Step one - find a partner - complete!
Step two - create an intimate bond with this person - check!
Step three - maintain a loving connection while said person is a long way away for periods of time ……. hmmm….. stuck!
Are you in a committed relationship with someone and having to manage a long distance connection now and then or even most of the time? How do you keep your love front and centre in your mind (and theirs!) when you don’t see them every day?
This is something I have personally dealt with numerous times in my life, with varying degrees of success. However a few tips and tricks have emerged that might be worth a mention, in case it can help someone else going through a long distance relationship.
For a start, of course, it is imperative to establish some honest rapport with your partner before you are apart. Communicate your hopes and fears, and your boundaries, about your relationship.
Do you need them to call you every day or do you subscribe to the ‘no news is good news’ group?
If they or on a trip where they may be sharing a hotel room with a work colleague, do you have boundaries around which gender their roommate is?
Are you generally ok with having a few days (or weeks) to yourself, now and then, or would you like the long distance thing to be only temporary and you and your lover reunited under the same roof as soon as possible?
It really is surprising how often we avoid having these important discussions with our partner. Often we clamp our lips shut and smoulder in silent resentment instead. Communication really is the key here.
The next step is to deal with the actual separation. How do you keep yourself occupied and happy, without your partner there for daily support?
For this, I have found that having a strong and active social group is helpful. Create and maintain friendships outside your relationship, these people will be worth their weight in gold when you are on your own for a time.
The second factor is how to keep yourself erotically satisfied if you are in a monogamous or committed relationship and your partner is away?
For this, it can be extremely helpful to learn some solo sex techniques. Take a trip to your local sex store and stock up on new toys and books. This might be a fun thing to do together before you are apart! There are some great couples toys available now that allow partners to control a vibrating device from across the country. It only takes an agreed time, and perhaps a video chat to make the most of your couple time from different places.
Finally, you and your partner are due to meet up again, and you are so excited you can hardly wait. How do you make sure you slide easily and gracefully back into your intimacy?
This can be challenging if it’s been an extended time, and you can even feel shy around your partner again, as if you don’t know them well.
I suggest taking it slow, and going for dinner, or a stroll, before jumping into bed. Some time to chat and catch up, even flirt, can go a long way towards melting away the effects of a long separation.
A long distance relationship can be successful with a little preparation and hard work. Pretty much the same as a relationship where you are together all the time! The challenges are different but can be overcome, even enjoyed!
Interested to learn more intimacy and relationship skills? Need a guide for advice for your next sex toy shopping trip? This is part of my expertise as a Somatic Sex Educator.
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