If you enter into a long distance relationship then you do so under the premise that you are undoubtedly going to experience intense heartache, loneliness and naturally, sexual frustration over long periods apart from your lover. These are the simple facts that accompany this nature of a relationship and although they make the arrangement tougher than most, that is not to say they are not worth devoting your time and effort to providing that your partner is someone that you deeply care about, and the relationship is something you wish to succeed. Given these hardships why do people choose to be in a long distance relationship, and how do they cope with it?
Couples that may have initially established a relationship prior to separation may have inevitably been placed in the situation or you may have met someone online who lives in another country or different area to you. There are different scenarios but ultimately we are all in the same boat and there are strategies and procedures we can ensure that we follow in order to tackle the issues and increase the chance of a happy and loving relationship.
This cannot be stressed enough, communication is key in any type of relationship, not restricted to long distance ones. So then why is it so important? Communication not only aids in establishing trust, boundaries and clarification of desires with your partner but in this instance it also has to substitute for what you are lacking in your physical, face-to-face medium that you would otherwise take for granted if you were partaking in a regular connection. It may not seem like it unless looked upon with scrutiny but actions speak louder than words! When you are unable to see you partner in person you cannot observe their body language, make eye contact or touch them and all of these factor into a diminished level of understanding towards their current state and feelings and emotions which is why this handicap needs to be offset by increased communication. Talk, talk and talk some more.
There are multiple ways this can be achieved in modern times and they don’t have to be expensive:
1. Got a mobile?
If your partner is in another country which would prove expensive and you wish to contact them via this method then you may want to consider purchasing a call/text plan that will accommodate for this. There are well-priced and reasonable contracts out there that grant you the ability to make international calls for a reduced rate or a fixed monthly fee and this would be well worth looking into if you are going to be communicating with them regularly in this manner. Taking this step ensures that both you and your partner will not unnecessarily be wasting cash on something that could be gotten cheaper and will help with saving towards a potential meet up in the future!
If you’re looking for a more old fashioned approach then this is the route for you and is also renowned as being a very romantic practice. This is a cheap, effective way of getting your thoughts to your partner in a personal way. Your handwriting displayed on paper for them to hold in their hands will perhaps be the edge they need to overcome the lack of contact with you in person and give them something physical to hold onto. You may want to try spraying some of your partner’s favourite perfume/cologne that you wear onto the mail just to add that extra special touch when they open the envelope. Keep in mind that sometimes mail is lost in the system and it is not 100% guaranteed to reach your partner, however.
3. The internet!
This is by far the most efficient and expansive way to keep in touch with your partner, and many people who are in this situation probably found their partners through similar methods to begin with. Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace offer great facilities for keeping people updated on your current mood and activity, whereas if you are searching for a more personal option with different remote capabilities MSN is perfect. You can download this program for free and play games with your partner, instant message them and even video call them if you both have webcams and microphones at no cost. Both of these pieces of hardware are pretty cheap to pick up from a local store and make seeing and hearing your partner from across the world an instant reality; priceless.
Although you may be shy about discussing this, it is a hurdle that will potentially challenge any couple. The distance and inability to be intimate with your partner can indeed place increased stress on your relationship and cause upset for the both of you, it is surprising how much different things are when you can see and feel your partner. This disadvantage unfortunately also increases the temptation to be unfaithful and sleep around. There are creative ways you can combat this frustration and it would be advisable to talk to your partner about which ones work best for you, what you are comfortable with and work from there. Keep in mind that some people may be nervous about exposing themselves for their partner in online mediums and due to this you should never pressure them into something they are not happy with.
Paranoia! We are all guilty of suspecting people of things every now and then, and as long distance lovers there is a requirement to reinstate you love and dedication to your partner in whatever way you can to ensure they do not feel neglected or replaced. This is a common issue as people may misinterpret your real-life relations as taking precedence over them due to the matter of convenience. Feeling of bitterness, jealousy and resentment may arise towards these people and it is important to stress that they do not have to question their place in your heart.
Last but no means least, there is the issue of meeting up. This comes with varying degrees of difficulty naturally depending on the distance between you and your partner but there are still generic steps to be undertaken to ensure it becomes a reality.
Scheduling, budgeting, preparation.
You will need to plan well in advance when and where you are meeting up and how you expect to attain it. Will it be expensive, how will you fund it, who will pay? It is important to ensure that the price is taking to account and is distributed fairly amongst the both of you, unless you are both ok with it being a cost to be paid by one party only. It is likely that both partners will be engaged and busy with their day-to-day lives so it is very likely that you will need to take some time out to see each other and make sacrifices that you otherwise wouldn’t have to make if you were living together.
A good idea to get you started is to put aside some money each week in a joint fund strictly for travelling purposes for the both of you, you can keep track of the amount and the time till you see each other with online date-trackers which may motivate you to keep saving and help deal with the time apart as something to look forward to. Plan what you want to do during your time together and be ready to make the most of it as it could be a long time till you see each other again.
A few ideas to spice up the relationship in your time apart is sending gifts directly to their home as a surprise. You can purchase goods online with a credit/debit card and even deliver flowers to their doorstep which would be sure to brighten up their day; distance doesn’t have to destroy romance!
Remember foremost to keep trying, keep talking and set rules and expectations of your relationship. Make sure all of these things are uniform and clear between both partners in your relationship and things will naturally progress from there if they are meant to be.