Partners in long-distance relationships miss each other, are often lonely, and have nobody around for Netflix and chill. But it certainly is possible for long-distance relationships to thrive. In fact, the distance may actually lead to deeper connections and more satisfying relationships.
Since each long-distance relationship is unique, there’s no generally accepted number regarding what proportion of them last. The most important thing to know is that your relationship is capable of surviving both the separation and the test of time. Satisfaction and success are more likely if you keep a positive attitude toward your partner and your relationship. You may even end up exploring emotional depths that you otherwise wouldn’t have in a more local relationship.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship and feel anxious about the future, keep reading! Being apart doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t experience adventures, pleasures, and laughter together. This is especially true since the pandemic has made virtual gatherings and Zoom dates to be so common. Here are eight tips to help you and your partner stay emotionally connected in spite of the distance that separates you.
- Remember that long-distance relationships can succeed.
This is true as long as both partners are willing to put in the necessary work. Relationships are different, so be sure you communicate clearly about your values and other things that are important to you.
In long-distance relationships, partners often report higher levels of affection for each other, have more fun, engage in better conversations, are more dedicated to each other, and report feeling trapped less often than partners in conventional relationships.
- Intimacy and communication are required.
To stay connected emotionally, you must literally stay connected. Speak to each other several times a day, send simple texts, or whatever works for you.
Include your partner in your day-to-day life. Social media delivers the “highlights reels,” so be purposeful and set time aside to discuss what’s really going on. Sharing both the positives and the negatives will draw you and your partner closer because you’re giving them the inside scoop on your life despite being far apart.
It may seem like a lot, but it’s helpful for couples to video chat at least one time every day. And treat these sessions with the respect you would give any scheduled, in-person date. This helps strengthen your relationship’s foundation, which will serve you well when you reunite long-term in the same place.
- Send actual mail to each other.
Sending letters and care packages is a great way to remind each other how much in love you are. Loving gestures like these are an effective way to make your partner smile, to increase intimacy, and to strengthen your bonds. Besides, it’s fun to get surprises in the mail!
- Experiment with sexting.
Describing in great detail the intimate things you want to do to and with your partner may not come naturally to you. But sexting is a simple and effective way to build intimacy in any romantic relationship, but especially a long-distance one.
If you’re feeling awkward, try starting out by describing a sexy dream you had about him. If you’re feeling bolder, experiment with some live action over FaceTime. To increase your confidence, prepare for your “date” by figuring out where to position your phone. Begin slowly, perhaps by sharing a fantasy. Be open to how things may progress. Remember, it’s not a competition. So, take as much time as you need, and proceed at your own comfortable pace.
To reduce the risk of accidentally sexting your boss or your parents, consider setting up a private and secure messaging account using a platform such as WhatsApp. This will also allow you and your partner to send each other steamy messages and wild fantasies whenever the mood strikes. This can make it all feel a little naughtier, which cranks up the turn-on ante.
If sexting feels like too much, you can also build intimacy by sending a sexy photo or two. It doesn’t have to be a full-on nude shot!
- Keep things interesting with themed date nights.
Avoid monotony by introducing creative themes into your virtual dates. For example, plan a passionate Italian date with a video tour of Venice, a playlist of Frank Sinatra songs, and a dinner of pasta, wine, cannoli, and candlelight. Or, turn date night into a chance to learn about each other’s childhoods. Take turns planning the menu and choosing a movie based on what you loved as a child. Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, chocolate pudding, and The Lion King for a date? Why not?
Whether simple or elaborate, you can have a lot of fun celebrating your different interests with your partner.
- Livestream some comedy.
You don’t have to be together physically to connect with your partner over some good laughs. Laughing together has a significant positive impact on relational bonds, so don’t allow your physical separation prevent you from benefitting from a good laugh.
Collaborate with your partner to come up with a list of your favorite stand-up comedians, hilarious movies, and comedy series and work your way through them together on a streaming service that allows you to watch simultaneously Some services even allow chatting.
- Go sky-watching together.
Involve the cosmos in your next romantic date. If you and your partner live in a similar time zone, spread blankets on your patios or in secluded spots and guide each other through the sky. You can locate constellations, watch for shooting stars, or simply admire the moon. If your daytimes and nighttimes don’t line up with your partner’s, take turns painting verbal impressions of your present perspective of the sky. Above all, take comfort in the fact that though you’re very far apart, you’re underneath the same big sky.
- Make future plans.
In many long-distance relationships, being apart is a temporary arrangement that will eventually resolve. So, try working up a timeline so your partner knows that things are progressing in the right direction and that the time you’re spending apart and missing each other will be worth it. If the situation is more permanent, schedule a trip to see each other so you have a reunion to anticipate together.