Tuesday Ten: Surviving A Long Distance Relationship

There are more people in long distance relationships than you’d think. I myself, am currently in one. I’ve been doing the whole long distance thing for about a year now. My boyfriend and I had only been dating about 3 months when he had to leave to go to a college two states away. But when you love someone, you know. And when someone is worth going through the tough times, you know. And I knew. I have a long distance blog on Tumblr, and the number of people in the LDR community astounded me. You don’t really think about it until you’re in one, but there are so many different ways to be in a LDR. Being with someone who is serving our country, meeting online, meeting on vacation, going away to school, etc. It’s crazy! But it’s so wonderful to see all the love and effort that goes into making all of these relationships work. So here are my top 10 ways to make sure your long distance relationship works and lasts.

  1. Communicate.In a long distance relationship, communication is key. Don’t ever be afraid to say what you feel. Your boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t with you, so they can’t get a good sense of what’s going on in your mind and heart. You need to have a very open and honest relationship that allows both of you to speak and feel freely, and talk things out. This will help you to have a strong connection and build trust, which is incredibly important in a long distance relationship.
  2. Figure out your schedules and make time for each other.Whether it be work, school, time zone differences, there is always something that can keep you from having time to Skype, or text, or call. And these things can sometimes be mistaken for lack of love and effort. So make sure that you and your loved one talk about both of your schedules, find times that work for both of you to sit down and Skype or talk on the phone. And texting is great too, because it allows you to multitask and keep in contact throughout the day. In my relationship, I make sure to know when Jim has classes, and he knows when I work, and we keep each other updated on changes in our schedules. That way, if one of us isn’t answering a text, the other knows it’s just because he/she is busy at that moment. Also, unless one of us has a really late engagement, we make sure to Skype every night and talk about our day. It’s a good way to wind down and get some quality time in each day.
  3. Surprise them.Send them cards, little gifts, leave little love notes on their Facebook wall, whatever you can. There are all sorts of free online cards and apps for iPhones that allow you to send little notes and cards, and there are plenty of websites that have great personalized gifts and goodie baskets that can be sent straight to your loved one’s house – or you can even make your own! And sending flowers to a girl is always appreciated. Just putting in the extra effort, saving up some money to remind them that you love them can help keep a relationship alive. Sometimes people just need to be reminded that you care about them even though you may not be able to be there in person to show them.
  4. Go on dates.Well, not necessarily go, but have dates. Virtual ones. It may seem silly at first, but having a date over Skype or through the phone is actually kind of fun! Make dinner together while Skyping, rent a movie and watch it at the same time while texting or talking on the phone, or pick a few TV shows that are put on Hulu shortly after they air on TV and vow to only watch them together online. That’s one of my favorite things to do with Jim. It’s so simple, but it’s almost like sitting on the couch, bumming around together watching TV. We both love it.
  5. Plan for the future.It’s hard to keep waiting when you don’t even know when you’ll be together. Try your best to get some kind of time frame on when you can either visit one another, move in together, go to school near each other, etc. Having a date or time frame to look forward to will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  6. Play games together.Play a game online, or have a running game of Draw something or Words with Friends going. (Jim & I always do). It’s a fun, easy, and simple way to do something light-hearted together. When in a long distance relationship, it’s often the simple little things that you miss the most. This might help with that a little.
  7. Flirt.Send a steamy text message in the middle of the day, share a fantasy, or compliment your loved one randomly. Because you can’t be physical, you have to find other ways to keep the fire going. Being flirty (or dirty) allows you both to have some fun, feel good and wanted, and gives you both something to look forward to when you do finally get to be together.
  8. Don’t let snail mail die out.Love letters are a sweet, classic way of communicating and expressing love. Writing a love letter shows a person that you care enough to take the time to write something sweet. Write or find a love poem that reminds you of your significant other, or write a letter that sounds old-fashioned (like something from a Shakespeare play). Spray the letter with your perfume or cologne so that when he/she opens it, they’ll get a whiff of you. Trust me, they’ll love it. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy getting mail?!
  9. Make Kodak moments.Share photos of yourself, of the places you go, or of a random activity that you do. Jim and I are always sending each other pictures through text messages of simple things that we do, or things that remind us of each other throughout the day. We also end the night with a goodnight text message and a photo of ourselves. Photographs are a great way to feel like you’re together during the day. You see what they see, and they see what you see. It’s almost like you’re right there. Plus, it’s just another way to communicate and let them know that they’re on your mind.
  10. Make a list of all the things you want to do when you’re finally together. Include date ideas, movies you want to see/rent, places you want to go, etc. Writing these things down gives you a sense that someday they will happen, and it gives you something to look forward to. Don’t be afraid to get excited about these things either. Without hope, a long distance situation can get pretty difficult. Even talking about these things together can help build a connection, learn about one another, and spark new conversations.
    For more long distance advice & info, check out my LDR blog: Loving Long Distance

Late Tuesday Ten: Date Ideas

Dating is fun, but it can also get boring after a while if you don’t come up with some fresh ideas. So here are some ideas that I’ve come up with to liven up your dating life.

  1. Go miniature golfing. It’s fun to feel like a kid again! Laugh, goof off, and have a blast! For a little extra fun, go at night when they turn the lights on – in my opinion everything is always better with light up stuff, haha.
  2. Take a romantic walk through some gardens. Look up what nice gardens or hikes there are around your area, grab your camera, and enjoy the view. I just recently did this with my man, and we had a great time and got some really great pictures. Most places are free for self guided tours.
  3. Take a cooking class together. Or just cook a meal together. If you have the money to spend, sign up for an interesting cooking or baking class of some kind. If not, just pick a recipe that looks yummy to both of you and get cooking! It’s a great way to reconnect and have a delicious meal.
  4. Plant a small garden together and take care of it. Buy a box planter, go to a nursery together, and get those hands dirty! You can grow flowers, vegetables, fruits – whatever you want! Just make sure to water your plants and feed them fresh air!
  5. Pretend you’re meeting for the first time. Dress up, meet at a bar or a coffee shop and act like you’re just meeting each other for the first time. Your guy can hit on you and buy you a drink, and you can flirt with him and boost his ego. Who knows, maybe you’ll even go home together… ;)
  6. Go out to dinner, but get dessert first. Turn a casual dinner into something a little fun and crazy. Confuse your waiter by ordering dessert first! Get as many as you want or taste them all! Then, depending on how full you are, you can order your meals, split one, or get an appetizer. We all deserve a little extra sugar every once in a while.
  7. Go house hunting. Go to open houses and pick out your dream house that you may want some day. Have fun talking about your future and discuss how you might decorate.
  8. Test drive fun cars. Test drive sports cars, cars you can’t afford, or even your dream car. Have fun living a fantasy life together for a day.
  9. Go crazy with paint. Set up a big canvas or paper in the backyard and throw/splatter paint at it together. Make sure to wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and make sure you’re far enough away from the house so that paint won’t splatter on it.
  10. Laser tag. Go to a local arcade or laser tag place and play a game or two. It’s different, it’s fun, it’s definitely something your guy will enjoy.