Dear eNotAlone: My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years, and we've been apart for the past six months. We used to see each other all the time, but now it's only Skype dates and the occasional phone call. Our relationship is still strong, but it feels like something is missing. I know my love for him has never dwindled, but it feels like I need something more. I don't know how to go about reconnecting with him and regaining the closeness we used to have. Should I be reaching out more? Is it too late for us to be together again?
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Romantic relationships always take effort, particularly when you're in a long-distance relationship. Maintaining a close relationship with someone who lives far away can be hard – your day-to-day realities are different, and physical proximity can be replaced only by effort and communication. So if you're looking to regain the closeness you used to have with your boyfriend, it's reassuring to remember that it isn't impossible.
To make sure long-distance relationships stay strong, staying connected is paramount. Consistently reaching out through different means, such as video calls, messages, or phone calls, will help strengthen the connection. It can also be helpful to schedule regular dates so that you both have something to look forward to. One thing to bear in mind is that if your conversations are one-sided, or if you're constantly struggling to come up with topics of discussion, then something needs to change. While keeping the relationship going is important, how you keep the relationship going is equally crucial.
Further, setting realistic expectations can also help. Relying solely on Skype dates and phone calls isn't going to help rekindle the old flames. You might have to travel to actually be able to spend time together, which can be difficult in the short term but may be worth it in the long run. Another way to stay connected is to write letters. Penning down thoughts on paper is an old-fashioned but powerful way to express your emotions.
It is equally important to talk about the future. When in a long-distance relationship it can feel like you're just treading water, so sitting down and discussing the future and any potential plans for merging your lives again will give both of you hope and focus. Having a shared goal to strive for will not only help you stay motivated but will also bring you back to your intimate selves.
Of course, keeping it light and having fun from time to time is also essential. Planning surprise gifts or games on Skype, or even planning trips together can be a great escape from the monotony. Quality time together is precious, and doing something unusual together can only increase your connection.
Remember that reconnecting won't happen overnight. The effort and consistency you put into the relationship will be ultimately rewarding, so don't give up. A sincere effort towards caring for each other and finding ways to stay connected will surely bring you the desired results. Keep in mind that reconnecting is both a physical and emotional journey, so be patient and flexible with the process.