Long distance relationships; can they ever work?
In most people's minds, long distance relationships fall into the category of doomed-before-they've-even-started, a bit like the new series of The X Factor. However, we say back off, naysayers, because long distance relationships certainly can work and can sometimes even be better than your average relationship. Sites like mysinglefriend.com have opened up the whole country for dating. Back in the olden days you'd only have a relatively small geographical area to work within, but nowadays you can be looking at hotties 500 miles away with a few clicks of your mouse. So if if it does turn out to be Mr or Ms Perfect is living on a remote Scottish peninsula, how can you make it work? Here are our top long distance relationship tips...
Maintain regular contact
Because a relationship is built on communication and if you aren't talking to each other, you aren't having a relationship. The modern world is full of methods of communication - telephone, texting, emails, Skype - so make sure you put them to good use. You need to be present in your loved ones life pretty much daily, even if it's just a flirtatious message. Plus, don't forget about the humble letter. Regardless of the state of the postal service, it will get to them eventually and it will give their heart a mighty flutter when it does. Post is exciting!
Pursue common interests
If you liked each other enough to move from chatting on MSF to meeting in real life then you probably have some shared interests. If you both want to see the same film or enjoy the same books, watch or read them at the same time so that you can talk about them afterwards. If you both like playing tennis or running, keep up with these activities and talk to your partner about your successes and failures. You have to share a lot to maintain a long distance relationship, so you need to make sure you have enough fodder to keep yourselves going.
Make the effort
Long distance relationships are of course more effort than your average. Getting on a crowded train at 6pm on a Friday night to travel 300 miles is always going to be more trying than getting the bus up the road and grabbing a curry and a bottle of wine on the way. Keep reminding yourself that this person is worth the effort and, crucially, keep making the effort to see them face to face. Of course, you might need something to spur you on, which leads us to...
Talk about the future
A lot of us run for the hills the moment someone we're newly in a relationship with mentions The Future, but long distance relationships need a bit of extra impetus to keep them going, so be brave and engage in the conversation. If you want your hot new lover to come and stay with you on your leaking houseboat in the arse end of Norfolk, you have to be prepared to give something back, and that may well be the suggestion of a shared future together. It doesn't have to be huge, but they need to know that they'll be getting some return on their investment.
Enjoy the distance
A positive attitude goes a long way to making anything doable, so make your mind up to enjoy your relationship. Many couples would give their right arm for a bit of space, so relish the fact that your partner isn't around constantly, make the most of your me time, and you'll value the time that you are together even more. Enjoy the anticipation of seeing them, rather than feeling all weepy that they aren't around.
And, of course, if it doesn't work out then you can return to MSF and jump straight back into the dating pool!
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