If the numbers are correct, around 40% of single adults are involved in some type of online dating. Easy to believe when apps like Tinder allow you to use your smartphone to swipe left or right for viable candidates. That’s part of the reason long distance dating is so popular too, not even considering married couples who live separately for employment reasons. Two people can be well connected virtually, yet living worlds apart.
Having some experience in this area, I decided I’d churn out a few tips.
1. Communicate often
Okay, this isn’t an unusual tip. I’ve seen this one on every advice piece I read about long distance dating. It is however THE most important aspect of your relationship. With physical distance, emotional connections are formed via language, words, and verbal expression. We miss out on a lot of body language and nonverbal clues. Chatting often and sharing stories about what happens in your daily life ensures a sense of togetherness.
2. Give up perfection
It will be tempting for some of us ladies to do a full face of makeup and spend an hour curling our hair before a video chat date. We want to look as nice and pleasing as possible to our lover who’s on the other side of the world. Let it go. He’ll appreciate seeing the real you sometimes – sans concealer and eye liner. Scary, I know. Video apps – no matter which one you use, make under eye bags seem more pronounced. Or is it just me? Either way, when your guy is into you, seeing your natural beauty is refreshing.
3. Find a hobby
Or spend more time on your current interests – especially if there’s a time difference between where you and your lover are located. At times he’ll be unavailable, or sleeping, or traveling, hanging out with friends, working long hours – or whatever. Too much idle time on your hands can lead to unecessary suspicions and obsessing over their whereabouts. Have you ever wanted to try hot yoga, or spinning? Take an amateur painting class? Do it.
If you have valid concerns about his loyalty, by all means, start a conversation and or investigate. But be mindful that a combination of boredom and missing your partner is a cocktail for your mind to play tricks on you. Stay busy with your activities and spend time with friends. As a bonus, you’re happiness and excitement is also attractive to your significant other.
4. Learn a new language
By this, I mean learn your partner’s love language. What’s the best way to turn him on? Is he an intellectual who likes “big words?” Is he a creative who loves poetry? I think any man would love or learn to love erotica. Learn how to talk dirty to him in the language he enjoys most. Hey, he might even be a techie who likes computer-speak. Maybe he likes surprises. Mail him a love letter. Definitely engage in phone sex. The key is to let your inhibitions go and express your feelings in various ways. Keep it interesting. In focusing on pleasing your partner, you begin to notice and appreciate your talents, and all the things he loves about you.
5. Enjoy missing your partner
Different challenges come with every relationship stage. Different excitement. Different concerns. Different processes. I say enjoy wherever you are. It may seem stressful getting ready for his visits. When it’s time to reunite you might obsess over what to wear, what activities to plan, how your makeup looks, or getting over the first hour or day of awkwardness after missing him for weeks or months. You might be brimming with anxiety just to have his skin touch your skin. Excitement is another word for that though!
In your down time, It’s normal to question whether or not the distance challenge is worth the energy. That’s just a reminder to never take his presence for granted – even down the line when you’re hopefully married (if that’s a common goal). It’s also a good time to daydream about all the reasons you to said YES to exclusivity. Remember your why.
As a bonus – and this isn’t unusual – work on yourself! Use the time and space to work out any kinks or issues you have that may be unhealthy for the relationship. Also, make any and all efforts to trust – or continue trusting. When you signed up for a long distance relationship, you made a decision to at least try. Again, it’s easy to feel off balance if he falls off your radar, even more so if you have trust issues and too much idle time.
Long distance relationships need an end date if you’re serious about settling down together, and in-person visits should be as frequent as possible. In between those times, we still need to manage.
I take my hat off to anyone who is successful at navigating a long distance relationship, especially one that leads to a strong marriage. I’d also include married couples who are separated for work or military duties, but are still as close knit and in love as ever.
The rewards of a thriving partnership can far outweigh the task of maintaining a tight bond despite distance, so long as both parties are equally invested.
Have you ever been in a long distance relationship or marriage ? What came of it? What tips would you offer on keeping things spicy and interesting despite the distance? What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them? How do you maintain trust?