One of the reasons many long-distance relationships fade over time is because there is a lack of progression in the relationship.
Guess what happens then? You get bored of each other. Or you get nervous and stop flirting naturally. Everything becomes forced. You’re no longer dating with a point. You’re not really in a relationship anymore. You go back to being friends and the sexual attraction wanes.
Of course, most people just improvise and figure that sexual tension comes naturally. At some point, you will “just know” what you need to do or the sexy things you need to say.
Well maybe. Maybe instinct will guide you through it. Then again, maybe not. We can’t always assume that nature takes over.
The point is, if the guy is not taking the lead or if he’s naturally shy (or maybe scared of upsetting you by saying something sexual or too familiar), then you might have to help him along. Your job then is not to lead in the relationship, treating him like a wife! No, more like drawing him out and letting him know it’s okay to be romantic and daring and to say the things he is thinking about saying.
What I think will help is to review the 10 “stages” of a romantic relationship online. If you have been in an LDR for quite some time and seem to be stalling, then ask yourself is there a reason we’re not progressing in a natural way? Are we going through the phases and emotionally connecting?
Or are you maybe skipping important steps along the way? Could that be part of the problem? Have you stalled in one of the phases that involves doubt or worry?
Let’s consider the 10 natural stages of a progressive relationship, yes, even online.
The first stage is innocent and flirtatious. You hint around, you confide, you push each other’s boundaries. Then finally, you admit your attraction openly and it feels great. The sexual tension you’ve created propels the relationship forward. Admitting mutual attractions starts everything.
2. Emotional Connection
Attraction can only go so far. But if you don’t quite reach the level of emotional intimacy, the relationship will stall. Sexual attraction will oftentimes not go any where, if there’s any doubt or hesitance that the relationship is “real” and real feelings are involved beyond sex. Work on getting to know each other intimately, in mind and soul, so you can strengthen that bond.
Usually, a testing phase happens next, as the closer you feel, the more nagging doubts start to invade your mind. You may wonder about the future of the relationship. You may doubt your partner’s loyalty or even the logic of the relationship. Major issues that you previously ignored may come back in the worst way. You must endure through it.
4. Hope and Optimism
The reward for surviving the third phase is to experience a renewed sense of hope. Now you believe in the relationship again. You’re optimistic about the future. You have a surge of confidence that you two can get through anything, no matter the obstacles that lay ahead.
5. Possessiveness and Worry
At this point, it’s not about doubt – more like you’re panicking and afraid to lose everything you’ve built together. You want more intimacy and more control over his life because the thought of losing him scares you. But for some women, this growing need turns into an unhealthy obsession – trying to possessive him. It never ends well.
6. Building Trust
The best way to counteract the previous phase is to focus not on controlling him, but building trust together. Talking things out and getting inside his head is the best way to learn your partner. Talk about boundaries. Negotiate compromises. Give him respect and respect that he will be a man and live up to his obligations. Likewise, he will trust you. If you don’t trust him enough to loosen that grip and allow his independence, then why are you with him in the first place? Believe in him.
7. Creating Habits Together
One of the most important phases is when you create habits together. Routines, shared hobbies, touching base, and going on virtual dates – these are the routines you set now that will last a lifetime. Look forward to dates, to dinner conversations, and other shared activities. Don’t make them a chore. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be funny or enthusiastic. Just relax and enjoy these warm moments.
8. Finding Your Safe Place
When you learn to trust each other, you will find comfort in each other’s company, even if you mostly communicate online. You will begin to think of him as your go-to guy for everything, as a “cure” for the stress in your life. You will find his reassurance that he loves you amazing and it will make you feel protected and safe. He is your safe space, your “one true thing” in life, someone who’s always there for you. And since the feeling is mutual you don’t have to worry about dysfunctional or toxic patterns ruining the relationship. You will simply find peace in each other.
9. Assigning Value to the Relationship and Reaching Commitment
The final stage of love and pre-commitment involves getting him to fall for you and making him prioritize the relationship. You want to reach that point where neither of you can even fathom losing each other. You’re committed. You’re united as a team. You want the relationship to be “forever”, and to get your partner to see high value in you.
That perception of value, that you’re a strong and successful woman and that it takes effort to impress you, is what a man ultimately wants. He wants to work for your approval. He wants to prove his value to you. Commitment should always be about positive things, like realizing how special he is, and him realizing how unique you are. When you approach it this way, you don’t commit because of fear or even because he’s “better than being alone.” You actually get together because the relationship fulfills you.
At the same time, because you know your own high value, you don’t let a man lead you on or put you on the backburner for someone else. You’re worth more than that. A man must sense that confidence from you. This is especially important in online dating and LDRs because you must make him understand that you’re not going to wait for him indefinitely. If he loves you, he will want to commit. He must have a plan.
10. Creating specific goals together.
Finally, we have the goal-setting stage. If you want the long-distance relationship to last and be “successful” then you must define the success you want. What kind of affection do you crave? How do you want him to show you love? What specific things would you like to be doing in a few weeks? Months? What kind of timeframe would you like for a commitment or engagement…but also, what are you doing to evoke that emotional response in him? How are you making commitment seem attractive, like something HE wants more than anything?
Once you figure out your personalized goals, you can work towards achieving them and talking them over with your LDR boyfriend.
In conclusion, the point is to understand where you are in the natural progression of the relationship and where you’re going. Not understanding the logical progression can cause awkwardness. It can also hinder your romance and emotional connection. If you’re aware of where you are in the phases, and where you need to be to make your boyfriend want you and wait for you, then that will start to drive every conversation you have. Having a plan and following a path to emotional bonding is the best way to keep your long-distance relationship sexy and committed.
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