Do have a time set aside for video chat. With so many communication options available there’s no reason not to be able to communicate when both people have the time and desire. Between Skype, MSN messenger, heck, even Facebook has a chat option available.
This allows for each person to maintain their intimacy with one another, even if neither is in the same room, or even part of the country. Not being able to see the other person on a regular basis eventually becomes jarring, aspects of their face, body and personality start to slip the mind. Their look when laughing, the scrunched face at a particularly bad joke, their sarcastic eye roll, or how they beam when ecstatic, these nuances are quickly forgotten when apart.
Don’t be demanding about contact, video or otherwise. This may sound counter-intuitive to the previous point, but it’s rare when both people in a long distance relationship (LDR) don’t have anything in else in their lives. Long distance, each person has their own set of responsibilities, activities, jobs, classes and these, along with anything else not mentioned take precedence over the LDR because it’s far more immediate.
Do utilize video technology for sex nights. There are plenty of reasons and ways to utilize technology for this. Between watching each other masturbate, putting on shows for each other, or using toys and pretending it’s your lover. Experimenting with toys that may have never been purchased otherwise is both a fun and intimate way to maintain sexual contact.
Don’t force your partner into video sex. Not everyone is comfortable with this technology, especially given the possibility of screen capture, hacked video cameras, and less than faithful partners that might make a frisky night last forever on the internet. If a partner is willing to do this, that’s great! If not, don’t force them and certainly don’t issue ultimatums.
Do watch stuff together. Just because a couple isn’t together doesn’t mean a movie night isn’t possible. Nearly every TV station has their shows available online, not to mention the litany of movies on YouTube and unique video sites like “That Guy with The Glasses.” It shouldn’t be difficult to find something to watch and then each person can watch online, with one window for the video and the other for video calling.
Don’t let the time apart weigh heavily. This, sadly, is easier said than done, especially as the weeks apart turn to months. There’s no definite formula for avoiding the exasperation of being apart, but numerous techniques may help.
The most important thing is to keep busy and avoid dwelling on the long distance relationship too much. That’s what the aforementioned Dos and Don’ts were about, but also what they hinted at. Being apart gives each person a chance to grow and try new things no longer tethered, take a class, delve into work, join a club, a hobby, take a hike, anything to avoid fixating on the relationship.
Also, don’t keep track of how much time is left before you’ll be together again. The old adage, a watched pot never boils, holds true. Obsessing over the day the LDR simply becomes an R will make the time feel longer. This is difficult, which is the point of keeping busy. The distraction prevents an unhealthy amount of dwelling or obsessing.
Do keep the negative emotions away. Being apart is like a structure missing a support beam. The longer it’s missing, the more the relationships cracks under the stress These cracks make themselves known more the longer the LDR lasts and, if left unchecked, will likely bring collapse of the relationship.
Don’t get angry, this is particularly important if the reason for the LDR is something different than just school. Being separated because of different jobs is one of the easiest ways for anger to permeate through an LDR. One partner might blame the other for putting their career above the relationship, while the other is hurt and angry that they’re being attacked for trying to improve their career.
Don’t blame others for the LDR, even if it’s someone’s fault. What will blame accomplish? All it will do is create a momentary feeling of righteous indignation for the attacker and, sorrow and fury for the attacked. There’s nothing that can be done about the situation and throwing a hissy fit won’t change anything.
Don’t get jealous. This is a common trope for TV shows, but for a reason. The idea of a loved one and sexual partner living hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away is terrifying. However there’s little that can be done that won’t make things worse, except trust.
Trust that they love you, that they won’t cheat, that they’re adults capable of “just” friendships with potential sexual partners and then reciprocate that trust. Trying to control your partner from miles away will only drive them away, or perhaps into the arms of someone who, until the attempts at control, they only considered a friend.
Finally, the biggest don’t: Don’t get into a LDR, just don’t. Best case is that it’s a relationship’s painfully long intermission. Worst case, it’s the excruciating finale.