What Depression? Long distance relationships can thrive in bad times
You can have a long distance relationship (LDR), even in this economy, just focus on these perks and strategies:
- LDR's give you the best of both worlds: you have your freedom to focus on friends, your work, your goals, and projects, unless you're Johnny Drama from Entourage, then just get obsessive and carry around your webcam wherever you go. If not, then enjoy your space! Meanwhile, your sweetheart is just a phone call, steamy email, or webcam away. Use your time apart to be productive. Build your business, take classes, put in extra time getting ahead (or just keeping your job) at work.
- Computer love: At first it was incredibly self-concious using a webcam. You want to look at yourself more than the other person! But once you get used to it, watch out! It's not as good as the real thing, but it's an intimate way to connect. Make sure to set aside at least two hours a week for uninterrupted time talking on the webcam. They're easy to install and most laptops come with them now or you can buy one super cheap online. I recommend setting up a free account with Skype to do video conferencing and chat.
- Have rituals: Because of the time difference, my boyfriend would call me to say goodnight when I was just getting off of work and I would write him an email telling him about my day before I went to bed. Forgetting to do these things was sacrilege. It needs to be, in order to have some structure that makes your relationship feel, well, normal.
- Always have something to look forward to: it's important to always have a trip to look forward to for when you'll be in each other's arms again. Even if you see each other every three months (yes, I know), you have to have that thing that you're anticipating, that keeps you looking forward, not cursing your luck for loving someone so far away.
- Expectations: The time apart builds up that person into such a hunk muffin that when you finally see each other it's like, wait, did you gain weight? But that's one of the best things about LDR's, they're carried on the backs of your personalities and not the physical stuff. Long distance relationships exercise deeper connections. There's always that awkward five minutes each time you see each other again, but it evaporates pretty quickly and then you're just happy to be there.
- Money: Ah, the biggie. Ok. So, you're going to be traveling, a lot. Fortunately for me I'm in my twenties and in disposable income bliss. But, I of course still had to budget for my relationship. Save your trips for the off season, like March. And buy your tickets well ahead of time. I'm a big believer in Kayak.com for travel deals. From what I hear, Priceline is good for last minute travel deals, just type in a low price and hope for the best.
- Phone bills: This is only a good way to save money if you're calling another country--buy credit on Skype and use the internet to make long-distance phone calls. You can download Skype onto your cell phone (if it has an internet connection) for a cheaper way to make long-distance calls, but then you're still paying web connection charges on your cell phone. Video conferencing on Skype is free.
- Workcation: To spend more time with your honey, ask your boss to let you work outside of the office for a week at a time, every now and then. Just make sure your partner's place has a good internet connection or one nearby.