Wednesday, 24 December 2014

6 Keys To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

kuku | 01:45 | Be the first to comment!

Long Distance Relationships can be hard, and they often don't work out. However, sometimes they do. Usually, this is after some nights or days have been spent together totally immersed in each other and a real lasting connection has been made. It's much more than just surface level attraction.

It is not uncommon in today's times to hear a story where people somehow ended up together, despite being half way across the country (or the world).

So how did they do it? How do they make it work? I'll happily share.

1. You have to accept long distance relationships are tough. Plain and simple. No real way going around it. There's obvious distance between you, emotions and jealousy can get in the way, and you'll wonder about what they're doing. Then there's the whole physical frustration too. AND you can make it work. See more for some things you can do to really give it a true shot at success.

2. Make a commitment. (This one takes guts.) But you'll never know if its going to work out unless you really go for it. After you've accepted it will be tough, you can mentally prepare yourself for it and then work from there. Once, you're both 'in' you'll take it more seriously.

3. Have an understanding. (Sometimes it isn't spoken. Sometimes its just understood.) If you want to avoid jealousy, concern and unnecessary frustration, agree to what it will be like. Are we seeing other people, or not seeing other people? Are we open to dating? Are we trying to make this work? Or just seeing where it goes? Whatever it is, its best to be on the same page.

4. Communicate often. It doesn't matter if you have an agreed upon time, or a schedule to talk weekly or monthly. (that would be very helpful) Or a mental plan of when and how often you talk, all that matters is that you talk. And use other ways to keep it interesting. Email, text, phone, skype, chat, video (see bottom of this post for a treat).

5. Save your money. Yeah, I know, you're like "What?" But yes, this is important. Whether its long distance charges (obviously avoid it with Free Skype), gas money, bus tickets, rental car fee's, or trips and excursions, you don't want a thing like money to bog you down from getting close to the one you care about. And you don't want debt to prevent you from this great connection lasting either. You also probably want to be together in person, that can mean flights, hotels, etc. Plus random fun excursions will really make your experiences exciting!

6. Keep the fire going! A big part of love and relationships working is about the attraction between you. If you want it to succeed you want to make sure its got its fair share of HOT! With so many fish in the sea, and other people closer to you than your partner, you gotta keep them on your mind! And vice versa! Send cards, do videos, compliment them, tell them what you like/love about them, do your thing, talk dirty, show body parts, and I'll let you come up with the rest. (I have something that helps out with this in a BIG WAY here.)

Sounds like a lot of work? It isn't! You're doing this stuff anyway in a regular dating relationship! And if you really want it to work, you'll make it work!

My friend is in London, UK. He met a girl when he was here in Toronto and they're still keeping in contact. They're in touch often. They talk about each others lives, trips, experiences, they still ask questions, they chat and they do video. (A great tip at the end of this post, check it out!) Shes coming to London to visit him in a few weeks!

I have another friend who met someone online, started tweeting, then Facebook chatting, then using Skype, then falling in love. He went to Australia and met her where she lived. Stayed with her for 3 weeks, had an amazing time with her and came back to Toronto. They continued Skyping and talking regularly. Now, several months later and she is here in Toronto! Shes going to school here and they are living together, very much in love.

Its very possible people! Don't give up!

Here's a little video I did around Valentines to share an idea, which totally applies here, so I have to share it! It would work in just the same way for a long distance relationship! Totally relevant! Use it!

Why does this idea work so well? So much gets transferred through video. Emotions, tones, feelings, vibes, and body language not just words! Which is why the internet is obviously heading towards everything video! Your mind actually reads so much more than just the words you're saying!

In conclusion, (haven't started a sentence like that since college) if you are committed to it, and really put effort into making it work, magical things can happen. And the universe will assist you too! You aren't alone in this.

It kinda stinks I know. But if you really want to make it work, there's more than meets the eye on your side.

Cheers and good luck to you! Here is that link again to one of the biggest and best support tools I created.
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10 Ways to Build a Loving, Long Distance Relationship

kuku | 01:43 | Be the first to comment!

 The Internet Highway has changed the way we live and the way we love. It has changed the way we socialize and it has also increased the likelihood of finding love over the internet. Conversations are easy to strike up with regularity and it's easy to discover that you have strong feelings for someone who lives hundreds or thousands of miles away from you! Many people are choosing to have long distance relationships (LDRs) LDRs might feel wonderful at first. However, they come with their own set of unique challenges as well. Many couples are blind-sided by the impact an LDR can have on their daily life. This person can now feel so close to you because of the internet and yet in reality, remain so far away. The paradox is weighty. The more prepared you are to handle the situation, the better equipped you both will be to make decisions along the way that will benefit you and your partner and possibly make it a safer and enjoyable experience. In this article, I have addressed 10 areas that you should pay special attention to when considering an LDR:

    Identity. Your parents always said "don't talk to strangers." Long Distance Relationships that begin on the internet go against that rule 100% If you've never met the person, there is the issue of dealing with someone who is not who they pretend to be. They may also not be single. You don't know their history. You only know what they tell you and what they show you. If this is the case and you like the person and they like you - I would recommend doing an online search to make sure they are who they say they are. Even then you cannot be sure but it's a start. If you feel like your relationship could possibly get serious, the cost of the search is an investment in attaining some level of security.

    Are they single? The internet is a perfect playground for people who are intent on cheating emotionally or physically. So you'll have to do your due diligence to make sure they are available. Can you contact them anytime you want? Do they relegate contact with them during very tight windows of time? Do they suddenly have to get off the phone or shut down their connection? Can you reach them in the wee hours of the morning or in the middle of the night and have long conversations? Are they available during holidays or have that job requiring them to work every holiday?

    Fidelity. Are they the loyal type (Presuming you are). Because you are miles away, you don't have a birds' eye view into their life. So if you have confirmed that they are available, now you have to confirm that they are just involved with you. That is something that can be proven over time. The question is how long will it take and do you have that time to invest? If so, then you want to be certain that this is not someone who is just using the internet to widen their player game. When someone is into you - they are 100% available for you and only you. It's easy to not pay attention to the signs when they are right there in front of you when the image on the camera is attractive or you're being told everything you want to hear. So be transparent with your life and ask the same of them. If they rarely want to let you see them on the camera or have issues with spontaneous conversations and are rarely available or extremely controlling, chances are you are not the only person in the picture or they are just not that into you.

    Holidays. Remember that holidays happen all throughout the year. They will be a consistent reminder that you are in an LDR. If you are serious about maintaining your relationship you have to realize that long distance relationships cost money. In the beginning when emotions are high and love is in the air, finances don't seem to be an obstacle. As a matter of fact, there is nothing that seems to be able to come between the two of you. However, reality sets in and catches many new lovers off guard. The desire might be high to meet but the budget could be low, unless it is planned for. So right out the gate, know that if this long-distance relationship is ever to go to the next level, you will have to take into account expenses to make meet-ups a reality. Where there is a will, there is a way. Both people should try to make equal efforts to visit one another to avoid resentment on the part of one party that could eventually break-up the relationship. If that's not possible, then try to share the cost of one person traveling to see the other. If the holidays are approaching and it's not possible to see one another, then you have to find a way to maintain the intimacy in spite of the distance.

    Insecurity. Long Distance Relationships are not for everyone. Your trust will be tested. That combined with the reality that you don't have the luxury of being able to get to know one another on a daily basis in person and it can heighten the insecurities. You must assess if you have the ability to withstand those elements. You may have the potential for a great relationship, but if you can't stand that strain, it's best to be honest with yourself and with each other before going down that road. It is possible that you could salvage a very good friendship instead or part ways with dignity and care. Figure out ways to help one another feel secure. Will you check in all throughout the day, one a day or one a week or whenever you feel like it? You have to establish what will make you both feel comfortable and yet not suffocate one another. Quite often the level of paranoia and insecurity is so high that people end up stifling one another with their imaginations. This is a very important step to cover. Also, what can you do for each other that will make each of you feel special? Send periodic messages just to let them know you are thinking of them. Really pay attention to your partner and learn who they are, what they like, etc. If someone loves poetry, books or music - take time to send them a book of poems or create a playlist and send to them. In these ways, you display your affection across the miles and let them know you are thinking of them.

    Conflict. Long Distance Relationships are already stressful by their very nature. Try to minimize that stress by choosing your fights. Is it worth it to argue over every little thing? The relationship might not survive it. When you do argue, ask yourselves are you arguing over the issue or is the frustration from being apart fueling the anger? Is it that important that your partner showed up 5 or 10 minutes late for a skype date or a phone call or are you really upset because you want to see them? Try to remember that you both committed to this LDR. It is not necessarily anyone's fault if you can't get your needs met exactly when you want to. It is a choice you both made so try and be as compassionate and respectful with one another as possible. The internet can only stand in for true intimacy up to a certain point. On the other hand - if you met someone whom you love deeply and that love is very mutual, then time can endure much in exchange for the great reward on the other side.

    Communication. Communication is especially important in LDRs. You will have to go the extra mile to speak with clarity. This can be very trying for a lot of couples since we normally take for granted that we always have time to clear up miscommunications during the course of a day or at the end of the day when we get home. LDRs can't always take it for granted that they have that time. The relationship is probably already strained, insecurities may lurk beneath the surface and the slightest miscommunication can bring negativity looming to the surface, especially in the beginning. When you tie into that, the fact that there may not be a lot of physical contact or the knowledge that there won't be, any time soon - every miscommunication can be the last straw that broke the camel's back. In a relationship where two people are in daily contact with one another, a misunderstanding can be discussed later and the friction can be solved with conversation, physical contact, affection and love-making. (I am not suggesting love-making solves all problems - but it helps if it can be part of the toolkit) In your traditional relationship models it is easier, in many ways, to resolve conflict. LDRs do not have that luxury. If you don't deal with conflict well and avoid it at all costs, LDRs offer an easy out. Every episode of conflict can make the relationship better or worse depending on how you view and respond to conflict. So much hinges on what is said and what is not said. If you're challenged with talking through conflict, have problems knowing or expressing your feelings quickly, or know that you're a sensitive individual, rethink an LDR. It doesn't mean it cannot work, but you both will have to work extra hard on your communication styles and skill. Hanging up on one another angrily with no assurance of working things out later, playing possum and pouting for indeterminate periods of time are the bedrock failure for most relationships are built on, let alone LDRs. The only thing you have is electronic communication between one another. If you express your anger and discontent with one another constantly by disregarding the communication and one another time and time again, you end up with simply an abusive relationship and eventually nothing. Equate it with people in a traditional relationship who are constantly walking away from one another and giving one another the silent treatment. How long would a relationship like that last? So whatever you would not do in a traditional relationship - don't do in an LTR. Cowards act out and hide behind computers. Be better than that.

    Planning. A considerable amount of planning goes into an LDR. Where two people who live in close proximity of one another or who live together can coast from day to day, playing much of their relationship by ear so to speak, LDRs require more planning. Holidays, dates, birthdays, etc all must be planned. If you can't spend a holiday together, how will you find a way to be "together"? How can you date one another over distance? How can you make special days like birthdays and Valentine's Day feel special considering the physical absence of one another? Depending on how far apart you presently live, you will have to factor in the cost to mail gifts, surprises etc. Travel has to be factored in. If you have a job, you have to make sure you schedule the vacation time you need. If you're in school you have to work around that schedule also. Time spent together which we take for granted is now at a premium and becomes very valuable.

    Honesty. Honesty promotes intimacy. If you are not willing to be honest about your feelings throughout the relationship, think twice about being in an LDR. You might feel like this is a safe haven because you only have to share but so much of yourself in a relationship over distance. You share what you want and when you want. You control when you want to talk to someone and when you want to be available. If that's going to be the premise by which you operate, then your LDR won't hold up over time. LDRs that last and develop into long-term relationships evolve out of continued and increasing intimacy. So if you struggle with intimacy and interacting on a regular basis over the long haul with someone, your relationship will run out of steam. Also if you feel you can't endure the inherent limitations of physical contact with someone on a regular basis then don't start down this road either. Most of all, be honest to the person you are dealing with in an LDR. You both made the choice and since no one forced you to be involved. if you decide to deal with someone that you can physically be with or met someone who lives closer to you, remember there is a real person on the other end of the line. Don't just drop them because you can. Even though your feelings or needs have changed, try your best to treat them with respect and love. Give them the same care you would want from them. Karma is always on the job. What we don't need is a lot more hurt people connecting on the internet than we already have. Connect responsibly.

    Creativity. If you accept this mission you have to open up your creativity in order to keep the spark alive. When you are together virtually, things can become mundane at times. Just as it can when two people who are physically together have been together for awhile. Unless a couple in an LDR pays attention, it can happen with them too. It can happen ever quicker because of the frustration from lack of physical connection or sexual contact. One person may be able to use their imagination to cross that physical bridge while the other one can't. So you must be able to gauge whenever that is happening and commit to stay engaged. Here are some ideas to help jumpstart your imagination:

    Take the 5 Love Languages Test by Gary Chapman. This will help you understand each other's love language so you understand what the other needs to feel loved.

    Watch tv together on skype.

    Use music as a means of expression and connection to one another. Share playlists, watch YouTube videos, play an instrument for one another.

    Meditate together with soothing music or a guided visualization in the background.

    Do "facetime" together when you're outside and show one another what you see via your phone camera

    Take pictures and share them.

    Make short videos and share them. They can be funny videos, Dirty Dancing videos - just make sure to be yourself!

    Dress up and meet each other on Google hangout or skype and eat dinner together.

    Have a skype breakfast together where one person is in the kitchen cooking the meal and the other person is watching. Record and send a segment to your partner for future savoring.

    Make virtual vision boards together of your future vision of your relationship. It will keep you motivated to remain in the LDR vs. aimlessly staying in it with no end in sight.

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Maintaining Intimacy Over Distance

kuku | 01:42 | Be the first to comment!

Keeping the romance alive in a long-distance relationship is not easy, but rest assured that it can be done. Furthermore, when you are successful at making a long-distance relationship work, it can actually be more rewarding and beneficial than a regular relationship.

With that said, there are certain perceived disadvantages to keeping a long-term relationship going, and for many people, the extra burden of physical distance can be too much to handle. Some of the perceived cons of a long-term relationship include:

    You lose the advantage of talking to each other in real-time.You cannot accurately gauge each other's facial expressions anymore when you are discussing important matters. (This is true even with Skype or Viber)
    Trust can be lost. It becomes harder to trust your partner to stay faithful to you since you have no way of confirming things with your own eyes and ears.
    Minimal physical contact. You will not have as much time to spend with each other physically as you would in a regular relationship..
    Conflicting timezones. There might be some conflict in your timezones resulting in even less time to talk to each other.

Of course, while there may indeed be some cons to maintaining a long-distance relationship, there are also some natural advantages that come with it including:

    Distance makes the heart grow fonder. You will be missing each other more than other couples and this can actually make you treasure each other's company that much more.
    You learn to treasure your moments together. While you do not get to spend as much time with each other, you learn to make the best use of the rare moments when you can be together and this can serve to really entrench the bond between you and your partner.
    A time-tested long-distance relationship is an extremely stable one. Once you have been in a long-distance relationship for quite some time, you will find out just how trustworthy your partner is if you still haven't broken up. This will be your reassurance that your partner is really serious about you and your relationship with each other.
    You will get plenty of free time to yourself and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Even in a regular relationship, you need some time off to be alone with your thoughts and you will get plenty of that in a long-distance relationship. You will also learn not to be dependent on your partner and vice-versa.

Tips for making it work

The key to making a long-distance relationship successful is to strike a balance between the negative and positive aspects of such a relationship. With that said, here are some solid tips to ensure that your relationship does not end abruptly in tears:

    Keep in touch with each other on a daily basis. Thanks to modern technology, you can now just hit each other up anytime via Viber or Skype. Just think of how much harder the couples from the previous generations had it.
    Schedule regular sessions for video chats. The best times would mostly be after or during mealtimes as those tend to be in sync across different timezones, or one of you could make adjustments to fit in with the other's schedule.
    Keep the relationship fresh with surprise visits. Also, remember to never forget to celebrate anniversaries and other special occasions that mean a lot to both of you.

As long as you approach things with a positive mindset, you CAN make a long-distance relationship work. Once you are successful at this, you can make your relationship even better than a regular relationship. Just remember to try to focus on the advantages and benefits of the relationship rather than dwelling on its inherent disadvantages.

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Surmounting the Challenges of Long Distance Relationships

kuku | 01:41 | Be the first to comment!

Couples are finding more reasons to seek long distance relationship advice because of the seemingly insurmountable challenges of maintaining this kind of relationship. It is great to have someone to call your sweetheart, but having a love life is not that easy when the person you are in a relationship with is thousands of miles away. No one really intends to be in a long distance relationship just because of the innate difficulties of such a setup. Nevertheless, sometimes love just blooms between people who do not live in the same city, or in some cases not even the same country. It happens a lot these days since the Internet and telecommunications systems allow for more intimate long distance communications. In other instances, people who spend a lot of time together and eventually fall in love end up leaving to stay in other places for extended periods due to work or other circumstance.

Difficult but not impossible to maintain

Being physically apart hurts. This is especially true if you want nothing more than to be near the person that you love all the time. Relationships are plagued by doubts and fears, but these worries are more pronounced in couples who are far apart most of the time.

The most relevant question is whether the couple has what it takes to survive the situation. At first, the excitement of the first few days of being in love drowns everything else. Eventually, reality catches up with them and sometimes reality bites. However, this kind of relationship only fails if the people involved takes on a defeatist attitude. Though difficult, long distance couples succeed in forging a stronger bond despite the distance. It is not an impossible task, but it takes a clear understanding of what it takes to maintain a long distance relationship for the set up to work.

Thoughts to stay away from

The downfall of a long-distance relationship or any relationship for that matter is doubt. It is natural to feel doubt, especially in the long lulls between the times that you spend together as a couple. It is also quite natural to ask for reassurance. However, if doubt dominates the relationship, then it is doomed to fail for sure. Moreover, self-defeating thoughts and frustrations do not help at all. Giving into hopelessness only makes it more difficult to cope with the absence of the loved one. Instead, the couple must focus on finding new ways to express their love and reciprocate their mutual admiration. Being positive and optimistic is the best approach to take in order to avoid heartache and pain.

Prioritize the one you love

Relocating to another city and being away from the person you love means juggling schedules and dealing with difference in time zone, in some situations. Making time is given a new context, but if the person you are in a relationship with is a priority, then it should not be that complicated. If setting aside time for this person is at the top of your list, and then there is no chance for the relationship to fail, despite everyone else predicting it will not last.

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How to Assess a Long Distance Relationship

kuku | 01:37 | Be the first to comment!

As more and more people meet through online dating or at events away from home, and as people get transferred to other cities for their jobs, long distance relationships have become more common. Sometimes they are very challenging and sometimes they work out well.

The Challenges

If you are an insecure, anxious, needy or jealous person, then a long distance relationship is likely not for you. Until you learn to love yourself enough to not worry about what your partner is doing, and to take loving care of your own feelings, it will likely be very stressful for you.

If you are an extroverted person who regenerates with your partner and with others, not seeing your partner on a daily basis might be very hard for you, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent or you work at a job where you don't have much interaction with others.

If you are a working mother or father, or you have a number of young children, it may be quite challenging for you to not have the help of your partner.

If consistent, daily in-person connection and affection is important to you, then a long distance lifestyle would not work well for you.

The Positives

If you are a more introverted person who needs a lot of time alone to regenerate, it might work well for you to not be with a partner on a daily basis.

If you or your partner are both very busy, achievement-oriented people, getting together on weekends or even once a month for a weekend might be a lifestyle that works for you.

If both you and your partner love your time alone, then a long distance relationship might be ideal for you.

If the two of you love each other but you often trigger each other in ways that lead to distance or conflict, then not seeing each other as much might be just the thing that saves your relationship.

If you love to travel and you are a very social person who makes friends wherever you go, and your partner is a quieter stay-at-home person, you might find that you each get your needs met through a long distance relationship.

If you tend to be a person who gives yourself up a lot and has a fear of engulfment, you might feel much safer in a long distance relationship.

Sometimes people who live in different cities meet one another and thoroughly enjoy their relationship - as long as they live apart. But fears of engulfment might get triggered if they make plans to live together.

Beth and her partner Danny both enjoyed their weekends together once a month and their vacations together. They thought the next step would be to live together. But when Danny's job finally allowed him to move to the same city as Beth, she become terrified. During their seven-year long-distance relationship, Beth often found herself giving herself up on their weekends together and even on the phone, and she sometimes breathed a sign of relief when Danny went back to his home. Even though she complained that she and Danny didn't have enough time together, when the opportunity finally arose for this to become a reality, Beth suddenly found herself re-evaluating the relationship. Her fear of engulfment was so great that she ended the relationship. She told me that Danny was a very demanding person, and that she could manage that in a long-distance relationship but not in a live-in one.

Beth could have done the inner work necessary to develop her loving adult so that she no longer gave herself up, but she had convinced herself that the relationship would end anyway if she stopped being a caretaker. She might have been right, but she also might have been wrong. The only way she could have known the truth would have been to stop caretaking and see what happened. But she was not willing to take this risk.

It's important to be honest with yourself about whether or not a long distance relationship is for you.

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