One of the most asked questions we get are on how to keep the sparkle alive in a long distance relationship. People talk about being stuck in a rut, feeling emotionally numb or so depressed that the relationship feels more like agony than something that gives them joy or hope.
Yes, it can be pretty challenging because you are not able to have a physical contact or touch each other as other couples who live in the same city or country as a means of bonding. And although there will always be an element of sadness involved it shouldn't have to torment you on a daily or hourly basis.
If you can keep the sparkle alive it will allow you two to gain energy from your relationship instead of only sadness. This can be a challenging task and requires a persistency of positive thought, how tempting sliding back to a negative spin may be. To keep the train on an upbeat track we've put some points in a row to help you out so that you may find some relief and relaxation.
Video call dates
First off is something we all are familiar with: video calls. Video calling is going to be your best friend here. We discussed it before but it is a very important one, because it allows the best communication with the most possibilities. Choose a form a video call that suits you best like Skype, Videm, FaceTime or WhatsApp so that both of you or most comfortable as this will increase overall attitude rather then get distracted by technical issues. Schedule a date (or multiple), dress up nice and set the mood.
This is more important than you might think. You can have a regular video call in sweat pants, eating chips and watching series together, but the idea is to create a different type of video call, a "date call", to stir it up. Agreed, hanging out with your partner in your jammies is great and you can absolutely have a good time, but if you're trying to get out of that rut, you've got to shake things up. Do things different than usual. If you normally talk in regular jeans and t-shirt, try to wear something different. Pretend as if you were going to pick the other up for an actual date and dress accordingly. Bring candles and maybe some soft music in the background, just make the extra step. Not only is it nice to see your SO all neatly taken care of, this will also create a different scenario and will be intriguing for both of you to engage in.
Make your evening supper together (you could make the same dish together) and have dinner with candle lights. If you're a musician you could even play something for the other. Create the right atmosphere and keep it for that night, even when it is time to say goodbye. This will allow the thought to continue to dance around in your head creating more positive emotions, even after you stopped talking. This would be a "dinner night" scenario, but it could be with anything that both of you like, preferably with an element of romance, although not a must.
Another option that can be very romantic is a gift. A gift can be a very subtle way of showing the other how much they mean to you and making them feel special. Especially when send unexpectedly this can be a real mood enhancer. You could pretty much send anything you like, from flowers to chocolates to photo albums of you two, but from our experience the best type of presents are the ones that have a personal meaning for both of you. Say you two have an inside joke about dogs for example, you could send a stuffed animal of a dog to the other. Things that are soft are also a plus because you can usually sleep with it and hold it close so that you feel like the other is closer to you as well. This works especially well at night when your thoughts won't leave you alone and loneliness starts to creep in. But this is just one example of an idea that will make those butterflies tickle again.
In some countries they offer flower delivery to specific addresses, which you could use to add a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Anyway be creative and especially personal when it comes to picking out a good present for the other. Be creative and especially personal when it comes to picking out a good present for the other.
A personal letter can be very powerful as well. If you are good with words we definitely recommend this one. A handwritten letter gives an insight into the mind of the one who wrote it and can sometimes make things even more clear than when explained through regular conversations. It lets you take a ride on the other person's train of thought on how you make them feel happy, special, loved and everything else in words chosen carefully to lay down accurately what it is they want you to know. You can always keep this in a safe place and reread it when you feel it is getting tough.
I sure read my letters multiple times and it gave me reassurance during times in which I was insecure about things. There is nothing more romantic and loving than finding a handwritten letter or card in your mail when you come home.
A picture a day
Also something very personal that can be shared are pictures. Share pictures about what's going on in your life with your loved one. This is something that is little less of an "event" and more of something that can be done on a regular basis. This will make you guys feel more connected and that you are part of their daily routines. Don't overload the other with a picture every hour on the most unimportant things, but send something here and there to let them join in on what it is you are doing.
For example, when Nathan was in Holland, he had to drive his bike 20 kilometres to work at the beach during the summer. He decided to give a "guided tour" of the area to show what it is he saw every day he went off to work. He send pictures of large fields with cows, small towns that he would pass through, the dunes along the coast and eventually the beach, alongside small explanations of the route. Not only was it fun to follow and see where he was going, it allowed Chery in the upcoming weeks to visualise for herself whenever he said he had to work where he was going. You can do this with events like going to an amusement park, birthday or picnic, but also on a more regular basis. It is of course always nice to receive a picture of your loved one!
Of course, a variety of things can be done with pictures, of which one is expressing your sexuality. Sexuality is an important part of every relationship. Usually this is shown through physical contact, but now you'll have to try and engage in verbal and visual stimulation. Although you may feel awkward about this, it is important to remain active together in a sexual fashion as well. Plan times where you can talk naughty with each other and tell each other your fantasies and desires.
The degree at which you go is all up to you, some people are comfortable sending pictures and videos, others are already shivering by the idea of simply explaining what they would like. Feel it out between the two of you what the limit is, but do try to engage in it somehow, as these things are a great way to keep the spark going due to their excitement and, for many, new way of discovering each other. It is a very sensitive topic, so be honest about it! Don't do anything you don't want and of course be respectful about your partners desires and secrets. Discuss ways to work on your sexuality together and see to what heights it can bring you!
With these things in mind you are better equipped to keep the sparkle alive, and it's that sparkle in your partner's eyes that keeps the relationship going.