Though it seems almost unimaginable in this technology age, not long ago, people
were severely limited in their choice of partners. Chances were that most would
meet and marry (or become involved with) someone who lived nearby – if not
in the same city, in at least the same state. If you did meet someone from
far away, it was probably in college or through work and the odds were seriously
stacked against you – unless you were willing to uproot.
The internet has changed
all of that. Now, people are being attracted to potential mates who live so
far away that they’d have to cross three time zones to visit. And why not?
Isn’t it silly to feel that everyone can find a perfect partner close to home?
The days of falling for the girl – or guy – next door are virtually gone. But
long distance love brings with it a whole new set of problems. At first, it
might seem easy to keep a long distance romance active. You don’t have to dress
up, wash your hair or trim your nails very often. You don’t have to worry about
making dinner reservations or spending afternoons scouring the Yellow Pages
or newspapers for fun things to do on the weekends. There’s no conflict over
what radio station to set on the car’s dial or at what temperature to set your
home’s climate controls. And most often, there’s very little in the way of
arguments – because you don’t have to deal with each other’s idiosyncrasies.
However, in reality, keeping a long distance romance active, exciting (and
alive for the long term) takes a lot of time and imagination.
communicating on the net, via telephone/text or old school snail mail, you’ll
find that getting to know someone in any way other than face to face is a different
sort of experience with different highs and lows. You’ll want to communicate
in as many ways possible so as to get the fullest experience you can without
a lot of face to face time. As you’re getting to know each other, be careful
not to fall into the “fantasy trap” where you ignore (or fail to see) a relationship’s
negative qualities. All involvements have them, and if you’re unable to recognize
any trouble spots, you may be living in dream land. This is symptomatic of
long distance simply because it’s easier to hide (inadvertently most of the
time) quirks and play up the romance factor. All of this said, a long distance
relationship can be rewarding – and can work if both partners are willing to,
pardon the pun, go the distance. Here are a few hot tips to keep your relationship
Don’t expect that your relationship will last if you do
the same things that everyone else does. Sending flowers or poetic emails may
be satisfying occasionally, but overdone they’ll point to a lack of creativity
and passion. For example, don’t just use the mail to send gifts that you bought.
Send postcards with a few warm words, comic strips that you found particularly
funny and news articles that you found insightful. Doing this by mail and not
on the net will add a nice element of surprise. Likewise, on occasion, plan
on calling when you know an answering machine will pick up – then leave some
subtly sensual comments for your paramour to return to. Constantly look for
other ways to stand out.
Be the Same
Often, long distance lovers feel
that they’re missing out on many things that others take for granted in their
relationships, and in some cases (like dinner and a Friday night movie) this
is true. But you can remedy the situation by bringing as much normalcy as you
can to it. When you have problems at work, let your partner know about them
and look for their support. Learn to share the same thoughts and experiences
as you would if your love interest were physically present. Also, try to share
in popular culture experiences by making plans to watch the same television
shows or to rent the same movies at nearly the same time.
Live Your Life
because you can’t be close to the person you feel affection for doesn’t mean
you can’t go out on Saturday nights! Don’t feel obligated to turn down party
invitations or evenings out with your coworkers. Share these experiences with
your partner and be clear that they are welcome to do the same. If either of
you become suspicious or jealous (beyond a little normal twinge of wishing
you were there), the relationship may not be strong enough to last anyway.
Keeping long distance love lively takes a variety of skills and resources.
While your romance can be frustrating at times, it can also be deliriously
exciting on the rare occasions when you physically get together – not to mention
while you’re in the process of building that excitement. You may feel like
you’re floating. Just remember, you’ve got to keep your feet on the ground
and assess your situation realistically. If you do, your long-distance relationship
may just turn out to be long-term as well.
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