Before we kick-off our topic we should tell you that, as your romance advisors, we don’t particularly fancy long distance relationships.
If you’re about to dive heart first into a long distance relationship (LDR), the odds aren’t with you.
If you’re already involved in one, do you feel the benefits outweigh the risks?
There are two types of LDRs the Whirlwinds and the Exclusives.
Whirlwinds - You meet him on a cruise, at a friend's party, blah, blah, blah. You talk a lot; you kiss a lot; you laugh a lot. You watch sunrise together.
For the next three, maybe two weeks, every day is Sexday. He rings your bell. He curls your toes. Sex is off-the-chart astronomical.
Unfortunately, the cruise, vacation, whatever must end. You go separate ways. But, promises are made, numbers exchanged and good-byes said.
Bless your dear little heart.
Exclusives – You can't remember a time you didn't know him. You experienced important 'firsts' together. First grade, first kiss, first date and first dance.
You fit together like two comfortable shoes. Suddenly, life calls an audible. He must move out of town, out of state or out of the country.
Married couples a.k.a. commuter marriages are considered Exclusives.
Circumstances keep you from going with. Promises are made and good-byes said.
Welcome to The Game of Life.
Where Does The Long Distance Relationship Fit in The Game of Life?
Bet'cha thought we were going to declare Whirlwinds losers and Exclusives winners. Not!
Would you agree Exclusives have the home field advantage of history? Yet, how many times have you watched Whirlwinds, the visiting team, the underdog, the dark horse win by a landslide, or at least by a nose?
Are you beginning to get IT?
IT is the broad perspective, the big picture, the whole shebang.
The LDR is a just a drop of water in the ocean, one piece of the puzzle. In the LDR segment of The Game of Life, we win some, we lose some, one person grows, the other doesn't, or both change and adapt to current circumstances.
How Do You Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work?
You can't make him love you and you can't make a LDR work.
However, the two of you can promise to do your ultimate best to make your long-distance relationship work.
Are you ready to get down to serious business? Great!
Before proceeding, we would suggest you take a bunch of deep breaths.
Setting your Intentions
Statisticians reported an estimated 14-million people in the United States were involved in long distance relationships during 2015. About 4-million couples are not married. Traditionally, 40% of LDRs fail, generally within 4.5 months.
Over two-thirds of LDRs that fail share a common reason – the couple did not make a plan for changes. Another reason LDR couples break-up is because of one or both of them are concerned the other one is cheating. Researchers could not validate whether couples in long distance relationships are more prone to cheat than those in local relationships.
These findings evidence a need for LDR couples to set intentions.
Your priority as a couple is to close the distance gap. Consider this your first intention. For example: I (your name) and I (his name) intend to be together in the same place by mm/dd/yyy .
In The Game of Life your intentions are like a roadmap of your future. The only "rule" is to trust and believe in your intentions.
There is some elusive thing about putting an end date to your intention that alerts the Universe you mean business. It will set about clearing obstacles and manifesting the intention into your physical reality.
Set intentions about Big Important issues and communicate about smaller points. Big Important issues may include such as: religion, finances and children.
Take Note: Men aren't fond of long-term planning. By setting intentions you accomplish the task together, which takes the onus off your guy. Once he agrees to an intention, the male honor code kicks-in. He would walk barefoot across hot coals rather than deliberately break his intention.
Romance Advisor suggests: Surprises help sustain long-distance relationships. When you have declared your intentions, type them in a pretty font on parchment paper. Put the document in a frame and mail it to your person.
Talk About Expectations
Honest, forthright communication is vital in long-distance relationships.
- Where does each of you stand on monogamy? Even Exclusives need to revisit cheating.
- Who will relocate?
- When will you visit each other? Note dates on your calendar. If he is more financially secure than you are, could he assume responsibility for a bulk of the travel? How about meeting at a half-way point?
- Are efforts to nurture and sustain the relationship one-sided? If you usually initiate contact, express your expectations to your person.
- Encourage your partner to talk about his feelings as well. When couples stuff their feelings, distrust or even unfounded jealousy may manifest.
Romance Advisor comments: Whirlwinds actually have the edge here. Because their connection is all brand-new-shiny, they really listen to each other and may be more willing to bend than Exclusives.
Make Use of Technology
Research is finding too many couples rely on texting as their main medium to stay in touch and solve disagreements. This is not a good thing. It's too easy to misunderstand what your partner is trying to convey without seeing body language or hearing the tones in his voice.
Skype or FaceTime is the next-best thing to being there. Enjoy video chatting where you can actually gaze into each other's eyes. Check-out apps that let you and your guy exchange video and images via a Smartphone.
What about your unfulfilled desire to have sex? Manufacturers have listened to couples who are separated by miles and a line of "Interactive Pleasure Products" are available.
Everybody is buzzing about "Max" and "Nora", which are "his and hers" vibrating sex toys. You'll get a "Body Chat" app for your Bluetooth that performs as a remote control. The toys interact with each other for your simultaneous pleasure.
Kissenger robots were developed by Lovotics to simulate and transmit kisses to each other. Bewarned – the robots look like pigs – close your eyes when you pucker up or laugh so hard you pee your underpants.
These artificial lips are electronically connected. When you kiss your pig, his pig can feel your lip movements. The robots do not have names, so you and your person can have big fun picking out names.
Touch Deprivation in Long Distance Relationships
Humans can go just so long without being touched and touching. Touch deprivation leads to depression.
You and your partner must have a serious talk regarding lack of physical contact in your long-distance relationship. If either of you foresee touch deprivation as a major challenge, decide how to handle it.
For instance, is it possible to schedule an emergency face-to-face meeting if necessary? Meeting in person is the best way to strengthen your relationship. Make efforts to schedule visits well in advance. Not only will this heighten anticipation, it is a comfort to know your physical needs will be met on a regular basis.
Trust is also a factor here because you might imagine him getting hugs and kisses from another woman. It's important to cement promises of total monogamy by each partner.
Jealousy is ugly in same-city or long-distance relationships. Telling each other little things about your day will help keep big things at bay.
The Art of Being Together Apart
- Schedule date night weekly. When your team plays, hook-up with each other by phone or SKYPE and watch the football game together. Or, catch your favorite TV show. Take a class in something that interests both of you and spend date night discussing what you learned.
- Start an exclusive book club consisting of only two members – you and your person. Read the same book and discuss it. Sign up for Netflix and watch the same movie.
- Start a couple's journal. Make it fun! Ideas for topics: My Ideal Day, Our First Home, Our Honeymoon and Five Things I Like About you. Set a time limit on each topic. Then, read the entries to each other on the phone.
Journaling is an awesome tool for conflict resolution. If you have a disagreement, journal about your feelings and potential compromises.
Doing things together while you are apart helps develop your compatibility quotient.
Show your Love
Exchange handwritten letters. As a society, we rarely write letters anymore. Imagine that your LDR is taking place in a past era, where letters were the main line of communication.
Before mailing your love letter, print S.W.A.K. (sealed with a kiss) on the back flap. Imprint a lipstick kiss on his letter. He can spritz the flap lightly with his signature cologne.
Don't worry about the right or wrong way to write a love letter. Just open up your soul and pour it on the paper.
Couple Pillowcases are available at boldloft.com. Order your fave set (or just buy a plain pair at the department store). Gently spray your signature perfume on one pillowcase. Mail the set to your guy with instructions to treat the remaining pillowcase and return to you.
Write a Round Robin Story together that ends the same time as your separation. One of you starts the story and brings it to a cliffhanger. The other partner takes it and leaves it at an exciting point. Keep passing back and forth. Create a word document; otherwise you'll have the world's longest e-mail!
It takes a great deal of moxie to get to the other side of long-distance relationships. We've yet to meet the heart that grew fonder through absence. Generally, absence just creates lonely hearts.
New relationship studies show that LDR couples who were confident they would reunite were more contented and less anxious compared to couples who didn't know if or when they would live geographically closer.
Because we make great efforts to never be condescending to our loyal readers, we didn't dwell on love. It is outrageously foolish to consider an LDR with a guy unless you love him.
So, while long-distance relationships get a lot of negative press – Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise - it is possible to make them work!
Thanks for reading our long distance relationship advice, please consider adding to the conversation in the comment box below.