CHAPTER 4 – Communication

CHAPTER 4 - Communication

Let us be clear about one thing:

Communication will make or break a relationship!

And it is like that in every relationship, but even more so in long distance relationships when physical contact is not there to be just taken like a daily vitamin pill.

Now, I am not trying to say that if you two don’t spend 15 hours a day on Skype, or a phone call, or texting each other, your relationship will break. And being 15 hours a day on Skype, or a phone call, or texting each other doesn’t mean that your relationship will work 100 per cent.

I am just saying that good communication has to exist if you want to make your relationship flourish and just maintain it and “survive”.

In other words, communication has to be high on your priority list to you and your beloved partner.

Now, communication between couples can vary, and it is not the same for everyone: the medium, the frequency, the duration, etc. Besides, it all depends on a lot of factors.

But you should also know that being in a long distance relationship doesn’t mean that you will have bad communication for sure! You can be in a long distance relationship for ages and have amazing communication even if you see each other only about once a year.

So, in other words, the quantity of communication is not that much important. What matters is the quality of the communication you have.

Make It or Break It

I have a challenge for you: The next time you speak to someone, just pay attention to all of those things that are not being said by words. It might a roll of their eyes, the tone of their voice, or the body language.

The fact is that the biggest part of communication is lead through things other than words, and sometimes these are even more accurate than what a person is saying.

And, then, when you are in a long distance relationship, you often times don’t have a chance to see and hear all of these other elements that make the communication complete. And I think that we can all agree on how communication in a long distance relationship can be tough.

When communication is reduced to text messages and phone calls, a lot of things can be missed or words misinterpreted.

Can you remember that fight about something that your partner said in a text message and you just thought that it meant something different than what they meant?

I think we have all been there at one point of time or another!

Imagine if you got a text message saying “I wish I was there for you the way your friends are.”

Depending on the context or your mood, you might think that this means:

  1. “I am so happy that you have such good friends and that they are always around to help you when we are apart. I wish I could be there, with you, more often. ”
  2. “You know I can’t be there, why are you constantly complaining and making me feel guilty that I am not there. Do you really think that your friends love you more than I do?”
  3. “Are you cheating me with one of your friends? I know that you are often lonely, and so am I, but have you started a secret relationship with one of them in the times of loneliness?”

You see?

A simple sentence can be interpreted in so many different ways when you cannot see the other person’s facial expression, body language, or hear the tone of their voice.

But texts and emails take this opportunity away, and you can be just left there with your thoughts, trying to figure out what was really meant and what was the meaning of what you just read.

So, when you are in a long distance relationship, you have to give a lot in the quality of communication as many methods will not include face to face communication.

And while you two are still a couple, you might not be able to talk as much as you like, as you are separate individuals with separate lives after all.

Being connected when apart

Communication is important in any and every relationship.

But when you are in a long distance relationship, your communication might be the only way for the two of you to stay a part of each other’s lives and stay connected.

There are rarely any chances to pop up at their place with a basket of freshly baked homemade cookies, exchange flirtations looks, or have a hug that says “all will be good, I am here for you”.

These little signs of affection mean so much and remind us of the quality and beauty of the relationships we have, but when they are out of reach – it might get a bit tricky.

So, among other things, you can look at communication as in a way to stay connected.

A long distance relationship will not be amazing and thrive if there is no communication between the two of you.

Especially if you are a young couple, or if you have started out as a long distance relationship.

Even those people who have been in a relationship for years before going distant, and had bad communication, didn’t manage to pull it through and the quality of their relationship suffered.

Prolonged period of separation with no proper communication can lead to emotional distance and maybe even falling out of love if the problems are not addressed in time and if the couple doesn’t reconnect when they finally get together.

The fact is that communication can produce problems and issues, even when there are no other major problems to worry about.

     i. Find a communication style that fits

So, start thinking of communication as of necessary and vital part of your relationship and try to find ways to keep it open.

If needed, try to find a ground for communication that will be comfortable to both of you. And maybe even go out of your comfort zone to make your partner happy.

For example, one partner might hate talking on the phone and prefers text messages, while the other one really thinks that texting is shallow and wants to have frequent video calls.

Respect your partner’s preferences, no matter on what end you are. But also respect your own, and so do make compromises on the methods of communication and other arrangements.

If you just hate messages, but your lovely partner just lights up when he or she gets a “good morning, sunshine” message, what does it cost to make them happy with a simple message in the morning?

Besides, do you know how better that little thing will make your relationship? The very fact that they know that someone is willing to do something they don’t like that much just to make them feel comfortable and loved.

    ii. Be clear on what you want

Another important thing is to set expectations straight.

But, remember, this is something that you should talk through too and not something that you should make an ultimatum out of.

If you want to talk to your partner every evening and wish them a good night, be sure to tell them that.

Most likely, your partner will not be a psychic, and they will not be able to read your mind.

And they will surely want to do that for and with you (if other circumstances allow it), but they have to know what you expect.

Otherwise, how will they know that you find these evening calls so important?

And don’t just try to throw subtle hints in there like “oh, I am so lonely before going to bed, I wish you were here to hold me and talk to me.”

I know men are not that good with reading between the lines!

So don’t expect them to catch what you truly want to say. Say it yourself instead.

And what will happen if they forget to call you, not knowing that this is something that means so much to you? You would start panicking and think that they don’t love you anymore, I am sure. But they could’ve just been too tired to call that day and didn’t think that it was this important.

   iii. Be honest

And now, you are panicking and calling your partner, demanding to know why they didn’t call.

They have just been woken up and yelled at for no reason that they can see, so, normally, pretty angry, and they tell you that they feel like you are too controlling and they wanted some time off. Just to piss you off a bit more.

Do you see how these two little things (not being cleat with your expectations and not being honest) can lead to a catastrophe?

If you want good communication, do not expect from your partner to read your mind!

Be sure, to be honest and clear on what you want and what you expect. You are not near your partner to be able to see him or her every day and catch those subtle hints of their minds and wishes.

Communication doesn’t come easy for everyone, but being in a long distance relationship surely isn’t a time to keep your thoughts to yourself. If there is anything you should do, that is being clearer and more open to your partner.

How to Make Communication a Priority

Making communication one of the priorities in your relationship doesn’t really have to be a hard task, even if you and your partner are on the same page about almost everything.

You two maybe already have a close relationship that allows you to speak freely about your thoughts and emotions and openly say what you expect.

If this is you then you already have a strong base for making your communication amazing and staying open.

If this is not the case and you have a lot of problems with expressing your thoughts or misinterpreting what the other one is saying, you have to work on fixing your communication first if you want for your relationship to flourish.

1. Express your needs

Do you want your partner to understand you and know exactly what you feel and think?

Of course you do! And no wonder, we all do.

And guess what?

You can do that by simply… telling it to them.

One of the most important things is to have open communication with your partner. About anything!

Do you want them to tell you how beautiful you are?

Tell them how you feel.

Don’t just try to hint with something like “Oh, I feel so ugly today” and wait for them to reassure you.

Maybe they are not good at getting hints, so be open and honest.

2. Discover your partner’s needs

Now, we all wish that our partners can read our minds sometimes.

But we also wish that we can read their minds sometimes, too, am I right?

So, the same as with them not having to read your mind when you are open, you won’t have to read their mind if you just ask what you want to know.

And they might not feel comfortable with sharing every single detail of their thoughts with you (or anyone!), but that is just normal, so don’t be too pushy if you don’t hear what you wanted to hear.

But what is important is that you asked.

Listening is of a big importance as sharing is, so they will certainly feel good just about the fact that you are there to listen carefully to what they have to share with you.

3. Avoiding the communication overdose

And even the communication in a long distance relationship is extremely important, so is respecting your partner’s time and feelings.

The truth is – they do not have to hear about every single detail and every single second of your day. Especially if you have limited time on the phone with your partner.

Please, do not fall into the trap of talking just so that you say something!

In other words, know what bores your partner.

For example, I am sure that he is not really interested in those 14 pair of shoes that you have tried out in the mall the other day.

Be considerate and talk about something that you know both of you will enjoy.

Now, if you are in one of those relationships that started long distance, you might not be that sure what bores your partner. So, don’t forget to ask. There is no shame in being considerate and wanting to avoid something that they do not enjoy.

As open communication is the key to success, you should have that, even if it means saying “Hey, love, I am not really that good with colors. Crimson red and apple red look all the same to me. Maybe we can skip on those details, hm?”

On the other hand, if you ask your beloved partner what topics bore him or her to death, and they just don’t want to seem rude and tell you that they are okay with talking about just anything, look for their reactions.

Try to pay attention to how they act, where they seem to lose interest, where they participate in the conversation – and learn from that.

After some time, when you stop mentioning the topics they find boring, they will be so thankful to you, and you will see how the conversations are thriving! Just because both partners are enjoying them equally.

4. Jump over the obstacles

I can’t say this enough and so let me stress it again – communication is the key!

So, if you don’t have enough time to talk to your partner “face to face” (as much as the distance allows) due to distance, different time zones, work schedules, and other things – find another way!

Luckily, there are many apps today that you can use, like Viber, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and many more. After all, if you like the good ol’ way – use emails!

If the apps or e-mails are not an option – there are always letters (so romantic!)

There is always a way! And if you want for that relationship to work out, find the way to keep the communication and to overcome the obstacles that the distance may create.

5. Adjust to communication methods

As we all know, technology is improving rapidly, so there are always new ways of communication that you can try out.

But, if you are not comfortable with a certain way of communication, be sure to inform your partner about it and suggest a different method that you might enjoy more.

However, do not be the person that is obsessed with your own needs and preferences but ignores the needs and preferences of your partner. Be sure to talk about what they like and enjoy as well.

If you really dislike talking on the phone, but there is nothing your partner enjoys more – try to find a middle ground! You should both enjoy equally.

6. Make communication center stage

Many people who are in long, long distance relationships tend to start going on with their life and forgetting to talk and communicate well with their partners.

Be sure to review the communication that you have and the quality of it from time to time.

Ask yourself if you are sharing important information, important feelings when you talk? Is your partner telling you how they feel? Do you have deep and meaningful conversations, or are they only chit-chats?

One thing is for sure – never let the communication be a side part of your relationship!

7. Communication means listening

Be sure that communication is not all about you telling your partner how your day went, what you did, how you feel, what happened to you, who made you happy, who made you sad, and so on, and so forth.

It is also extremely important to listen to what they have to say and share.

That, of course, doesn’t mean that you should just be there, saying mhm and aha, waiting for them to finish talking so that you can start with your story.

Instead, this means that you should really listen to your partner and to what they have to say, understanding them, and what is maybe hidden underneath the spoken words.

Active listening – “I hear you.”

Active listening is crucial for any meaningful conversation, especially in long distance relationships, and especially if you are having a discussion or an argument (again, remember that arguments are nothing scary!)

This means that you really hear and acknowledge what the other part of the conversation said before going on with what you have to say. In this way, you will make sure that you understood what they wanted to say correctly – which will help avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and possible conflicts.

In communication that is happening over the phone, or even worse, email, it can be very hard to actually come to the bottom of what your partner is trying to say, really say.

And, it is even more difficult if you are discussing emotions or other abstract or important matters.

Your communication might be led by what you think they said, so make sure you understand everything and know that you are on the same page.

Let’s give a look at two examples, shall we?

Person 1: You forgot to call me last night! I told you that I want a call before bed!

Person 2: Well, I am sorry that you have to act like a little princess! I have a life too, you know!

Person 1: I can’t believe it! You don’t even care about me and my feelings!

Person 2: Oh, yes?! And you are much better with crafting my own schedule! Whom do you care about except yourself!

The chances are that both people will walk out of this conversation, extremely angry and dissatisfied. After all, wouldn’t you!?

But why if they tried active listening?

Person 1: You forgot to call me last night! I told you that I want a call before bed!

Person 2: Oh my! You are upset, aren’t you?

Person 1: Of course, I am upset, we had a deal, and I feel like you don’t care about me at all.

Person 2: I am so sorry that you feel like I don’t care about you. This was never my intention. The thing is, the school is really crazy these days, and I have a very tight schedule that I cannot always follow.

Person 1: Oh… I didn’t realize it. I am sorry that I made you call me every night then.

Person 2: It is not a problem, I love talking to you and spending time together, but please understand that I cannot always stick to the exact schedule that we have created months ago.

Person 1: I love talking to you too. That is why I was so upset that you didn’t call. And you made me worried.

Person 2: I really didn’t mean to make you upset, I apologize again. I will try my best to call you every night. But please, don’t get upset again if I don’t. I have a lot on my mind right now.

Much better, don’t you think?

And while active listening may sound robotic with all of the “I understand you…”, “I hear you…”, “I understand that you are saying…”, “is it right…?”, “did you mean?”, “I appreciate you..” and other awkward phases, this is not something that you should do all the time.

I mean, yes, you should always try to get to the bottom of real meaning and real feelings hiding underneath one’s words, but acknowledging and expressing the appreciation is something that you should do in extreme situations.

After all, this is a technique that counselors often use to make sure that both people have the point of the conversation before moving on to the next thing. It ensures that both people get the chance to clarify what they wanted to say, and no one will walk out of the conversation angry or wondering “What was all of that about?!”

Besides, with things put like this, both parties will be forced to think rationally and logically, so there is a better chance that the conflict will be avoided.

Try using this technique the next time you have to discuss something important with your partner and see where it leads you! I am sure that both of you will be much happier with the outcome.

Assertive communication- “I feel” vs “You are.”

A common mistake that all people make when they are upset or angry is blaming it all on the other person.

For example, instead of saying “I am worried and upset that you didn’t call me last night” most would say “You don’t care about me, you forgot to call!”.

And what good does it make?

Instead of expressing your feelings, you just shift the blame onto the other person, and the conflict just goes deeper and deeper.

These are two completely different things, forgetting to call and not carrying about someone.

And, even if the accusations are correct (which will rarely be the case, and you do know it, just don’t want to admit), keep the conversation real. Talk about the thing that might be the problem and not something completely different.

Solve one problem before you go on to the next one.

And how do you keep the conversation on point?

Simply, start with yourself. With your emotions and with how a certain situation made you feel.

In this way, you will not be attaching, and you will also have a greater chance to express your concerns and your point to the fullest.

“You don’t care about me, you forgot to call” shifts the problem to something else, and not calling becomes forgotten, never expressed, never resolved, and never addressed. Bigger the problem – bigger the argument. And not carrying about someone is big, all right?!

 As you cannot know with certainty what your partner feels, addressing their feelings instead of your own is something to avoid at all costs.

If you combine assertive communication with active listening, your discussions will result in much more success, I assure you.

Avoid absolute statements

This is yet another thing to avoid when talking to your partner.

Statements like “never” and “always” don’t tend to have a good impact on the overall outcome of the conversation.

If you say “You always forget to call me” or “You never listen to me, you are making your statement absolute. And if it is, why are you claiming something that is well known in the first place?

With statements like these, you will never get anything good from the conversation in the end. You will just make the other party hurt, and both of you will be utterly unhappy.

Even more so, if you say that he or she never and always do or don’t do something, you will never have a chance to express your true feelings and concerns. Your partner will only hear accusations and not your emotions, and they will not even care to try anymore what you already feel that they are not doing enough.

Absolutes are seldom true, and you know that. So breathe deeply and do not say something that you know is not true.

There is one more thing to know: just because you started a sentence with “I feel” instead of with “You are” doesn’t mean that you solved the problem.

After all, there is a big difference between “I feel that you never listen to me” and ”I feel that you sometimes don’t listen to me.

And this is probably much more accurate.

Arguments happen

The truth is – you will not be able to avoid arguments!

They will happen, and that’s a fact.

Two people, both individuals, bring something of their own into a relationship and, of course, the views, beliefs, and ideas might not always be the same.

So, there are arguments!

When you are in a long distance relationship, the importance of communication becomes even bigger. How else would you two know that you are on the same page?

And even though it might be extremely odd to bring arguments in an online word, the arguments are still necessary, and they create a tighter connection between the two of you.

Well, at least when the arguments are resolved and not when they serve to put the other person down.

And, trust us, we know that it is extremely hard to follow the rules listed above when the conversation becomes heated, but try to come down and have a constructive and civilized argument, instead of just yelling at each other and missing the point.

These rules can surely take your relationship to the next level, but both of you have to acknowledge and follow them.

Different Options for Long Distance Communication

Not long ago, the long distance couples had only a few options for communication – phone (with extremely high bills) and emails.

And although these options were better than no communication at all, luckily, things are changing rapidly nowadays, and we have much more possibilities to stay in touch at our hands.

And while the distance is present, seeing your partner’s face may make the distance seem not so scary after all.

1. Letters

Even though snail mails are so long forgotten, and people don’t even think about adding them to their communication, many still believe that snail mails are a form of art and many enjoy receiving them after all.

And, truthfully, a letter says much more than words maybe do.

In the world, when all the communication goes through typing, someone took the time and wrote something with their own hands! Now, that is something to cherish.

And so, receiving a letter, especially if it is unexpected, can be a real sweet! As they are not so common nowadays, the receiver will cherish the letters even more.

Now, I bet that it has been a long time since you wrote your last letter. If ever, that is! So, naturally, you might be a bit nervous.

His letters were horrible at first! And no wonder, he is a numbers person. But, I really didn’t care that much. I adored these silly, nervous letters that he wrote just because they were from him! And, truth be told, he got much better! As if he was reading my mind. There I sat, in tears, after every single one of them!”
Diana, separated for 4 years
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But, truth be told, your partner is not expecting perfection! They will be happy just to know that you went through the trouble of writing and sending the letter.

And, they probably wouldn’t even expect one, so it is a win-win situation for you!

And, do not be afraid or ashamed after your first attempt, sweet lovers. Toss in in a trash can if you really dislike it and start over. No shame in trying!

Some other things that you can try are adding newspaper clippings to make your partner feel connected, even though they are away.

Even more, you can send a few greeting cards. Of course, a love letter is always much better, but if you are in a rush and don’t have time for a love letter at that moment, but still come across a nice “I miss you”greeting card, why not send it as well?

How to write a love letter

Now, before you put pen to paper, think about what you want to say and share.

But, be sure to make it sweet and unique. Think about:

  1. What inspired you to wire a love letter?
  2. Where were you when you last thought about your partner?
  3. What were you doing at the time?
  4. What is the thing about them that you miss the most?
  5. Did you see or hear something that made you wish they were there to share it with them?
  6. What makes you so lucky to have met them and have them in your life?
  7. Is there a certain memory with them that you cherish above all?

Here are some more tips for you:

1. Avoid generic openings

How are you? I’m fine.”seems so… average! Don’t you think?

So, when writing a love letter, you would want to avoid this. 

Instead, try with explaining your thoughts and feelings. Allow yourself to be romantic.

My dear Julia, the bed seems so huge after you sat on that train and left me with a broken heart and tears in my eyes. I miss the smell of your gorgeous hair when it tries to strangle me at night.

Seems much better, doesn’t it?

A bit of romance and a bit of funny. Don’t be afraid to go with it!

2. Avoid Shakespearean language

Truth be told, this is really not necessary.

Even though you might get into that vibe when you pick up a pen and paper, but there is no need for it.

After all, a letter will seem much more sincere if you write as you normally speak.

3. Adding a bit of perfume can’t hurt

If there is a certain perfume that you always wear and your partner likes, why not add a few drops on that letter?

Your partner will love to get a bit of you in their mailbox, there is no question about it!

Oh, she loved letters so much! So, to make her happy, I even bought special paper and wax seals. With a dash of perfume, they were just the thing! And you know what? WE FOUND THEM! All of them, a few days ago, when we were unpacking in our new, mutual apartment. We sat on the floor for hours and read them for hours. Oh, the feels!
Jonathan, separated for 4 years and 3 months
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2. Daily e-mails, text messages

And while snail mail is something that has the potential to be so, sooo romantic, it is not that good for daily communication.

You can’t just send a quick letter with a joke that you just heard in the office, or tell them about that strange woman in a grocery store, right?

Well, this is something that instant messages and e-mails can do.

It is very important to keep these little every day talks going. In this way, you will feel as a part of your partner’s life and you won’t be excluded, at all. Because, when you always talk only about the important big issues, you start feeling that the relationship is a burden.
Wendy, separated for a year
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These messages let you share small stuff, an interesting thought you just had, or anything that is too small for a letter or a phone call.

This lets you live your day together with your partner and share the things as they happen and not talk about them in retrospect.

But, as much as you want to share that small thing with your partner immediately, you should remember that they have a life too. And, if they don’t respond in seconds after receiving a message, that doesn’t mean that they do not care.

Be patient! You can’t expect from anyone to just drop what they are doing and give you all the attention.

Another good side of texting is that you do not have to share it with anyone else.

Imagine if you were on a bus and had a phone call. You certainly wouldn’t want from everyone to hear what you had to share with your beloved partner that is miles away. It is a private matter.

But if you are texting, there is no one to hear it, and you can keep your privacy to yourself.

And, finally, texts are much cheaper than phone calls every 20 minutes, especially if you use any of the apps.

However, let me underline that texting should never, under any circumstances be a replacement for real conversations. Especially if something important is the topic of conversation.

Unless, of course, it is your only option for staying in touch with your partner.

Since we all know that arguments in relationships are inevitable, it doesn’t hurt to mention that, if your conversation becomes heated and you think that it will evolve into a fight, better agree to postpone it and have a real conversation about it.

The real meanings of one’s words can often be misinterpreted when they are in the form of a text message, so better have a phone or a face to face conversation.

3. Communication over the phone

Hearing your partner’s voice and having a conversation over the phone is important, even when the two of you cannot be in the same room.

And why is it so important, you must wonder?

Well, when you are in a long distance relationship, it might be the best way of communication, and the most personal one (except for video calls).

Besides, you know your partner. So, through their speech patterns, you must figure out what they are truly saying and thinking.

Moreover, you can use these phone calls to even go on certain types of dates, when you watch a movie, go to dinner, or coffee shops together.

But, how often should you have these phone calls or how long should they last?

Well, that depends only on the two of you and your agreement.

If you two live in different time zones, it is important to work out a schedule and have some time to really talk to each other.

Missing a phone call from your loved one is really terrible, but if you haven’t spoken to each other for quite some time, and will not get a chance to do so for another fair amount of time, it can be devastating.

So, be sure to talk about the time when you two can actually give each other a call and chat for some time. Even if the topic of the conversation is something trivial. Not to mention highly important things!

While you have a conversation, be sure to really listen to what the other person is saying. Do not listen for words only. The words might have completely different meanings!

And, if you didn’t understand something – don’t hesitate to ask!

There will be much more trouble if you just go on thinking that you understood just because you were too lazy to ask.

My partner is not a phone person

Many experts claim that the type of communication that men and women prefer and lead differs drastically.

Therefore, people in heterosexual relationships should understand the way the other sex communicates in order to prevent unwanted conflicts and confusions.

This is even more the case in long distance relationships when other hints, like a glance or a touch, are not an option.

Now, this is a horrible simplification, so we will not say that one gender likes phone calls more than the other, and go on with our main problem here.

And, inevitably, one person in any relationship will be enjoying phone call conversations less than the other, and some psychologists even claim that there are people who are completely different persons when they are talking on the phone than what they are in person.

Now, let us look at some common phone call bugs that can make you sabotage a conversation:

1. Sulking and pouting

If you are feeling not all that well and your partner asks you what is wrong, please, for the love of god, do not just say “Nothing”.

This will lead you nowhere, and the problem you have will not just magically disappear or solve itself, but you have to talk about it instead.

And, yes, maybe you want your partner to dig and ask you a million questions about what could possibly be wrong that you are so grumpy, but that is not a mature way to do it.

If you have a problem, share it. If they are the one who did something wrong that made you this way – tell them.

They will surely want to know and try to fix it.

In a long distance relationship, you do not have the luxury to play these games!

Tell your partner what is wrong right away and work towards fixing the issue.

After all, you do not want to spend the whole duration of your phone call just repeating “Nothing” again and again.

2. Feeble communication skills

Let’s look at this conversation example:

Person 1:Hey there, what did you do today?

Person 2: Oh, nothing much. Just went to work, came back, and just had some dinner. I’m gonna watch a movie. You?

Person 1: Same thing here. Went to work, took the dog for a walk, and fed her. That’s all.

Person 2:Okay. Talk to you next time. Bye.

Person 1: Bye-bye, sweet dreams!

Hmmm… Not a loving couple, if you ask me!

Long distance relationship will never thrive with these poor conversations. It seems that these two people are talking just for the sake of talking, and nothing important is being said!

Get some details in the story, anecdotes! Tell that what that silly Geraldine from work did today. Maybe there is a problem that you would like your partner to help you with? Or you saw a funny picture that you wanted to share?

Don’t be afraid to do so!

I know that I said that you shouldn’t overshare as in talking about the details of every pair of shoes you tried in the mall that day, but these cheap conversations will get you nowhere either!

Instead, a conversation could go something like this:

Person 1:Hey there, how are you?

Person 2: Oh, I couldn’t wait to talk to you! I have so much to tell you about today’s party at work!

Person 1: Tell me everything! Did Jack finally approach Lana?

3. Having the conversation for yourself and not asking about your partner’s day

Now, let’s look at this:

Person 1:Hey there, how are you? Listen, I have so much to tell you. You know that girl from school I told you about, Merriam? Well, I finally had a chance to talk to her today, and you wouldn’t believe what she told me! Like, this utter nonsense! Now I know why I didn’t like her in the first place. So…………………… Oh my, I am late for a drink with Julia and Silvia. I gotta run, honey, sorry.

Person 2: Oh, wait, I…

Person 1: Talk to you tomorrow!

What just happened here!?

This happens when you try to make obligatory calls or when you are just too selfish to listen to what the other person has to say.

You are not the only one with feelings. You are not the only one who has something to say.

Share your story, yes, but let your partner share theirs as well!

If you don’t have time to talk at the moment, better say that to your partner and leave the conversation for tomorrow than squeezing the whole meaningful conversation into ten minutes.

Now, if this happens once or twice, it is not a big deal. But if this starts happening regularly, you are in trouble.

4. Pointing out that “you are so bad at phone calls” too often

There are just some people that are not good with phone calls. So what?

There are other means of communication, and you can use them as well.

But, if your partner is not someone who enjoy phone calls, but is still trying to do so, there is no way to force the “you are really not good with this”.

And, instead of calling each other on the phone every day, maybe you can set up a phone call once a week or so.

5. There is not enough to talk about

If you talk on the phone every day, and you message each other a few times every day, it might seem that there are not enough things to talk about.

So, if you start feeling that this might be a problem for you, maybe the two of you could set up these phone calls every other day. Nothing bad in it!

Also, you can put up a list of interesting questions and ask some of them to your partner as conversation starters.

Here are some:

  1. Where would you like to go for our next vacation?
  2. How is your family doing?
  3. What would you like to get for your birthday?
  4. What was the worst date you ever had?
  5. Do you remember when we….?
  6. Etc.

Talk about everyday stuff, what you had for lunch, what chores you did today, how crowded the transportation was.

As long as you are being open with each other and interested in the hat the other person has to say, it is all good.

4. Video chat

Video chats are one of the best options there are for long distance couples.

They give you a chance to actually see each other, which is, often times, much better than hearing their voice or just reading their words.

The video chat communication can help your relationship a lot as you are able to see your partner, they gestures and body language and many misunderstandings can be much more easily removed and solved like this.

Furthermore, video chats are much more suitable for big talks and serious issue solving.

But, not everyone enjoys video chats – that’s a fact.

Some people just hate the feeling of the camera on their face, and that makes them feel and act unnatural and be nervous.

Of course, the video chat is not the perfect solution. The quality of it largely depends on the camera you are using, the stability of the Internet connection, and the very distance between you.

On the other hand, it is a method that is widely available. When phone calls are too expensive, you can easily have a video call with your SO over that Internet.

And the same as with ordinary phone calls, the duration and the frequency of your video calls depend solely on your agreement and schedule.

Video calls might take a while for some of you to get accustomed to, but it is still the closest to your partner you can often be. So be sure to use it wisely.

Fighting and Arguing

We already talked a little bit about fighting, and as it is pretty normal and sometimes required in order to strengthen a relationship, we will talk about it a bit more.

Now, we know that when we disagree with someone, arguments and fights might occur.

And there is nothing strange, unusual or unnatural about it.

Two individuals with different views of the world just have to have their ideas collided sometimes.

And, as long as these arguments are solved quickly, with both parties saying what they had to say and with a compromise – they will make you stronger.

On the other hand, when you use these disagreements to put your partner down – that’s where the real problem starts and where these fights can even damage your relationship.

Now, that is when you are fighting in a face to face setting, but it can all change drastically when you are in a long distance relationship.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to hold in your feelings and not talk about the thing that is upsetting you until you get the chance to see your partner next.

Instead, the point we are trying to make is that you should try to communicate effectively and solve the problems in a timely manner using active listening, avoiding absolutes, using assertive communication, and just being fairly open to one another.

1. Insecurities

The fact that you do not see your partner very often, but you are supposed to trust them, makes things all much harder and makes the insecurities grow stronger.

This can be a problem in long distance relationships, but as long as the two people try to be open with one another and acknowledge their insecurities, not trying to mask them into some other feelings, like anger and such, all will be well, and this little obstacle will not have to be the end of a relationship.

Because, when you mask your insecurities, they may become anger, jealousy, envy, doubt, and all the other feelings that can hurt your relationship.

For example, if you know that your partner is hanging out with a new bunch of people and you become afraid that they will meet someone new, you should just turn this feeling into words and say to yourself “I am afraid that my partner will become attracted to someone else because we are apart too much and we hardly see each other.”

Now, if this is something that you are afraid of, but you haven’t made it into words yet, you might start masking your true feelings into other, afore-mentioned emotions, just to cover up your vulnerability.

So, what can happen is that you get angry at your partner for no obvious reason and say something harsh and untruthful like “You don’t even care about me, you are always with your friends! Why do I even try and call you!?”

Instead of saying something like this and picking a fight, just say what is troubling you. Your partner is there to listen, understand and undeceive you. They are there to talk to you when you need it and discuss these insecurities.

There is a big chance that they often feel the same.

So, it is always a better option to be open about it and share what is troubling you than to create a problem where there is none.

Please, just avoid blaming your partner for something that you don’t know is true.

2. Be fair to your partner and take the blame for your own emotions

Once you become aware of the fact that there will be problems, there will be insecurities, and that you will have to solve them with the conversation, as adults you are, it will be much easier to get rid of some odd and disrespectful behavior.

Let me ask you something: have you ever hang up your phone on someone?

I think you did. We were all that mad at some point.

But, truth be told, when you are in a long distance relationship, doing such a thing can damage your relationship much more than it can in an ordinary one.

And why is that?

Well, when telephone calls are the closest, you get to your partner, in a way, and when they make one of the primary ways of communication, hanging up would be like walking away from a heated conversation you are leading. And how immature that would be?

Besides, this kind of behavior may make you start dreading the telephone calls because they would seem like something that can make you two fight even more.

When a conversation ends out of a sudden with both partners angry, confused, and dissatisfied, it just makes you wonder do you even want to pick up that phone when it rings the next time.

And, as we always say, open communication is the key. Sa, a far better thing to do would be to say something like “I am angry now, and I don’t want to start yelling. So give me some time to cool down, and I will call you again after that.”

And this may seem strange to you in times when you are angry. You would much rather say “You are making me so angry!”, but be an adult! Take responsibility for your emotions and be fair to your partner.

3. Justified fights

Often times, arguments that happen in a relationship are just small, crazy things, but sometimes they can be justified too.

So, if one of these happens and you two manage to approach the disagreement with respect towards one another, it can make your relationship stronger, and the very fact that the two of you managed to come to a solution or a compromise and not end the relationship in tears will give you more strength to go further.

But, what should you do when a huge, heated argument comes along, and you just find it so hard to control your words and your emotions?

And while your mind is saying “I am so frustrated and hurt right now”, your angry mouth may just blurt out something like “I hate you so much! I don’t even know why I keep trying!”

And that will hurt both of you even more.

And when there is no point in throwing things around the place or gesturing angrily, angry words can take over the whole argument even more.

And, truth be told, there is a big difference between “I am sorry” spoken over a phone or a gentle hug that supports the claim.

However crazy this may sound, here are some tips for those heated, justified arguments:

  1. Speak your mind!
    Your partner can’t read it, so make sure that you say what you feel and what makes you angry.

  2. Know your emotions!
    The thing about them, acknowledge them and do not blame your partner for your own emotions. Take responsibility.

  3. Do not let your insecurities or imagination make things even worse!
    If your partner didn’t answer the phone, that doesn’t know that they are cheating.

  4. Think about your partner’s feelings.
    Think about how they feel. You are probably not the only one who is hurt.

  5. Keep in mind that that the goal is not for you to be right and to win, but to solve the problem in the best possible way for both of you.

  6. Know that you shouldn’t avoid arguments completely.
    Instead, you should learn from them and make your relationship even stronger.

Intimacy over the phone

Intimacy in any relationship is of big importance. And even more so when you are in a long distance relationship where the intimacy of that kind is not possible.

Now, even though it is challenging, you can still experience intimacy, even with someone who is not right there with you.

The fact that you cannot put your hands on your partner as often as you would like doesn’t mean that the fire has to die.

It just means that people in long distance relationships have to be a little more creative about it all.

So, here are a few ideas for you, love birds:

1. Create special e-mail accounts

Of course, you are not someone who would make a mistake and use their work e-mail for intimate kinds of business.

Your personal e-mail address could work, but just for the sake of saucing things up a little, why not make a special new account for these matters?

 You could encourage your partner to do the same, and then you can use these special e-mails for foreplay.

First of all, it is an interesting new way of communicating with each other. And, besides, you do not have to worry that someone will accidentally see something over your shoulder.

Even more, having an alias gives you some hidden courage to say and do almost anything. What’s more, you might even feel more comfortable to send photos to each other.

2. Send gifts to one another

You have probably been making care packages and sending them to one another over the course of your relationship, but you might even bring this to another level and send those special gifts to make things a bit hotter.

Search the Internet a little and see if there are any toys, DVDs or comic books that your partner might like. Send them over to their place and maybe even add a little note that encourages them to remember you whenever they use their new present.

If you are short on dollars, you might even send something yours to your partner that you just know they will like. And even add a dash of perfume to it. Let their imagination do the job for you!

You really don’t have to spend tones of cash to let them know you are thinking of them in all ways possible.

3. Set the right mood for intimate phone or video calls

With all this technology nowadays, you are probably leading your intimate life over the phone or a video chat as well.

But it is a tricky business. Not everyone feels comfortable or can find the imagination on command. And, after all, it requires participation.

Some can be clueless and when their partner asks “What are you wearing?” just say “An old hoodie I wore in high school.

So, the most important thing for you is to set the mood and relax.

Now, the busy lives we all lead might even make you start off a bit… unprepared.

For example, you might still have your messenger on, the lights are not just about right, or you can’t stop thinking about that soup that you just started cooking.

This all might lead to missing a bit of that sweet, sweet satisfaction.

Instead, be sure to set the right mood. Be sure that both of you are present and ready to enjoy, without any distractions.

Maybe light a few candles, put on some romantic music, prepare nice scents for yourself to just relax and prepare for it. Maybe even try out a few toys.

You would definitely feel much more comfortable than when you are thinking about what spices to add to that dish you are preparing.

And, finally, be sure that your notifications are all off.

After all, this is only about the two of you.

4. Tell each other stories

If you have never been a storyteller before, this is the right time to try it out.

Telling each other stories can lead you a long way in your long distance games.

Maybe you can try telling your partner a story over a phone call, or write a chapter of a book, and then send it over to your partner for them to write the next one.

Who knows where this may lead you!?

The fact is, we rely on touch and smell when the kinky things are concerned so much that we so often underestimate the power of words and listening.

Besides, telling the stories to each other gives you room to try out some of your fantasies and experiment with them – see where you find your pleasure.

And writing all of these things down when no one else is around can be good practice for yourself.

If you don’t know how and where to start, there are already a lot of stories that you can read and find your starting inspiration.

5. Write creative messages

Sending some photos to each other is always a good way.

But, sending the same photos, in the same places and same poses can get boring sometimes.

Maybe just think a bit about what your partner finds attractive about you and try to implement that to your photo sessions.

Also, add various places and spaces to it – going on a hike and no one else is around? Seems like a plan!

But, remember that being completely or overly exposed doesn’t always do the trick.

And, of course, words will never hurt.

6. Use that snail mail

AS we already learnt, there is just something super exciting about the handwritten letters and if you mix that up with storytelling, BOOM!

Imagine the surprise on their face when they receive a letter, and then open it, and there it is – a story. And what a story!

Use your fantasies, maybe even draw something.

Long distance dates

Now, just because you and your partner are not geographically close, it doesn’t mean that you cannot go on a date together, right?

The idea of a date, no matter if regular or long distance, is to spend time together strengthen the relationship, and stay connected.

And even though it is preferable for a date to be when you are physically together, it is not always possible, so the idea of long distance dates shouldn’t be excluded.

As long as you have technology with you, there is nothing that can stop you!

You can have all kinds of dates and feel as if your partner was in the same room with you, while there are maybe even miles away.

And there is no doubt that being included in your partner’s life like this give you the chance to feel more connected and involved in your loved one’s life.

Now, we are not saying that it will not seem a bit awkward sometimes. And the very fact that you “have a date with your boyfriend who is in another country” while sitting in front of your lap-lot in a restaurant or a coffee shop might be very odd at first, but once you get used to it, you will see how these dates can do wonders for the two of you.

Knowing that someone is willing to clear their schedule and spend the time with you, even if you are not physically together can mean the world to you and make your bond even stronger.

Of course, the frequency and the duration of these long distance dates depend solely on the two of you and your agreement.

If you have time to do it once a week, that would be perfect, but if not, try to agree on a time and date, and don’t forget that this is yet another important part of a relationship.

And remember that this is not a time to act like a clown and entertain your partner. This is the time for the two of you to be together and to enjoy each other’s company.

Date vs chat

“But why do we have to go on these dates? It sounds so silly! We have a chat and phone calls, after all!”

Yes, you do. But chat and date are not the same.

The first and most important thing is that these dates are intentional. You have pre-arranged them, given it some thought, and set some time aside for the two of you to spend it together and catch up on the important things that you maybe didn’t have the time to discuss during a quick call sometime that week.

When you just call your partner to say “Hi”, or you send a short message, maybe they do not have too much time to give to that specific thought at the moment. So these dates can be a great way to go across the whole week, make a short resume of the time that has passed, look back on it together and enjoy the time you have.

Besides, when a date has been set, you know that you will be meeting your partner at that time and spending time together, so you know to set all the rest aside and dedicate your time and attention to the one you love.

Besides, when you are in a long distance relationship, you might start to wonder why do you do that to yourself and what good is it to be with someone who isn’t even there.

In these situations, these dates can be precious!

But, when you know that your partner is not only willing but eager to leave all the rest and go with you on a date, you know that it is something special. And, even more important, you can even fall in love again!

Now, I am not trying to say that the dates are more important that chit chats, texts, or phone calls! They are all important! But I want to point out the importance of scheduling some together time as well.

Let me put it like this: If the two of you lived in the same city, and saw each other every or every second day, you would still make some time and arrangements to go to a dinner or a movie, right?

Well, why should a long distance relationship be any different?

You don’t have to plan spectacular things for these dates, but just plan to commit and be together.

Ideas for a long distance date

And even though the very idea of long distance dates might still sound peculiar to you, there are much more things and ways to have a date than you might have thought.

These dates will help you share experience and bond, no matter how apart you are.

Besides, shared experience is something that you need!

Even when you are physically close, you don’t chat all the time, right? Sometimes, you go to a theater or to see a movie. So these dates can be a real treat!

Furthermore, these shared experiences will give you more things to talk about and more things to remember and cherish.

In most long distance dates, you would use your phone or laptop, and it is important to know the real meaning of technology in these dates.

Sometimes, just seeing their face, even on a video call, can help you get through the day.

And, remember to focus on the happiness that you are together, and not just whine that you are apart!

Here are some ideas for your long distance date:

a) A stay-in movie night

Dinner and a movie are one of the biggest “go-to”s for any couple.

And it can be so for the two of you, too.

You can stay at home, have a nice dinner and chat over a Skype call, and then pick a movie to watch. After that, you can have some more time to discuss the movie you have seen and enjoy that whole experience as if you were in the same room.

b) Read a book to one another

However boring this may sound, I can’t even start to explain how wrong you are!

For all the geeks and nerds who love and appreciate a good book, this is just the thing to try.

What you get is to close your eyes and relax, while your partner is reading to you some awesome or romantic story.

Much better than an audiobook, right?!

Besides, what you get afterwards is a conversation about books. There is no better thing than this!

c) Go on a scavenger hunt

This one might take a little bit of planning, but it is surely something fun to try out!

The first thing is to look up their city online and find some interesting places that you would like to visit.

Then, you can send your SO searching for those places and exploring different clues you give them and also taking some super amazing pictures.

d) Buy a round of drinks

If you know that your person is out with his or her friends, find out what place it is, call the bar, and buy a round of drinks to them with your credit card.

Then, you can have a quick call with your partner for a nice toast and enjoy the rest of the evening.

It is thoughtful, romantic, and you get some bonus points with your friends!

e) Send each other favorite recipes to make

You can come up with a time and send your partner your favorite recipe to make.

Then, the two of you can go on a Skype call while you are preparing the other person’s favorite dinner, and afterwards you can eat together.

Is there anything more romantic than a candlelight dinner?

f) Share a sunrise, a sunset or a night sky

Well, there is, and it is definitely in some of these three.

If the time zones are not too different, you can go out, spread a blanket and watch stars together while you talk, or enjoy in a romantic sunrise.

And, if you are in time zones that are too much apart, you would surely have to stay awake to talk to your partner from time to time.

So, you can show them pictures, after all.

g) Go to a fortune teller

This is a fun thing to try out.

Start a Skype call and go to a fortune teller to have your mutual future foretold.

Of course, this is just for fun, and don’t listen to everything that the fortune teller will tell you!

h) Go out

Make some reservations for your partner, order them a car, and take them for a nice dinner downtown. Treat your partner!

i) Have a viral tour

You can take your partner to a virtual tour around your house, neighborhood, office, favorite places to hang out.

When they know how your surrounding looks like, it will be much easier for them to picture you going on with your daily activity.

j) Go to a coffee shop

Find out about a nice little coffee shop in your city and go on a date there. You can spend all day drinking coffee and talking about the bits and bobs of everyday life.

k) A game night

Order some pizza and beer and have a stay at home game night.

There are a lot of online games that you can play together or play a Monopoly. This one should be so much fun!

Or you can enjoy a game of strip poker! 😉

l) Play 20 questions or Truth or Dare

If you feel that you know everything about your significant other, do not be fooled.

You can come up with some silly questions that you want to ask your partner and play some of these games to get to know them better.

If you make it a drinking game, the night can end up much more fun!

m) My fitness pal

A healthy person is a happy person!

If you two like working out or want to get in shape, you can download different apps, like My Fitness Pal and send different tasks to each other.

n) Take an online course together

With the variety of courses that are available nowadays, you can learn almost anything!

Come up with a learning plan and start a course together. It will be much easier if you have someone to practice with!

o) Write a letter to your future self

Is there anything that you want to tell to your future selves or remind yourselves of when the time comes?

You can write an email to your future selves and set the date when you want it to be sent your way. You can even add some mutual pictures and just enjoy when you receive the email in the future time.

p) Just relax

And finally, to be fair, we all have those days when we just don’t feel like doing anything and when just hanging out with your partner on Skype is the best fun you can have.

There is nothing bad with it, and the two of you can just sit back, relax, listen to some new or favorite music, or maybe even read something separately.

After all, the important thing is that you are spending time together.

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