One of the biggest challenges in a long-distance relationship is maintaining a sense of connection and intimacy, despite being physically separated. Not being in the physical presence of your partner for an extended period of time can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and ultimately create disillusionment with the relationship. To bridge the gap between you and your long-distance partner, focus on communication and creativity.
Staying Close when You Are Far Apart
Speak with your partner regularly. One challenge faced by long-distance couples is managing their time so that they leave time to spend with their partner. By deliberately making time and setting it aside, you'll make sure that your relationship does not end up playing "second fiddle" to your day-to-day lives and will ensure that you remain integral parts of each other's days.
Make use of all of the technology available to you and your partner to help make you feel closer and to communicate more authentically. Technology today allows long-distance couples a number of alternatives that were not available ten years ago. Take advantage of video chatting on your computers and smartphones, investigate new and interesting phone apps to help share details of your life, such as Find My Friend for sharing location or SnapChat for instantly sharing photos. The more forms of communication that you incorporate into your relationship, the closer you will feel and the more that you will feel apart of each other's lives.
Be old-fashioned. Just because technology allows us to communicate within a matter of seconds, there is still a nostalgic and romantic sentiment attached to writing and receiving letters. While you can share the events of your day through phone calls, emails and text messages, try saving some of your more abstract thoughts of love and endearment for a hand written letter. In today's fast-paced world, oftentimes we forget the value in slowing down and disconnecting from technology. Buy some nice stationary and put a pen to paper to share your feelings and thoughts with your loved one, they will surely appreciate the gesture.
Be intimate. Just because you are separated by distance does not mean that the intimate sides of your relationship cannot still thrive. Find creative ways of continuing the emotional and sexual intimacy within your relationship. While some people view cybersex and online sexual activities as taboo, recent research has found that many couples engage in online sexual activities together, and that those who do, report greater levels of relationship and sexual satisfaction. Have a chat with your partner and discuss the options available to you both and determine which ones you may feel comfortable exploring.
- Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences in Defining and Engaging in Cybersex: Karen Blair
- Communication Quarterly: “Will It Ever End?”: A (Re)examination of Uncertainty in College Student Long-Distance Dating Relationships
- Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships: Kevin B. Wright & Lynn M. Webb (eds.)
- For the Love of Letters: The Joy of Slow Communication: John O'Connell
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