Sometimes in relationships, people can’t always be in the same place as their partner. A relationship that takes place when people are physically apart is called a long distance relationship. Long distance relationships can be difficult, but the distance can also make your relationship stronger. Some people even find that they like long distance relationships just as much as relationships where you’re both in the same place.
No matter the distance, it’s important for you and your partner to talk to each other and show that you care. Like any relationship, the way your long distance relationship works is up to you and your partner. The important thing is finding an arrangement that you both feel good about.
How can you stay in touch in long distance relationships?
You can figure out which way of talking works best for each of you, whether it’s texting, phone calls, emails, video calls, or even snail mail! Once you’ve found something that works, it helps to use it regularly. Different people have different needs when it comes to communication, but it’s a good idea to let your partner know you’re thinking of them once in a while!
You can also talk about how often you’d like to check in with each other. Often, it’s not possible or even wanted to be in constant contact, but there are other ways to stay in touch. Whether it’s a long conversation at the end of every week or quick “hellos” throughout the day, talking regularly can help you feel close to each other. Not every couple talks the same way, but talking is important in any relationship.
Doing things together, apart
Even though you’re far from one another, there are still things you can do to help you feel close. Sharing activities can help you feel more connected to your partner. Some things people might try include:
- Watching a movie together over a video chat service like Zoom or Discord
- Playing video games together online
- Making plans to visit each other
- Sending each other care packages
It can also help to reach out and let your partner know when you’re thinking about them or missing them. They might be thinking about you and missing you, too!
What about sex?
Long distance relationships can be hard because you don’t get as much physical contact and affection. Some people rely on physical expressions of love and attraction to feel desired and secure with their partner. When you’re far away from each other, it’s common to worry about losing the “spark” in your relationship. But many people find that there are ways to share your sexual feelings and satisfy each other even long-distance. Some find that distance makes their relationship even hotter!
You can try sexting, sending sexy photos, or having phone sex. Some may enjoy watching their partner masturbate over webcam, or listening to them masturbate over the phone. Even if you don’t want to share explicit messages, you can still remind your partner that you find them sexy and desirable. Sometimes, people like to share fantasies with their partners about what they might do if or when they’re together again. You can make use of the distance to explore sexual fantasies by writing about them for a partner before trying them. Having distance between you doesn’t mean you can’t have a satisfying and pleasurable sex life!
Some people find that they masturbate more often in long-distance relationships than in other relationships. There’s nothing wrong with masturbating when you’re in a relationship! Masturbation has been shown to improve mood, sleep quality, and even body image! Self pleasure can also teach you about your own sexual preferences. Knowing what feels good for you can improve your sex life with your partner!
Talk about expectations and desires
It’s important to talk to your partner when you’re in a long distance relationship. You and your partner may have certain expectations or needs. Since you’re not in the same place, you may have to be extra careful to make sure those things have been communicated clearly.
It can also help to talk about your boundaries. If you’ve moved away for school or work, maybe there are hours in the day where you won’t be available to chat with your partner. Talking about boundaries and expectations can set your long distance relationship up for success and prevent misunderstandings! For example, if you and your partner agreed not kiss or sleep with other people, it’s important to talk to them about it. If you would be upset without speaking at least once a day, it helps to let them know.
You may find that you have different expectations and needs, or that what you need changes over time. That’s okay! The important thing is that you’re able to talk about it and find solutions that everyone feels good about. Long-distance relationships can be just as loving, supportive, and happy as in-person ones.
Possible benefits of a long distance relationship
Being apart from your partner can be difficult. But it can also offer benefits, like more free time. You can use time that you might have spent with your partner to pursue your goals, hobbies, or interests! Long distance relationships can challenge you to spend time alone — or with someone other than a partner — and focus on your own needs. Some people may feel that they grow a lot during long distance relationships!
Being in a long distance relationship can also improve your ability to talk to and understand others. When you can’t see each other in person, you can use words to express how you feel. You can take time to reflect and think about how you want to say things by talking over text, email, or other ways. You and your partner may end up feeling closer after having a long distance relationship!
So, is a long distance relationship right for me?
Only you and your partner (or partners) can decide if a long distance relationship is right for you! Some people find that they can be just as happy, or happier, in long distance relationships as in in-person ones. But long distance relationships aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Everyone has different desires and needs in relationships! And, you have the right to decide what type of relationship works best for you. Dating long distance is just another style of relationship!
If you think a long distance relationship is something you want to try, you’re not alone. There are lots of resources and support available for people in long-distance relationships!