Physical connection is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship. Being present with your partner is essential, but when partners are physically apart, there are ways to keep a healthy and meaningful connection. Having some distance between the two of you can actually be good for your relationship.
While it may seem agonizing to go for an extended period of time without the physical connection to your partner, there are a number of ideas that can keep your spark alive and thriving. Here are a few of our favorites:
Work on Communication
According to Lisa McKay with Modern Love Long Distance, when you are not physically together, you have the perfect opportunity to learn to communicate better with one another. You'll be able to make real improvements in your relationship by using your words more thoughtfully and purposefully. You will be able to talk about things more deeply and even experience intimacy in a more meaningful way by how you describe your feelings. Be sure to allow for some miscommunication from time-to-time while you are apart. Consider the following when it comes to how you will communicate with your partner:
- Expect some surprises when it comes to things that bother your partner about the separation.
- Stay honest, and don't just put on a happy face (or voice) all the time.
- Talk to your partner about how you feel, even if there's nothing they can do to fix it.
Plan Regular Time for Talking
When you aren't together, you can't just expect to go days at a time without talking. There is no reason to force a lengthy conversation or just sit on the phone in silence, but planning time to talk every day or two is essential. The longer you go without talking, the further apart the two of you will start to feel. If you can, schedule time daily that will be dedicated just to talking to each other. This time should be valuable and a priority. If you have to frequently reschedule that time, it's indicating to your partner that they are more of a chore or obligation than a valuable part of your life. Remember the following points for planning this time:
- Schedule it if at all possible (though extra conversations that are on the spur of the moment are good too.)
- There should be no distractions (turn off the TV, don't be multi-tasking, and don't take other calls if at all possible.)
- If you need to reschedule, make sure your partner knows why, so they aren't left guessing.
Getting Intimate at a Distance
Jennifer Craig with Survive LDR says for people that are kept apart physically, phone sex or sexting can be a very healthy way to maintain intimacy in your relationship. You should both agree to the "rules" for how you want it to work. For instance, do you want it to be at a certain time, or would you prefer to make it impromptu? Sexting can be a great way to ease into a more intimate remote relationship with your partner.
MysteryVibe has a range of award-winning toys and accessories that are perfect for people that want to keep their sex life with their partner going even when they aren't present. The MysteryVibe Poco is a smaller smart vibrator that's perfect for being discreet. Use texting or phone sex to help your partner be an active participant no matter how far away they are. Encourage them to tell you exactly how they want you to use your toys while thinking about them. Remember that all of this sex at a distance makes physical intimacy even more amazing when you are together again.
Talk About More Than Each Other
Part of a healthy relationship and staying connected has to involve knowing what is going on in each other's lives. You will undoubtedly be going through your own individual days and dealing with all kinds of different things. In your communication, you need to be talking about your day.
To properly connect, you should be completely present and empathetic to what your partner is saying. Give a lot of details that will help your partner to understand why you are frustrated, excited, anxious, etc. The more descriptive you are about the things that are happening to you daily, the more your partner will understand and connect with you.
This also helps you to know if there are certain conversations best left to another time when stress isn't so high for your partner. Don't avoid tough conversations, but sometimes it's best to wait until another day.
Be Thoughtful in Your Conversations
Your conversation is more important when you are apart than at any other time in a relationship. You will be able to get in sync through these conversations and connect each of your individual days together. Thoughtfulness when it comes to your conversations is very important.
Superficial and routine questions like "what's going on" or "how was your day" really don't open the door very wide to a meaningful conversation. Deeper questions that make your partner consider their answer more carefully will yield a much better conversation. Some questions to practice if you are trying to be more thoughtful include:
- What was something funny that happened today?
- What was your favorite part of the day today?
- What happened today that bothered you?
- What plans do you have for tomorrow?
Understand How Each Other Respond to Being Apart
Some people respond differently to being apart from their partner. Some people will immediately feel upset or saddened by the separation, while others will be fine for a little while and then experience longing for the other person. To connect with your partner, you need to understand what they are going through at different periods of time.
Try to discuss it before you have to be away from each other so you will be able to sympathize with them and better understand how they feel. Short term separation may not be a major problem for many couples, but over long periods of time, it can and will weigh on your relationship.
Remember to Practice Self Care
You have to take care of yourself when your partner isn't physically present. There will be times that you'll feel upset or sad because you miss your partner. Be aware of some things that you enjoy that make you feel better. You may like to curl up with a good book, treat yourself to a movie, chat with your friends, or just have a little "me time" in your bedroom by yourself with the MysteryVibe Crescendo or the exciting Tenuto vibrator for men.
It's not abnormal to feel a little blue, wishing your partner was with you. Don't make them feel guilty, but make sure you communicate your real feelings. It's fine to share with them that you were really missing them today.
Control Only What You Can Control
Remember that ultimately, you are only in control of your own feelings and reactions. While your partner will absolutely be a great help to you through listening and continuing to actively engage in your relationship, you have to remember that you are only in control of yourself. Practicing self-care, following the plan for communication, and working to keep the spark alive between the two of you will help you to keep a healthy perspective. This is important for your own well-being as well as the health of your relationship. Sometimes it may even be necessary to get support from others besides your partner in coping with your feelings.
Plan for Your Separation
If you have the opportunity to prepare for being away from your partner, this is an excellent time to develop your plan. Talk with them about your worries, and discuss where you are as a couple. Find the strengths in your relationship and use them in your plan while you are apart.
This is the time to determine the best times to talk daily, discuss how you want to keep the spark ignited in your relationship, and make sure honesty is the primary rule for communication. This is also a great time to spend a little more physical time together before your separation. Being able to prepare for this period of time will help you both to feel better knowing that there is a plan between the two of you.
Remember that the separation between you and your partner is only a gap until the time you are together again. Look forward to the time you are together and it will develop a sense of anticipation that is both exciting and very romantic. For many couples that have been together for a long time, being physically apart for a length of time can make you long for one another in a whole new way. You will be able to continue your connection and keep your spark ignited through healthy intimacy at a distance.