Long-distance dating is a thing unto itself. It is a whole different and new way of relating to a lover. There are times of amazing, intense and deep connection, there are times of talking for hours and hours, there are ways to stay connected all day long through many tech platforms. And, it can get lonely and it can be a lot of relating to your lover through a computer and desperately wanting their body beside you in bed.
I did long-distance dating with my partner for the first 6 months of our relationship when we lived thousands of miles away from each other. I would not trade this valuable experience for anything and while it was hard we remained open and flexible and even experimented with a couple of ways of labeling the sometimes stress that it was causing us.
At first, we complained to each other when we couldn’t bear the separation and said it was too hard. We used the word hard to describe our long distance relationship. “This is so hard”. “Long distance is hard”. “I miss you and this feels too hard”. “I don’t know if I can do this anymore it’s too hard”. You get the drift!
While doing this, I noticed the energy would really shift and we would disconnect and get into a ton of pain around it. It would feel harder! It would feel sometimes impossible. And it would take longer to reconnect and get back into the flow of our magic. Sometimes when we labeled it hard it would take days to remember that we actually have this beautiful, amazing love together.
So, we decided to re-label our experience together and changed “hard” to “creative”. We began to say, “This is a creative relationship”. “We must get creative to be in this relationship”. “This thing takes thinking in new ways and relating in new ways and using creativity to stay connected”. “It will require creative use of our energy”. “It will require creative use of our resources and in that creativity is so much possibility and so much excitement”! What I began to see is that when I think of myself as a creative woman with amazing tools and tools yet undiscovered I get excited and I get turned on! I live my life from this space of creativity and applying this notion to my long distance relationship makes it fun, spicy and hot.
Getting creative meant establishing some new tools that helped ease the stress of being away from each other and made talking on the phone, Skype-ing and using other tech platforms exciting.
I took this process partially from living in a communal house where we had 2 meetings a month that we started with check-ins. I loved it! It was a way to have space and time where no one spoke back but the time was devoted for each person to go around and share how they were doing, what they were up to and any deeper, more intimate information they wanted to reveal about their lives.
We began to implement this into the beginning of our calls. A way to leave the day behind and get present with each other. A way to let one another know what has gone on before our call and to have a chance to share without interruption, comment or feedback but just getting current and releasing the energy from the day so that we could be fully present with each other.
Doing this practice created so much space for us to play and have fun with eachother in a container of joy.
We ended all our calls with Gratitudes. Sometimes getting off the call can be sad even if we’ve been talking for hours and because we do not have a physical body there to cuddle with in the moments of quiet when words aren’t necessary. We did not want to leave the call on a sad note and be alone in our sadness so we did this practice of saying the things we are grateful for in the other person as a way to acknowledge the love and the special thing we have. It makes the other person feel so appreciated! It is a cuddle of love said through words. It uplifts us both to shower the other with kind words, it keeps our energy up and high and it puts out there to the universe that we are indeed so grateful for this thing we have.
When we do this practice with each other it keeps our heart channels open to one another. It is a way to get off the call with love in our hearts and smiles on our faces and we can then disconnect in one way but stay connected in so many others.
Some other ways we used creativity: acknowledgments, love letters, sharing music, sending photos and videos (sexy and otherwise), sinking in and connecting to each other’s energy….
The hardest was often saying goodbye after a really long and awesome Skype date and so we counted down 3-2-1 like 10 times! It became a fun way to say goodbye seeing who would finally be the one to actually hang up.
About 6 months into this creative vs. hard relationship we decided that long distance was just too hard after all and the creative needed to be in figuring out how to be in the same city. We got there eventually and are now living happily (with lots of creative work and lots of love for the process) ever after!
Anya de Montigny, DHS is a sexuality expert with over 20 years experience working with individuals, couples, and groups. Dr. Anya has a Doctor of Human Sexuality (DHS) degree, is a certified sex educator and certified sex coach and was the host of the popular radio show The O Word Sex Talk Radio. Dr. Anya has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area working with individuals and couples and invites straight and LGBTQ people into her practice. She also teaches adult sex education classes as well as consent & boundaries workshops at Universities and Colleges.