First thing’s first…you and your Internet boyfriend are getting along really well. That’s great but…well, you DO know he’s a real person, right? And you’re sure he’s not a fictional character or an 80 year old Chinese man catfishing you?
Okay great…but really, you should demand to see him on webcam at least once or twice! Because you know, I just saw this one show with two guys called Nev and Max and…well, it’s apparently very, very easy to sucker someone into a fake Internet romance!
Seriously though, with the popularity of dating websites, social networks and across-the-country matching apps that cater to every niche (millionaire, interracial, religious matching, political matching), it’s easy to see why so many couples are meeting from two completely different worlds.
The truth is, long distance relationships are easy to start, fun to maintain…but a little hard to “convert” into an IRL relationship.
Now it’s true that some couples meet in person while on vacation, or maybe they choose to stay in contact after one of them moves away on business or to college. So instead of an “internet romance”, they are actually nurturing an existing relationship online.
Using web cams, web phones, sharing apps and the like, it is possible to keep the romance alive, even if there is a lack of physical presence. But the tools themselves aren’t enough to fan the flames of intimacy and attraction. It’s going to take real effort from both of you to keep this good thing going and to resist the slow erosion of emotional distance.
How Can it Be Done?
I’m not going to lie to you…it’s hard to keep up an online romance. I speak from experience and having lost a few girlfriends to bad timing, better offers, gradually growing apart, and so on. I’ve also had friends that met on the Internet, fell in love, and then finally met in person and hated each other! Funny how our perceptions play with our hearts, isn’t it?
But there are a few takeaways I can share, having also found success in online dating and making a relationship last even when separated by thousands of miles.
1. Once you both feel a strong attraction…don’t chat too long.
Too many online lovers think it’s a “requirement” that they chat for hours just so they can be virtually married or something. However, too much sharing and mindless chatter and you might actually exhaust all your IRL conversations before you even get a chance to meet. Instead, focus on improving the quality of your shorter chats rather than staying so long that you run out of topics entirely.
2. Discuss the status of your relationship.
Resist the urge to assume or to avoid talking about uncomfortable subjects. Too many problems are caused by couples who hide the truth or avoid difficult conversations. But you owe it to your partner to set some ground rules and explain your expectations—and vice versa. Talk it over about whether you’re both going to be exclusive or if dating other people is allowed. If one or both of you don’t feel comfortable dating anyone else, what is the expectation? What is the goal? Marriage some day? Will one of you move to be closer to the other? How committed are both of you to staying in the relationship—even if your circumstances change.
3. Use your imagination rather than establish an online “routine”.
Routines are really boring so why bother making routines online. Instead, be creative about finding new ways to interact online and about finding new topics of conversation. Watch movies together. Send each other packages and handwritten letters. Share pictures, share audio, talk on the phone, send videos and visit via social media and web cam. Draw with each other. Play online games or take personality quizzes with just your phone. Your partner will miss your time together even more when you keep it unpredictable.
4. Always be honest…and not just about what you “do” but what you feel.
It’s very easy to let thoughts, emotions and secrets fester. These are paths to the Dark Side! Or in less Star Warsy terms, they are what lead to problems with jealousy, paranoia, mistrust and worst of all, apathy—that horrible numbness that precedes falling out of love. So always be open and willing to share. Don’t be afraid to be honest, even if it hurts your partner temporary. The focus should be on talking problems out, finding compromises, and reassuring each other of your love that can’t easily be broken.
5. Get in sync with each other’s schedules.
This means not only knowing each other’s schedule (so that neither of you has to worry if someone is late) but also planning to maximize your time with each other and giving you the “best hours” of the day. Obviously, you don’t want to bug your partner while they’re in a meeting or in class. And if something unexpected comes up, send a text message to let your partner know you won’t make it. A cyber-date, text on a screen though it may be, should be taken as seriously as a real date.
6. Send each other gifts and keep them close by as personal objects with special meaning.
This will do wonders if increasing intimacy and in whetting your appetite for more in person communication. Whether you buy each other necklaces or exchange music or share a fragrance, or whatever…these shared items are about enjoying the memory you’re creating together. It doesn’t all have to be text…you can create real memories by sharing something in the “physical world”.
7. For the love of god, don’t mope, whine or complain!
It’s sad to see one or both partners get stuck in a rut of negativity. There’s a difference between brooding for romantic attention, and just constantly nagging or complaining about your relationship. Stop shining about loneliness or depression. Don’t focus on the challenges or the long wait ahead…focus on how thrilled you’re both going to be when you finally can get together and live HEA IRL! Keep the visuals positive as well as your thoughts.
8. Plan for short in real life visits
Some couples literally fall in love with text—so much so that they miss the opportunity to get together with the real life person and turn the online fling into their very own epic love story. This is why you should plan, save and visit each other in person whenever possible. Visits, even if it’s just for a day or a weekend, can help to fulfill your partner’s need for intimacy and love. This is what keeps one or both of you going strong. This inspires you to keep holding on, knowing that someday you will be together and all this text will be your dream come true!
9. Cyber-dating means cyber sex!
Here’s the great thing about cyber-dating…cyber sex is safe, practically free and a very satisfying way to share affection with your partner. If both of you are celibate while waiting to be reunited, you should have some form of release. What a better way to test the waters and get inside your partner’s head…while also saving a fortune on hotel costs and airfare!
Of course, learning how to “cyber-sex” is a good place to start. Cyber sex is basically a means of talking dirty and creating sexual tension. But you always do have control over the style of dirty talking, how it makes you feel and how severe you want the language to be.
The goal is to climax with each other and experience a “real time” sexual encounter. Use a toy on yourself and tell your partner to do the same. Follow your instincts but make sure to give your lover plenty of positive verbal feedback and encouragement. Extend your time together by lengthening the descriptions and foreplay.
And yes, of course you can write a script of all that kink in advance. Nobody’s perfect…but we’re going to go blind trying, right?
In a long distance relationship where things are already shaky and self-images are so fragile… it’s important to show each other that this is a serious relationship and one that you never could never take for granted. You need regular intimacy with your faraway partner in order to keep your love growing strong.
As you can see, making a long distance relationship work is not just talking about life…but making your true love part of your regular life!
Here’s the “Missing Link” to Long-Distance Relationship Success…
LISTEN: If you’re having a problem in your relationship—even if it doesn’t seem serious yet—it isn’t going to “solve itself.”
The pieces aren’t going to just “fall into place.”
And ultimately—unfortunately—you’ll NOT have the close, loving relationship you once did… unless you DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW. (Problems, left alone, don’t solve themselves.)
Truth is, most couples won’t make it… and they’ll go their entire lives wondering what might have been.
Fortunately, it DOESN’T have to be this way for YOU.
If you’re ready to finally get your relationship solid and healthy again… and say “GOODBYE” to the problems and issues that can sabotage you as a couple…