9 Tips For Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship

As someone who was in a long-distance relationship for two years and is now currently in another one, I know all the pains that come with being in an LDR all too well. Sure, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also downright sucks. It’s not the most frugal dating option, not to mention how difficult it is to not be able to see your significant other anytime you want. Although long-distance relationships aren’t the easiest, they aren’t impossible to survive either — as long as you keep these nine things in mind.

  1. Assume that it’s going to be really tough: Let’s just get this one out of the way. It’s great to have a positive attitude going into a long-distance relationship, but you should also expect to encounter many bumps along the way. Once you embrace the challenge, you’ll be better equipped to get through the more difficult moments and won’t be as tempted to give up when you’re put to the test.
  2. Always have your next visit planned: You need to give yourselves something to look forward to. Each time you reunite, discuss when the next time you’ll be seeing each other will be. Secure the date, add it to your calendars, and start counting down.
  3. Facetime as much as you can: Trust me, seeing each other face to face will help your relationship more than a phone call can — even if it’s just through a screen. It’s obviously not the same as being together in person, but it’s the next best thing you’ve got. It’ll also make you more focused on your conversation without being able to multitask as easily.
  4. Woo each other: Surprise each other with mailed letters, homemade goodies, or any other thoughtful things you can imagine. Think of how your relationship was when you two first started dating and pull out all the stops. Small and sweet gestures can go a long way.
  5. Make your visits count: You don’t get time together often so when you do see each other, take full advantage. This doesn’t mean you always have to have an extravagant plan on hand; being present is enough. Put your phones away and give each other the time and attention you don’t often get to enjoy.
  6. Celebrate the little things: And this includes cheesy holidays you’d normally skip if you were together. Celebrating personal accomplishments, relationship milestones, and even National Pizza Day together while apart will help you both feel more connected. Plus, it’ll also give you an excuse to make a visit or do something nice for one another.
  7. Get a travel rewards card ASAP: Spending money on visits can really add up, so you might as well rack up points you can use towards your next trip. Most credit cards come with bonus miles when you first sign up, while some come with companion fare tickets, so be sure to take advantage of all the perks.
  8. Make your visits a vacation opportunity: Instead of flying into their hometown, pick a city to meet in! It’ll allow you two to experience new places together and make visits even more fun.
  9. Be in it to win it: If only one of you is fully invested in making your long-distance relationship work, it won’t. Like any other successful relationship, it takes two willing partners. Make sure this is something you both equally desire because giving halfhearted effort just won’t cut it. You should also have a serious conversation about what you both expect out of this relationship. How long are you both willing to endure long-distance? Is relocating an option? Envision a future together and create a game plan to make it happen. If you both want it, you’ll make it work!

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By: Nicole Yi for Popsugar

10 Types of Sex People Who’ve Been Dating Forever Have

1. Angry Make-up Sex. Make as many arguments as you want for being perpetually single and free. You’ll never get to have make up sex where you simultaneously can’t wait to not be fighting anymore, but also let out any leftover aggression. There’s a very strong argument for this being the unequivocal best kind of sex.

2. Casual Masturbation. Sometimes, you can’t be bothered to go through all fanfare and hullabaloo of sex. So instead, you just rub one out through your pajama flap while you lay in bed together. Ah, romance!

3. “Let’s Get Out of Our Comfort Zone” Sex. It should be noted that “comfort zone” is subjective. Some couples might see it as buying a pair of fur handcuffs. Others might just want to introduce a few new positions or watch some porn together. Other couples might go to orgies. Who knows! But once you’ve been in a relationship for long enough, there comes a time where one of you says, ‘Hey, I think we should really switch things up.’

4. Incredibly Lazy Sex. There are days where you wake up hungover, or groggy. There are nights where you’re tired but horny. In a long-term relationship, it’s fine to just go at it with the bare minimum every once in awhile.

5. Rediscovering-sex Sex. In a long enough relationship, you go through peaks and valleys in the amount of sex you’re having. Any long-term couple has had a bit of a dry spell together followed by a tornado of intimacy.

6. We’re-Supposed-to-be-Ready-in-Five-Minutes Sex. Sometimes you just can’t help it and you wind up wildly late to that fancy dinner thing. It’s not his fault you look irresistible dressed up.

7. Vacation Sex aka They’re-Going-to-Have-to-Light-This-Hotel-Room-on-Fire-After-We-Leave-Because-They’ll-Never-Get-Rid-of-the-Smell Sex. Seriously, how is every hotel not a biohazard by now?

8. Baby-Making Sex. At some point in the relationship, couples might decide to have kids. And having sex with the goal of procreation in mind is a whole different beast with two backs. There are schedules to adhere to and menstrual cycles to keep track of, and it can sometimes even feel like an obligation. Like how you might love McDonald’s french fries, but if you worked there you’d get sick of them.

9. We-Actually-Have-Time-to-Ourselves Sex. As couples get older, their obligations change and pile-up. Promotions at work mean spending more time at the office. Friends and kids and the kids of friends and your kid’s friends all eat up your schedule. Sometimes, you have sex just because you actually have a few hours to yourself.

10. Sex. Sex doesn’t really change that much. Long-term couples are still having sex whenever they want. And while they’ve got more experiences together under their belt, they’re still just having good old- fashioned sex.

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By: Frank Kobola for Cosmopolitan

Goal Setting in Relationships

Setting goals with your partner can be a double-edged sword. On one end, when you achieve them you feel joy and exhilaration for having realized a dream or aspiration. On the other hand, when you fail to meet them, you may face disappointment as you are forced to reevaluate your ambitions. When it comes to your relationship, setting achievable goals with a tone of collaboration can help enrich each other’s lives and support the bond between you and your partner.

The Anatomy of Relationships

No relationship is the same, and just like people change over time, so does a relationship. According to Donald Peterson, contributing author of “Goal Concepts in Personality and Social Psychology,” there are five general stages that can be distinguished in the development of close relationships: acquaintance, buildup, continuation, deterioration and ending. Obviously not all relationships go through all stages, but the changes in goals from one stage to another are critical in determining the course a relationship will follow.

Stephen John Read and Lynn Carol Miller, also contributing authors of “Goal Concepts in Personality and Social Psychology,” recount how individuals may base their projections of what a relationship might be like with someone in part on how each other’s life goals will mesh with one other. The idea that “opposites attract” has been debunked by research showing how “most married couples tend to be more alike than different in regards to life goals, interests, values and personality dispositions, as well as education, economic status, and other sociological variables.” In other words, when evaluating a prospective partner, people look at how they can accomplish goals in common, for example having intellectually stimulating conversations, having children, etc.

 

Goal-Setting Strategies

Relationship goals can cover the gamut, including areas such as problem solving, emotional support, financial goals, creating a family, etc. One way to set goals in your relationship is by having a weekly meeting with your significant other to go over the upcoming week and set a ‘to-do’ list of items for each other. Then, review those same items from the past week and move forward anything still needing to be completed. As part of this process, share three positive things big or small that your partner did that you liked in the past week, and one negative thing you would like them to consider working on. In time, you will have created a habit of openly talking about where things are with your relationship, and where you want them to be.

Another way to set goals with your significant other is by applying some of the guidelines set forth in “Goal Setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals.” Authors Susan B. Wilson and Michael S. Dobson recommend writing them down in specific measurable terms, so that you can visualize and achieve them with realistic deadlines. As part of defining these goals, make sure to keep them manageable and actionable, as well as include a regular review of their progress. Reward desired behavior, reinforce successes however big or small and provide feedback when correction is needed. When correcting, do so in private and be specific, focusing on the error and not the person to avoid grudges and keep a healthy outlook. Develop objectives for both the short and long term.

 

From Extrinsic to Intrinsic Motivation

In a study published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,” researchers examined the connection between relationship satisfaction and self-regulation. “Individuals experiencing higher levels of satisfaction in their relationship exhibit higher levels of perceived control, goal focus, perceived partner support, and positive affect during goal pursuit.” This results in higher rates of daily progress on personal goals. In other words, as your relationship satisfaction increases, so does your motivation to effectively self-regulate your actions and progress toward achieving your goals.

According to Peterson, goals between partners tend to converge to the extent that transformations occur mutually. For example, “a person who initially stopped smoking to please a partner may genuinely come to find smoking abhorrent.” Changes in personal dispositions of this kind are independent of the relationship, and when they occur they can reduce the demands for accommodation by shifting the motivation from an extrinsic to an intrinsic place. Keep in mind that any union is limited by the biological needs and personal goals of the individuals in the relationship, so revisiting them on a regular basis can keep interests and values aligned in the long term.

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From: Live Strong by Raquel Villareal

When Your Spouse Doesn’t Like Your BFFs…

Remember those days when you first met your spouse and everything felt like springtime? Those initial months were full of all the best firsts—first dates, first smooches, first adventures, and of course, the first time you introduced him or her to the other “loves of your life”—your besties. In an ideal world, your pals like your partner just as much as you do, and vice versa. But when they don’t? It can wreak havoc not on the friendships, but rather, on your marriage, according to a new study.

For the study, researchers followed 355 heterosexual couples to determine the impact of friendships on marriage after 16 years. None of the couples was interracial, to rule out race as a potential source of tension). What the researchers found was fascinating: In white couples where the husbands liked their wife’s friends, 70 percent of couples were still together by the end of the study. However, in white couples where the husbands didn’t like their partner’s pals, only 50 percent remained together. For black couples, liking the friends didn’t seem to impact the relationship.

What do psychologists think of this theory? Sex and relationships therapist Courtney Geter, LMFT, CST says that connecting friend groups is an important aspect of a relationship, and not getting along with one another’s tribe can lead to arguments. “It is typical for spouses to bring up friends in conversations. If your husband makes a negative comment about your friends, you may feel unsupported or torn between two aspects of your life,” she explains. “If you don’t address your feelings and resolve the conflict, it could impact other areas of the relationship, such as enjoyment spent with your husband or even areas such as sex.”

The disapproval of your friend group is worse when it’s coming from your partner, whose opinion usually means more than anyone else’s. “This is the person that we love and trust the most, so their assessment of others around us matters to us,” says psychologist Nikki Martinez, PsyD, LCPC.” We want to know that they agree that someone is a good person, that they are likable, and that they enjoy being around them,” she says.

One possible reason we may be bumping into this problem more and more in recent years is that dating patterns have shifted from in-person to online. So whereas we used to meet people at parties or through friends, where there was already a built-in connection and like-mindedness, increasingly we’re meeting people on dating sites and apps, where there’s no such framework.

This Internet lens can be tricky to navigate, as your partner gets to know your friends not at a bar or a BBQ but via their profiles and posts, which can be heavily curated. “Social media does not provide a realistic view of another person’s life, as they are posting the best-looking or most exciting pictures and status updates about their lives,” Geter says. “Since there is a screen between you and the rest of the world, humans are more likely to make comments they typically wouldn’t make in person or they can avoid conflict resolution with one click of a button or closing a window.”

So is your marriage doomed if your husband isn’t a fan of your BFFs? Definitely not, according to Geter and Martinez, but you might have to manage expectations on both sides. One key way to approach it is to have couple friends and individual friends, neither of which have to mingle.

In fact, it’s a good idea to have your own set of pals for support. “I encourage women to have friends outside of the couple relationship as well as hobbies outside of her husband’s interest. Not only does this allow distance for you to miss your husband, but it also provides opportunities for sharing when you are together,” Geter says. “Since you have your own personal friend group outside of the couple friend group, this may limit how often your husband is around those friends.”

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From: Reader’s Digest by Lindsay Tigar

When your partner is also your best friend

It goes without saying, you don’t have to be “best friends” to have a great relationship (some people even gag at that idea). But while others might think of you as insular or clingy, you know better.

1. You started out as friends. 

Great things take time. Baked potatoes, fully mature redwood trees, and friendships that turn into relationships. First dates feel different than first hangouts. You really get to know each other’s personality when you’re not as worried about trying to impress the other person.

2. He makes you laugh all the time and you make him crack up. 

It’s not just about how he makes you feel, or how great the sex is, or how well you work together. When you hang out, you wind up cracking each other up so much you can’t breathe. Some of your favorite memories are the two of you doing the dumbest stuff and laughing about it nonstop.

3. He always wants you around. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s a “guys’ night” or a five-hour road trip; he wants to hang out with you. And it feels natural too. When he’s out with friends, you never get the vibe of “oh, he brought his girlfriend along.” You’re his friend, so you’re everyone else’s friend. Basically, all his guys just sees you as “that one friend he also has sex with”… which is a compliment, really.

4. You always know what he’s thinking. 

It’s not quite like you can read each other’s minds, but you’re so comfortable with each other that it really feels like that sometimes.

5. He’s seen you through your worst moments. 

He’s gotten you through some of your darkest moments, however you define them. Even when other friends drop off or stop calling, he’s there for you, and you’re always there for him.

6. You can spend a day just hanging out. 

It’s not that you both love being couch sloths all day, but you could be and still have a good time. You don’t need to be making Instagrammable moments constantly to feel like you’re having a good time. All you really need is each other.

7. Other couples hate you just a little. 

They might not say it to your face, but you can tell they’re insanely jealous of the chemistry you share. You can tell. Basically, you make other couples look boring and they can’t stand it.

8 You don’t feel like you need time apart from each other. 

You know how to prioritize “you” time when there’s something you want to get done just for yourself, but everything you do just feels somehow better when you’re with them.

9. He trusts you deeply. 

Not just in the basic ways, like trusting you not to cheat on him when you go out. That barely even counts; that’s just assuming you’re not going to be a garbage person. He also trusts you with things he’s never told anyone, like his embarrassing secrets.

10. It still feels like you just started dating. 

You still have this energy that’s stuck around even though you’ve been dating for years. That “honeymoon phase” never really ended for you.

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From: Cosmopolitan by Frank Kobola