When the one you love lives far away, it can be difficult to maintain your relationship. While the old adage says distance makes the heart grow fonder, that's not always the case. If you want to make you and your sweetheart's relationship last, you have to work at it. Here are five helpful tips to keep the passion in your relationship even if you are apart.
1. Befriend Technology: We live in an amazing time where information flits through space and time in a heartbeat. Use technology to your advantage! Have a Hangout on Google +, talk on Skype, FaceTime over your iPhone or just video chat with your partner. Being able to see each other and read each other's body language will help keep you bonded and abate miscommunication that can occur when you let your relationship devolve into mere texting. Follow Cosmopolitan's advice and set up a time where there are no distractions, allowing you and your sweetie to really focus on the conversation - just as if the two of you were in the same place together.
Related Link: Don't Settle: Get Him to Commit
2. Play Games: As dating expert, matchmaker and co-founder of OnSpeedDating.com, Amber Soletti, explains, "A little competition is healthy for a long-distance relationship. It also creates the good type of 'sexual tension' that all relationships need to survive." Find a game online that you can both play together, or take Soletti's advice and create your own game. One of her personal favorites is "the movie game" in which you pick an actor or actress and go back and forth naming all the movies the star performed in until one of you gets stuck and can't think of another film. Many games that are played in person can be played over the phone or online. Add some fun into the relationship and learn to enjoy one another's company this way.
3. Surprise Your Sweetie: Sometimes, thoughtful little things are what count the most; they tell the other person, "Hey, I'm thinking about you." Send a small care package with your partner's favorite candy, concert tickets or a spa gift certificate. "Make it romantic," says clinical psychologist, professor and author Dr. Ramani Durvasula. "Love letters, sweet texts or little gifts by mail never go out of style and can keep the love alive."
4. Stay Sexy: "Get some sizzlin', smokin'-hot pictures taken," relationship expert and founder of AskApril.com, April Masini, suggests. "This gesture is fun and sexy." Don't want to spend big bucks? Snap some cute pictures of yourself (keep them classy!), or tell your man about the sexy outfit you're going to wear when you see him again. Keep your partner fantasizing about you with this flirty idea.
Related Link: Is He In It for the Long Haul?
5. Define Boundaries: Everyone has boundaries, expectations, and their own opinions of what's okay and what's not. To keep your partner and yourself on the same page, talk about your intentions and make sure you both understand each other's needs. Is it okay to cuddle up next to a friend of the opposite sex while watching TV, or does that infringe on your partner's idea of monogamy? Huffington Post suggests discussing how you define monogamy and laying out what is acceptable and what is not. As marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic, Carrie Krawiec, aptly explains, "The foundations of any relationship are communication and the development of shared meaning, goals, roles and rules."Lori Bizzoco is the Executive Editor of CupidsPulse.com, a first-of-its-kind website that takes the latest celebrity news and repackages it to help singles and couples navigate their love lives. She is a sought after relationship and entertainment expert who has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Chicago-Tribune, Working Mother, Woman's Day, Redbook, Parenting, and on Fox News, The Suze Orman Show, WebMD, Match.com, JDate, YourTango, and more. She's appeared in two books, 'No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power' by feminist icon Gloria Feldt and 'Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband)' by Andrea Syrtash. Today, CupidsPulse.com has more than one million unique visitors per month.