There’s a familiar saying about absence making the heart grow fonder. In many relationships there are long periods where partners live apart, for a variety of reasons. Studying in university often takes people to a different city. Work commitments might have taken them to the other side of the country; or the far side of the world. Perhaps they fell in love during a holiday.

With the rise in popularity of online dating there is every chance they connect regularly in the same chat rooms, while being of different nationalities. Obviously there are drawbacks from being separated from a loved one by long distances. But these relationships can also be fulfilling. So what are five of the secrets towards enjoying a successful long distance relationship?

Contact

If you are in the unfortunate position where you are having to endure a relationship with someone living far away, one of the first things the pair of you need to agree to is some kind of timetable for touching base. If you don’t structure the times you keep in touch, other aspects of your life will continually get in the way. It’s often difficult to prioritize when you’re juggling various plates and there’s always a danger that when you don’t but the right emphasis on reaching out to your partner, occasional lapses in forgetfulness will gradually escalate.

Anticipation

Experiencing different time zones can be an issue, so it’s not always convenient to rely on making that chance Skype call in the hope they’ll be poised by their laptop waiting to chat. Agree fixed times when it would be ideal to engage in that video chat. Having this flagged up will give you far more focus as you can spend the whole day anticipating this deadline, a picture of your expectant loved one fixed in your mind.

You should also try and plan ahead for those occasions you can actually meet up, during holidays or university breaks and so on. Budget for these events so you can meet up and make the most of your time together. Crucially, think of your alone time together and discuss what you’d like to do when this magical moment occurs.

Special moments

While there are good reasons to rely on technology when you’re talking over long distance, whether you’re using phones, tablets or any other devices, there’s something to be said for the tried-and-tested methods of long distance communication. Write regular letters. There’s something so personal and meaningful about opening an envelope, recognizing your partner’s loving handwriting, perhaps smelling the perfume or aftershave they’ve liberally applied. Even better if one or two photographs pop out of the correspondence, which you can then frame next to your bed.

Flirt elsewhere

In may not seem intuitive, but flirting with others can keep your libido ticking over. Simply giving a warm smile to the attractive female who serves you coffee and getting this reciprocated doesn’t mean there’s the remotest chance of you jumping into bed with them. Flirting is a harmless way of staying positive and ensuring your sensual side stays finely-tuned. Look on it as warming up to when you flirt for real with your partner during your next video chat.

Friction is good

If you end up in an argument during your Skype call, this doesn’t indicate there are fissures in your relationship. Whether you’re apart or living together, friction is totally natural. There certainly isn’t going to be any need to go back into ‘find love online’ mode and start looking for a new partner. Letting off steam is totally natural.

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