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11 Ways To Have Romance In Long Distance Relationships

11 Ways To Have Romance In Long Distance Relationships

Long distance relationships are tough. There is no need to sugarcoat it. Being miles away from one another puts stress on the relationship because it requires an extraordinary amount of trust and dedication. It can be so frustrating to keep the connection you once had when the two of you were right beside each other. Fret not. There are lots of ways to keep the romance in long distance relationships.

How do I know this? I speak from personal experience.

It was not easy, but we made it work. We had already been dating for two plus years seeing each other every day. Then he got a big boy job and had to travel, living out of hotels for two brutal years. Our time being apart seemed like it would never end until one day we found out he received a permanent job assignment. We are still together, living under one roof six months later, so I would say we had success with the whole long distance thing.

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One tricky thing was keeping the romance. You cannot look one another in the eye, much less give hugs, kisses or go on a romantic date. We had to get creative. Without romance, the relationship is basically only a friendship, which is not a bad thing, but many people crave something deeper. Here are some ways I found to have romance in long distance relationships.

1. Send good morning text messages.

It sounds sappy, but we almost always texted each other good morning and good night. It is good to let your partner know that you are thinking about them when you wake up and when you are going to sleep. If you are feeling super ambitious, ask a couple of thoughtful questions such as “How was your sleep?” or “What are you up to today?”

2. Plan date nights.

Sure, you cannot sit in the same room, but maybe you are able to watch the same television show at the same time. Some of the most fun memories of long distance dating was curling up on the couch with my phone beside me, texting my boyfriend comments on the show we were watching.

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3. Send photo texts of your day.

In today’s world, it is easy to communicate all day if you wish. Try to remind your lover you are thinking about him or her by sending an occasional photo text of something you are doing. I am pretty big into food photography, so he would send me pictures of his meals if he had the opportunity to eat somewhere fancy. He even did a whole blog post for me about food he ate on the road. If that isn’t love, I’m not sure what is!

4. Pay attention on phone calls.

There is a tendency when you are dating long distance to want to spend as much time on the phone together as possible. Since there are many things to be done around the home, we might also be doing the laundry or dishes or glancing at the television. What is better: a short amount of quality time or a long period filled with distractions where neither party is paying attention to one another? Try just planting it on a chair and giving him/her your undivided attention. You would be surprised at the difference it makes!

5. Send a care package.

I think I only did this once since he was bouncing around to so many different hotels, but it was so fun! Keeping the secret and having him find it on his own to bring up to me later kept things exciting for a little bit. Plus it showed him I was thinking about him.

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6. Surprise him/her with a visit.

This one you need to be careful of as you do not want to be an inconvenience. Hosting someone takes time and planning, so do give them a little warning.

7. Always have the next visit planned.

Along with occasional “surprise” visits, make sure you know when you will see one another next. It gives both of you something to look forward to and you can count down the days until you see your loved one next.

8. Make sure to laugh together.

Send him a joke. Send her a link filled with funny cat pictures. There is an emotional connection formed when we laugh together, so keep that connection alive.

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9. Video chat with one another.

This was an activity that was either a lot of fun or quite frustrating. Neither of us had phones that would do video so we had to use Skype, which relied on possibly crappy internet service. We finally figured out that having Skype up on our laptops and chatting on the phone was the best solution. It really does help to see your partner face-to-face, so try finding a good video app you can both use.

10. Send an e-mail or snail mail love letter.

Texting is great, but you can only say so much. Phone conversation is lovely, but you might not be able to articulate what you are feeling on the spot. Take time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to express exactly what you love about one another.

11. Lastly, talk/text/e-mail romantically.

Hopefully you are attracted to one another, so do not forget to express that attraction no matter what the distance is between the two of you.

Romance is one of the hardest things to keep alive in a long distance relationship, but do not forget about it. Months could go by before seeing one another. Sometimes you can get so caught up in your own life that you forget about the other person. This is understandable at times, but review this list of ways to have romance in long distance relationships when you feel like you are losing touch with the romance. Long distance relationships can be a true pain, but there is also the phrase, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Remember that and push on!

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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