Courtesy of Sheryl Owen and ChangeofAddress.org
When one person in a relationship moves due to work, school, or any other reason it can naturally cause a lot of strain on the relationship. It’s really hard to explain just how difficult this can be until you have gone through the experience yourself. However, there are a lot of advancements in technology that have made it somewhat easier to be in a long distance relationship so I decided to put together a short list of 10 of the best resources that I am aware of for people struggling with this problem.
- Skype. I’m not willing to go so far as to say that Skype is the next best thing to come along since sliced bread, but it is pretty awesome for long distance relationships. You can chat pretty much any time over the Internet for free and what is more important is if you hook up web cams you can see your significant other as well while you talk.
- AOL Instant Messenger. I could just as easily picked on any other instant messaging service but since AOL is my chat service of choice it gets the spotlight. The nice thing about chat is that you can usually have it up most of the day while you work (on your PC) and you can even add a mobile client to keep you accessible on the go from your smart phone.
- Text Messaging (SMS). I’m almost not sure how society got along without the ability to send text messages. I get several every day from my significant other just reminding me of various things I need to do and to basically brighten my day. I wouldn’t want to be without a text/data plan any more with my cell phone.
- Google Apps. You can use Google apps and/or any shared calendar system to let the other person know what your schedule is like to avoid any anxiety over what you are doing at any given point in time. This can just head off some of the natural problems that occur with long distance relationships and not knowing what the other person has going on (I know… trust should be there but that’s hard from a distance).
- FaceBook. There isn’t much that you can’t find out about someone from their FaceBook page (assuming they are active on the platform). Between your computer and mobile device you can easily stay in touch and even share pics of each other. It’s also nice to take the time to write on the other person’s wall every now and then.
- Mologogo. You can use one of the many mobile GPS tracking solutions if you really want to notify each other of where you are all the time. This may actually not be a great idea as it may violate some privacy or show real trust issues, but if you don’t mind letting the other person know where you are there are several mobile GPS apps and services you can utilize.
- Twitter. If you aren’t a FB fan, then chances are you might be on Twitter. You can tweet out updates to your significant other as well to let them know what is going on where you are. Keep in mind though with Twitter, FaceBook, and other social networks that most of the time the World can see what you are saying too! Be smart about what you share!
- Tokbox. If you aren’t a Skype fan, you should give tokbox.com a try as they also have a great and free video chat service that will let you see and talk with your significant other. I can’t stress enough what a difference it makes after a long day or even to start your day by looking and talking to the person you love the most.
- Orbitz. You can get travel fare alerts from just about any of the large travel sites which can save you a ton of money on trips back to see your significant other. You never know you may decide to take a quick trip just because a great plane fare is available this weekend, next weekend, etc. No disrespect intended to Travelocity, Expedia, etc. Use all the services you can to get notified of flight deals.
- JibJab. You can use JibJab.com, AmericanGreetings.com, SmileBox.com, and other great eCard services to send funny and interesting eCards to your significant other. It’s inexpensive (usually free) and you can give them a great personalized note to let them know you are thinking about them.
So while it can be difficult to be in a long distance relationship. You can actually communicate quite effectively to make it easier than ever to endure this time apart from one another. Hopefully, you will be able to find a way to be in the same location as your long distance love but if you can’t you can at least use the advancements in technology to stay connected and feel like you are an intricate part of the other person’s life.