Are you in a long distance relationship? Here's how to keep that spark alive
Experts say that communication is the key to maintain emotional intimacy in long distance mode and finding ways to care, date, spend time and romance digitally too can help.
Let's accept it, long distance relationships are tougher to maintain than normal relationships. The geographical distance can take a toll on spark and spontaneity in relationships and over a period of time there is a risk of drifting apart and feeling emotionally distant. However, every relationship is different and there are some couples who manage their time apart from each other wonderfully and never let that connection faint. Experts say that communication is the key to maintain emotional intimacy in long distance mode and finding ways to care, date, spend time and romance digitally too can help. It is natural for couples to worry about how they are going to sustain their bond, especially when the long distance is also for a very long time. (Also read: How to resolve conflict in relationship or marriage? Relationship experts answer)
Arouba Kabir, Mental Health counselor & Founder, Enso Wellness, says if your heart is in the right place, distance doesn't stand a chance.
"Of course not being able to meet, kiss or touch your loved one regularly does make one feel off and may dull the relationship, but there are many ways to keep that spark alive," she says.
The mental health counselor says that sometimes something as simple as having a meal together in a day allows the couple to relax and share their day - making them feel at home amidst the chaos around.
She suggests scheduling online dates, be it watching a movie together or cooking together.
"Put a countdown till your next meet and use it as a motivation to help you sail through the days that seem a little tougher than others. Go old school- write each other letters or email to keep the spark alive. Using your own fingers or toys for pleasure while you talk to each other is also a way of bonding," says Kabir.
Saurabh Goswami, Founder of Ultra Rich Match, says that this dilemma has become a lot more frequent than it was a decade before. “This situation usually arises due to a career-related decision, where lack of support from the other partner can be viewed as selfish and insensitive”, he says.
Saurabh suggests a few tips to get through this situation if both are actually serious about the relationship and see a future together.
1. Revere the communication: When the time is so limited, it is important that the couple makes the best of it. Make a communication schedule as you both settle into a long-distance routine, and stick to it, no matter what. Make notes of what important things happened through the day, or things that made you happy or sad and share with your partner whenever you communicate. It could be impromptu messages through the day, or it could be a long email or chat at the end of day. But remember to communicate.
2. Don't bottle your insecurities: There is a situation I recall where the husband was sent to the US for a one-year project and wife started acting weird by the end of the year, even though they were talking frequently, and he had visited her twice during this tenure. During counselling, it came out that she had avoided discussing her insecurities on phone, thinking that she shouldn’t discuss these things on phone. During the brief visits, she thought why waste the precious time on the irrelevant issues. She ended up bottling all her issues and suffered a breakdown, even as the husband was completely clueless.
3. Maintain your independence: Your partner should be a part of your life, not the entire life. It is important that you don’t spend the entire free time waiting for the other’s call or messages or obsessing over what they might be doing. Spend time on your own hobbies, meet up your own friends and enjoy your own company. Take this long-distance situation as an opportunity to discover yourself.
4. Keep physical reminders of each other with you: Pack your bottle of perfume with them, listen to their favourite bands when you get time. These little keepsakes can act as binders in your relationship.
5. Gifting across the borders: With online shopping, it has gotten so easy to order and send anything anywhere instantly, at that too at a minimum cost. Use this facility to keep the spark alive. It doesn’t have to be restricted to birthdays or anniversaries. Just a small bouquet, a few cupcakes, small nothings to remind the person how important they are.
6. Get romantic: No, it’s not impossible. Schedule some time, at least once a week, to cook a meal together on a video call. Dress up and turn it into a virtual date. Don’t hesitate to keep the intimacy spark alive. It’s very important to discuss intimacy but it should not end up getting uncomfortable or awkward.
7. Keep remind yourself and your partner frequently what you love about your relationship: Long-distances can become difficult. It is important to keep reminding yourself about what actually binds you together. Lack of contact communication and support can lead to building issues which don’t actually exist. Whenever you start getting insecure, browse through the pictures of your happy times together. Read the lovey-dovey start-of-the-relation chats. Remind yourself that a relation is a journey, not a destination.