In the first few years of my relationship, my partner and I lived 2 hours from each other, we were still lucky enough to see each other in person about 2/3 days a week. I have a job which from time to time means I have to travel around the state and only this week is the first time my partner has had to travel and it was my turn to stay at home and keeps things running. This got me thinking about how we maintain our relationship over distance.
I have recently seen a facebook group for women who are in long distance relationships and the tips they are offering each other to cope while apart but to also keep the intimacy alive when being in different towns, states, and sometimes even different countries. Some see each other every few weeks, some it is months, some have not even met in person yet, let alone had the space to be physically intimate with each other. Yet their love and desire grows despite the distances between them.
Unfortunately for some people the person who they develop feelings for, but have not yet met, ends up not being who they thought they were. They fall for the idea of a person which is not reality, they may pretend to be something they are not, from saying things they did not do or do not believe to even being someone completely different….watch out for catfish. But that is not what this blog is about, this is for those who are real online and for those who have met in person and have a real time relationship but due to circumstances spend time apart.
So how do they do it?
Physical intimacy is important in a relationship but emotional intimacy is more important, it is what keeps us seeking each other out, learning about each other and sharing our deepest thoughts, it keeps the desire to ‘know’ the other alive. But there is a balance between intimacy and desire, intimacy can overcome the mystery that desire requires and this is often why people who are apart can keep the desire burning for so long…..the old saying “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” can also work for maintaining the erotic flame……anticipation plays an important part in desire.
For my partner and I a daily phone call or sometimes Skype session allowed us to share our thoughts and sometimes erotic play, telling each other what we wanted to do next time we were together, sharing erotic stories and even cybersex online or via Skype. Now that we live together and our time apart is infrequent, we still touch base with each other every night and morning via text, there may be suggestive images sent via text or online, we also speak to each other every day, it may be a quick call to talk about our day (especially if we have a travelling partner and are not alone) or it may be something more intimate as we are alone in our motel room.
This maintains the emotional intimacy, the sharing, the caring, the wanting to connect with each other on an emotional level and sometimes a sharing on a more physical and sexual level as well, building the intimacy for when we are together again.
Technology has certainly offered us more ways to engage with others, but even though many of us do not send love letters any more, we can still partake in similar conversations via text and online.
So if you and your love cannot be in the same space, for whatever reason, be creative, utilise the technology that is open to us to stay connected. You might be surprised at how it can relight the spark you had in those early days, by increasing anticipation and mystery.
Richelle has had a passion for sexuality and sexual health since 2001. She has worked in the field since 2006, providing sexuality education in schools, and adult education in the topics of diverse sexualities and gender identities, LGBT health issues, sexual health and LGBT relationships.
This is a space for me to share with you my journey as a Sexologist, the things I learn and the people I meet and what I think and feel along the way.