Being in an intimate relationship is hard but being in a long distance relationship is even harder. A relationship needs good communication, a ton of commitment, and a strong foundation of trust especially when distance is the one interfering between two people. You may call yourself lucky if you will never find yourself in this kind of situation.

A long distance relationship can either make you or break you. The space in between you and your partner may enable you to grow and value each other more or it can pull you and eventually make you drift apart. The common issue in this kind of relationships is trust. But how do you know if your boyfriend in LDR is faithful to you? Below are 10 signs to guide you:

1. He is trustworthy.
First things first, how do you know? If you trust him as a person you will trust him to be faithful. You yourself have to trust him first in order to know if he is faithful. If your boyfriend has never given you a reason to doubt his loyalty, he never lied to you, or never cheated on you, then rest assured that he is faithful.

2. He is unafraid and open.
This means that he is not afraid to share his password to his social media accounts, his e-mails, or his messages. He is very open with and feels free to share his contacts. Why? Because he has nothing to hide! The faithful boyfriend knows that if this is what it takes to make his girlfriend feel secure and happy, then he will happily oblige. Then again, he has nothing to lose anyway, right?

ALSO READ: 11 Ways to Make Your Girlfriend Feel Secure

3. He makes time for you.
Distance can be really tough especially if you and your partner are living on opposite sides of the world. Different time zones can be annoying, it is six-thirty in the morning and you are having breakfast yet he is getting ready for bed. There will me moments where in time just does not seem to synchronize. Even though, a faithful boyfriend will never fail to make time for you despite the differences, he will always make you feel like you are his number one priority.

4. He takes the effort to visit.
No amount of numbers can tear you two together! When he takes the effort to save money and book a plane ride just to even see a glimpse of you, then you can tell that he is faithful. No one would put that much effort for someone unless he truly cares for her.

5. He never makes excuses.
If you had a video date or you were supposed to call each other, a faithful boyfriend will never make up lame excuses for not being able to do so. A valid excuse is alright every once in a while, but if they keep piling up and each excuse is more ridiculous than the other, then you may be having second thoughts about where his loyalty lies.

6. He respects you even if you’re not there.
A faithful boyfriend will never act as if he is single. He will respect you and your role in his life as his girlfriend even if you are not there. When an attractive co-worker or seductive ‘friend’ tries to hit on him, he will politely decline because he respects you. Returning the actions would be unfair and hurtful for you so if your boyfriend is faithful, he will know when to say no.

ALSO READ: How to Treat Your Girlfriend with Respect

7. He makes you feel his support.
Despite the land or sea in between you two, he will always make you feel like he is right there beside you, cheering you on. If you have a major exam, he will give you time to review without interruptions and even send you a supportive message. When you are having a bad day, he will be there to call you while you’re having coffee alone and make you feel happier despite him not being physically there. He will let you know that he cares, another sign to keep note of to determine if you have a faithful boyfriend.

8. He updates you on important things.
He does not have to necessarily message you every time he is going to do something, but he never forgets to tell you the important things. Whether he is going on a business trip with his co-workers or some girl tried to hit on him on the subway, he won’t hide it from you. He loves telling you about his day and feels that by doing this, you would not feel so far away from each other! Another thing to check off the faithful boyfriend list.

9. He makes effort to stay connected at all times.
Again, he does not have to call and message you every single hour, that is a needy and paranoid boyfriend not a faithful one, but he stays connected to you whether by phone or by his love for you. Sometimes in this kind of relationship, couples make a mistake of allowing each other too much personal time. Because two people trust each other, they allow their partners to take time with their work or whatever important thing they are doing — they wouldn’t mind. This is not entirely a bad thing but if this is repeated through time, eventually, the couple will drift farther away from each other, physically and emotionally. That is why a faithful boyfriend will always try to stay connected.

10. He never fails to make you feel loved.
The most important thing to know if your boyfriend is faithful to you is that he never fails to make you feel loved. He does not need to send you roses every week, he does not need to call you every hour, he does not need to shower you with gifts or whatnot. All you need is a simple good morning text, a sweet ‘I love you’, a thoughtful ‘Take care’, and a longing goodnight and ‘I miss you’ to make you feel like you are the most beloved girl in the world.

ALSO READ: 16 Ways to Make Your Girlfriend Feel Loved

Not every person is built for a long distance relationship. Most of the time, couples don’t work out because they either grow apart or realize that their relationship was not really strong enough to withstand the distance. But if you and your partner arm yourselves with good communication, loads of commitment, and a heap load of faith for each other, then there is no doubt that everything will be alright in the end. Nothing, not even distance can tear two hearts passionately fighting to be one.

ALSO READ: 25 Pieces of Advice Couples in a Long Distance Relationship Should Know

© Photo by Mary Fatima Berongoy, InspiringTips.com

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Carisha lives for writing and painting. When she’s not doing either of the two, she is most likely to be seen petting stray dogs or commuting in high fashion boots.

1. He misses you more than he wants to admit . He might not be sappy or explicitly emotional, but this is hard on him, too.

2. Whenever he visits, it doesn’t have to be “perfect.” He just wants to be able to see you, and that’s enough. Don’t worry about planning a ton of outings and touristy things to do in your area. Those are nice, but he’s really there to spend time with you.

3. He knows there might be some disappointment along the way. For any number of reasons, things might not work out. He might not be able to make it for your birthday. Your anniversary might have to be another Skype call. That said…

4. He knows the good times will make it worth it. You get to load up weeks worth of relationship time into a handful of days or weeks. Every time you see each other, you’re going to have an amazing time.

5. Just because this is long-distance, doesn’t mean he’s seeing someone else or living a double life. It’s easy to scare yourself into thinking something could be going on, or you’re somehow getting catfished. But more than likely, everything is perfectly fine. Trust is huge in any relationship, and it’s doubly so in a long-distance relationship.

6. Plane tickets are expensive. Just keep that in mind. If you’re expecting to be able to visit each other every month, that plan can go out the window pretty quick. Unless you work in the airline industry (or have your own jet) that’s going to eat into your finances real quick. Make sure to pick your flights ahead of time unless you want to make sure you can never buy a house.

7. Sexts are always appreciated. If you’re ever thinking, “is now an appropriate time to sext him?” The answer is always yes. Always.

8. He’s willing to do some cute long-distance things, but he has his limits. Maybe he’ll fall asleep on the phone with you every night (unlimited minutes, yo) or he’ll Skype you so you can watch a movie together. But he’s probably not going to carry phone-you around with him at his holiday office party so you can meet all his coworkers. He’d like you to show up in person for that, thanks.

9. There’s not really such a thing as “too much” in a LDR. Okay, maybe. But it’s not as much as you’d think. When you’re apart for so long, you can’t ever really “nag” him or overwhelm him through texts. Don’t worry about shooting little messages off here or there during the day. It’s nice to have those moments.

10. Ignoring each other is the worst thing you can do. Seriously. Giving him the cold shoulder when you’re a couple who gets to hang out in real life is bad enough. When you’re in a long distance relationship, this strategy always backfires, because he’s got no idea what’s going on. Neither of you should ever resort to that.

11. You’re going to want to punch couples in the face who complain about how hard it is to be an hour away from each other. That is all.

Follow Frank on Twitter.

Cosmo Frank I am a human male that enjoys consuming meals consisting of all five food groups and fulfilling every level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

It can be hard to know if the guy you’re with loves you or loves you not. From my own experience and the women I coach, a few things makes it difficult to know if he loves you:

  • your definition and experience of love is different from his
  • your expectations that love has to be a certain way
  • your insecurities get in the way of seeing things clearly
  • and his words, behaviors and actions are contradicting, causing you to doubt his feelings for you.

So, how can you tell if the guy you’re with truly loves you or loves you not? If he exhibits these 7 signs, he most likely loves you.

Photo: Getty

1. He Treats You Well
A guy who loves you is considerate of your feelings, needs and desires. He makes them as important as his desires and needs. He is concerned with your well-being and will do things to make your life better, sometimes going out of his way to do so. Not only does he treat you well, he is also good to your family and friends.

2. He Is Generous With His Time
He doesn’t let too much time go by without seeing you. When he is available, he wants to be with you and chooses to spend his time with you. If you’re in a long distance relationship, he is spending time with you whenever your schedules allow. And you are together during major holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

3. He Makes You A Priority
You are at the forefront of his mind and he maintains contact in between the times you see each other. He considers you when making decisions and is considerate about doing things you want to do. When speaking, he uses “we” instead of “I”, and includes you in his future plans.

4. He Cares For You
A guy who loves you is genuinely happy for you when good things happen to you. He is compassionate when you’re going through challenges. This guy is there for you in the good and not so good times. He thinks about you and surprises you with tokens of affection outside of your birthday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. He will also challenge you by calling you out on stuff to help you become a better person.

For the rest of the story, head to Your Tango!

More from Your Tango:

I Love You: 15 Ways Guys Say It Without Saying It
How To Be A Good Girlfriend & (Girl Friend!)
50 Love Quotes We Adore

The Benefits of the Long-Distance Relationship By: Angelina Cruz

If you are in a long-distance relationship, then you are one of those lucky few to experience an interesting and unique way to love. There are so many negative aspects associated with long-distance relationships today that it is sometimes hard to see the silver-lining around them. Although being separated from your partner can place a physical and emotional limitation on your day-to-day life, there are actually many benefits to this type of relationship. Enjoy!

Individual Growth:

The distance between you and your partner compels individuality. For many couples (although not all), being around each other daily leads to synchrony of personality and behavior. They do everything together, they finish each other’s sentences, and they act so much alike that it is hard to distinguish one personality from the other. Although this may seem cute at first, it has its downsides. There is little room for growth, and each individual is defined by their partner. In a long distance relationship, you have time to discover the person you are. You have time to think about your own values, your own goals, and your individual persona.

Strengthens Emotional Bond:
Society today is obsessed with sex; it is everywhere – on television and in the media. Talk shows and magazines today tell us that sex is the primary part of a relationship, and although it is important, it should not be the dominant force driving a relationship. There are numerous long-distance relationships that break off due to the lack of physical contact. This is sad, because it shows us that sex is often regarded as the glue that holds a relationship together.
The great thing about a long-distance relationship is that it can help strengthen the bond that goes beyond the physical between you and your partner, because you have more time to talk to each other about yourselves and about each other. A long-distance relationship fosters communication and trust-building. These two features are a must for any relationship, and they enable the relationship to run smoothly. Being in a long-distance relationship can help strengthen these aspects, as more time and effort is spent on them, since each individual cannot be physically near each other.

Appreciation for the Moments Spent Together:
When you are around someone constantly, it can be easy to take them for granted. It’s easy for couples to get so wrapped up in their daily lives and schedules that they forget to value each other; they get into arguments and become caught up in problems that can lead to a break up. Such reactions can be heightened in moments of stress, such as in the aftermath of having a bad day at work. Of course, days like these are normal for anyone, but they can take a toll on a relationship, especially if they happen regularly. It is a sad truth, but sometimes being away from the person you love can be good for you. Distance teaches you and your partner the value of your relationship, as well as greater appreciation for the time you two get to spend together. You begin missing their laugh, their jokes, and their company. This is not bad; it just shows you how much you love your partner.

Tests the Love:
Sometimes it seems that those couples who spend the most time with each other have greater love, but this is not always true. There are couples who are close and spend all of their time together, but once something separates them (maybe one getting a job in a different state), they break up because they cannot handle the distance. This is heartbreaking, because they are willing to give up their love for the immediate security in staying close together. They neglect to see that they will be together again and could grow personally from the experience of being apart. A long-distance relationship can really test and challenge you and your partner’s love for each other. To be willing to spend days, weeks, or even months apart is a great accomplishment, and in the end, it can bring much happiness when you and your partner are reunited again. However, there are those couples who break up once they enter a long-distance relationship. This can happen for various reasons I’ll discuss in a future article.
All in all, a long-distance relationship requires commitment from both you and your partner to work. It requires communication and trust. There will be rough patches, of course, but if each individual clearly knows the reason why they are in the relationship and recognizes their common goal to share life together, then the benefits of the outcome will outweigh the negatives. If there is a time in your relationship when you are feeling distressed, because you miss your partner, keep this wise quote in mind, “Distance between two hearts is not an obstacle; rather a great reminder of just how strong true love can be.”

About the Author

Angelina Cruz Angelina Cruz is a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in psychology. She works in the Vision Lab for the psychological and brain sciences department at UCSB, and volunteers at the Goleta Valley Hospital taking care of the elderly. Her goal is to use her knowledge and skills in psychology to help individuals live a better life mentally and emotionally. Angelina intends to pursue a Ph.D in Neuropsychology. Tags: lasting relationships, long-distance relationships, relationships

Exquisitely put Angelina.

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Almost with out exception those couples I know involved in long distance relationships are suffering emotionally. Most have decided to cling to relationships that have naturally come to their conclusion. Individuals have grown in different directions but do not have the self esteem to let go and recognize there are better more fulfilling relationships for them in the future if they could only move on. Another common element of long distance relationships is when one or both partners actually fear healthy intimacy. These relationships have all the tokens and gestures of loving relationships without the real intimacy sharing daily life together truly nurtures. I have seen many couples waste years tortured in long distance relationships. Life is short. Unless separation is a short term solution to the long term goal of living life together, long distance relationships are some of the most destructive unhappy relationships people spend their lives in. Think again.

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Great article, Angelina. I would love to read more of your work regarding this topic. Thanks!

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well said, hun! 🙂

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I think that theres no good points… This are points that you have to survive for maintaining the relationship.

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Long-distance relationship is not something that ll only be done by flesh & blood,but by the help of the Holy spirit through christ Jesus.

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this was a great read! its nice to hear the good side of this rather than societies definition of the negative aspects

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How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

“Is he/she worth waiting for?”

“Are they feeling the same way I do?”

“Am I kidding myself thinking this can work?”

“Would I be better off dating the mailman instead? At least he comes to my house every day.”

“Does my boyfriend even exist or is this just an elaborate Nigerian credit card scam?”

Long-distance relationships suck. I’ve never met anyone who said, “Yeah, my boyfriend lives 14 hours away in Finland, it’s great!” On the contrary, everyone I’ve met in a long-distance relationship ends up with that agonizing feeling: that your heart is slowly being carved out of your chest by a butter knife and replaced with unsatisfactory Skype calls and blinking chat windows.

I get it; I’ve been there. All three of my significant relationships have involved long distance in some way.

As a young man who was terrified of any sort of commitment, I found that I could only allow myself to fall for a girl if she was at least 500 miles away.1 The first time, we both genuinely tried to make it work, but things fell apart spectacularly, mostly because we were both too young and immature to handle the distance. The second time, we both agreed that our lives were taking us to different parts of the world and we were probably better off letting it go–we then struggled to, you know, actually let go for another year, and it sucked. The third time, and perhaps because we had both done this before, we immediately made plans to end the distance as soon as possible (six months), and then made the appropriate sacrifices to do so. And now we’re married.

When it comes to surviving the distance, here’s what I’ve learned:

1. YOU ALWAYS NEED SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO TOGETHER

One of the things that kills long-distance relationships is the constant underlying uncertainty of everything. Those questions up top can dominate one’s thinking. Uncertainty will make you think, “Is this all worth it?” “Does she still feel the same way about me as she did before?” “Is he secretly meeting other girls without me knowing?” “Am I kidding myself with all of this? Maybe we’re horrible for each other and I don’t know it.”

The longer you are apart, the more these uncertainties can grow into legitimate existential crises.

That’s why when making any long-distance relationship work it’s crucial to always have some date that you are both looking forward to. Usually, this will be the next time you are both able to see each other. But it can also be other major life moments— applying for jobs in the other person’s city, looking at apartments where you could both be happy, a vacation together, perhaps.

The minute you stop having some milestone to look forward to, the harder it will be to maintain the same enthusiasm for, and optimism in, each other. One thing that is true about all relationships is that if they’re not growing, then they’re dying. And growth is even more crucial in a long-distance relationship. There must be some goal that you’re reaching for together. You must have some cause that unites you at all times. There has to be a converging trajectory on the horizon. Otherwise, you will inevitably drift apart.

2. BE SLOW TO JUDGE

A funny thing happens to humans psychologically when we’re separated from one another: We’re not able to see each other as we truly are. When we’re apart from one another or have limited exposure to a person or event, we start to make all sorts of assumptions or judgments that are often either exaggerated or else completely wrong.2

This can manifest itself in various ways within a long-distance relationship. In some cases, people get insanely jealous or irrationally possessive because they perceive every casual social outing as potentially threatening to a relationship. “Who the fuck is Dan? Tell me who the fuck this Dan guy is, and why is he writing on your Facebook wall — oh, he’s your stepbrother? I didn’t know you had a stepbrother. Why didn’t you tell me you had a stepbrother? Are you hiding something from me? OK, maybe I wasn’t listening when you told me, but I still don’t want you hanging out with Dan, got it?”

Hyper-sensitive Jealous Boyfriend screams: “No! There is no fun without me.

In other cases, people become overly critical and neurotic to the point where every small thing that goes wrong is a potential end to the relationship. So the power goes out and their partner misses their nightly Skype call–this is it, the relationship’s over, he has finally forgotten about me.

Or, some go the opposite direction and start idealizing their partner as being perfect. After all, if your partner isn’t in front of you all day every day, it’s easy to forget all of the little obnoxious parts of their personality that actually bother you. It feels good to imagine that there’s this picture-perfect person for you out there — “the one” — and it’s only these damn logistical circumstances that are keeping you apart.

All of these irrational fantasies are unhelpful.3 “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”–well, I’d edit that to say, “absence makes the heart fucking psychotic.” Be wary. When stuck in a long-distance scenario, it’s important to maintain some skepticism of your own feelings. Remind yourself that you really don’t know what’s going on and the best thing you can do at any moment is to simply talk to your partner about what they’re feeling and about what you’re feeling.

3. MAKE COMMUNICATION OPTIONAL

A lot of long-distance couples create rules that they should have X number of calls or that they need to talk every night at a certain time. You can easily find articles online recommending this sort of behavior.

This approach may work for some people, but I’ve always found that communication should happen organically. You should talk to each other when you want to, not because you have to. And if that means going a couple of days without communicating, then so be it. People get busy, after all; and periodically having a few days to yourself is actually pretty healthy.

It’s OK, sometimes when Mr. Overalls just wants to play Candy Crush. Let him.

When you force communication, two things can happen: The first is that when you inevitably hit days that you don’t have much to talk about (or don’t feel like talking), you’ll half-ass your relationship and spend time with your partner not because you want to but because you feel obligated. Welcome to every shitty marriage ever.

This uninspired, filler-filled kind of communication often creates more problems than it solves. If your partner seems more interested in his tax returns than catching up with your day, chances are you should just hang up and try again tomorrow. There is such a thing as overexposure.

The second problem that can come from forcing communication is that one or both people can begin to resent feeling obligated to connect. This resentment then sparks stupid fights which almost always devolve into some form of, “I’m sacrificing more than you are!” “No, I’m sacrificing more than you are!” And playing the I-sacrificed-more-than-you game never solved anything.

The best way to avoid this mistake is to make all communication optional, meaning that both of you can opt out at any time. The trick is to not take these opt-outs personally when they happen — after all, your partner is not your slave. If they’re having a busy week or need some alone time, that’s totally up to them to decide. BUT, you do need to use your partner’s (and your) desire for communication as a barometer for how the relationship is proceeding. If your partner spontaneously feels as though she only wants to talk a few times a week instead of a few times a day, that is both the cause AND the effect of her feeling more distant. That is worth talking about and being honest about.

4. MAKE SURE THE DISTANCE IS TEMPORARY

A long-distance relationship cannot survive without hope. And for there to be hope, there must be some possibility that the two people involved will one day be together and achieve a Happily Ever After (TM).

Without that shared vision of Happily Ever After, everything else will quickly begin to feel meaningless.

Remember, love is not enough. You both need to have life visions that are aligned, shared values, and mutual interests. If she’s taking a 10-year contract working for the Singaporean government, and he’s dogsledding around the polar ice caps, well, then there’s not much hope for that relationship, no matter how much the two people may love each other.

Not only must there be some shared vision of a possible future for you together, but you both must also feel as though you’re working toward that vision. If he’s in Los Angeles and she’s in New York, nothing will kill the relationship faster than one person applying for jobs in London and the other applying in Hong Kong.

In my second relationship, my girlfriend took a job working in Africa. Meanwhile, I toiled away in the US trying to get my first internet business off the ground. All hope for making it work was killed by circumstance and we soon broke up.

The woman to whom I’m now married is Brazilian. We began dating while I was living in Brazil in 2012. I left after a few months and we kept in touch. Both of us were battle-worn veterans of failed long-distance relationships, and one of our first conversations was that if we didn’t feel that there was a possibility of us living in the same city again within a year, then there was no point in keeping in touch.

This wasn’t an easy conversation to have, but we had it because we both knew it was necessary if we were going to continue. Six months later, I made the commitment to move back down to Brazil and stay there with her until we could figure out a long-term plan.

Long-distance relationships can only work if both partners put their money where their genitals are. OK, that sounded weird . . . but what I mean is that you have to make the logistical, life-rearranging commitment to one another for it to have any chance of working. Paradoxically, you end up with this weird dynamic where the long-distance relationship forces you to make much more significant commitments to a person to whom you’ve had far less exposure than in a regular relationship. It’s like buying a car when you’ve only seen a picture of it.

Is it worth it? This is the question I get most often from readers. On one level, yes, it’s always worth it. Because even if the relationship goes down like a Malaysian Airlines flight, you will have learned a lot about yourself, about intimacy, and about commitment.

On another level, it’s hard to tell. Because when you’re stuck in a long-distance relationship, you don’t really know what it’s like to date the other person–instead, you only have this halfway, vague idea. Sure, you know something of their personality and their attractive qualities, but you don’t know the full reality. You don’t know each other’s ticks; how she avoids eye contact when she’s sad; the way he leaves a mess in the bathroom and then denies making it; how she’s always late for important events; the way he makes excuses for his mother’s unacceptable behavior; her tendency to talk through movies; his tendency to get easily offended at comments about his appearance.

You don’t get a sense for the actual relationship until you’re in it, in person, and in each other’s faces non-stop, whether you want to be or not. This is where true intimacy exists–right there in the constricted personal space between two people who have spent way, way, way too much time around each other. This intimacy is sometimes not passionate; it’s sometimes obnoxious; it’s sometimes unpleasant. But it’s capital-R Real. And it’s that real intimacy which will determine if a relationship will last or not.

Distance prevents this constricted intimacy from ever forming in a meaningful way. When two people are apart, it’s too easy to idealize and romanticize each other. It’s too easy to overlook the mundane, yet important differences. It’s too easy to get caught up in the drama of our minds instead of the calm and boring truths of our hearts.

Can it work? Yes, it can. Does it work? Usually, no. But then again, that’s true for the vast majority of relationships.4 And it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever at least try.

How to Stop Fucking Up Your Romantic Relationships

Relationships can be complicated and difficult. But few people know that there are some pretty clear signals to know if a relationship is going to work or not. Put your email in the form to receive my 29-page ebook on healthy relationships.

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There’s no sugarcoating it: Long-distance relationships can suck. A phone call or Skype screen is never as good as the real deal, and your body can physically hurt from missing another person so badly. However, let’s not pretend there aren’t some upsides to an admittedly tricky situation. Long-distance relationships come with their own unique set of advantages, and here are 10 that you may not have realized.

1. You have your own life. Of course you want to spend time with your partner, but were you in the same city, you’d constantly be walking the line between when you should spend time together and when you shouldn’t. If you’re just feeling a night with the girls, you don’t have to feel guilty about not bringing your partner along, because they can’t come anyway.

2. Your communication is on point. Since your relationship involves a lot of talking, you’ve had plenty of practice expressing yourself and know just how to articulate what you want and need. Even better? You know how to listen, which means you’re well-prepared for any challenges the relationship might throw you.

3. You get the whole bed. It’s a tiny thing that makes a huge difference. While snuggling with your partner can never be beat, a full night of uninterrupted sleep in which your body is spread out luxuriously to all four corners of the mattress comes pretty close.

4. You don’t need to carve out alone time. It can be hard to ask for space without upsetting the people you’re distancing yourself from. Even the healthiest relationships need some breathing room, but when it comes to long distance, it’s a built-in part of the package.

5. You have ample opportunity to travel. By definition, a long-distance relationship means at least one of you has to travel in order to see the other. To keep things exciting, you guys can jet off to totally new places together.

6. You’re forced to have the conversations you might otherwise put off. If your long-distance relationship has large chunks of time in between reunions, you have to think about things in the long term. Logistically, you two have to be on the same page about what you want and where you see things going, because you might find yourself making plans months in advance.

7. You have a 24/7 support network. A relationship that relies on social media and technology means you’re always plugged in, and so is your partner. There’s no going off the grid or “we’ll talk about this later.” Whenever you need them, they’re there.

8. You get ~*very good*~ at masturbating. When you have to go months without sex, you get to know yourself pretty well. Ample time to masturbate means ample new things to learn about your body — and to tell your partner to try next time you see them.

9. You have so much more to talk about. Every little thing that happens in both of your days is fuel for your next conversation. The phone calls are seemingly never-ending because you each have your own lives and experiences to catch up on.

10. You’re always looking forward to something. While the day-to-day of a regular relationship can be monotonous (in a good way), long-distance couples are unpredictable. It sucks to be apart, but that just means you’re always getting excited for the next reunion and surprising each other with new ideas for the future.

Follow Kathryn on Twitter.

BY: SYDNEY KOON

(Gainesville, Ga.) – Long distance relationships are becoming more and more apparent in today’s society. There are so many different reasons on why the couples are miles away. With 142,000 troops overseas, that leaves a copious amount of loved ones at home. Many people around the world have to travel for their job, leaving their partner along for several days of the week. Couples who have “met” online are trying to spark love over distance. Each of thse scenarios all pose a similar question. Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?

According to Dr. Guldner at The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, Long distance relationships, or LDR, are quickly consuming the world. In 2014, 14 million couples defined themselves as having a LDR. 3.75 million married couples are currently experiencing distance in their relationship. 32.5% of all LDR are by college students. 75% of all engaged couples have been distanced at some point in their relationship. 2.9% of American married couples are in a LDR. 10% of all marriages in America started out as a LDR.

What drives millions of couples to the distance? One of the most common reasons for long distance relationships is college. College students make up a third of the millions of couples in LDR. Whether someone met their partner in high school or found them on an online dating site, college is where LDR are happening most.

Another common reason for long distance relationships is the military. The United States has a massive number of soldiers fighting for the country. These leave many couples scattered across great distances, including Afghanistan and Irag. One military wife had very little time to discuss with her husband about the sudden change.

“We met in high school, I was a sophomore and he was a junior. He originally went off to college to play football while I was still in high school and after his first semester he came home and said that he was going army then left.

“We really had no time to discuss it because he got out of school for Christmas then shipped off the week after. His time in basic training was spent fighting through letters because we didn’t discuss him leaving like that,” said Sierra Smalls, 21, the military wife.

Many couples go through quick changes in their relationship that can sometimes cause them to end. Fortunately, Smalls and her husband made it through the fighting. “We made the distance work and I am so proud of him for his career. We are now married and Happy and I love my military lifestyle,” said Smalls.

Traveling jobs are rising to be a common reason for long distance relationships. There are many instances where, for example, someone can’t retire or sell his or her house as planned. So, he or she must spend half of the week in one city and the other half with his or her partner. The economy today plays a huge role in the lives of couples everywhere. People are looking for jobs to provide and they may have to leave their loved one behind to do so.

In today’s society, the internet has become very prominent in the lives of people everywhere. In America, online dating has become very popular. People of all ages are starting to find partners through this new craze. Long distance relationships commonly form out of these couples who found each other over the internet.

People will try anything if it means they will be happy in the long run. So, are long distance relationships that factor? Again, does absence make the heart grow fonder?

“Yes I am happy. I mean it is hard but nothing is more proud and rewarding than being with someone who serves and he does what he can to make me happy from afar,” said Smalls.

Long distance relationships may hold more components that are needed to have a successful, happy relationship. Robert Sternberg, a Professor of Human Development, psychologist and psychometrician, believes in three basic components of love are intimacy, commitment, and passion. In general, intimacy is greater in LDR than in local relationships. Communication over distance is more intimate, positive, and less likely to cause an argument. Long distance couples say the conversations that take place have more meaning, because they get less of them. This allows couples to be more intimate in the time they have.

“While in basic training, it was all letters and one call in four months. Now we talk on the phone and text every day. I appreciate our conversation so much more. Our conversations are what I look forward to all day. I like to hear stories of his day, but through these conversations is where I learn about who he is as a person. I feel like every day I learn something new about him, and that is the best part,” said Smalls.

A common factor that couples say is crucial in LDR is commitment. Because the couple is separated over distance, trust and commitment play a huge role in the success of the relationship. Some couples, like most people, feel temptations. This temptation greatens over the distance. Someone may seek just a touch from another person, which they lack from their partner. LDR end because of cheating suspension more than in local relationships.

Passion is also a vital component of love according to Sternberg. Each couple is different and will have different definitions of passion. Passion is required in LDR and local relationships. Many couples find their passion in sexual activity. Even with the distance, it is important that LDR keep the sex alive. With modern technology, it has become even easier. In most cases of cheating, one partner was not being satisfied and had to look for another person to fulfill their needs.

Not all LDR last forever. Why is it working for some couples but not others? If there is consistent negativity in the relationship from one or both partners, this can cause an end to the relationship. Positivity between the couple is important. They have to believe they can get through the time they are apart, until they can see each other once again.

Maintaining a long distance relationship, like any relationship, is difficult. There are several things that the couple can do to savor the relationship. Assurance is crucial. Each partner needs to know that they are in the relationship for the “long hull.” Affirmation of commitment and support may save the relationship over distance or difficult times. Openness is another strategy to maintaining the LDR. Disclosure of emotions, concerns, confidences, and beliefs between the couple only happens when there is trust in the relationship. Having the feeling that the couple can tell each other anything and everything holds the relationship, whether there is distance or not.

Long distance relationships never work, the colloquial wisdom goes. Or rather, they’ll work for a while: You’ll trade a few texts, Skype a few times, maybe even visit once in a while. But the heartache of being apart and living separate lives will start to wear on you, and soon enough, things will fizzle out.

Not true, according to a small but growing number of social science studies. Long-distance relationships are, in many ways, stronger than relationships between couples who live together or close by, shows a new study published today in the Journal of Communication.

“While the public and the science community hold a pessimistic view towards long distance (LD), this research provides compelling support for the opposite side – long distance is not necessarily inferior to geographically close dating,” says Crystal Jiang, an assistant professor of communication at City University of Hong Kong.

Jiang’s research found that people in long-distance relationships reported feeling emotionally closer to their partners than people in relationships with people who were literally — geographically — closer. Long-distance couples also reported sharing more with their partners, and feeling like their partners were really listening.

“You always hear people say ‘long-distance relationships suck’ or ‘long-distance relationships never work out,’” Jiang says. “Indeed, our culture, particularly American culture, emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values.”

It’s especially reassuring to hear this now, as so many couples today are living apart. Three million Americans live apart from their spouses (for reasons other than divorce or discordance), Jiang says. It’s a trend that’s has spawned the term “commuter marriages” in recent headlines reflecting the new realities of tough economic times — you’ve got to go where the job is, after all. And many college students, not surprisingly, live apart from their partners – up to 50 percent are in a long-distance relationship, according to one estimate in a 2005 report.

It gets harder to estimate how many non-married, non-college students are in long-distance relationships, but according to one estimate, 14 percent of dating relationships were long-distance, according to the Center for the Study of Long-Distance Relationships. (Yes, such a thing once existed; sadly, it has closed).

Last January, Nicole Kendrot, who’s now 26, moved back to her home town of Rochester, N.Y., and decided to give online dating a try. She soon met Richard Smith, who lived in Rochester, and the two started dating. But just two months into their relationship, Kendrot was offered a web designer job in New York City, 333 miles and a six-hour drive from Rochester, with the company she was freelancing for. She felt like she had to take the job, and moved in May of last year. Since then, she and Smith have been dating long distance.

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“It hasn’t been as hard as I expected it to be,” says Smith. The couple talk at least once every day via Google Hangout, which means they get to see each other’s faces every day, too. They sometimes use the Google service to just, literally, “hang out” – they tore through the first three seasons of “Arrested Development” on Netflix together that way.

In the new study, 63 heterosexual dating couples independently completed online surveys every day for one week. Their ages ranged from 18 to 34, but the average age was 20, and most were college students. About 80 percent of the couples considered their relationship committed or serious, and the average length of their relationships was 22 months. On average, the long-distance couples had been separated for about 17 months.

Researchers asked them to track their interactions with their partners: how often they communicated, how long they talked and what they used to do it – phone calls, video chats, instant messages, email, texting or seeing each other face-to-face.

The couples in long-distance relationships reported interacting with each other a little less often every day than the couples who lived close by. But the separated couples reported “experiencing greater intimacy” – or, feeling closer to their partners, as intimacy is defined here – than the couples who were geographically closer.

That’s definitely been the case for Smith and Kendrot.

“Not only does it force you to keep in touch, it forces you to make an effort to do that,” Smith says. In other words, if you’re dating someone nearby, it gets easy to take the relationship for granted, and to maybe not put in as much work as you should, he says. “But if you’re in a long-distance relationship for a year, it’s pretty certain you really like that person,” he continues. “If you don’t put in a good amount of effort, you just stop talking to each other.”

During the not-quite-two-years that Michael and Ally Cuneo have been married , Michael has been deployed twice. He left for the second time in May, and will be back just before Christmas. Today

Kendrot agrees. “Every day, you make that choice to be in it,” says Kendrot, who next week will be moving back to Rochester to be with Smith full time. (She was able to work things out with her job so she can work remotely.) “It’s not the hardest thing in the world, but it’s definitely not an easy situation.”

The study also found that people in long-distance relationships reported being more open with their partners, and that their partners were in return more open with them, something that sounds right to Ally Cuneo, 20, whose husband, Michael, 21, was deployed in May.

“You have to have more trust in each other with distance,” says Cuneo, who lives in Kailua, Hawaii. She and her husband, who’s a Marine, have been married for nearly two years, during which he’s been deployed twice. “We’re completely open and honest with each other. There’s nothing we hide, there are no secrets,” she says.

But the reason you see your faraway lady- or gentleman-lover in such a rosy light may be precisely because he or she is far away, points out Dr. Gail Saltz, a New York City psychiatrist and frequent TODAY contributor. This new study, and others before it, have shown that long distance partners tend to idealize each other, or see them in unrealistically positive terms.

“It’s easier to hold on to this idealized view of the other person when you’re not with them all the time,” Saltz says. That idealization can make the reunion difficult, once the honeymoon vibes have worn off. Cuneo says last time her husband returned after a long deployment, she had to remind herself, “He’s been gone for eight months; he’s not going to remember I like the dishwasher loaded a certain way.”

But it’s a generally positive takeaway message here for couples in long-distance relationships. It’s so hard to be away from each other, but your relationship really can take it, Jiang says. (In fact, past research has shown that long-distance couples are no more likely to break up than geographically close couples.)

“If being geographically apart is inevitable, people should not despair,” Jiang says. Long-distance relationships “are not doomed to fail,” she says, at least not more easily than relationships between two people who live close by. “I think such findings give people confidence given long-distance romance is much more common nowadays,” she says.

Melissa is a health reporter and editor for NBCNews.com and TODAY.com. Sometimes she tweets things here: @melissadahl.

Data Mining Reveals First Evidence That Absence Really Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

The proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder” describes the feeling of greater affection between friends and lovers who are kept apart. It is a phrase that, in on one form or another, can be traced back for millennia—the Roman poet Sextus is credited with the earliest version of the phrase.

There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence that friends and lovers can feel a closer bond when they are apart. But what of hard scientific evidence? Is it really the case that humans feel a greater bond when they are away from their friends and lovers?

Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Kunal Bhattacharya at Aalto University in Finland and a few pals who say they have searched for evidence to support the proverb by data mining mobile phone records. And they say this clearly shows that humans invest more in relationships when there is a risk of this relationship weakening.

First some background. Anthropologists have long noted that many primates invest more effort in relationships after individuals have been forced apart. For example, baboon mothers spend significant time feeding their young and so have little left for the social task of grooming other adult baboons.

But when the young ones are weaning and the mothers have more time on their hands, they invest even more time than usual in grooming in an attempt to repair any social relationships that have begun to weaken. In other words, absence clearly makes baboon hearts grow fonder.

The same pattern of behavior between individuals who have been apart can be observed in many other animals, including bonobos, elephants, and even hyenas.

So it’s not really a surprise to think that humans might invest more resources to shore up relationships that have somehow become weaker. Nevertheless, good evidence to back up this hypothesis has been hard to gather.

One factor changing our ability to study human communication behavior is the advent of large data sets associated with patterns of communication. In particular, the data associated with mobile phone use has become a rich source of empirical evidence about all kinds of human activity, such as travel, wealth distribution and mating patterns.

Now Bhattacharya and co have mined this rich vein for evidence that absence makes the heart grow fonder. They analyzed a large data set of call records from a European country spanning seven consecutive months in 2007.

Their hypothesis is that the strength of relationships is reflected in the number and duration of calls between individuals. The question they attempt to answer is whether people invest more time in relationships that matter when these relationships are at risk. “Friendships require constant time investment for their maintenance, and failure to match quite specific investment schedules leads inexorably to a rapid reduction in relationship quality,” they say.

Their first task was to measure how often pairs of people contact each other and how the time between calls varied over time. In particular, they focused on pairs who were geographically separated and so unable to meet easily. They then measured how the duration of the calls varied as the gap in time and distance increased.

The results make for interesting reading. They found a clear increase in the duration of calls between people when the time since the last call was greater than average. In other words, people spend more time catching up when they have been out of contact for longer. “Our findings demonstrate a logarithmic increase in call duration with an increase in inter-call gap between a pair of individuals,” say Bhattacharya and co.

But they also found a number of caveats. The effect is significantly more pronounced when males call other males and females call other females and when younger people, particularly those in their 30s, call each other. In particular, the effect is stronger for people separated by larger distances. “These results suggest that when individuals fail to contact each other frequently enough they compensate by devoting more time to the next call,” says the team.

In other words, humans are just like other primates, and many other social animals, when it comes to maintaining relationships.

Of course, this evidence says nothing about the way people feel when they make these calls—whether there is actually an increase in “fondness.” But if the amount of time devoted to a relationship is a proxy for this kind of emotion then the conclusion is clear—for all of us, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1608.01842: Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder: Social Compensation When Failure To Interact Risks Weakening A Relationship

Absence does make the heart grow fonder – but only if it is a man’s.

Scientists who discovered this reckon it may be part of an unconscious male strategy designed to help men outsmart an unfaithful partner.

The longer they have been parted, the more attractive and desirable a man rates his woman. However, women do not find that parting adds any lustre to their man’s particular charms.

For women, male attractiveness remains unchanged no matter how long the separation.

Todd Shackleford, of the Florida Atlantic University in the United States, reached this conclusion after asking 692 men and women in committed heterosexual relationships to fill out a questionnaire.

They were asked when they last had sex, and how long they had been apart since. They also had to say how attractive they thought their partner was – to them and to others – and how eager they were to sleep with them again.

Among men, the longer they had been apart, the more attractive and desirable they thought their partners to be.

“They aren’t aware of it,” Dr Shackleford told the British magazine New Scientist. “They just think: ‘she looks hot’.”

Women, by contrast, rate their partners’ attractiveness the same regardless of the length of time they have been apart.

The difference may be connected to an earlier study that showed that men unconsciously reduce the danger of caring for a child that is not their own by producing more sperm the longer they have been apart.

This gives them a greater chance of fathering a child when they get together again – even, perhaps, out-competing any sperm an unfaithful spouse may be carrying from another man who has taken advantage of their absence.

Shackleford believes that the psychological changes caused by separation underlie these physiological changes in sperm production. It is all part of an undeclared sex war in which the interests of men and women may not always be identical. – The Times, London

Does Distance Really Make The Heart Grow Fonder? 7 Reasons A Long-Distance Relationship May Be The Best Thing For Your Love Life

As a long-distance relationship (LDR) connoisseur, it’s safe to say that distance does make the heart(s) grow fonder, but I also think making a long-distance relationship work is based on how much relationship energy each partner puts into it. That said, approximately 14 million people are in LDRs as of 2015, 4-5 million of them unmarried, so they must be doing something right. Ten percent of marriages in the U.S. started as LDRs and 3.75 million married couples are in an LDR. About one-third (32.5 percent) are in college.

With all the people on the planet—72 billion (!!)—there are plenty of men and women to date, so I don’t think anyone gets into an LDR without wanting to, like, “Hey, you know what would be a great idea? Let’s be in a long-distance relationship!” I think when people decide to have them, they have faith that the relationship will last until they can be united for good (or not, depending on what each wants out of it; I know some couples with long-distance marriages and they seem very content).

There are all kinds of reasons people get into LDRs:

  • They attend different colleges or grad schools
  • Someone studies abroad
  • It’s more economical
  • They get an out-of-town job they cannot pass up
  • They go on a trip for a few months (work or fun, pre-planned or not)
  • They go take care of a sick relative or friend
  • And 99 other reasons I cannot think of right now

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For instance, I know a married father, Chris, with three kids who works in Manhattan (in banking) Monday-Friday, then commutes home to his family in Chicago on weekends. (Plus side: he earns tons of airline miles to save for future vacations with his family.) Chris said that after his old employer in Chicago folded, he was stuck—and had three teenage mouths to feed (as well as his and his wife’s). “Manhattan always seemed to be recruiting bankers and men in finance,” he said, “so I widened my job search and got several job offers there while getting none in Chicago.”

Here’s why distance—whether it’s five miles or 5000—makes the heart grow fonder.

1. It makes you come up with a plan.

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Yes, some long-distance relationships stay that way—for instance, 2.9 percent of all married couples in the U.S. are in one. However, most people in LDRs are in them because it’s usually temporary and there’s an end date—someone is finishing up a semester of college or someone has to go to another location for work, but will be back in six months. If you don’t have a planned end date, I suggest creating one. It’ll give you both something to look forward to, and we’re all better at getting things done when we have deadlines, right?

2. It makes you closer — even sexually.

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I know, you may be rolling your eyes how this is the biggest oxymoron. But, just because you’re not in the same physical space as your significant other, it doesn’t mean you don’t grow closer, emotionally — and physically. After all, I know people not in long-distance relationships who only see each other a couple times a week. And, when couples have kids, they sometimes see each other even less (one parent is shuffling them off to school on their way to work while the other is at work, cleaning up the kids’ toys, or planning what to make for dinner).

Researchers at Queen’s University in Ontario and the University of Utah found that couples in long-distance relationships experience more intimacy, communication, and satisfaction. LDRs also make you closer by limiting the amount of time you “talk”—whether that means texting, Skyping, or actually talking. I know there’s WhatsApp, which allows you to send each other messages without having to pay for SMS. But, by not having access to each other 24/7 (because of varying schedules, timezones, etc.), the time you do have together tends to count more. And, with all the technology out there, there’s no excuse to not make it work or at least try your best to make it work (again, though, it’s most ideal when you have an end date in mind).

3. It makes you think outside the box.

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Whether you’re preparing a surprise package to send to your loved one (sort of like care packages from parents when you were in college—weren’t those the best?!), composing a handwritten love letter, or deciding which city to meet in next (one LDR couple I know rarely visit each other’s towns; instead, they prefer to meet in a new U.S. location each time, which I think is pretty darn cool), now’s the time to be creative. Thus, it makes the partner on the receiving end all the more appreciate of you and your cleverness. And, when/if you are in the same city again, you can still do these sweet, romantic things for each other—from sending letters in the mail to planning fun excursions.

4. It makes you come up with fun dates.

Like being creative in the ways you communicate, now’s the time to brainstorm and think up long-distance dates—normal ones and unique ones. Just because you’re not physically sitting at the same dinner table, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat or have drinks together over Skype. Coffee dates, ice cream dates, food dates… the possibilities are endless. With the way technology is today, you can also “bring” your long-distance love along with you throughout your day, giving him/her a tour of your city, your apartment, your work… The movie Hank and Asha demonstrates this very well. So, set dates and keep them! Which leads to my next point…

5. It makes you accountable — and communicate better.

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When you only have “x” amount of time to talk and see each other online, it makes you accountable (a very valuable trait, long-distance relationship or not). You don’t want to miss your 7 p.m. phone call or Facetime date, do you, because who knows when your S.O. can talk again? Then, when you are together again, you’ll (hopefully) still have the being-accountable mindset, plan dates, and show up when you say you will show up. Basically, this is all to say that you communicate better and perfect your communication skills and styles of doing so.

6. It allows you to explore your own life and interests more.

Even people in non-long-distance relationships need time to themselves. When your S.O. is back in the same city with you, you two should have alone time, also. When you are apart, you can explore new activities and hobbies on your own or with friends. Some, you can later do together while others may be better left to do on your own (like knit or that wine-drinking/painting night with your girlfriends).

7. It gives you something to look forward to.

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An old therapist of mine used to warn me not to “jump right in” when starting a new relationship, saying the crash-and-burn rate was higher that way versus parceling togetherness out. She equated it to eating ice cream—if you eat it every day, it loses its novelty. If you eat it once or a couple times a week, however, you start to look forward to it. From my past LDRs, I know my then-boyfriend and I really looked forward to our phone dates, getting mail from each other (yes, physical mail!), planning trips to see each other, and seeing each other.

Images: Flickr; Giphy

10 Smart Ways To Be Closer Than Ever In A Long Distance Relationship

Go ahead and overshare … it will actually help.

Building emotional and physical intimacy is a key aspect of all healthy romantic relationships and marriages. Doing so is based on a deep knowledge of one another, which typically comes from spending lots of time together.

That’s why learning how to make a long-distance relationship work comes with its own special challenges.

Without spending time together on a regular basis, you miss out on the little details that help define your partner, and vice versa.

You may not know what radio station he listens to in the car, or if he’s changed his morning routine.

You might not hear about that new friend at work, or her favorite new television show.

And while these details may seem unimportant, knowing them undoubtedly makes us feel closer to our partner and helps build and deepen our intimate connection with them.

Similarly, the comfort, familiarity and chemical bond you get from being physically close to one another — whether when holding hands, kissing or sharing sexual experiences — is super-important.

Long-distance couples have limited time together, therefore limiting their time to develop a physically intimate relationship.

Some long-distance couples are able to have frequent, long conversations, which helps to overcome some of these challenges.

In fact, some of these couples get to know each other quite well with the help of lengthy, late night phone calls and Skype or FaceTime chats.

Still, without spending time together in person, intimacy can suffer.

To make it just a bit less daunting, here are 10 tips on how to build intimacy and make a long distance relationship work.

1. Visit each other at home

Seeing each other is key, so regular visits are a necessity. But, be sure to stay at each other’s homes instead of just taking vacation weekends together.

Vacations are great, but they don’t give us any insight into our partner’s daily life.

As I previously mentioned, intimacy develops from a deep sense of familiarity with your partner — this familiarity starts at home.

2. Become an oversharer

The most important thing you can do to build intimacy while you’re apart is talk.

Talk about your day, and ask about your partner’s. Talk about the details, however unimportant you think they seem.

3. Video chat daily

Even those with the busiest of schedules can make time for a quick video chat each day.

Being able to see one another daily, even for five minutes, goes a long way toward developing intimacy. The consistent visual connections build familiarity and confidence in knowing one another.

4. Send photos often

Taking photos throughout your day, and sending them instantly is a quick and easy way to share your daily experiences.

It also adds to the transparency of your daily life, which is a key factor in keeping trust alive.

5. Always be willing to learn

No matter how much you try to build intimacy, living apart means there will likely be things about your partner that you don’t know.

Whether it’s his new favorite beer or her latest work drama, there’s often something you yet to hear about. Recognize this, and try not to let it overpower how much you do know.

Try your best not to get jealous of the people who are in your partner’s daily life — people who may know more of the details.

6. Respect the importance of making an effort

Long-distance relationships often require more effort from each partner to keep the relationship healthy. You’ll have to make time for each other when you’re busy, talk when you don’t feel like talking, and spend time and money on travel.

Recognizing this and respecting its importance will make for a healthier, more intimate relationship.

7. Set an intimacy goal for each visit

To make the best of the time you do spend together, take time to plan an “intimacy goal” for each visit.

One weekend might be all about staying in bed to develop physical intimacy. Another might be about showing your partner the details of your everyday routine. The next visit might be about meeting local friends.

When you design your visits with an intent to increase intimacy, the visits will likely feel much more fulfilling and bring you much closer than they would otherwise.

8. Fantasize

Instead of trying to forget about the physical intimacy you can’t have while you’re apart, fantasize about it.

Let your mind create stories that you can share with your partner, and consider acting them out next time you meet.

9. Start the countdown

When you make the choice to pursue the relationship long-distance, decide how long you’d be able to live apart. Envision your future living together, and create a plan to get there.

Take measurable steps along the way and stick to the plan.

10. Enjoy your personal time

Instead of focusing on how much you want to share every moment with your partner, appreciate the personal time you have while the two of you are apart. Do the things that make you happy, and tell your partner about them. The happier and more comfortable you are as a person, the better you’ll be able to communicate with your partner, and the more intimate your relationship will be.

Rebecca A. Marquis is the author of How to Be a Good Boyfriend: 34 ways to keep her from getting annoying, jealous or crazy.

Those who are spared from it are in bliss while those who are in it will wholly agree how hard long-distance relationships can be. Unlike other couples, long distance couples are much away from all the good things that physical proximity brings, like hugs, cuddles and most important of all, sex. Sex not only brings couples together and binds them for long but it also creates positive psychological outcomes for the entire relationship like trust, empathy and a massive reduction in stress.

Healthy sex with a partner can help both persons involved deal better with anxiety, be happy and have better mental health. This is not to say that the modern, hook up and disappear next morning sex, too will reap the same benefits, in fact, that can create issues for both men and women internally as it strips away human connection from the activity, while being disguised as a temporary pleasure. But in a long distance relationship, months and years of sexual deprivation can be much harder on both partners than casual sex, so in such a situation what should a long distance couples do to keep the sexual spark and connection alive?

  • Have Digital/video sex as needed, preferably as much as possible. This the most effective way for you and your long distance partner to experience each other sexually. Since you both are so far from each other, this is a sure fire way to pull you closer in an intimate manner. How you do it is entirely up to you. You can either plan it out a few days in advance, or just get in the mood while you are having a regular video call to discuss the daily. Whatever it is, be prepared to put in some effort as sex online is hugely different from sex in real life. But you know what doesn’t change in either case? Your imagination. Imagine how you would want to achieve maximum pleasure with your partner in real life and then tell them that. Take their opinions on what they want you to do and similarly give them some instructions as well. A healthy sexual relationship will be possible if both the partners truly want and make the effort to do that.
  • Send tit bits. Since you are committed enough to be in a long distance relationship, you can pump up the fun factor by teasing your partner with sexy/naughty/funny but hot pictures or videos. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged professional looking perfect image, instead, accept your situation, your limitations and drop those inhibitions. Take a video in the shower, or a picture while getting dressed and share with a simple loving message like “Miss you” or “Wish you could help me with the zipper on this dress”. By adding sweetness, you won’t feel like a sex robot every time you send a nude and it will take the pressure of seduction off, while still putting a smile on your partner’s face and a suggestive thought in their minds.
  • Experiment with different platforms. Something as simple as a sexy voice note in your turned on voice can do the trick sometimes, while at other times you may want to get creative. For those times adult chat rooms can be a fun thing to try where you can make alias accounts with alter ego personalities and then seduce each other. This will greatly help you in getting rid of all your shyness and you can make a secret pact of never discussing the activities of the chat room sex to keep that mysterious kink alive.
  • Shed the label. So why is dirty talk considered dirty anyways? For many people, especially women, dirty talk can be a very uncomfortable experience which they feel embarrassed about thanks to all the sexual and moral policing that our society does to a women’s sex life. Yet the truth is there is nothing wrong or dirty about sexual talks. It’s perfectly normal to have the sexual urge and to express it imaginatively is a great attribute that will make your lover feel wanted, desired and sexy. So just do it. Tell them how much your “whatever part of the body” misses their “whatever part of the body” when it did “that”. Communication is the key to maintaining a relationship and if you can initiate sex while slipping your hand under the sheets, you can also do it on the phone.
  • Write a sex story. For those who really want to open up with their partners about their sexual fantasies, this is a perfect outlet. Write a short, erotic sex story and leave it on a breath holding cliff hanger. Pass it to your partner to continue and keep writing and passing until one of you either writes the end or calls video. Not only it will be highly effective in extracting both people’s individual desires but it will also be a great exercise in trust building and bonding, and a fun memory to hold on to for years to come.

Just like a healthy body needs good food and routine exercises, a healthy relationship needs good sex, positive communication and lots of love to combat stress, mistrust and drifting apart. If the relationship is a long distant one, more of all these ingredients must be added on a regular basis to keep you and your loved one together until you can finally be next to each other.

7 Ways To Maintain Your Sex Life In A Long-Distance Relationship

While there are many untold upsides to being in a long-distance relationship, like the ability to choose where you live and have a place to yourself, one challenge that comes with the territory of LDRs is maintaining your sex life when you and your partner are apart. Fortunately, thanks largely to technology, physical distance doesn’t have to make you sexually distant.

“LDRs can feel more challenging because you don’t have the luxury or convenience of being side by side or a quick Lyft ride away from one another, but that doesn’t have to be detrimental to your bond,” sex educator Anne Hodder tells Bustle. “Couples in long-distance relationships not only have to commit to being one another’s partner, and the consistent work that it requires, but also commit to putting forth the effort necessary to communicate needs, desires, feelings, and fears to one another from afar without the benefit of being able to share physical space or hold hands. While that might sound inconvenient, it actually can be conducive to an even stronger intimate connection — because you both have to be 100 percent ‘in it’ to make it work.”

Here are some tips to try if you and your partner want more out of your long-distance sex life.

1. Use Teledildonic Toys

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Fortunately for couples in LDRs, you don’t have to be in the same room to sexually stimulate each other. How do you accomplish that with miles between you? Through teledildonic toys, of course. OhMiBod’s Bluemotion Nex 1- 2nd Generation, Club Vibe 3.OH Panty Vibe, and Fuse can all be controlled remotely via an app. We-Vibe’s Sync also connects to an app that lets you and your partner video chat, so you can experience sex with all your senses.

2. Exchange NSFW Films

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What’s just as hot as (or even hotter than) looking into each other’s eyes during sex? Watching each other masturbate. And this activity can be enjoyed whether you’re geographically close or far apart. If you’re shy about being naked on video, Astroglide’s resident sexologist Dr. Jess O’Reilly suggests filming yourself in the dark or just recording your voice. “Filming yourself in the throes of solo passion might be too intimidating, so consider sending a very short clip of your self-pleasure session filmed in the dark,” she tells Bustle. “Your lover will benefit from the sounds, and the lack of a clear picture helps to build mystery and anticipation.”

3. Leave Behind Sexy Surprises When You Visit

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Catch your partner off guard by leaving a pair of underwear, your signature perfume, or a dirty love note at their place as you depart, Dr. Jess says. That way, they’ll be able to enjoy your company even in your absence.

4. Use A Couples’ App

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Couples’ apps like Couple, We Did It, and Happy Couple help couples stay connected and get to know each other long-distance, and more R-rated ones like Desire help keep the spark alive. Dr. Jess recommends InTheMood for couples who want to flirt and communicate their desires across long distances. “You’ll likely find you’re more playful and at ease if you use a separate app, as opposed to texting sweet nothings in between practical messages,” she says.

5. Write Your Own Erotica

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Instead of searching erotica sites for masturbation material, how about creating your own that both of you can enjoy? It might even give you inspiration for when you’re back together. Hodder suggests sending your stories to each other over snail mail if you want them to feel extra personalized.

6. Talk On WhatsApp

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WhatsApp can keep your messages more private and secure than regular old texts, says Hodder. “It feels a little naughtier, or like you can role play with partners as though they’re flings or side pieces.”

7. Enjoy A Mutual Masturbation Session

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Mutual masturbation has lots of benefits, like teaching each other what you like and enjoying sexual intimacy. And the best part is, apps like Skype and Google Hangouts let you do it from anywhere. “Allowing each other to laugh and feel weird about it at first” will help dissolve the tension, says Hodder.

And, of course, don’t focus just on the sex. “Remember that emotional connection is an important part of a strong sex life,” says Hodder. “So don’t forget to communicate your dreams, ideas, excitement for the future, and what you love about your partner beyond their sexy parts.”

Long distance relationship love

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