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Long-Distance Relationships: The Comprehensive Guide to Survive and Thrive

Long-distance relationships are challenging for everyone. I’ll never forget when my buddy Jamie (not his real name for privacy reasons) told me about his big heartbreak. After 8 whole years with his girl Samantha ((not her real name, also for privacy reasons), including 3 tough years of long-distance, she broke it off out of nowhere.

“Things were awesome between us,” Jamie said sadly. “We had that spark, respected each other a ton, and never really had huge blowouts. I thought we were gonna last forever.” He did all he could to be a great boyfriend from far away – showing love, making her feel safe and telling her it’ll be okay even with the distance.

Samantha was all in initially, but the long-distance grind did a number on them. Even though they got engaged months ago, she suddenly said their dreams had drifted way too far apart to get married. The lack of face-time and being there for each other day-to-day just caught up after years of being apart.

I was stunned to hear Jamie’s story. After so many years of dealing with the crazy long-distance dating stuff, how could someone’s feelings change like that? How can you be totally ready to marry your forever partner one minute, then see them like a stranger the next?

The truth is that long-distance relationships are way more complicated than regular ones. There’s that not seeing each other in person as often, and there is that lack of access to physical intimacy. Not to mention sharing that day-to-day grind. All those factors can slowly chip away at even the strongest couples over time. Technology has made LDRs more plausible, but technology can only do so much.

Me Trying to Convince MyFriends that Long Distance Relationships can Actually Work Meme

Stats show most long-distance relationships only last around 4 and a half months before one or both get too unhappy. If you want a more vivid reality check, visit our article about the harsh realities of long-distance relationships.

That said, you don’t have to be just another sad number. With the right game plan and honest work, long-distance can work. There’s a great chance to keep that spark hot until you’re finally together. This guide has practical tips and fun activities to keep your bond blazing until you reunite.

Principles for Surviving Long-Distance Relationships

Living far apart requires hard work to maintain a close bond. Here are seven tips to help your long-distance relationship not just survive but do well:

Make it Clear that This is Temporary

No such thing as being far apart forever. At some point, this setup must change to living in the same place for the relationship to move forward.

Be upfront; the long-distance situation won’t last, even if you can’t pinpoint an exact date yet to be together again. Talk about and agree on the things or conditions that will eventually end the distance barrier, like finishing a job contract, finishing school, or sorting out a family matter.

The critical component here is that it should be clear to both that this long-distance setup is temporary, with clear conditions on when it’ll end. Every healthy relationship should always progress into a geographically close relationship.

Communicate Organically

Don’t get trapped into scheduled calls or chats, even if staying in a routine seems like a good idea. Too often, these obligatory “catch-ups” turn into tedious chores when one person has nothing new to discuss.

Strangely, talking about spontaneous happenings, realizations, and developments makes for more engaging and quality conversation. When curiosity strikes about your partner’s day, initiate a chat. And they can radically share the little details of their day-to-day to keep you in their world.

Every Time you Say Goodbye in a Long Distance Relationship Meme

Share Everything

Since you’re not physically together, long-distance couples miss those subtle visual and implied cues that build emotional closeness over time. Sharing everything with maximum transparency, no matter how miniscule you think it is, overcomes this issue.

Dive into everything excitedly – even the dullest everyday happenings you’d rarely mention if you were living together. Describe funny moments, thoughts, critiques of a new podcast obsession, or how a telemarketer’s voice reminds you of your uncle. In geographically close relationships, we take these cues for granted, but they go a long way for LDRs.

On the flip side, when your partner shares their stream of thoughts, stay interested no matter how trivial the surface topics may seem.

Get Creative With Intimacy

Kiiroo, a manufacturer of adult toys and products, did an extensive survey on long-distance relationships. Among 1,000 participants, 66% of long-distance participants said lack of physical intimacy was their biggest challenge. It’s not hard to see why.

Biology and human sexual needs don’t disappear across distance and time zones. You and your partner need to be creative to bridge that gap and fulfill that need.

At a minimum, learn how to do sexting and phone sex. For extra charge, explore using adult toys. Just avoid permanently capturing or sharing explicit content, no matter how secure you think it is. We’ve already read so much about private photos “leaking” online. The potential trauma is just not worth it.

Plan In-Person Visits

Within logistical and financial limits, make scheduling in-person visits a bonding goal. Even a weekend rendezvous every few months can revive your connection through anticipation and reunited physical intimacy.

Openly plan these getaways together, adjusting your lives around the reunions – the shared intention is half the journey. When finally face-to-face, immerse fully in the moment without external distractions. No work duties, no workout classes. This quality time is precious; savor it intensely.

Exchange Mementos

Geographically-close couples constantly get reminders about their partners by default. If you’re cohabiting or spending time in each other’s places, a simple forgotten hair tie or inside joke framed photo would do the trick.

These organic memory reminders disappear when living far apart. Make up for it by intentionally creating persistent reminders through keepsakes and mementos. Like a wacky souvenir from college, a hilarious custom mug, or an old-fashioned handwritten card from a trip. Place these sentimental items around your place to randomly reinvigorate thoughts about your partner.

Find Shared Activities

When conversation topics run dry, shared activities enable more fertile dialogue. Explore shared hobbies through video or apps – gaming, reading the same e-book, or synchronizing everyday tasks virtually. Any reasonably silly yet unifying experience provides intimate flashes of temporary co-existing, as if not separated.

Long-Distance Shared Activities and Date Ideas

Being far apart doesn’t mean your date nights have to become dull or infrequent. Get creative and use modern technology with these long-distance date and parallel activity ideas:

Virtual Movie/TV Nights

The classic “Netflix and chill” easily translates to the long-distance world – you’ll just be chilling virtually. Due to Netflix’s recent crackdown on account sharing across households, coordinating your streaming requires extra steps. You’ll each need a Netflix subscription, then manually sync up your viewing of the same title through third-party apps or browser extensions.

Alternatively, several major streaming platforms have built native “watch party” functionality into their interfaces, allowing seamless synced streaming between friends and partners. Disney+, Hulu and Prime Video all offer co-viewing capabilities now.

For ultimate flexibility across any streaming service, check out apps and browser extensions like Teleparty or Scener that enable hosting real-time watch parties – even for an intimate couple’s viewing. Their free tiers have feature limitations, so you may want to explore paid plans based on your viewing habits.

Virtual Tours

Let the wanderlust flow by virtually exploring your bucket list destinations through YouTube. A simple search for “[city] walking tour” yields uploads from travel influencers and videographers who have walked those paths.

Some provide light commentary on the sites or culture. In contrast, others are silent, tranquil strolls through the scenery – choose whatever experience you prefer.

The street food genre is particularly transporting and appetite-whetting. Many creators spotlight lively open-air markets and street vendors, like the endless culinary options throughout Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Experiencing the sights and sounds (and imagining the tastes and aromas) from your couch provides endless bonding conversation.

Thanks to these essentially being YouTube videos, you can sync up the tours for free using third-party tools like Watch2Gether – no paid subscriptions or app downloads needed.

Online Games & Activities

For extra interactivity, explore the growing catalog of online multiplayer video games built explicitly for couples’ co-op play. Games like It Takes Two provide charming interactive experiences centered around two-player dynamics and romantic storytelling. Or, for a competitive twist, party game samplers like The Jackbox Party Pack series facilitate silly head-to-head matchups.

You can never go wrong with that nostalgic virtual date night staple – belting out karaoke tunes in sync together. Cue up a vocal backing track on YouTube and display your terrible singing skills.

Learn Together

Leverage YouTube – the platform is an incredible shared resource for long-distance couples looking to develop new skills together. Commit to reading the same e-book, unpacking it chapter-by-chapter over video chat. Enroll in online lessons to learn a new language side-by-side. Follow self-paced tutorials to pick up hobbies like coding, painting, guitar, or anything of mutual interest.

Any mutual activity that enables hitting consistent milestones or produces creative output to share is potent for fostering intimacy from afar. Showcasing your progress, creations, or breakthroughs provides authentic avenues for bonding beyond simplistic status updates. Plus, with a standing commitment, you’re incentivized to make time for each other.

The essence of all these date nights and activity ideas is to find ways to authentically immerse yourselves in lively, stimulating experiences together despite the distance.

Conclusion

For a long time, I was among the doubters who thought long-distance relationships were not sustainable. How could a couple realistically nurture the intimacy, spontaneity and physical connection vital to a healthy relationship while being miles apart? Hollywood romances peddled this idea that long-distance relationships were always doomed to drifting apart and inevitable heartbreak.

But as technology has advanced over the last decade, I’ve seen countless examples of long-distance lovers using video calls, messaging apps, shared calendars, and other digital tools to weave their lives closer despite physical separation.

With broadband connectivity spreading and services like Netflix parties, virtual long-distance dates are becoming common. The opportunity to frequently “co-exist” through voice and video-enabled apps and activities redefines what’s possible.

Succeeding in My Long Distance Relationship Be Like Meme

However, as my friend Jamie’s story shows, we can’t treat long-distance relationships as equivalent to being geographically close. The existence of powerful digital communication is not a cure-all for the psychological toll of physical separation and lack of touch.

No matter how immersive the technology, long-distance dating still requires unique intentionality and consideration that typical couples rarely have to consider.

This guide outlined numerous practical tips and creative ideas to work the long-distance dynamic in your favor. From reframing it as a temporary hurdle to radically opening your communication to exploring virtual dates and activities – the core focus is generating those intimate “co-existing” moments despite being physically apart.

Ultimately, long-distance relationships are more complex and challenging than typical couple scenarios. But like any worthwhile endeavor, committing to consistent nurturing can breed security, fulfillment, and longevity. It simply takes the right mindset and strategies.

So don’t resign yourself to becoming another grim long-distance statistic. Use these tips, keep creatively co-cultivating intimacy through the distance, and you can joyfully reunite when the time comes.

Have any other brilliant long-distance advice or creative virtual date ideas? Leave a comment below – our community could greatly benefit from your wisdom and experiences!

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