Long Distance Relationship Advice: 3 Tips to Making (and Keeping) the Connection
Distance makes the heart grow fonder…or yonder. When dealing with the dating phenomenon of a long distance relationship (or, LDR, for short), there are a few things to be considered. A personal fan of the LDR myself, I have heard and experienced firsthand the pros and cons of such a relationship, and as such is the case, here are a few tips to keeping things, “fond” between the two of you.
Tip One: Make Communication a Priority
Whether a car or plane ride away, communication is the glue that will hold your connection together. It is important that you both are honest and leave nothing to conjecture or assumption. While life happens, try to make an effort to call or text when you say you will, and use your time to communicate positively and affectionately.
Tip Two: Visit Often
Mind you, the term “visit” is relative. A “visit” may include face-to-face interaction, as well as Skype, Face Time, or other virtual platforms. Visiting allows the person to see you, and to get an idea of who you are when they are not around. While you don’t have to look like a supermodel at every interaction, make sure that you look like you would for any date—whatever that means to you.
Tip Three: Set standards for your relationship early
This is a great conversation to have once you’ve decided to enter the unique and exciting world of the LDR. Please note that standards are not rules, and because such is the case, there is no punishment for “breaking” them; however, these are simply mutually agreed upon guidelines that allow both your individual and collective needs to be met within the relationship. Your standards can include everything from how often you will visit, to when you will visit face to face and how much (or little) time can elapse before we see each other again.
We took the time to question a recently married couple (over 40) who met online. Here is what Omar Birch and Jennifer Cash Birch had to say:
1. What was the biggest challenge for you with the distance?
Jennifer: Not being able to see him when I want. When the chemistry began, I wanted to know what it felt like to be around him. Wanting to know if the chemistry would be the same in person as it was long distance.
Omar: Not being able to see or feel her or have her scent
2. How did you stay connected when you were apart?
Jennifer: Communication!! I can’t stress this enough. When you don’t have that face-to-face communication, it forces you to connect in other ways. We talked pretty much everyday either by phone, Skype. or email. Mainly by phone or Skype. And often, too. Not like we had to talk to each other 10 times a day. We had lives and things to do, but we just liked talking to each other; therefore, we spoke several times during the day. Even if it was just to say “Hey, I was just thinking about you. Hope you’re having a good day.” Keeping communication open is important.
Omar: A lot of talking & plenty of phone sex.
3. Jennifer – What did Omar do to make you feel secure with the distance?
I think one of the things Omar did was to be honest with me. Honest about his past relationships and views on relationships in general and what he wanted in a wife. I just didn’t think that he would be the kind of man who had someone else on the side while trying to talk to me. But, I was secure in myself that even if he was that kind of man, I would of felt like it would be HIS loss b/c he couldn’t get anyone better if he tried.
4. Omar – What did Jennifer do to keep you pursuing her in spite of the distance.
She kept it mysterious, always had me wondering what we were gonna talk about next or what she wanted next
5. What advice would you like to share.
Jennifer: You never know where love will find you; so, have an open heart. Never thought I’d meet someone on Facebook. Furthest thing on my mind. But, I’m glad I gave Omar a chance.
Omar: Love lives in strange places & it will find you when you least expect it or in my case where you least expect it. You don’t choose who to love, love if it finds you worthy will direct your path.
In conclusion, an LDR is like any other relationship. To work, it requires the efforts of both parties involved, as well as a committed to overcoming the challenges that being in two different places can bring. It is not for those who refuse to compromise, or communicate—but, then again, no relationship is—but can be a beautiful experience for two people willing to go the distance (Pun intended!).