5 Secrets of Successful Long-Distance Relationships

It's true that mischievous messages may make you wish your lover were there to do all the things he wrote about. But his lack of physical presence doesn't mean you have to be left hot and bothered. Denise Jackson, a 34-year-old Texas pharmacist, and her boyfriend, who lives in North Carolina, regularly have down-and-dirty phone sex. Denise giggles, "Having a hands-free headset for the phone helps a lot." She adds, "At first I felt really funny saying sexual words when Tim wasn't actually with me. But practice made perfect." Once you're comfortable saying the words into a receiver, add some visuals. Dr. Guldner suggests using digital cameras to send photos to each other. Sparks are guaranteed.

Keep the faith.

Yes, it's rough being apart, but harping on the negative can take a toll on the relationship. Dating coach Masini suggests, "Instead of moaning that you never see each other, talk about the interesting things you've been doing and ask what he's up to." This will help in two ways: He won't think you're obsessed with the relationship, and you won't be obsessed. The happier you act with your life, the happier you'll actually feel.

And here's a cheery thought to get you started. Dr. Guldner says, "The failure of LDRs is a misconception. Couples break up for many reasons, but my 10 years of research on this subject has shown that distance doesn't seem to be one of them. Indeed, couples in LDRs report the same levels of intimacy, trust, commitment and satisfaction as geographically close couples." It's confirmed: Absence really does make the heart grow fonder!
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