Pandemic-time Online Dating Could Cause a Future Spike in Serious Relationships

Nearly everyone knows of or has participated in the surge in online dating during the early peaks of the pandemic. Locked down in their homes and cities, the world’s daters took to video chat services like ducks to water, congesting global bandwidths with sweet nothings whispered into multimedia microphones and AirPods the world over. Now, experts are saying that this flood of online dating could eventually lead to more serious relationships once the pandemic dies down.

Of course, that could be as far away as a year from now by the looks of it, but they say that it might almost be inevitable. Regardless, it’s always better to be prepared if you think you’re going to go through such a transition. Therefore, let’s look at some of the transitional aspects of moving from online dating to physical dating because they’re as far apart as two things can be. Yes, there are some similarities, no doubt, but the differences are far too glaring to ignore. It’s better to equip yourself with the information you need to make the shift in as disruptive a manner as possible.

Online Dating vs. Physical Dating

So, what are these key differences between online dating and in-the-flesh dating?

#1 – Making a good first impression

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the first date is very important as far as first impressions are concerned. But the degree of it vastly differs between in-person dating and the online version. There are certain things that might be critical to physical dating that don’t really matter when it comes to the online equivalent – such as whether you brushed your teeth or if you’re wearing pants!

Of course, we recommend you do both these things – if only to feel more confident about yourself on that first date. However, because of the fact that you’re only going to see that person’s face and maybe a little of their upper body, it’s much easier to make a good first impression when you’re meeting online.

#2 – Preparing for the date

Building further on that first point, traditional dating also brings a lot of ritualistic obligations with it – the showering, the BO self-test, the flossing, the preening, the grooming, the breath test, the BO test again with a (really) close friend, and so on and so forth. That can take up a lot of time but it’s obviously critical to whether or not you’ll ever see her again!

Be ready to spend a considerable amount of time preparing for your first date if you’re meeting in person. It might only take you a half-hour to get ready for an online date. Real dates take a lot longer to prep for.

The preparatory steps we’re referring to in this section are merely the physical side. Your appearance, the way you carry yourself, the clothes you wear, the deodorant you use (easy with the cologne, champ!)… these represent the physical side of things. But there’s another side to getting ready for a date.

#3 – The practical side

The logistics of a physical date are completely different from those of an online date. For the online experience, there’s very little in the way of planning, such as setting up your phone or laptop in a spot with good Wi-Fi reception, some ambient lighting, maybe a little background music, etc.

Real dating takes a lot more effort. Unless you’re going to wing it (which is always a bad idea, by the way), you need to be ready with a budget, a restaurant, maybe an activity thrown in, plans for how you’ll meet up (are you picking her up, are you meeting there, etc.) and how you’ll take her home, and such details.

Plan well ahead of the date. Make reservations if you need to. If you’re going to be drinking, be sure to have the Uber app installed on your phone. If you’re both under 18 and need a chaperone, check with your parents or legal guardians regarding their schedule and so on. Make sure you have more than enough cash to cover all foreseeable expenses. You may want to carry a little extra in case you walk past a florist and want to be spontaneous – things like that.

#4 – The hard question

Are you going to kiss her on your very first physical date? Whether you’ve been dating her online for a while or this is the first meeting, it’ll be on both your minds so get it out of the way. Don’t be nervous; just be ready to have it go either way. There’s no rule that says the first date has to end with a kiss. Get a sense of it during the date itself. If you really like her and you think she feels the same way, it’ll seem right when the time comes.

A lot of couples are nervous on their first date because of the dreaded first date kiss. Don’t let it affect your ability to have fun during the date. Let that apprehension be a natural sensual tension that lasts through the evening.

#5 – The harder question

Should you go on a second date? That’s usually the hardest question of all. On the one hand, it depends on how well the first date goes; on the other, even a disastrous first date can lead to a long-term relationship if you give it another chance.

So, what do you do? How do you decide?

The best way to figure this out is to see if the two of you have at least a few things in common. Did you grow up in the same city, do you have similar backgrounds, are both of you very family-oriented, and so on. Essentially, that’s what you’ll be discovering on your first date. Other things include your ability to entertain each other through conversation and whether or not you can make each other laugh.

The thing is, don’t worry even if it isn’t all smooth sailing on the first date. That perfect first date is a rare and precious thing that all of us aren’t lucky enough to get all the time. If it happens, great – then you don’t have that question hanging over your head about whether to ask her out again. But if it doesn’t, don’t beat yourself up about it. Go with the flow.

As a matter of fact, the best way to assess the situation is to be open about it. If you enjoyed the first date, tell her! If she reciprocates, it’s very likely she’s up for round two. Try and read her body language when you ask her. If she merely acknowledges your statement but doesn’t seem willing to return the sentiment, let it go. If you really like her, you can always call her later on for that second date. Don’t rush it.

The most important thing is to be willing to accept that things could go either way. Relationships are very delicate things that need to be handled with care. There’s no straight line from the first meeting to a long-term relationship or even marriage. Take it one step at a time and do your part to make sure the relationship works. Sometimes, we focus on the other person’s actions and words so much that we forget that we’re one half of the equation.

What Next?

Now that you’ve successfully transitioned from online dating to in-the-flesh dating, how do you take this to the next step? That’s assuming both of you want to, of course. If you do, then there are certain things that will be of immense value once you get started on a more serious relationship. This could be the two of you continuing the relationship on a long-distance basis (LDR) or in a geographically close relationship (GCR.) The dynamics might be different but the core principles are still the same no matter what type of long-term relationship you’re getting into.

The Five Senses of a Mature Relationship

To understand these principles, we must travel to the future and see what your relationship should ideally look like five or ten years from now. And the best way to explain the mechanics of a mature relationship is to break it down into several components. We call these the five senses of a mature relationship. They’re not the traditional five senses that involve the body’s sense organs; rather, they’re more like sensibilities we need to develop and nurture in order to create a rich and meaningful relationship. They evolve over time but they don’t happen on their own. They are the result of effort and awareness on the part of both partners in a relationship. And they are as follows:

A Sense of Individuality

In any strong relationship, there is a sense of individuality shared between the two people involved. This might seem contradictory to the ‘two bodies, one mind’ notion that many of us have been exposed to; in reality, it is not. It is only when both partners have a good self-image and a strong sense of self can there be a melding of the minds.

If not, it’s basically one mind overcoming and the other succumbing. After all, isn’t that what we see quite often in many marriages that have lasted decades? Imagine one couple where the wife does all the talking and the husband is all “yes, dear” all the time. Where’s his individuality in that equation? Now imagine another mature couple who allow each other to voice their thoughts and opinions, rarely interrupting each other, and actually listening when the other is speaking.

Which of these couples is truly one unit? Which of these exude a sense of individuality? The second couple, right? That’s what this sense can bring to a relationship. As we said before, it’s not just an evolutionary phenomenon that happens on its own. You have to allow the other’s individuality to bloom, even as they encourage your own sense of self to come to its own.

That said, always remember that individuality is expressed in many different ways, not just vocally. Someone might be strong-minded but doesn’t talk much. That’s okay. Just let their individuality come out how it will. Just water it – don’t Bonsai it!

A Sense of Respect

Along with a sense of individuality, couples in a long-term relationship will also exhibit a strong sense of respect whether they’re with each other or alone. This is more of an active component than the sense of individuality because it basically has to come from the other person.

Is your better half getting the respect he deserves from you? Do you get it from him? This respect comes in many forms but has the same sentiment at its core. It can be in the form of letting the other person speak their mind or letting them shape your own opinion about something because you respect theirs. It could come in the form of trusting them without knowing the outcome. It can even be as simple as acknowledging their presence when they walk into the room you’re in – or saying ‘Good Morning’ every day despite having done it over 3,000 times!

These are all signs of respect, and that sense of respect is crucial to the success of any relationship – if you want it to last. Unfortunately, too many couples start taking each other for granted as they get more familiar with each other’s habits and idiosyncracies. They stop acknowledging each other’s presence, they don’t say ‘Thank You’ and ‘Sorry’ as often as they should, etc.

Taking the other person for granted is the exact opposite of what you want to be doing to nurture this sense, so keep that in mind at all times.

A Sense of Space

This, too, is closely related to the sense of individuality but with some important differences. For example, you being comfortable with your partner’s absence when she’s out with her friends is essentially you giving her a sense of space. In one respect, you’re allowing her to express her individuality, true; but the subtle difference is that getting a sense of space can only happen in the absence of the other person, while the sense of individuality is typically expressed in their presence.

There’s also the aspect of mentally giving someone space when they want to be alone with their thoughts. Leave it to them to share those thoughts with you – don’t intrude on them. They’ll eventually share their inner thoughts with you if they need your input or just need you to listen. When that happens, don’t try to solve the problem. Just listen. That’s the sense of space in its essence.

Another meaning of a sense of space is the emotion or spiritual space you can give them when they need it most. When your partner is overwhelmed, allow them to get away for the weekend and unwind at a spa or even at their parents’ home. Don’t take it personally. They’re not trying to get away from you but the overload of sensory inputs they’re experiencing at that point in time. It could be pressure at work or familial obligations that have brought them to this point. Be supportive but give them the space to work it out.

A Sense of Loyalty

Does your partner always have the confidence that you have their back? That you’re going to stick with them through thick and thin – poverty and prosperity – sickness and health? Are they afraid you’ll leave them if they become fat or old or whatever?

There’s a reason why this sounds like marriage vows: because it is! Marriage is supposed to be forever, which is why those vows were written that way – as a reminder that you don’t pick up and run when the going gets tough. Unfortunately, much of today’s society thinks of marriage much like a new car that can be traded in for a better model when one comes along.

Call us conventional and stuffy, but we believe that any serious relationship, including marriage, needs to have that unbreakable bond between the two people involved. Let’s be clear about this. We’re not referring to destructive or abusive relationships or marriages because that’s a clear case of one person abusing their rights as a partner. If you’re leaving someone like that, go ahead and do it quickly. We’re talking about marriages where little molehill problems creep up and are made into mountains for no reason.

A sense of loyalty also means knowing that your partner has your back in a tight situation, not just that they’ll stand by your side. They have to be an active participant in defending you, and you, them. You need to put your own safety and well-being on the line to protect theirs. This is an active sense, not a passive one.

Finally, loyalty also means you’re there to share the good things in their life. If she lands a great new job and you have to give up your not-so-great career to stay home and look after the kids, you need to step up and man up. It doesn’t matter who brings home the bacon. Don’t let your male ego overtake this sense of loyalty. That comes above all else.

A Sense of Oneness

This is the ultimate sense in any relationship. But watch out: It can occur in flashes early on in the relationship, making it seem like the person is your soulmate. Some couples even tend to take this as a sign and jump ahead to marriage, only to jump out again when they find that the other pieces of the puzzle aren’t falling into place. That’s why this feeling should essentially grow larger as you go through the other stages of development – it takes that much time to mature and come to fruition.

Unlike the other senses, this one is more intangible. It’s more of a feeling evidenced by certain occurrences – not something you can really put a finger on. And it can happen anywhere. For instance, you may get this feeling of oneness when you’re sitting together silently watching a sunset. You might also get the same feeling at a loud party or a dinner in a noisy restaurant – the feeling that you were meant to be together. There’s nothing like a roomful of strangers to bring you closer to each other!

One important aspect of this sense of oneness is that it can also be actively given. How? By focusing your attention and mentally entering their space despite myriad distractions in the background and in your head. Paying attention to each other is possibly the most effective way to say, “I’m all here and it’s all for you.”

Another thing about this sense of oneness or unity is that can only be achieved after you’ve developed the other four senses. It is the final level of maturity in any relationship. You begin thinking as one, yet you maintain your individuality; you have tremendous respect for each other; you know when the other person needs their space and when they need your companionship; you’re keenly aware of their sense of loyalty and willing to offer yours; these things must be in place before you can truly feel that sense of oneness.

From Online Dating to Serious Relationships – Will We Really See a Spike after the Pandemic?

If you know a little bit about post-World-War-II history in the United States, you’ve probably heard of the “Baby Boom” that added no less than 4.24 million babies to the population every year between 1946 and 1964. These Baby Boomers, as they’re known, were born in an era of plenty, when Americans had the confidence to raise lots of kids after a long period of sparsity. They came back from WWII on aching feet, war-weary and ready to settle down. The economic landscape was promising – solid jobs, affordable homes, and great prospects for raising children. And they did it by the millions.

The pandemic won’t last nearly as long, fingers crossed, but the pent-up physical and mental emotions of the entire world – especially the younger generation – could lead to a similar spike in long-term relationships once we achieve a modicum of normalcy. While this might not necessarily lead to an immediate rise in babies being born, it could certainly give rise to an unusual number of people entering long-term relationships and even marriage. And then the babies will come! So, what do we call that generation? Post-Pandemic Pfizer-Powered Pant Poopers, perhaps?

But jokes apart, what experts are saying could eventually lead to a surge in serious relationships is something we need to recognize and prepare for; hence, this article. The information here will help you navigate the terrain of a long-haul relationship, hopefully helping prevent en-masse break-ups once people realize that real relationships aren’t a bed of roses. They’re not at all like a quick zoom call and a virtual night out. It takes hard work to build a healthy relationship. Being aware of this will put you ahead of the pack when people start struggling with the realities of a long-term relationship as opposed to the convenience of online dating.

A Final Word

The key to a good relationship is participation from both sides. One-sided relationships hardly ever work – and even when they do, it’s one person pulling the cart while the other sits on it or pulls in the opposite direction. Eventually, that sort of relationship is bound to come to a head, and most likely an unpleasant one at that.

Another key piece of the puzzle is effort, not merely participation. An active effort is required from both people if you want to create a truly healthy relationship. It doesn’t always come easy. It’s a work in progress for the most part. The real milestones are the ones you barely even see whizzing past as you focus on the future. You’ll only know them by the evidence they produce; the awareness that things are changing, evolving, getting better over time.

The real secret ingredient in any relationship is a double-dose of willingness to keep working at it – one generous dollop from each partner. That’s the only way. Nobody has a solid relationship that simply falls into their laps. Nobody. Any couple you see that are happier the longer they’re together is a couple that’s bent over backward to make things work. They’ve put in the miles and reaped the smiles. They’ve roughed it out and toughed it out, simply because they thought it was worth sticking together.

If you want to move from online dating into a real relationship, that’s what you need to be willing to do. Are you ready to make sacrifices and work as a team? Are you willing to accept that you do not equal at all times – that you each take turns to play the lead role in the band while the other one sometimes has to be in the background and “play the tambourine,” as Chris Rock says? Can you do that for each other? Can you be each other’s most trusted confidantes? Can you cut through the crap that an envious world will inevitably throw at you – even your own relatives and friends? Do you have the resilience to withstand the initial turbulence as you slowly gain an understanding of each other’s behavioral habits and peculiarities? Are you willing to look past things that irritate you but are really minor in the larger scheme of things? Or will you put in your papers as soon as you discover that he always squeezes the toothpaste tube from the top?

Our purpose here is not to scare the bejeezus out of you. It is simply to prepare you for something you might not even be aware of. Think of it as an orientation session with more than a pinch of truth to it. If, after you’ve read this piece at least a couple of times, you have decided to go ahead and try to make something out of that online dating experience with someone who you think is special, then go for it. You have a deeper understanding of what it takes to make a long-term relationship work. And you have our warmest and most sincere blessings and best wishes for the future! Go out and build yourself a beautiful relationship with someone equally special, because it will be the greatest legacy you can leave behind on this planet.

Long-distance Relationship Therapists Recommend Doing These 8 Things

Long-distance relationships can be quite fragile, for apparent reasons. But they don’t have to be. Interviews with several relationship experts and long-distance relationship therapists have now revealed some straightforward but important steps that long-distance couples can take to strengthen the bond and make sure their long-distance relationship ‘lasts the distance’, in a manner of speaking.

long-distance relationship quote

So, what are these things that therapists say you should do? Let’s analyze each one to see how you can apply it to your own long-distance love situation.

But before we begin, let’s make a mental note of the fact that these tips and tidbits need to be put into action for any of them to work. Reading about them helps, but unless you’re able to weave them into your relationship, from both sides, it will be purely ‘for entertainment purposes only.’

To get the best out of this advice, don’t focus on doing everything at once. Take two points and work on them for a week or as long as you need to. Once you feel confident that it’s been ingrained and imbibed and has become second nature to both of you, move on to the next pair. For that matter, even focus on one point at a time to make sure you thoroughly understand what you need to do, then implement it for a week to see how it’s working for you.

If you do these things with an open mind and a sincere heart, magical things will happen as a result of relatively simple steps that you take, one day at a time.

#1: Communicate Just the Right Amount

That’s a hard pill to swallow because who knows what the right amount of communication in any relationship really is? How much is too much and how much is not enough? To understand the logic behind that advice, we spoke to several relationship experts who regularly counsel couples in a long-distance relationship. Here’s the gist of what they said: Talk as often as it feels right. The moment it feels like a chore for either one of you, cut back. And when you find yourself wishing you were on a call with your significant other, take it one notch up.

This is some sound advice, and it’s practical, too. Not only does this make the communication part dynamic but it also allows you to feel the pulse and adjust the frequency of your communication accordingly.

From a practical viewpoint, let’s say you begin by getting on a call once every two days. If either of you feels that it is impinging on your schedule, then dial it down to two times a week and see if that works. On the other hand, if you find yourself eagerly waiting for that call – too eagerly – then maybe it’s time to set up a daily schedule that works for both of you.

That’s the reason it’s dynamic as well. If, at any point in time, you or your partner feels that it’s getting a little too much for what you have to say to each other or too little to say it all, adjust the frequency to match the need.

long-distance relationships - communicating

Optionally, you can increase the frequency but make the calls shorter. That works better for some people who already have a lot on their plate on a daily basis.

The idea is to keep it fluid so both of you control the duration and neither feels that it’s a burden or that it’s not enough.

#2: Find a Common Area of Interest

People don’t always fall in love because they’re into the same things, but once you’re in love, you’ll see that you do share a lot of things in common. The idea here, therapists say, is to find something that both of you can engage in on a regular basis. It could be an activity you both participate in virtually, reading the same book separately and discussing it together, watching a movie in sync and then talking about it, and so on.

The purpose of this exercise is not to stay within your respective comfort zones but expand those comfort zones so they overlap. If the two of you have nothing much in common but you both love horses, find a way to bring that into your lives and engage in it actively. It could be as simple as watching horse videos for an hour each week or sharing your childhood horse-riding stories just before you go to bed.

Whatever you decide, make sure the topic is of interest to you both and not a case of one person’s hobby being forcibly thrust on the other. Be honest. If you don’t like something the other person suggests, say it.

Over time, you can look for new things to connect you together, constantly strengthening your relationship in the process.

#3: Appreciate Why You’re Apart in the First Place

A lot of long-distance couples tend to focus on the ‘being separated’ part instead of understanding the reason for their separation. It could be that you go to different colleges or work in different countries even. It could be that one of you is unable to move due to financial challenges or family commitments.

In every case, there will be at least one reason why you’re in a long-distance relationship. If you can recognize that reason and truly respect the decision you made around it, it will be a lot easier to handle the separation. It might also give you a firm timeline for when you can finally be together again physically.

In most cases, it’s education or finances or work or health that’s keeping you at a distance from each other. Many of these reasons have finite lifetimes. In other words, you can predict when those situations will eventually end. Focus on that as the ‘time remaining’ on your long-distance relationship and stick it out, because whatever is keeping you apart is really important or you wouldn’t have decided on a long-distance relationship in the first place.

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. For instance, if one of you had to stay back home because of a bedridden parent and the other took a job in a different city, you don’t necessarily know when you’ll be able to join each other.

For the most part, however, these situations are predictable and will allow you to make plans for the future.

And that brings us to actually making those plans.

#4: Fix a Firm Date for the Ultimate Reunion if Possible

We often just leave this to chance and destiny but, if we do, then we’re only allowing other things to come in the way of our being together again. Things happen: new jobs come along, new education opportunities pop up, and life generally happens whether we’re watching closely or not.

During this time, if you’re not vigilant, other things will creep in that will prolong your separation. That’s why you need to have a firm date to get back together again. If that means making travel plans two years ahead, so be it. That plane ticket will be your motivation to stick it out through whatever the reason was for the separation.

long-distance couple reuniting at the airport

The obvious benefit of doing this is that it gives you the mental stamina to undergo the separation period, but there’s also another benefit you might not have thought of. That’s the benefit of being able to focus better on what you’re doing now. Everything you do between now and then will take you a step closer to that much-anticipated future. That means you’ll do a better job at work or school, you’ll appreciate what you have in your hand right now rather than pine away thinking of your far-away love.

#5: Focus More on the Positives

Are there any positives in a long-distance relationship? Absolutely! Experts say that long-distance couples are actually more productive in their lives because they don’t have “love” as a constant distraction. Having time to yourself means you can focus better on what you’re doing now. In a way, that carries over from the previous point of having a firm date to be together again.

Whether that’s focusing on your studies or having more time to spend with family and friends, it frees you from the obligations of being in a full-time relationship. Of course, don’t think that a long-distance relationship isn’t full-time, but recognize the fact that a lot of your time is your own.

Another positive is that the separation will reveal how much you love and miss each other. Having your partner by your side at all times is great but it tends to make you take things for granted. Even their presence is taken for granted and, therefore, less appreciated. Being in a long-distance relationship changes all that, and you learn to truly value whatever time you’re able to spend with each other, even virtual time.

#6: Don’t Ignore the Elephant in the Room

A lot of couples take the easy way out and just avoid topics that are touchy for either or both of them. Big mistake, whether it’s in a long-distance relationship (LDR) or a geographically-close relationship (GCR). But it’s even worse in an LDR because of the absence of proximal non-verbal cues like eye contact and body language. Sure, you can get that from a video call but it’s not the same thing.

And because of this, it’s often easier to avoid the tough subjects like doubts that either of you may have or something a mutual friend told you. Learning to air it out makes a relationship infinitely healthier.

It’s not easy, and I’m not trying to tell you that it is. It’s definitely a hard task. However, as you start addressing these issues, you’ll realize that it gradually brings you closer to each other than anything that’s all positive and feel-good. Those are important, too, but there’s really nothing like going through a crisis situation to help with bonding.

Sometimes, that’s all you need to put out the smoldering embers in your relationship before they flare up into uncontrollable conflagrations. If you don’t do this, things might blow up in a disproportionate way, affecting you in the long run and maybe even ruining the chances of a healthy long-distance relationship.

#7: Be Interested in Each Other’s Careers or Main Interests

It’s great to have hobbies or activities that you can share with your long-distance partner but, sometimes, that’s not enough. It’s also very important that you take an interest in the other person’s mainstay activity, such as their job, their education, or whatever it is.

Why is this important?

The main reason this is crucial to any relationship is that it gives you anchors in each other’s lives. A doctor can be married to a dancer and they can still be interested in what each of them does for a living. In fact, it will expand your own mind when you try and appreciate their point of view. This anchoring is crucial to any relationship. That’s why we become friends with someone – because we often share the same interests and can talk about common topics without getting bored.

Aside from helping you drop these mutual anchors, it also helps you understand where they’re coming from. In conversations, they’ll often bring up analogies to their work or their studies. If you don’t have a clue what they’re saying, you can’t appreciate their intent. You’ll simply be nodding your head without getting the real meaning of what they’re trying to say.

So, how do you go about taking an interest in someone else’s career or education without knowing anything about it? Ah, but that’s the easy part!

Begin by asking a lot of questions. If you know nothing about that topic, that’s even better. Start with basic – and what you might think are stupid – questions. They’ll love to answer your questions because it puts them squarely in their comfort zone; apart from that, you’ll be making them feel like an expert on the topic. In a relative way, they are, but you’re bringing that aspect to the forefront.

Reading up on the topic is another way to get into their lives. You don’t have to study what they did to become who they are now, but it helps if you read a few articles or journals and see if you can get the hang of the terminology used in their profession. That way, when they talk about it, you can respond intelligently because you actually know what they’re saying!

One thing to keep in mind, though, is not to become so much of an expert in their area of expertise that they start seeing you as a threat. For instance, just because you’ve read articles on the latest surgical techniques used in heart transplants, you don’t have to throw that in your heart surgeon wife’s face every chance you get. Even if they’re not threatened by it, they’re going to be put off because it sounds like you’re challenging their own knowledge. “What? You’re a heart surgeon and you’ve never performed a robotically-assisted surgery?” That sort of thing will tick anyone off, wouldn’t you agree?

So, get familiar with their main area of interest, but only so much as to be able to have a meaningful conversation with them about it.

#8: Keep Reminding Each Other Why You’re in this Relationship

What do you love about each other? What do you respect about the other’s behavior or characteristics or ethics? Have you told each other this recently? Maybe you need to do it more often.

Everyone loves being told why they’re great and why someone admires them, so why are you not doling out the good stuff when it comes to what is probably the most important relationship in your life?

Constantly reminding each other of the reasons you decided to start your relationship is important because it represents what is called mutual edification. It’s not the same as flattery because that’s shallow and has ulterior motives. Mutual edification is about uplifting each other in your own eyes as well as the eyes of the world. With respect to other people around you, it’s about ‘talking each other up’ in their absence. Within your relationship, it’s about telling each other what you value about them and the relationship you’re in.

Summary

These 8 things are recommended by couples therapists and relationship experts as the most effective way to strengthen and fortify a long-distance relationship. But it works in any relationship, whether it’s with a lover, a friend, a sibling, a parent, a grandparent, or even a close colleague. Think of them as tools to polish your relationship chops and use them wisely because they will serve you as long as you have people in your life. And that’s basically forever!


Have you heard of Friendship Lamps yet?

A pair or set of lamps that connect to each other through their local Wi-Fi networks and “talk” to each other through touch and light!

Here’s more about how they work.

Find out how to buy a pair of Friendship Lamps – one for you and one for your long-distance partner or spouse.

Lockdown that Love: 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Long-distance Couples in Quarantine

It’s hard enough to be in a long-distance relationship, but what can an LDR couple do if the situation was unplanned? There are thousands of couples separated because they were traveling when the lockdowns and curfews being implemented around the world hit us hard. For many, there was simply no time or no means to get back home. If you’re a long-distance couple forced to be that way because of the quarantine situation around the world, what can you do to make things better?

Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts for long-distance couples forced to be separated by a lockdown or quarantine:

  1. Be there for each other: She’s probably frightened by the prospect of being alone at a time when the world seems to be falling apart. Be there for her by texting and emailing on a regular basis. Just a “thinking of you” every now and then can help calm her nerves. Girls, reassure your guy that you’re alright; don’t leave him biting his nails wondering if you’re safe all the time.
  2. Find close confidant(e)s for yourselves: Not every fear or worry needs to be shared with the one you love. Often, it only serves to make the situation worse because your better half knows that you’re going through the pain of isolation and there’s nothing they can do about it from where they are. For that reason, each of you needs a close friend or relative you can pour your heart out to. Men, don’t try to be macho and hide your feelings. It’s far better to vent out some of your frustration with a person you’re comfortable with.
  3. Engage in “together activities”: Make good use of the technology tools available to us. There are several online platforms where the two of you can spend time with each other doing the same activity, even if it’s as simple as playing online Sudoku, real-time online card games, virtual board games, and so on.
  4. Enjoy “me-time activities”: Being in different locations doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking minute on the phone with each other or tracking each other’s whereabouts. Reserve some time to be alone with your thoughts. You won’t be apart forever, so think about the life changes you might make once you and your lover or spouse have been reunited.
  5. Never, ever indulge in self-pity: It has been said that self-pity is the most destructive emotion in the world. How true that can be! It is a diving board that makes you plunge into the dangerously deep waters of depression. Admittedly, self-pity can be a soothing balm for a while, but it is nothing more than wasted minutes eventually sinking into endless hours, days, and weeks of intense melancholy. In short, it’s bad for you in any measure.

The best advice for long-distance couples who hadn’t planned on being apart is to go on living your lives as if you were together. Creating a semblance of normalcy in your daily routine offers many benefits, chief among them being that you will have the strength and fortitude you need to get through this tough time. Don’t ever forget that the most important thing is how both of you ‘feel’ about the situation. The more positive your outlook, the more it will help you deal with the angst and pain of separation as the world deals with the novel coronavirus threat and the uncertainty it has brought to all our lives.

God bless, be safe, and let’s get through this together!

We’ll leave you with these invaluable tips for every long-distance couple…

Surviving a Coronavirus-inflicted Long-distance Relationship

The year is 2020. It is the year of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the frightening affliction that is COVID-19. By now, it’s amply clear that most of the world was totally unprepared for such an attack on its human inhabitants, but we’re not here to criticize the world’s leaders for failing at the most basic duty of protecting the lives and health of the people who voted them into power. We’re not here to say that the 2009 Spanish Flu and 2017-2018 ILI (Influenza-like Illness caused by Influenza A and Influenza B viruses) outbreaks should have made us more prepared. We’re here to talk about the ripping apart of lives and how to survive the sheer isolation and increasing loneliness that social distancing is bringing to bear on our already-stressful existence. If you’re in a long-distance relationship forced by the lockdown situation around the world, you need the tools and means to help both of you through your time of distress.

Surviving a Forced Long-distance Relationship

Do we know how long the current status of social distancing and self-quarantine will last? Nobody does, and nobody will until there’s a viable vaccine candidate that is globally accessible. The best we can do, for now, is to be aware of the tools that will help us close the social distance inflicted on many, many couples who were traveling for work but were blindsided by travel restrictions and forced to remain separate for an indefinite period of time.

Fortunately, there’s already a roadmap for those couples who have been involuntarily put in this situation. Millions of couples the world over have been dealing with the issue of keeping a long-distance relationship alive and well, and we would do well to emulate some of those ideas and strategies to get through what can only be described as one of the most life-altering situations of this millennium.

If you’re separated from your spouse or partner due to the coronavirus outbreak and you can’t physically get to them, here’s a list of things you can do to keep in touch and give each other the courage and fortitude to overcome this seemingly insurmountable hurdle in your relationship.

What Can Long-distance Couples (LDR Couples) Do to Fight the Virus? Long-distance Relationship Tips and Tools

  • Find the Right Communication Tool

video conferencing during coronavirus lockdown

Video conferencing tools like Zoom and ClickMeeting are currently overwhelmed with the sheer number of users that are using them at any given time. You can try alternatives like Skype, but bandwidths everywhere are bursting at the seams and you may not always get through. Instead, use good old telephones (land phones, not mobiles) to get through. It’s more expensive to call internationally, but you can buy international calling cards online to save on overseas phone calls. It’s worth a shot.

  • Mentally Connect with Each Other

The lockdown situation has given us the most valuable gift of all – time; so learn to make lemonade! Just because you’re apart from your beloved, it doesn’t mean you have to be mentally separate. Distance is a state of mind; two people can be in the same room and feel alone. By the same yardstick, two people on different continents can be together, mentally. From a practical standpoint, that could mean engaging in similar activities like reading the same book or pursuing similar hobbies. Such a strategy will bring you closer and put you on the same wavelength, and that helps a lot when you’re dealing with separation anxiety.

  • Find Virtual Spaces to Share with your Long-distance Lover

We live in the age of technology and information, so why not leverage that to our advantage? If you both have access to a VR headset, for example, you can engage in shared gameplay or create private virtual spaces. There are tons of virtual reality companies with apps for this very purpose. Consider apps like Facebook Spaces; all you need to do is create a Facebook Group for you and your long-distance partner and it will let you view the same photos and videos. VRChat, IMVU, and Second Life are all great alternatives to Facebook Spaces, or you can just browse the web and find one that suits your preferences.

  • LDR Couples Can Pray Together

 

The power of prayer can hardly be overstated in current times, and there has never been a better time to seek the blessings of a Higher Intelligence. Today’s generation has become so ultra-cynical that people find it hard to even use the word God in public without facing criticism and raised eyebrows. Forget all that and go back to the roots of spiritualism by sharing a few minutes of prayer time on a regular basis. It can be extremely healing and cathartic when you’re in need of some shared upliftment.

  • Multiplayer Gaming in a Remote Relationship

On the fun side of things, there are a lot of online multiplayer games that LDR couples can enjoy playing together. A game of long-distance Scrabble might be fun, or how about doing the same online crossword puzzle or playing the same Sudoku puzzle to see who finishes first? It’s fun and it will give you something to talk and laugh about for a long time. There are also several other co-op video games that you might enjoy playing as a couple. Some of the popular platforms for online multiplayer gaming include Pogo, Steam, etc. that you can explore. The idea is to have a blast together even if you can’t be together as a couple.

  • Maintain and Share Digital Journals

Jotting down your thoughts and experiences at the end of the day and sharing them with your spouse is a great way to deal with the mental distance that physical separation often brings. The very act of putting pen to paper is a stress-reliever in itself. And when you share that with the one you love, it can be a powerful connecting force. If you’re not comfortable voicing your innermost feelings, it’s okay. Just make notes about what you did during the day. Even journaling and sharing simple and mundane stuff will do amazing things to strengthen your relationship with each other.

  • Take an Online Course Together

Learning can be fun at any age. If you’re up to it, why not sign up for an online course that both of you will enjoy? Several websites today offer virtual learning environments that offer student-to-student interaction, which means you’re actually attending classes as a couple. Nothing fosters a sense of closeness as much as learning something new together and it can be a fantastic stress outlet at a time when the strain of isolation is tugging at the loose threads of your sanity.

  • Share your Calendars Online

 

how long distance couples can share their Google calendars with each other

To keep track of each others movements during the day, you can use digitally shareable calendars like Google Calendar. It allows the other person to see what you’re up to whenever they want. Some couples might find this to be intrusive on their privacy but don’t forget that you’re trying to do everything in your power to keep yourselves on each other’s minds as much as possible. Sharing your online calendar is a great start to that end.

  • Send a Long-distance Relationship Gift

friendship lamps for long-distance relationship gifting

If e-commerce services are operational at your location and that of your spouse or lover, you can consider sending a long-distance relationship gift like a friendship lamp. It’s basically a pair of lamps where one lamp lights up in a particular custom color when the other one is touched. It’s an extremely personal gift and one that your better half is sure to cherish. These relationship lamps will put you in tune with each other on a psychological level by offering an appealing way to tell your lover that you’re thinking of them at that very moment.

We don’t know how long the lockdown situation around the world will prevail. That’s why it is crucially important for long-distance couples to find ways and means to survive the angst of coronavirus-inflicted separation. But even after the world is somewhat back on its feet, these ideas for LDR couples will form a ready framework of activities for the next time you’re away from each other. For now, let’s make the most of the “us” in coronavirus.

Long Distance Relationship: How To Make it Work

Facing a potential long-distance relationship (or LDR, as opposed to a geographically-close relationship or GCR) with your lover or spouse is one of the hardest situations to be in because most people have mixed feelings about long-distance love. On the one hand, they’re saddened by the prospect of physical distance; on the other, they’re curious to see if their love for each other is strong enough to withstand the often brutal feelings of loneliness. Either way, it’s a problem that can be overcome like any other hurdle in a relationship. Sometimes, a little time apart can be a good thing, distance making hearts grow fonder and all that! The key is to understand the dynamics of a long-distance relationship, and this can only happen when you know what all relationships require in the form of nurturing and nourishment to stay alive and well.

Communication in a Long-distance Relationship

 

long distance relationship quote

This part of your relationship takes on greater significance in an LDR because communication is central to any kind of bonding between individuals. When you’re physically close, your words are complemented by touching, looks, gestures, facial expressions, specific mannerisms, and other nonverbal, body-language-type cues. That’s all gone in a long-distance relationship. FaceTiming is not the same thing, in case you were going to use that objection. Watching someone on a 2D screen isn’t the same as being able to hold their hands while you look deep into their eyes. As such, there are a number of things you need to be aware of on the communication front.

  • Don’t Force It

There’s no rule that says LDR couples should talk absolutely every day at a particular time. Set a more flexible schedule so there’s no pressure on either of you but also make sure you’re available when your partner needs you. Let the communication arise out of a need to share your day or your week with a loved one rather than become an obligatory ritual you engage in on a daily basis.

  • Be Clear About What You’re Saying

Verbal communication is not always the ideal form, and a lot of things get misread or misunderstood. Make sure your lover or partner clearly understands what you’re saying, even if you’re recounting a simple story of getting your garbage disposal fixed. People love hearing details because it brings them closer to you on a deeper psychological level. You need to be like a reporter obsessed with accuracy and details.

  • Don’t Just Use Video Calling

A lot of long-distance couples mistakenly assume that a video call once in a while is more than enough. Not true. Long-distance relationships are devoid of physical contact, as it is. Don’t take away even more from it by restricting your channels of communication. For example, why not send a surprise bouquet to your girlfriend using an online florist? Or make a special video at a place you used to frequent together. That’s powerful communication, too. The point is to figure out different ways to express yourself so the experience is kept enriched with new thrills and possibilities.

  • Don’t Go Overboard

Just because there are tools for video calls, instant messaging, social media, and other communication tools, it doesn’t mean both of you have to stay connected all the time. That’s exhausting, to say the least. In other words, don’t overload your remote lover with hourly updates on practically everything you did, said, heard, saw, or felt. They have a life too, so don’t make them obligated to keep following you on social media like a celebrity. Give them space and take some for yourself. As a warning note, a flexible schedule is good but make sure there’s some sort of a schedule or else you’ll see your shared time together start to dwindle, which is the last thing you want in an LDR.

Me Time and Boundaries in a Long-distance Relationship

All couples need to respect their partner’s boundaries whether they’re sleeping in the same bed or thousands of miles apart. There are certain questions you don’t ask, certain moments of your day you don’t share, certain thoughts that you don’t voice, and so on. This understanding generally comes over a long period of time in a normal relationship; LDRs are different because there are greater chances that privacy and the need for alone-time might be construed as secrecy and deceitfulness. That might sound uncomfortably like paranoia but humans are prone to that kind of thinking. The point is, dispel any seeds of doubt about your whereabouts or activities by being clear about needing time for yourself.

  • Be Clear About Personal Time

One of the biggest fears of any long-distance couple committed to a monogamous relationship is that their partner or spouse is cheating on them. Don’t complicate that by being unclear about your own privacy needs. If you need some me-time every week, tell your partner about it and trust that he or she will understand. Don’t go sneaking around avoiding her calls or being curt on a call just to get him to hang up. Those are the seeds of doubt you want to steer clear of planting.

  • Don’t Hide Stuff

Your me-time is extremely valuable and it’s nobody’s business to tell you what you can and cannot do. Even if you think your partner won’t respect your need for personal time, make it very clear from the outset. That way, you won’t need to lie about it or hide things from them later on. Honesty and trust are a huge part of any relationship, more so a remote relationship.

Spend Money on New Ways to Please your Long-distance Partner

 

quote for long distance relationship couples

The giving of gifts has always been a traditional way to express love from far away. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you need to depend on it more than ever. Our advice: keep yourself constantly in search mode, always looking for gifts of emotional value that you can either send to your lover or hold on to until you see them next. They don’t have to be expensive but they do have to be thoughtful. Sending a particular spice or condiment that’s not available at your partner’s location, for example, is not only a thoughtful gift but also one lets them know you care about their smaller needs as much as larger ones. That brings us to the first of our gifting ideas and gifting tips for long-distance relationships.

  • Thoughtful Gifts

A thoughtful gift idea is one that holds emotional value for the receiver as much as for the giver. This is probably the hardest type of gift for men to find; women seem more in-tune with this type of gifting, and it’s even been validated by scientific studies. Nevertheless, today’s fantastic spread of online shopping options for long-distance couples and overseas family members greatly reduces the stress of shopping for that perfect gift. It doesn’t necessarily make the decision any easier, but it does open up a lot of gifting possibilities that hadn’t struck you before.

Need Gifting Tips? See: 101 Gift Ideas for 2020 [Opens a new tab]

Keep one thing in mind at all times, though. It’s never about how much you spent to buy it; it’s about how much time you spent choosing it. It could be a simple video recording of you telling your girlfriend 10 reasons you love her, or just news that you went and visited his mom over the weekend.

  • Practical Gifts

Although practical gifts are certainly thoughtful, they deserve a category of their own. This type of gift goes beyond thoughtful and actually fills a need. It could be as simple as a subscription to Amazon Prime in the country where your husband works. Or, perhaps, your wife is serving her country in a far-away military base and would really appreciate a few good books from your library back home. Maybe an iPad stand is exactly what she needs because her arms are so tired from FaceTiming you every day!

The idea is to find something that makes their life more convenient because it shows that you care for them and about their well-being. Again, men might find it harder than women to choose the right gift for their girlfriend or wife; however, the mere act of searching for such a gift will help the man appreciate his woman’s needs.

  • Random and Unexpected Gifts

Not all gifts need to be thoughtful or practical. Sometimes, quirky surprise gifts are just as good. You can go corny and have selfie photo pillowcases sent to your boyfriend overseas. Or how about a wine and cheese gift basket delivered just in time for the weekend? Even a print of her favorite painting all framed and ready to hang might be a good idea. If you’re not on a budget, you might want to book some flight tickets so he can come home for the long weekend that’s coming up.

 

long distance relationship cute quote

The gift, of course, depends on what the receiver may or may not like, so be wary of splurging on things like jewelry unless you’re absolutely sure they’ll love it.

How About You?

We’ve seen three things that will help ease the pain of separation in a long-distance relationship: effective communication, respecting boundaries, and learning the art of gifting. But what about how you deal with your own emotions and feelings?

It’s not easy being away from a lover or a spouse for weeks or months on end, and it can send you into a deep depression if you don’t have someone to talk to. Find a confidant with whom you can share your fears and inner thoughts – someone you can spill your guts to without worrying about what they’ll think or say. This is a critical part of being in a long-distance relationship. Don’t distance yourself from your friends and family because you’re busy pining away for your overseas love. Go socialize and make new friends; your life doesn’t have to stop because your soulmate is not around.

Another form of emotional support is to start a new hobby or join a fun course. Not only does it help broaden your social circle but the distraction itself can be quite cathartic. In many cases, it acts as a damper for negative emotions, fears, and doubts that arise from being away from a loved one. Social interaction is a key facilitator of good mental health so, if you want to stay healthy, go do something with other people.

Conclusion: Making a Long Distance Relationship Work

Making a long-distance relationship work means doing all these things and taking care of your own needs through it all. The fear of entering into a long-distance relationship likely stems from the fact that most people are pushed into an LDR by circumstance, not by choice. It’s an unknown abyss to many of us because the only experience we have up to that point is from hearing horror stories of how he cheated on her while she was away or how she left him for someone else in his absence. Stop being scared away by myths and gossip. Another couple’s troubles have nothing to do with you. If your relationship is strong, you’ll work it out.

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