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Surviving long distance relationships

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

Long distance love

Anyone who has ever counted the seconds until her boyfriend returns from a business trip understands: Distance is no fun. But imagine if your partner lived in another state, or even country, and you had to subsist on occasional visits. Could you do it? Here are some long distance relationship tips to get you through.

Woman on WebcamKeep the lines of communication open

"Long distance relationships depend heavily on keeping something hopeful - an event or meeting on the near horizon - in the forefront of the relationship," advises Marty Babits, LCSW, BCD, author of The Power of the Middle Ground: A Couple's Guide to Renewing Your Relationship. Knowing when you can look forward to a relaxed or extended conversation can make a the difference between feeling that the connection is fading or being maintained; if possible, having set times when you know you will be in contact can help enormously.

Befriend technology

Babits says programs like Skype can make a big difference but, again, partners that feel they can access their partner in times of distress, or at least reach them and get in touch with them in relatively short order, can go a long way toward 'shortening' the distance psychologically. Having a contingency plan to signal moments of exceptional need for contact can help; e.g., partners can set up understandings like:  'If you are facing a loss or threat of some kind that is extraordinarily difficult situation that you want to share with me or talk to me about, signal me with the term, 'code-blue' so I will know to get back to you as quickly as I possibly can.'

Expert advice

So how do you keep your LDR hot? We asked Elayne Savage, author of 'Breathing Room - Creating Space to Be a Couple. Elayne says with LDRs you can live the dream and you don't have to live the reality. Go with that ideal and make your relationship as hot as possible, despite the distance.

5 Tips to Keep Your Long Distance Relationship Hot

Sure, pheromones can't do their job during your separations, but hopefully there will be enough oxytocin, the 'bonding' hormone, to last between visits.

  • A few romantic emails or sexy phone calls might help keep some juice flowing in-between your face to-face contacts.
  • And of course there are web cams.
  • The 'high' of anticipation keeps the sexual charge going and going.
  • A sexy love letter or care package (yes, snail mail!)
  • At the end of time spent together, tuck a sexy note into your lover's suitcase.

Long distance relationships can offer a unique opportunity to nourish your space and independence, and remain connected to someone you love. Remember, though, treat this relationship with as much nurturing and respect as you would a more geographically desirable relationship. And keep saving those frequent flyer miles…they can come in handy!

More long distance relationship tips

Keeping a long distance relationship red-hot
How to flirt with text messaging
Long distance relationships: 5 Expert tips on making them work

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