By Jemima Lopez
He lives in L.A, and he lives in London. While having a trans-Atlantic relationship is tough, if there’s anything British celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham can prove is that long distance relationships can work. Married for 12 years, they just welcomed their fourth child. Their American counterparts, actors Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie, have made it work, too. Despite separation between films, they’ve managed to stay in a committed relationship for seven years. They share six children.
But non-celebrities have remote relationships, too. In fact, more than 3.5 million Americans were in a long distance relationship in 2005, according to the latest statistics. With the development of new technology, that number is most likely on the rise. While us common folks can’t afford to jet set or send extravagant gifts, that doesn’t mean our long distance relationship can’t last just as long. Use these tips to help maintain your relationship like the stars:
1. Use All Forms of Communication: Let’s get the obvious out of the way–physical interaction is scarce, so communication is key. Text messaging, instant messaging or even Facebooking is a start, but make your “communication” more interactive. Here are some examples:
- Date nights: “Skype Dates” are the norm–a designated time couples agree to video chat. But try to have a real date instead. Each week pick a movie and a meal to prepare or purchase. Arrange your laptop, screen facing you. Eat/engage in conversation like in a restaurant. Then, pop in the movie. This way, you can hear and see each other’s reactions to scenes. Bonus: movie-goers won’t tell you to pipe down.
- Send photos: Sending self-portraits are great, but always try to send photos of things that you find interesting or funny. It will allow your mate to get more in-tune with your personality and some insight into your world.
- Make videos: Hearing someone’s voice and seeing their face is more personable than a text. But people don’t always have time to videochat. Instead of sending a text, create a 30-second SMS video. Your significant other can view or respond when they have time, but it’s still special. There are apps that deliver “voice text messages,” like Voxer.
2. Get Addresses: This includes home and work address. Sending your mate a gift for no reason, like flowers, can keep a smile on your mate’s face. Remember that you can also treat your boo to lunch or dinner, because it’s easy to get online and order a pizza that can be delivered to his or her front door. You can send traditional letters, too. There is something incredibly personable about seeing someone’s handwriting.
3. Schedule Monthly Meetings: You can talk for hours, but unless you see each other in the flesh at least once a month, your relationship will most likely fizzle. There are exceptions, like military relationships, which don’t have the luxury. But for those that can travel at their own leisure, schedule monthly visits. Traveling back and forth can get expensive, so switch off.
4. Be Secure with the Relationship: Lastly, most remote relationships fail due to lack of trust. While understandable, if there is no trust, you shouldn’t be together. Try not to let your jealousy get the best of you. That said, never completely ignore your intuition either. If something doesn’t feel right, speak up.
Jemima Lopez is a freelance blogger and writer who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and best online schools. She welcomes your comments at her email: lopezjemima562@ gmail.com.