Post # 1
Anyone care to share any tips that might help other LDR folks? Things that have worked for you and your SO?
I think the biggest aid for us in our LDR has been Internet voice chat. I am able to talk to my guy for hours a day, for free, using an instant messaging program and a headset. I don’t know what we’d do without it. Those times one of us has been without a computer have been rough on the phone bills!
The downside is, you are tied to your computer (but maybe a wireless headset would fix that.) I think it’s well worth it, and it gives us a good excuse to research wedding stuff together online.
Any other great ideas and helpful hints out there? I’d love to hear them.
Post # 3
OMW! J and I totally research wedding stuff online together too!
We use Skype, because 1) it’s also free and 2) it has video! Since we’re both mac users, our computers have built in webcams 🙂 it’s soooo nice seeing his face.
I also write him love letters when I really miss him, or when I want to tell him random stuff. Sometime I’ll email him, but if it’s something random that doesn’t really need a reply (i.e. I saw the cutest puppy on the street today and it made me think of you and how someday we’ll get a dog together…), I write him letters and mail them. He loves getting them, because they’re so much more special than just an email. He has yet to write any back, haha, but I don’t have high expectations so I’m not disappointed 😉
WeddingBee has been something of a coping mechanism too; he wants a big, beautiful wedding (I wanted to elope), so everything I plan/brainstorm is an act of love, hehe.
Post # 4
The #1 tip for me was to always make sure you have your next trip planned and booked.
I actually didn’t mind not knowing when our next trip would be… but I learned that not everyone is as comfortable with that kinda uncertainty.
When we had our next trip planned and booked, there was always something specific to look forward to! That helped a lot… 🙂
Post # 5
always having the next phone call planned helps us too! The fime difference means we can only talk once a week, so that might not apply as much for everyone else 🙂
Post # 6
One time when I was feeling really down because I was having trouble getting my visa, he started sending me pictures of himself when he was a child. I had never seen those pictures, and it was a cute surprising thing that I looked forward to every day. It was like…even though we couldn’t directly experience the present together, he was trying to catch me up on my past which strangely kept our relationship moving forward.
Post # 7
Oh! And I wanted to tell a story about my Canadian friend who met her British husband in Scotland. He was in the British Navy…a submarine guy…and he went into a SUBMARINE for EIGHT!!! months. She never knew where in the world he was. He would call her every so often and say ‘I’m in Singapore!’ or ‘I’m in an undisclosed location, but I’m alive!’ It was crazy. She couldn’t even get regular or long emails from him because of email restrictions on the sub. They wrote diary entries to each other all the time, took pictures, and then posted them to each other regularly. It was a really hard time not knowing where he was in the world, but now they have a collection of daily logs to look back on and remember their relationship during that time. In fact, even though they are married, they are still on two different continents – she’s teaching in Libya, and he’s working in the UK. Very soon she will get her UK residence visa and for the first time in 3 years they will be living on the same continent!
Post # 8
Holy cow… that submarine relationship takes the cake! I feel bad for ever complaining now…
Post # 9
I totally agree about the random emails, old pictures and love letters. Even on a dire day, an unexpected little serendipity like that can make everything better. Sharing these things really does bring you closer, I think. When you can’t physically be in touch, you can ‘touch’ in this way.
Spike and I love to ‘dedicate songs’ to one another by emailing YouTube links. We do exchange cards (I always spray mine with perfume and cheesily leave a big lipstick kiss on them) and packages. We have actually gotten kind of lax on this stuff since the engagement, I think we’re coasting!
I find that little rituals mean a lot to both of us. Whenever we sign onto Yahoo Messenger, we exchange animated emoticon kisses. Every day he ‘sings me to him’ with a verse from our song, and he must tell me that he loves me to the moon and back again every day. I think this gives us some comfort and continuity.
Post # 10
We just started to do the LDR thing after 4+ years of dating. We have to do it for a year and we’ll end up being married for half of that time. Other than what others have mentioned, we made sure we had money to visit about every 4-5 weeks. We cut back on other things and just lowered our salaries (in our heads) by the cost of visiting, even if just a weekend. As a result we have our next 3 trips planned, and we only think of it as being “long distance” for the period of time in between trips.
The other thing that helps is constant texting/emailing throughout the day, to know what is going on with one another, and how our day is going. Sometimes at the end of the day you don’t want to do a long “debrief” because you’re tired, well even if that happens we’ve already caught up with each other quite a bit so it’s not so bad. We usually will have one long conversation over the weekend (2-3 hours) but for the most part, it’s 45 mins here and there and sometimes not about anything substantial 🙂
Another thing we do is, we watch tv together! The wonders of the internet, years ago this would’ve been impossible. Now we Skype (almost every day, though sometimes we just talk on the phone) and watch Hulu.com at the same time. We used to “chill out and watch tv with dinner” a lot when we lived in the same apartment, so this keeps a little bit of normalcy in the relationship. We watch the same shows, but now we’re usually in bed (he has a roommate) and in our computers, instead of the couch. We “sync” it so that we’re watching the show at the same time and can see the other person’s reaction on the Skype window. I had to get faster internet (1mbps upload for DSL) to make sure this worked, but it’s been really helpful.
Oh and the last thing I think has actually been wedding planning!! We joke that we don’t know what we’ll do when it ends. I’m doing the bulk of the planning, but he has tasks that he’s doing, and I tell him what I’m planning and he gives me his opinions etc. So there is some back and forth, and definitely things to talk about / decisions to be made and discuss. I think without that topic it’s going to be a lot harder because it will remind us both of how much we miss each other and wish we were together, whereas now we have “business” to talk about. He says that when the wedding planning is over we will pick topics and discuss them, maybe right out of the newspaper. Should be interesting 🙂 But talking about non-realtionship things I think is important, even if it’s the wedding which is (eventually) aobut the relationship.
Wow – that was long! Hope that helps someone, and I’m looking forward to seeing more tips!
Post # 11
Daily diary emails were great for us when DH was deployed. We only got 30 minutes of talk-time a week and we didn’t want to spend it talking about something stupid =].
Definitely video-time. It helps to see a face.
We also texted a lot, except when he was deployed.
For deployments, care packages are the ultimate way to help you feel better. I loved packing them up for him and tried to send one off as often as I could. I’d just pick up things over a few weeks whenever I thought about him.
Other than this…it’s just a matter of psyching yourself into it. You can get stuck in a depressed mood or you can find something positive to fill that void in your life. If you find a positive hobby or something to keep you busy, you feel fulfilled in other ways, and the void in your heart that your SO used to fill doesn’t hurt so bad. It’s true, I promise! It’s all about distracting yourself and not sucuuming to too many blue days.
Post # 12
I agree with @ejs4y8. When you are distracted everything is a little better. Though it’s easier said than done. The important thing is to have something to look forward to (spending the holidays together or even your anniversary!). A plan for where the relationship is going if you aren’t yet engaged is also important. Snail mail is also a great way to stay in touch. I once had my BF’s favorite pizza delivered to his office for no reason… he loved it! So the more random you are, the better 🙂
Post # 13
Great post! FH lives in the UK and often we have some pretty big gaps in between but wencam has been a saving grace for us! Sometimes we talk while on the cam or sometimes we just go along with whatever were doing but it just feels good to be “together.” The new thing Im working on is a book called The Book Of Us and basically it is our love story in journal format! This Christmas will be out first one apart (plane tickets were insane this year) so I wanted to do something really special so Im sending him this book. I know he will love it and what makes it even better is that as we grow we continue the story for the next stages of our lives! click here to check out the book.
Post # 14
I completely agree with what MrBee and other said about already having you next trip booked. Since we usually drive to each other, we at leat try to have a time frame like he comes in Dec, I’ll go in March, he’ll come in May, etc…
This makes it easier for us to always anticipate seeing each other 🙂 And the phone of course has been a life line. I don’t know how it would have worked if we didn’t have the same cellphone provider… Free “In” calling! 🙂 definitely saved on expenses 😛
@Bamm your submarine relationship friend is amazing! I don’t think I could have done that :-/
Post # 15
Lots of great tips… most of them seem to have to do with communication 🙂 which is awesome, because I think learning to communicate well is a HUGE benefit of LDRs!
Post # 16
We talk everyday on the phone, our mobile phone contracts have this deal that if you pick a favourite number that’s on their network, you can talk for an hour for the cost of a minute 😀
Decide on something to do when you’re together, if you stay in all day watching tv or whatever the day goes nowhere and it feels like time to go home comes around too quickly
You both have to want it for it to work, if someone isn’t pulling their weight in the relationship it shows bigtime. We make time to talk to each other every night, ask about each other’s days, send each other funny links on the internet, just stuff that makes it feel like you’re not missing out on their life by being away from them.
Recently I’ve been making a big effort for him. I’ve been putting on more make-up when I know i’m going to see him, I bought him pick n mix and a dvd for us to watch one weekend, this weekend I’ve cooked a 3 course meal and we’ve gone to a nearby city for a shopping trip together, on top of that i surprised him with tickets to see one of the most popular comedians in the country. I just like to let him know that I care and making the extra effort is worth it for him.