Every so often, you find someone you immediately connect with on a personal level. The sparks are there, the conversation flows, and before you know it, you’ve found someone you’ve wanted to be serious with for a long time.
The only problem? Your partner lives on the other side of the world. If you’re familiar with this phenomenon, you may know it as a ‘long-distance relationship.’
What Is a Long-Distance Relationship?
A long-distance relationship (LDR) is an intimate relationship between geographically separate people. A couple who lives in different parts of town is not necessarily in a long-distance relationship if they can still see each other. On the other hand, a couple who lives in different states, like New York and California, have a long-distance relationship because of the distance between the locations and the significant time difference.
Some LDRs start with two people living in the same town before they are separated. In contrast, others begin with online interaction and have yet to meet.
Regardless of how it starts, many long-distance relationships often have a solid emotional bond between partners in the initial stage. This bond eventually grows if both partners sustain it through fidelity, trust, and constant affection through communication.
The Challenges of a Long-Distance Relationship:
When both people care about each other and are willing to put in the work, a long-distance relationship can eventually become a “full-fledged” union if the two meet in the future.
Unfortunately, this type of arrangement is only ideal for some. Even though we’ve lived through the pandemic and gotten used to “social distancing,” there is nothing more satisfying than staying in the same place with your partner and feeling their embrace. People whose love language is physical touch will have difficulty adjusting to the circumstance.
There’s also a stigma surrounding long-distance relationships. Despite LDRs being common among military couples, there is still judgment surrounding the people who willingly engage in them, especially among college-aged students. Aside from stigma, some people don’t want to deal with unique challenges like limited time, economic investments like travel, and replacing physical dates with virtual ones.
Yet despite these unique challenges, many LDR couples report feelings of satisfaction and growing affection for each other due to the effort they put into the relationship.
So, how to make long-distance relationships work?
First, you need to understand that this arrangement is only for some. However, suppose you’re in a situation where you are in an LDR. In that case, there are some things you can do to make your relationship interesting. Here are some tips to make your long-distance relationship work:
1. Communicate regularly.
We live in a world where communication via the Internet has become the norm. Nearly everyone has some form of social media or instant messaging platform, whether through Skype or Discord. When you and your partner are away, make it a habit to communicate regularly. Cherish every moment together, even if you’re apart. What’s important is that you both give your time to each other, no matter how brief.
2. Schedule an activity together.
Younger couples may enjoy watching a movie via Netflix or playing co-op games together on Steam or different consoles. If you and your partner love these things, consider scheduling a movie date, a game date, and even video-cam each other while eating. Hey, the course of true love is rarely smooth!
3. Surprise them with a gift in the mail.
Back then, people wrote love letters to their paramour. Now that we have the Internet, the art of love letters seems to diminish by the day. However, a few romantic souls still take the time to write love letters to their beloved overseas. If you’re not the writing type, send a care package or ship them a little gift from Amazon. This thoughtful gesture will undoubtedly make them feel appreciated.
4. Have a virtual private show.
Younger couples are more adventurous when it comes to sex. Nowadays, people tend to video chat to release sexual tension by mutually pleasuring themselves. If you like adding a little spice to your relationship, consider having a fun, private session. Ladies can even give a fun and sexy striptease if they wish.
*Note: The Internet is unsafe to post sexual photos and videos. If you still like experimenting with cybersex, please ensure you’re in a private space and fully trust your partner. Unfortunately, some still secretly record or steal photos for nefarious reasons. Protect yourself by avoiding doing online sexual acts with someone unless you fully trust them. Your safety matters!
5. Make plans to meet.
Suppose you’re in a serious long-distance relationship with someone you’ve never met. In that case, you may consider taking the step further, i.e., meeting each other face-to-face. Fortunately, lockdown protocols have gone down, and many couples from various countries can finally meet without worry.
If you and your partner are considering meeting each other for the first time, consider planning a vacation together. Remember to research before traveling to a new place and always have enough money for a return trip home. Buy travel insurance when necessary and equip yourself with knowledge if your partner comes from a different culture.
On the other hand, couples who met but have been apart for a while can also do the same. Consider planning what you’ll do when you finally meet, like going to a park or having a date in your favorite restaurant. Whatever you choose, the hope of meeting again is always sweeter the longer you wait.
In a nutshell:
Long-distance relationships, like most, require time and effort from both parties. However, such an arrangement is not for everyone, so before considering taking things seriously with your online crush, you should check if it’s worth it.
For temporarily separated couples, consider the LDR situation as an opportunity for your relationship to grow stronger.
Lastly, ignore the stigma and judgment from others. A relationship “fails” only when a person doesn’t try to be genuine or put in an effort. Many long-distance relationships lead to marriage, so trying is always a good idea.