The world is getting smaller and smaller. Plane tickets keep falling in price and it is no longer uncommon to travel halfway across the globe to go on holiday. Nor is falling in love with someone who lives 8,000km away from you. It’s not something you can control, after all, love knows no distance, right?
I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing, but you can call me somewhat of an expert at long-distance relationships. Out of the five serious partners I’ve had since I was 16, four of them have had a long-distance aspect to them to some extent. So to those people who believe that it could never work, let me prove to you otherwise. You just need to know how to make it work.
It’s easier if you start off in the same country
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it sure makes it easier. My shortest serious relationships were those that began long-distance from the start. Although, funnily enough, the distance had nothing to do with our break-ups, but perhaps there was something lacking there from the start that could have made it work.
My longest relationship of 5 years started off in the same city for 2 years, and then we kept it going whilst I was abroad in University. When you know each other physically for a while, it builds a stable base for your relationship. There’s only so much you can know about a person when you’re not physically present, so at the start, it really helps to truly feel each other.
Don’t let them forget how much they mean to you
Doubts come crashing in the moment your beloved gets on that plane.
“Is it real, what we have?”
“Are they going to forget about me when I leave?”
“I don’t know what they get up to back home, what if they have another lover?”
“They haven’t text me in 24 hours, something’s wrong!” etc etc
This is completely natural. Sadly, we are but human and we often need validation and confirmation of what the other person is feeling. Now, it’s not cool to be on top of your significant other 24/7, bombarding them with questions about where they are and what they’re doing, but it is important to let them know how much they mean to you and that you’re thinking of them.
Ask them what they need to feel secure in this relationship, as everyone is different. If you are ok with calling once a week but your beloved would like to hear from you every day, then make a compromise where you’re both happy and feel loved.
Visit each other every chance you get
This should go without saying. My last relationship started off long-distance because we were both “permanent travellers”. After just knowing each other for a couple of hours, he flew over to see me in Marbella. Then he had to go to another town in Spain, and I drove all the way there, for 8 hours straight, just to see him for 20 hours. Then I flew to India a few weeks after that. With other past relationships, we made a point to see each other at least every 2-3 weeks, whether it was in my country, in his or somewhere in the middle. To make it work, you need to make an effort. If you haven’t seen each other in a year and haven’t made plans to do so… maybe it’s worth reconsidering your arrangement.
Quality calls over quantity texts
I am the kind of girl who likes to text at least once a day, but if all you’re going to say is “good morning” and “good night”, then I’d rather just talk once a week on FaceTime. Meaningless texting is…well…meaningless, so instead of wasting time saying things that don’t matter, just have a valuable conversation on camera instead, and seeing each other helps ease the feeling of distance.
Start sexting… yes really!
Sending naked photos of each other is no longer something just online creeps do. It is a healthy way of maintaining the sexual desire between 2 people (or more, hey I’m not judging!) and it can really boost your connection. After all, you are a couple, and the physical aspect of a relationship is massively important, you can’t just text about what you had for lunch every day!
Now this can be a little awkward at first, but I promise that once you get the hang of it, it can be pretty damn arousing. You can text, send pictures, videos, you can FaceTime or you can do a combination of all, whatever feels comfortable to you. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to sexting, and you will find what turns you on.
Just do make sure to keep things safe. Only send nudes to someone you really trust, and if you aren’t sure, then send photos where you can’t see your face. Use apps that support your privacy – Snapchat is the obvious choice, but there are others that are considered even more safe if you’re really worried. Basically my rule is, if you would cringe at the thought of it being posted online, then don’t send it!
By the way, if you would like to talk more about any of these subjects, or if you need any help with your relationship, I invite you to hop on a call with me and we can talk about whatever you feel doubt or insecure about, and I can even give you very personalised tips on how to improve your relationship today!
Buy some sex toys
We all have needs and desires and let’s face it, it’s better that you have a closet full of toys that you can play with… instead of the hottie you met on the tube last night. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, everybody masturbates and when you’re in a long-distance relationship, it’s pretty much unavoidable.
If you don’t know where to start, just try everything! There are so many toys out there, but you really won’t know until you test them out for yourself. I’d recommend you go for something mid-range in price, you don’t want some cheap crappy vibrator that will burn off your clit, but getting something worth £300 as a first try is a bit much if you don’t have the cash to spare. Something in the range of £50-£150 is good.
Here are a couple of options you can look at:
Are you on the “spiritual path” and think that stuff like that clashes with your mindful practice? Read this article, then tell me what you think after that.
Have clear boundaries and rules that define your relationship
Whatever you’re into – stable monogamy, open relationships or maybe you’re just flexible with whatever comes, make sure to say what you want from the start. But if something changes along the way, you are allowed to change your mind.
Jealousy can be a big issue for people in long-distance relationships, so talk to each other about how you will deal with it if it comes up. For example, if you know that your girlfriend won’t be thrilled about you posting Snapstories with your hot female colleagues, even if nothing is going on, maybe you can turn it down a notch. Or if she’s going on holiday and disappears for a whole week, let her know how it makes you feel. Don’t make each other jealous on purpose just to get attention, tell them instead that you miss then and that you’d like to talk more often.
Cheating isn’t cool, communication is
This for me is rule #1 – COMMUNICATE! The only time things go wrong in relationships is when we don’t say what we want or how we’re feeling. Think about it, if your partner cheats on you, is it the cheating itself or the lie that’s really hurting you? Maybe they did it because they were suppressing a hidden desire or felt something that they were too scared to share. Make yourself accessible for them to open up, and be vulnerable yourself to share how you feel.
If we learnt to communicate with our partners, life would be so much simpler. This is why I went on a mission to get rid of jealousy and to understand how can couples make it work by truly letting each other be free. What I learnt from this journey is that the key to making any relationship work is clear communication.
Surprise your partner
Hop on a plane and have a spontaneous romantic weekend with them. Or send them a bunch of flowers, just because. Or next time you’re together, hide a little love note in their drawer so they can find it and smile when you’re no longer there. Surprises make us happy, especially when it’s from our beloveds.
When you are physically together, make it truly special
This sounds obvious, but when you’re together, make the most of it! Who needs food or sleep?? I recently had a beloved come for just 3 nights, and we were joking that we managed to fit 2 months worth of dating into those 2.5 days we had together. Romantic dinners, long walks and the opera included! There is no time to waste, so tell them exactly how you feel, do exactly what you want to do, and forget the world exists for a little while. You both deserve it, anything else can wait.
If you truly want to be with them, find a way to live in the same place
After all, long-distance relationships are not supposed to be a permanent solution, unless of course that’s what you want… Personally, I think that nothing can beat the physical presence of your significant other in your life, so I would find any way to live in the same place.
Figure out who has a more stable life, and who would have more to lose by moving. Or maybe one of you has a passion for something that the other one can go along with. I once started seeing someone after I had left the country and my goal then was to travel the world and not live in the city. He was way more stable, but I had a passion for travel that overshadowed all else. After a few months of long-distance talking, he came to see me for a holiday, then he went home, quit his very successful job and followed me around the world for a few years. It wasn’t easy, but when you fall in love you do whatever it takes to be together.
Did you start off long-distance and not sure if you know them well enough to move to another continent? I’m in the same dilemma right now, so I totally understand the struggle. I did once meet a girl on a plane though, who decided to drop her life in Brazil and move all the way to Singapore to be with a man she’d known for just 2 weeks. She was so nervous on the flight, but I see them on Facebook now and they are happily married and have a beautiful baby together…so sometimes in life you just have to take a risk.
But if you don’t feel that pull to be with them physically… let them go, both of you will be better off.
Want to know more?
For more love and relationship blogs, please click here.
Here’s a book that goes into this subject with more detail and has fun personal anecdotes from those in long distance relationships.
To contact me for a personal Skype consultation, click here.
I love hearing your stories too, so let me know in the comments below – how do you make your long-distance relationship work?