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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 January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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