Couples in long-distance relationships are faced with geographic separation that results in a lack of face-to-face regular contact. According to different reports, between 25% and 50% of all college students are involved in long-distance relationships, and couples often struggle to figure out how to make a long distance relationship work.
Long-distance relationships, though prevalent, they can also prove to be complicated. Because of the distance and lack of day to day interaction between the partners, it is sometimes very difficult to judge the health of the relationship.
Pressures build up over time, and this often leads to unduly high expectations for quality time when the partners do finally get the opportunity to be together.
Distance can alienate the partners some, and from time to time the relationship might become so awkward that partners might not even know how to start a conversation or how to flirt a bit with each other to recapture some of their closeness.
But have hope…
Nevertheless, long-distance relationships can flourish when partners work at it and follow some of the basic strategies to make things work.
Are Long Distance Relationships Healthy?
Interpersonal relationships are one of the major keys to mental, emotional and even physical health. When an intimate relationship falters, it will often lead to health problems, partly due to the stress and the perceived sense of loneliness.
The most important way to inoculate a long-distance relationship is constant communication, something that has become really easy in the era of social media. When a couple is not only sharing exuberance and excitement, and not only flirting or using some fun, flirty pickup lines, but are also able to share their day-to-day activities whether good or bad, a solid foundation is built for the relationship.
In order to maintain one’s emotional and physical health when you endure the “slings and arrows” of a long-distance relationship, monitoring the health of the relationship is tantamount to taking love- vitamins.
One of the most significant warning signs that things are falling apart is when the behavior of one of the partners starts to intensify and becomes pressured instead of communicative.
When the texting become obsessive rather than intuitive, red lights are flashing. When the communication becomes a method of control or a way to counter wild suspicions, and the conversation starts to become a bit inquisitional, the long-distance relationship is unwell and might even become terminally infected.
Not only serial texting can be a sign of problems. Any behavior from one or both of the partners that becomes too heavy handed or too pushy is toxic. If one partner becomes obsessive during visits, and wants to exclude all friends and family from sharing the company of the couple, it might already indicate that the relationship is succumbing to long-distance fatigue.
No relationship should ever keep its momentum because of the negative energy that distrust, control or coercion injects.
When these behavior patterns develop they will undoubtedly cause friction, a further warning sign that the relationship is in danger. If differences or disagreements or any abusive behavior by one or both of the partners is excused by blaming the fact that long-distance relationships are hard the couple might be in need of some serious relationship help.
Creative Long Distance Dating
Partners in long-distance relationships have to keep the romantic fires burning and they have to do what lovers do – date! There are many ways to spice up a long-distance relationship but it takes a bit of work and creativity. When a couple is in a relationship they would most likely be doing things together over weekends and quiet times. The same goes for long-distance couples. Here are three ideas to experiment with.
WATCH A MOVIE AT THE SAME TIME
The advent of online streaming makes this a great option for long distance lovers. It is entirely possible to develop your own movie night, but here are some pointers.
The old-fashioned approach: when both partners rent the same movie and then watch it at the same time. To some extent this might actually work better than streaming because it will most likely allow both to watch the same footage at the same.
When streaming simultaneously, the speed of the machines and the distance the signals travel all compound and it will be rare if it actually synchronizes well. Of course the most effective way would simply be to watch a movie on cable at the same time.
Get comfortable, add some favorite snacks, and dial up and listen to each other watching the movie. This enhances reality and makes the experience almost like being in the theater together. Talk – or cry – when those sentimental moments arrive, or when the movie slows down enough for a bit of chatting. This could be huge fun.
Try to find a love story that mirrors your own, or a story about a couple in a long-distance relationship. This could be reinforcing. Some of the best love stories are: Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, The Notebook, When Harry Met Sally, Crazy Heart, and so many other great stories out there that you can share with your loved one.
HAVE A WHATSAPP MEAL TOGETHER
Terry and John met each other when they both happened to try out Christian dating for free. They fell in love fast, but they lived far apart and they had to make do with a long, long-distance relationship. Whenever they were together, they absolutely loved dinner dates.
They decided to keep these dates going when they were apart. This is how they went about it.
Make a shopping list together, and go online with one another when buying the ingredients. When dinner-date night arrives, dress up in sexy clothing, and share pictures with one another to keep it real.
Enjoy each other’s company while you prepare the food and cook your meals. Share pictures and talk incessantly over the phone, or using WhatsApp or any other similar service.
Have some wine, and enjoy your meal together. If webcam facilities are available, this could greatly enhance your experience. Enjoy the meal and the conversation.
SHARE A VIRTUAL TOUR
With the unstoppable progress in the world of technology so many more options are becoming available for long-distance couples.
When loneliness becomes unbearable, it can often add a lot of happiness if one can share not only the magnificent moments in life, but also the really everyday things. Any mobile phone can make recordings and videos that can be easily transmitted with any one of the many social media apps.
Make a video of your everyday commute to work. Show your partner the big dude driving the bus, and the nice lady where you get your morning coffee. Record the dark stairs down to the subway, and share the disgusting corn dog you gobble up on your way back.
It’s often these little things – the smells and the faces and the sounds and the view from the train, that really makes someone’s life vivid and sharing this, can be really intimate.
Produce these little virtual tours whenever the need for intimacy or companionship grabs hold. A voice recording of all your friends shouting a loud ‘hello’ to your partner and a video of the happy hour with your coworkers might just help you stay connected.
How To Keep Things Interesting In A Long Distance Relationship
We all love surprises – nice surprises. A surprise visit can be devastating, especially if a couple has not been in the relationship for a long time. It is a bad idea to surprise someone that is not entirely trusted. In such circumstances a surprise can be creepy and might look like a lame excuse to catch a mistrusted partner.
Even so, a surprise visit can be one of the highlights of a relationship if done properly and without ulterior motives. It is important not to plan a surprise visit for a time that might be very inconvenient. If a partner is going through hard times at work, a surprise visit might not be the best idea.
Take care by keeping in constant contact to ensure that both partners are ready for such a surprise when it does happen.
A surprise is not a surprise if everybody knows about it. Keep it quiet and co-opt only the essential friends and family on both sides. Nothing can compare with a stolen surprise; it is quite humiliating to jump into a room shouting ‘surprise!’ when it isn’t.
Surprises come in many guises.
A surprise visit is by no means the only surprise that will spice up a long-distance relationship. Surprise each other with unexpected gifts, flowers and love letters that profess your love and adoration.
Flowers arriving at work, can make hearts melt, and the more public the surprising declaration of love, the more it will feel like a real statement of love in front of peers. When a couple cannot accompany each other to the end of the year dance at work, a huge bunch of roses can in front of peers can make some amends.
Once again, it is often the small unexpected gestures that make the biggest impact. If someone shows up at work to deliver a partner’s favorite chocolate brownies just before lunch on an insignificant Tuesday, it might warm the heart a bit more than a bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day would, and it might just give new meaning to how you define dating over long distances.
LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP STATISTICS
More than 15 million Americans are in long-distant relationships at any given time. Almost 40% of all long-distance relationships are college relationships. Of all the people who define themselves as being in a long-distance relationship, four and a half million are unmarried couples.
The majority of those in long-distance relationships are married couples and interestingly enough, more than 75% of all engagements are sustained over long-distances at some point in time.
One of the leading causes of long-distance relationships, apart from going to college as mentioned above, is the military.
Soldiers are away from home for extended periods of time, and when both partners are in the military, a large part of their marriage is reduced (for lack of a better word) to a long-distance affair.
When both partners are career-driven, their respective career paths often lead them apart, and they might spend long periods in long-distance relationships. Strangely enough, research suggest that that long-distance romantic relationships are of equal or even more trust and satisfaction than their geographically close counterparts. (Lang & Hancock).
How to Start a Conversation with a Long Distance Partner
Some free online dating sites offer advice on how to how to flirt with a woman and on the best pickup lines ever, and some will go into great lengths on how to get a woman to like you, but very few of those offer any advice for long-distance lovers on how to keep it going, or on interesting conversation starters to help you to keep on talking.
- What was your biggest fear when you were a child?
- If you were locked up alone in a supermarket and you could eat anything you want, with what would you start?
- If you could fly to any destination in the world in the next hour, where would you like to go?
- What would you love to do if you were not so scared to?
- If every job in the world paid the same amount what would you do?
- If you won the lottery, how would you change your lifestyle?
- Which celebrity do you find the most attractive?
- Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
- What drives you in life?
- Favorite movie?
- Favorite book?
- Favorite place?
- Favorite family member?
- What were you like as a child?
- How would you describe me to your friends who have not met me?
- Tell me about the greatest day in your life?
- If you had only one month left to live, where would you go?
- If you had to choose a last meal, what would you eat?
- Which free dating sites did you frequent before we met?
Three Great Long Distance Relationship Quotes
- Ocean separates lands, not souls.
– Munia Khan
- When you come back, you will not be you. And I may not be I.
– E.M. Forster
- In true love, the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged.
Long Distance Relationship Advice
Jealousy kills. Do not go down this path, because it leads nowhere. When you are committed to someone over long distances, trust is the most important ingredient. The partners are far away from one another, and every minute of the day offers opportunities to do what you should not. Often, in long-distance relationships the partners will revert to habits and friendships they would not entertain if they were in a committed geographically close relationship.
A man might end up having coffee with a beautiful female colleague, and a woman might dance all night with a male friend. This might be perfectly innocent, but it would not likely happen if the partners were together. Trust is a choice. Take the leap, and give one another space and the freedom to decide. Live with it. Any suspicion or anything less than choosing to fully embrace trust is setting yourself up for a downfall.
Honesty is often taken for granted. In long-distance relationships honesty takes on different guises in different situations. Sometimes being honest might not be very kind. If the woman had coffee with a very handsome man, innocently so, blabbering about this might just cause pain and jealousy.
However, people in close relationships have very strong intuitive powers, and even the slightest white lie might grow into the size of the elephant in the room if it is cultured by suspicion. If you have to err on the side of one, rather err by being too honest rather than being too ‘kind.’ It is important to always use the golden rule in long distance relationships and treat the other person the way you would want to be treated.
Relationships flourish when people spend a lot of time together. When strangers spend time together, they become friends, and when lovers don’t spend time together, they become strangers. One of the most important determinants of long-distance relationship success is time – time spent together, even though apart.
Never go to bed without talking at least once. And never procrastinate and delay picking up the phone if you are thinking of the person, even if it’s for a short “I love you”. The more time spent talking, texting, messaging and writing to one another, the better it will feel and the deeper the connection between the partners will grow.