Trust and communication are important -- but in LDRs, they're required
Being open with your partner is essential; but especially so when your version of spending time together involves a computer screen and Internet connection. Some couples in LDRs choose to have open relationships, which are obviously complicated and require honesty, ground rules, and lots of communication. My boyfriend and I tried being in an open relationship for .2 seconds before realizing how much we hated the setup.
There's more than one way to keep physical intimacy alive
One of the most challenging parts of an LDR is managing your physical needs when the days grow old and nights gets cold.
“You know you are genuinely attracted to someone when you’re in an LDR because the only thing you want to think about is her naked body," my partner told me when we first discussed the subject. "Nothing else compares.”
LDRs force you to get creative sexually. While many people are weirded out by Skype sex, it’s actually pretty hot. Watching your SO gives you pleasure, having them watch you gives you pleasure, and imagining that your own touch is theirs can bring you closer in ways that physically present sex cannot. If that's too much, start slow with sexting and phone sex. Trust me: it's all hot.
Romance has to continue past the "honeymoon" phase
When my partner and I started our LDR, we had to find more creative ways to keep the romance alive. We wrote each other handwritten letters -- which, it turns out, have an important psychological impact that foster intimacy, according to Dr. Guldner. We sent other things to each other via snailmail, too -- like an aloe vera plant from my boyfriend, with a note that read: “Like a cactus, our love is prickly but strong. Also, it’s almost summer and I know how easily you burn, so you can use this plant to soothe your skin.” Yeah it was cheesy, but there's something hot and romantic in every little gesture when you're hundreds (or thousands) of miles away.
Actually, all kinds of otherwise forgettable moments take on deeper meaning when you live far from each other. Him standing at the bottom of the train station stairway, waiting for me, made my heart swell. Goodbyes were torture. Replaying every encounter over and over until our next reunion. Suddenly, every ridiculous rom com's inevitable, crazed scene of someone running through an airport or holding a boom box in the air was relatable.