your time and schedules permit.
Long distance relationships can be hard to keep going if you don’t have the opportunity to see each other in person on a fairly regular basis. Arranging visits can be particularly hard if you live in a different country, due to the cost of flights and other related expenses. Switch the financial burden of a visit back and forth between the two of you, so it doesn’t fall on one person entirely. The exception to this rule is if one person earns significantly more than the other, and you get to visit more often if they handle most of the cost burden.
Try to have weekend length visits at the least so you have enough time to get used to being around each other and relaxing into the visit. The frequency of the visits depends on how far away you are and how often you have the time and resources to visit. Once per month gives many long distance couples enough time to stay connected, although that varies from person to person. Talk about visiting expectations when you establish the long distance segment of your relationship.
Communication is your bread and butter form of connection for how to make a long distance relationship work. Try to set a time where your partner has your undivided attention. If you have a chance to text throughout the day, you let him know you are thinking of him. Make sure getting your conversation time is a priority as a long distance relationship without regular conversation has an even harder time than a standard one.
For some couples, a scheduled time works best. If your days are more flexible, you can talk whenever you have a chance to. Consider using a shared calendar to put in your availability so you don’t get frustrated or upset if he doesn’t end up calling when he says he’s going to. Life gets in the way sometimes, and you want to avoid anything that causes a major upset in your long distance relationship.
SHARED INSTAGRAM FEED
Want to share pictures throughout the day, but you don’t want to blow his phone up with MMS? Consider a shared Instagram feed, Imgur album, or another image website set up for sharing. It’s easy to send your cell phone pictures to the Instagram feed to share interesting things you see throughout the day, cute pictures of your new work outfit, and other details.
If photos aren’t your thing, consider making a shared Vine, Tumblr, or Deviant Art page to share the media you do enjoy creating. The most important thing is finding a way to feel like you’re having fun together, to help in making a long distance relationship work.
PLAYING VIDEO GAMES TOGETHER
Some activities are particularly well suited to long distance dates, such as video games. Many video games have online multiplayer available, giving you plenty of options for a shared activity. Not only are these games already set up for long distance networking, they also give you plenty of bonding time together as you work to beat the latest level or down a raid boss.
Massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft are a popular option for couples, as this game genre puts you in an expansive world with large populations. You get to spend time with your love and socialize with people around the world at the same time. Video games can end up being a time consuming activity, however, so make sure you balance this out with other ways to develop closeness in a long distance relationship.
STREAMING EVERYDAY LIFE
Take your laptop or webcam with you as you go throughout the house and have it set up on a feed to show your day to day life. You miss out on a lot of the small details when you’re making long distance relationships work, and you can’t always attend to a video chat. When you set up a house webcam stream, you help simulate physical closeness and help the other person learn your daily routine at home.
External webcams work well for this setup, since they aren’t tethered to your laptop location. You can give him a tour of the house, show him what you’re cooking, and set the cam on the couch so he can see what you’re watching on TV.
MAKE A PODCAST TOGETHER
One of the best parts of the Internet era is that you can get creative without having to be in the same room. Collaborate on a podcast on a mutual interest, such as a cooking channel if you’re both foodies. It may start out as a personal podcast, but has the potential to grow to encompass a much wider audience.
If podcasts aren’t your thing, consider a collaborative environment such as using Google Drive Documents to write a novel together, or a shared streaming art environment. Technology options, particularly cloud-based applications, often have collaboration options available that work out well for a long distance relationship.
CREATE A PERSONAL NEWSLETTER
Want to share interesting things you find on the Internet throughout the day, but you can’t talk with him while he’s at work? Making long distance relationships work is all about the small details. Make a personal email newsletter filled with the cute cat pictures, insightful articles, and personally relevant information you encounter throughout the day. You can send it as a list or format it in a newspaper style to add extra visual appeal.
Plus if you need to figure out a link you sent him, you don’t have to dig through months of chat logs to figure out where it went. If you want to format the newsletter but you don’t have a lot of experience with different design options, look for free email templates to help you out.
THE MAGIC OF SNAIL MAIL
Email, text, and instant messaging cut down the amount of personal snail mail passed between people, even a long distance in love couple like yourself. Getting a letter from a significant other in the mail is now a special occasion, so take advantage of this.
Use postcards, special stationary, and other personal touches to make it even more of an event for your partner. Handmade cards incorporating several unique aspects of your relationship create heirlooms you will keep for the entire relationship.
Make it a letter he won’t forget by including some sexy photos or other sexy gifts in the box that will make his pulse race until the next time he sees you.
LONG DISTANCE SEX TOYS
Buying sex toys for each other helps maintain your sexual connection, and modern technology helps you improve this even further. Some sex toys interface with a mobile app or computer so your partner can send commands to it remotely. Some of these toys are basic and change vibration patterns and other settings, while others do their best to make it seem like he’s right there in the room with you, and you can use sex toys like vibrators and dildos when you fantasize about him.
When you get a chance to visit, go to the adult shop together to figure out what toys you want to enjoy when you’re far apart. One advantage to purchasing them together instead of ordering toys by yourself is that it helps him feel as though he’s part of the process, instead of being replaced by silicone. Address any insecurities that may arise because of the use of toys early on, before it becomes an issue.
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LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP BOUNDARIES
Another important area to address with a long distance relationship is what boundaries you put in place when you aren’t physically around each other. Cheating and a lack of trust can be a major issue in long distance relationships, especially when it comes to being physical with other people.
Work out the details on whether it’s acceptable to take care of physical needs with other people, what restrictions you have on hanging out with other people, and other areas where you or your partner may have insecurities. It’s important to maintain clear communication throughout the boundary negotiation process, especially if you have areas you need to compromise on.Long distance relationships are one of the biggest challenges a relationship can possibly face. It’s a rough situation and many relationships dealing with it don’t manage to stand the test of time. You can improve your chances by implementing the ideas above in your relationship and making sure you stay on top of any issues, frustrations, and problems. It might seem like it will take forever until you are together again, but you can build a strong foundation for the future in the meantime.