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Long distance relationships are the bane of confirmed misanthropes and trials for willing romantics. To the lonely lover, they are both comfort and pain. In this age of simplified travel, lightening-speed communication, and relationships that blossom and unfold over broadband internet connections, it's no wonder we often find love to be geographically inconvenient.

But being in love with someone in another city, state, or country doesn't mean that the relationship must unduly suffer. You and your partner can make it work—using creativity, communication, and technology. However, these three things can do nothing either separately or as a combination unless the relationship possesses a final, vital element: trust.

Communication, as the glue for any relationship, is especially important for two lovers who are unable to snuggle, kiss, hold hands, or make love on a regular basis. For long distance relationships, this communication must come mostly in verbal form. Of course, no person can hope to make up for the missing physical affection through mail or the internet, but care and attention can be shown through other means. Surprise gifts are always nice, though they don't have to be extravagant to say, "I'm thinking of you." An even more personal token for your lover is a garment (or piece of jewelry) of your own that can be sent through the mail in your stead—something that can either be worn as a reminder or symbol of loyalty, or a garment that carries your special cologne or perfume fragrance. For daily communication, emails, instant messages, and phone calls are ideal, but nothing beats a carefully-worded love letter devoted to fantasies and sexy innuendos, even given the time it may take to reach your lover. And don't forget the miracle of web cams, which can get you as close to your partner as you can get without being face-to-face. Plan a conversation or tease session using web cams and microphones to close the space.

While you must focus on your lover, it isn't always healthy to focus only on him or her. This can lead to discontent, restlessness, and an urge to stray. Have other hobbies, interests, and friends. Take yourself out or enjoy a platonic dinner or drink with a person with whom you share a rapport. Keep your mind occupied with other things you care about.

In addition, make sure that stress does not prevent you from staying true to your intentions where your partner is concerned. Stress can make us do crazy things—argue, clam up, or even cheat. Get enough exercise (telling yourself that your lover is going to worship your shapely, strong body!) and don't wallow in your own longing for physical affection. Explain your frustrations to your counterpart so that there is no misunderstanding or disagreement about what you are going through personally. It is highly likely that he or she is experiencing the same thing on some level—get it out in the open. While you can't be physical support for each other, you can be of emotional assistance. Sharing problems becomes a foundation on which you both can grow. After all, overcoming obstacles together can only strengthen what is already there.

To succeed, you and your partner must trust each other, and live up to that trust. It may or may not be easy to do, but without it the relationship will fail later if not sooner. If you and your partner communicate and truly love one another, trust can be an obtainable quality in your relationship. It can be easy to convince yourself that there is "something going on" when you can't see what your lover is doing. However, any lack of trust will tear the relationship apart in due time, as will your own guilt if you happen to be in the position of betrayer. Taking each day as it comes, concerning yourself more with showing love than suspicion, and encouraging an open conversation on any topic of unease will eliminate the need for mistrust and encourage sincerity.

Surviving a long distance relationship can be a very special thing. The long distance relationship, after the distance has been removed, can be the beginning of a long lasting relationship.


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