So you're dating someone long distance. Lucky you, right? Eh... Those familiar with long distance love affairs know that if you've got a long distance relationship, you've got a full time job, and it doesn't pay -- at least not in real American tender. But don't fret. Just follow these eight tips, and you'll be enjoying your long distance relationship a lot more than most of your sorry-ass friends are enjoying whatever passes for romance in their lives.
1. Talk Every Day
The most important thing about making a long distance relationship work is to be so doe-eyed, star-crossed, stomach-flipping batshit crazy about each other that you have to talk every single day -- possibly multiple times. You never see each other! You're deprived of love's most basic perks! You've got to have an emotional bond on such a soul-shattering, spirit-bending, molecular level that time and space are seen as but pesky obstacles on your quest to carve a sacrificial amount of time out of your every single day to fuel the unquenchable fire in your heart. Also, the more people around when you're talking -- the better. They'll be throwing up, which is the surest proof of true love.
2. Talk to Other People About Each Other
Another key to making a long distance relationship work is to truly believe that you are the first two people to have ever felt this way about each other in recorded history, and to see yourself as divinely anointed with the task of spreading your Gospel of Love to every friend, family member and hater that comes within shouting distance. Ideally, you should also believe that you are the only people who have ever fallen in love more than three miles away from one another and you should spend significant amounts of time explaining to people why Death Cab For Cutie's Transatlanticism was written specifically for you and your long distance lover. Even perfect strangers should not be safe from your sermon of how you met, what the other person is like, what they might be up to right now (if you're following Point One, you won't have to guess) and why your relationship is superior to whatever they're enduring at the moment. (Usually, it will be.)
3. Stop Going on Dates With Other People
This doesn't seem like any kind of novel idea, but it's such a common mistake that it bears mentioning here. Going on little dates with other people is the easiest way to make your long distance relationship into a series of drunken hate-voicemails, threatening packages and arson attacks. These days, it's easy to end up on a date that you thought was nothing more than an opportunity to eat a hamburger with someone else. You misunderstood a text message (more on these later) and next thing you know, someone is trying to have sex with you in the middle of the street. The best way to avoid this is to never respond to any advance, friendly or unfriendly, from a single human of the opposite sex. Dogs and other animals as well. Just to be safe.
4. Text Always
While this may seem to be a sort of addendum to Point One, it's not. Not only should you speak to your significant other every day (preferably for extended periods of time and ideally where there is potential for nakedness), but you should also spend a good deal of your time texting this person. This allows you to constantly know what your long distance lover is doing (see Point Two and then also Point One again). Texting can also lead to sexting, which only sounds dumb to people who've never been in a long distance relationship.
5. Spend Most Of Your Money On Plane Tickets And/Or Gasoline
People who claim to be in long distance relationships and only see each other once a month (OR LESS?) are, in fact, much closer to living in a Monastery than they are to being in love. To make it work? Fly out to each other more than seems reasonable, or necessary. Fly out for fun. Meet halfway. Go back and forth. Skip work sometimes. Even when it's stupid to skip work. Fly out for reasons that sound miserable, like bar mitzvah's, or her roommate's birthday, or her dad's vasectomy, or meeting her extended homeschooled Amish family -- because at least she will still be there, and that's what relationships are about.
6. Skype Your Life
Do the sorts of things you'd do if you were together, like drink too much and watch movies and sit around with your roommates acting like assholes and fall asleep. Listen to music. Read each other stories. Show each other pictures of your friends you may never meet. Plan a trip. Write a book. Cook dinner. Play an instrument. Do jumping jacks. Take off your pants. Just use the wonder of technology to make yourself feel a little less lonely doing it. And remember: It's not drinking alone if it's a long distance relationship. Well, yes it is. But, still.
7. Send Each Other Shit
People love presents. Anyone who says he doesn't is an asshole. Find $10 (or steal it from a roommate) and send your boo a copy of your favorite book. Amazon will probably have it delivered before you've even realized you actually ordered it. Find some place near her work that delivers snacks and send her lunch. Don't send flowers. Flowers are stupid. Oh, she tells you she likes flowers? Well, why don't you just write this damn thing then, since you're so smart? Of course she likes flowers, but here's the thing: you can do better. Flowers show that you are normal and trite and that you have the same ideas any douchebag in the whole world. Send her something she can eat. Or hold. Or listen to. Send something that will make her coworkers jealous. Find a way to make her think about you while you are a thousand miles away; although, if you've been paying any attention and are following Points One, Two, and Four, this probably won't be an issue.
8. Have a Foreseeable End
Like most relationships, long distance relationships will end in either a break-up or a lifelong commitment. Oh, you've only spent a total of 136 hours together over the course of the last month? That's like, 136 normal-ass, mundane, in-person dates. So, while most couples can take their time to figure this out, or just not really care to figure it out at all, you can't. You've got to be thinking in terms of how much you're willing to put your money, job, friendships, rollover minutes and free time towards someone you only see via the Internet. Breaking up is an option. Moving to the same city is also an option. But doing all other seven points here, month after month, waiting to see where things go next? That's not an option. Talk goals. Figure your life out. But, the absolute best thing you can do for your long distance relationship is make it into a short distance one.
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