23 Oct, 17
Tips for Long-Distance Relationships
It might even make your relationship better!
By Rebecca Dane
Long-distance relationships are tough! Part of our relationship was done long-distance and when we both ended up back in the same time zone, we realized how beneficial the time apart had been. We had unknowingly built an incredibly strong foundation – one that covered thousands of miles.
While everyone’s long-distance relationship is different, we thought we could share some tips that we used and some tips that our friends have used!
1. Find Time to Chat
You need to find time to actually chat to each other. Time zones and busy schedules can make this more difficult than you might imagine. I don’t just mean sending a quick text during the day (although I definitely encourage that). You really need time to actually sit down and ask each other how you’re doing. You can schedule a weekly time to have a Skype call, but this might not always work because of events that come up. Our suggestion is to plan a time at the start of every week. It’ll give you something to look forward to, and it will be flexible with your lives. If someone has to absolutely reschedule, then actually reschedule it. Don’t just say that you’ll do it later – if you have to postpone, come up with another time that will work. If you do have to cancel, make sure you tell your partner ASAP. They’re going to be excited to talk to you, and it would be awful to leave the cancellation to the last minute. Plan for enough time to really delve into a conversation.
2. Do Boring Things Together
We know a couple that Skype together during boring things like laundry, cooking, etc. Other people that we know Skype during meals so they can eat together (but they are close to the same time zone). Sometimes you just want to do a boring routine with your partner, and chatting to each other while you both do laundry is a little romantic. It makes a boring chore fun, and it provides you with more dimension than sitting in front of the screen. Of course schedule time to Skype face-to-face, but sometimes boring chores feel better with good company.
3. Don’t Be in Constant Communication
On the other hand, make sure you aren’t always in constant contact. Long-distance means that you both have friends in different parts of the world. If you’ve never met, then they have their home base. If one of you moved to a different part of the world, then it is important to socialize and meet new people. If you’re constantly on your phone to message your partner, it isn’t that conducive to conversations with friends or new people. Spend time chatting, but make sure there is a balance. It can be easy to spend the workday chatting via text message, but then your work is going to suffer. Understandably, if someone moved to a new city, then initially there will be loads of contact. Try not to make it a habit for too long. You also want to save some info about your life for when you have your Skype dates – or you might not have anything to talk about!
4. Be Open and Honest
If something is bothering you, then make sure to communicate it. Similarly, if you’re feeling happy about something, you should let the other person know. Having set times to chat might make you feel like you can only talk about certain topics that fit in a box. You might not want to start an argument or brag about your day, but these are all parts of a relationship that need to be explored. Be open and honest about how you’re feeling, and you’ll find that you become even closer.
Learn to listen really well to your partner. What are they telling you? What is their body language telling you? Ask questions about their life and make sure you actually listen to what they are saying. You would want them to listen to you, so make sure you aren’t multitasking while they are speaking.
6. Find an Activity to Share
Some couples in long-distance relationships like reading the same book or watching the same movie or show. You can even both learn a new language! You don’t have to like the same things, but maybe you can take turns choosing the item to share. This will inspire a lot of conversations about what you’ve read or a hobby you’ve both decided to pick up. It’s like a mini book club with your partner! It’s fun to have something different to talk about and something that can make you feel closer together.
Long-distance relationships are a great lesson in trust. Feeling jealous is not unusual in long-distance relationships and it is something that needs to be worked through. Jealousy can happen when people live together – so these aren’t new sensations, they are just in a different context. Make sure to communicate and always think about the other person’s perspective on things. Again, if something bothers you, then talk about it. Trusting someone you aren’t physically with can be really difficult, but it is totally worth the foundation it will build.
Long-distance relationships are all about balance and communication. They aren’t easy, but they can be totally worth it. If you’re struggling, reach out to people you know that have been through similar things, or reach out to groups online that can help you through it. Even if your partner is on the other side of the world – know you’re not alone!
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