The book is chalk-full of the stories of other couples who have successfully gone the distance. [For more, check out: The Hardest Part of a Long-Distance Relationship – 12 steps for making it work] Don’t check email, Facebook stalk, or work on homework while you Skype. To ease my “fidgeting,” I change positions every ten minutes on Skype.That’s just disrespectful to your significant other – and you won’t be able to get much work done anyways. I sit in a chair, lay on the bed, spread out of the floor, or walk around the room with the laptop.
Sometimes if I have to go the bathroom or buy a drink, I will drop my laptop off with a friend to keep him company. He physically can’t be here for me when I need him – which is a depressing, but unfortunate, barrier in our relationship. Not long messages – just the short, standard 3 minute video that Skype lets you send. When Ryosuke wakes up (or gets back from work) he can watch the video to check up on me. I have a lot of friends in long distance relationships – half of which (on average) cheat on their significant other without meaning to. My favorite part about doing long distance in Japan was eating dinner together.
I’ve met most of his friends in Japan; when they have “boy’s nights out” they will typically Skype me before they leave. They ask my permission to “take Ryosuke out” somewhere fun. How I Met Your Mother is one of the few shows he will actually watch – so we try to watch an episode once a week (during the season). We open Skype in one window, the episode in another window, and chat throughout the episode. We have a 14 hour time difference, if I have an attack at 1pm, it is 3am for him. Even when we don’t have problems, I try to send a couple video messages a day. Of course Skype can’t fill the void you miss by cuddling, falling asleep in each other’s arms, or kissing – but there is no reason to make yourself sexually frustrated. We were both in the same time zone; when we got back to our respective apartments at night, we would launch Skype, chat about our day, and unwind over a can of beer or glass of wine. I would put my laptop next to the stove while I made stir fry, cut vegetables, and fried meat.
We don’t Skype with friends for long, maybe five to ten minutes max – once or twice a month. I love waking up in the morning to find videos of Ryosuke awkwardly lip-syncing to something by Maroon 5, chatting about his day, or dancing around his room. Find what works for you and do it as often as possible. Then we would “eat dinner” together – with a plate of food on the table in between us and the laptops.
It takes a certain type of person to keep a long distance relationship going. There will be fears, tears, frustrations, and lonely nights.
You can’t just jump into it – assuming it will be the same as a “normal” relationship and expect everything to work out. But Long Distance Relationships are NOT impossible.
And, when done right, they are the most rewarding thing in the world.
Thankfully we live in the day and age where video chats on Skype are free, easy, and readily available. It took us a couple months of long distance to figure this one out. Because of the time difference (14 hours) we Skype every morning and every evening for AT LEAST 15 minutes.
Just because you live across the world (in a different country, time zone, or culture) doesn’t mean you can’t still have a close, loving relationship… After two years of Long Distance Relationships – these are the things that work for me. I noticed that if it has been more than 12 hours, I forgot to tell Ryosuke things about my day. Since we get to chat every day, we rarely Skype for more than an hour at a time.
They might not work for you, though; each couple is different. If we only Skyped twice a week, I had a hard time prioritizing what was important and what could be left out. Having a regular Skype schedule has helped me fix my sleep and work schedules.
And by “worked for me,” I mean that my husband and I survived the distance; we’re happily married now, living in Japan. Between school, work, friends, and studying – it is hard enough to block out 20 minutes for your favorite trashy reality television show, never mind an hour to chat with your significant other. I have much better time management skills, because the only constant thing in my life are my Skype dates.
He lays out a good way to approach LDRs – regardless of whether you expect to be in an LDR for a couple of months or a couple of years. I’ve noticed as soon as we starting Skype once a day, the number of (and the magnitude of) our fights decreased drastically.