Well, would you look at that! After years of bitching and moaning about continually, inexplicably, ASININELY getting myself into long-distance relationships — LDRs to those in the know — I finally have something to be smug about. Read 'em and weep, kids: couples who span the distance benefit from frequent and deep communication. (Are my topless snaps more "frequent" or "deep," I wonder?)
If you value your sanity and sex life, I would strongly suggest avoiding long-distance relationships. They are, frankly, the worst, and cause you to waste many hours of your precious life on dingy buses, inevitably seat-buddied up with a woman who smells like Cool Ranch Doritos— like, in a bad way. Still, I do think this study is on to something. My boyfriend and I talk pretty much constantly about pretty much everything.
So, in short, if I had to choose between getting laid on the daily and emotional depth and security, um, I would probably go for sex. But because I love you — yes, you! — you don't have to choose. I've rounded up four LDR best practices, which work for lovers near and far.
1. Create a communication routine.
Phone calls and video chats are not a daily guarantee with my boyfriend. We're both fairly busy people — and, OK, sometimes we're not that busy, but we both also really value our individual HBO GO time. No mortal man stands a chance against the third season of Game of Thrones, ya heard?
Here's what is a given in my relationship: a "Good morning!" GChat, an afternoon email check-in, an "I'm leaving work" heads-up, and at least a short bedtime text convo. I can't tell if that sounds excessive or pitifully spare, but it's what works for us; you'll find your own rhythm. Try not to pull a Ross though.
2. Share your reading list.
So, in an LDR, your sense of closeness as a couple depends on talking. Accordingly, you talk a lot. You know what happens when you talk to the same person for hours on end? You start to get really boring, and they start to get really boring, and you wind up accidentally puncturing your laptop screen with, I don't know, a fondue skewer, because you just wanted to MAKE THE BORING STOP.
I'm totally guilty of falling into lazy LDR conversational trappings — you know, "I love you, I miss you, do you miss me, oh, that's cool." So thank god for the Internet, and for jobs that don't restrict our internet access, because now he and I can talk about interesting articles we read instead of his really uninteresting turkey sandwich lunch. Seriously, he eats the most boring lunches.
3. Get really, really real with each other.
As the above might suggest, I do not think it would do much for my relationship if my boyfriend and I just sat around all day and made nonsense noises at our cell phones. I have had some of the best late-night talks with him, the kind most normal couples have in bed. And we were in bed, only separate beds, and we were on our laptops. Because romance!
Are our lengthy instant messaging conversations about everything from religion to threesomes a little R-rated middle school? Maybe. But spilling all of your crazy, rambly, secret thoughts to another human being can be an incredibly intimate experience, even — and maybe especially — if you need a WiFi connection to do so. It can be way easier to hurl your most outlandish thought at your partner in cyberspace, no?
4. Sext, duh!
Nothing bores me more than those old-media-y thought pieces on why sexting is the fifth horseman (whore-seman? Sorry) of the apocalypse. Sexting is fun! Just be smart and don't, like, sext someone with the emotional maturity of a teenager and expect positive results. If you're anxious, download Snapchat and send really short snaps. Your relationship is officially more fun already. Bam.
So, now you know how to communicate like you're in a long distance relationship without actually having to, you know, BE in a long distance relationship. And so do I — did I mention my boyfriend and I are moving in together?