Last year while attending a course in Oklahoma, I met the man I’m going to marry … a man from Italy! It must’ve been divine intervention that brought us together, because I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d meet someone while I was there – especially from another country. While we’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time together in-person, we’ve also spent a lot of time apart.
Neither one of us ever wanted a long-distance relationship and always said we’d never have one, but we knew we had a special connection worth exploring, so that’s what we’ve been doing the past year. Surprisingly, we’ve gotten closer during our times apart than I ever thought possible. For a long-distance relationship to grow and thrive, it has to be fun, passionate, loving, conscious and revealing.
Here’s what you need to know …
1. Skype Is Your New Best Friend.
Before this relationship, I was opposed to Skype. Why would I want someone to see me while talking to them? All I could think about was that now I had to put on makeup and fix my hair just to talk to someone!
Well, I was wrong. Skype is amazing! It’s not only free, it allows you to look into your lover’s eyes, see his expressions, and talk face-to-face. You can see their smile, the tear in their eye when something is wrong, or see when they’re upset. It creates a closeness that isn’t possible over the phone. It also allows you to see them naked! (Did I just say that?! Yes I did!)
Like I said, you still have to have fun together while you’re apart, which leads me to #2 …
2. You Need To Maintain the Passion and Sexual Energy.
Since you can’t go out on dates together, you need to date from a distance. Every morning, I wake up to a note in my e-mail box. I look forward to it!
Sometimes, out-of-nowhere, I send him an erotic note to start his day. Some of our messages are sweet and others are sexy and naughty. Nothing is off limits! We've also planned dates on Skype where we make time to really connect – verbally or sexually (if you catch my drift). It also never hurts to show up in sexy lingerie!
3. The 10-Minute Rule.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. I think conflict can be good if handled correctly. When a person tells me she and her partner never argue, I get suspicious.
People think that long-distance relationships aren’t “real” because you don’t see the person everyday. Perhaps there’s some validity to that, but if done right, a long-distance relationship reveals things very quickly because of the intensity. That’s good news and bad news. Since you don’t have the luxury of being in your partner’s presence – holding her when she’s upset, touching his hand when you need to apologize, or kissing when it’s time to make-up – you need to handle conflict and tension carefully.
We’ve learned that when things get heated, we take a 10-minute break, regroup and then call each other to resolve things. Before hanging up, we look at the time and then one of us literally calls back in 10 minutes on the dot, unless we decided beforehand more time apart is needed before coming back together.
I think this rule saved our relationship!
4. Be Conscious.
Take time to learn about each other. Ask the big questions. Make sure your goals, dreams, values and priorities are in alignment. As there are many challenges to overcome in a long-distance relationship, you want to make sure you’re on the same page if you’re being exclusive and not seeing other people.
Watch to see if your partner’s words and actions are congruent. Does he contact you when he says he will? Does she follow-through on the things she says are important to her? Listen and watch. Be mindful. If your intention is to spend the rest of your lives together, start setting joint goals and see how you can work together to achieve them. This creates a strong bond and is lots of fun, too.
5. Sometimes You Need A Quickie.
And no, I’m not referring to sex! While being intentional in your relationship is crucial, you also need to be light and playful. Long, deep meaningful conversations are great, but equally important are short, sweet, casual conversations.
Sometimes it’s nice to just to connect and say, “I love you, and I’ve gotta run. Have a great day!” Keep the spark alive by remembering that sometimes less is more. You don’t want all your conversations to revolve around where your relationship is headed or other serious topics. Being fun-loving will make your lover look forward to your next conversation. Like yin and yang, depth and playfulness go hand-in-hand.
All relationship have hurdles, whether you live in the same city or on opposite ends of the world. No two relationships are the same. Find what works best for you and your partner, make up your own rules, have fun, be mindful and enjoy the journey.