Long distance engagements can be a challenge for couples used to spending time together, but there are many reasons why a couple may need to be apart and there are many ways they can strengthen their relationship even while they can't be together.
Reasons for Distance
Couples don't normally choose to become engaged and then spend weeks, months, or years apart, but even if a couple is only a few dozen miles apart that distance can seem insurmountable. There are many reasons, however, why a loving couple may be faced with a long distance courtship:
- College: If both individuals choose to go to different colleges, they may spend much of their engagement at different schools while they plan a post-graduation wedding.
- Military: If one person in the couple is in the military, they must spend long periods apart over great distances while deployments are completed.
- Career: Many people need to be willing to relocate for a great job offer, and until the other individual in the couple can manage to arrange their own move, a career-focused engaged couple may need to spend time in a long distance relationship.
- Online Relationships: If a couple met through an online dating website, their relationship may progress to a marriage proposal while they are still apart.
Long Distance Proposals
For some couples, their relationship has always been long distance and may even include a long distance proposal. While ideally a marriage proposal would be made face to face, that isn't always possible. Instead, a couple could get engaged over the telephone or through a webcam, or even via a special website, text message, or other high-tech means. If an in-person proposal is desired, however, a surprise visit, synchronized vacation, or holiday proposal may be more fitting. Whatever the case, a romantic proposal will be a memorable thing to share when distance continues to separate the couple during their engagement.
Keeping Long Distance Engagements Alive
The key to keeping a long distance relationship alive is to minimize the distance in every way possible. These ideas can help keep romance nearby, even when that special someone isn't.
- Phone Calls: With a wide variety of cell phone calling plans available, couples have no excuse not to keep in touch. Setting up a private time to chat, however, can make it more special. Evening or nighttime calls are especially meaningful because a couple can share the last words of the night with someone they care most about, and they can wish each other good night and sweet dreams.
- Online Chats: Instant messages, emails, and online chats are perfect for a casual conversation or checking in with one another. Be sure these communications do not interfere with work or studying, however, which can increase stress when your significant other isn't there for comfort and support.
- Virtual Gifts: There are many online companies that have free virtual cards, gifts, flowers, and other items that can be a quick reminder to that someone special that they're being thought of from afar. Popular free virtual gift services include:
- Care Packages: A small box with a love note, special gift, tasty treat, and other items can keep couples close. Enclose personal items - a favorite shirt, for example, or trading CDs - to add an even more sentimental touch.
- Engagement Portraits: Long distance engagements can make taking engagement portraits difficult, but a couple could take separate pictures to share with one another. Send a photo inscribed with a personal note or in an engraved frame for a special gift.
- Vacations: Couples can work to coordinate long distance vacations so they can spend some precious time together over weekends, holidays, or whenever their schedules can connect. If the separation is hundreds or thousands of miles, choose vacation destinations in between to minimize travel time for both parties and to maximize time together.
- Summer Work: If a couple is spending their college years apart, they can opt for summer work that brings them together. Mountain resorts, theme parks, and other summer destinations often hire seasonal employees and offer affordable housing options.
- Letters: The art of the love letter is all but forgotten, but couples in long distance relationships can revive it. A handwritten note is more special than a quick text message or email, and using unique stationery, cards, poetry, lipstick kisses, a perfume spritz, or other personal touch can make a simple letter simply wonderful.
Your Support Network
No matter how hard a couple works to make their long distance relationship succeed, it is important that they each have a support network to help them through the lonely times. An enjoyable hobby, volunteer work, or job can be a good part of a social network to keep attached individuals from feeling isolated when they cannot date anyone nearby. At the same time, it is vital to remain true to the engagement and not stray to others' arms because of proximity or convenience. If such a problem does occur, honesty, understanding, and trust can help keep an engagement viable even through the hard times.
When a couple does have time together, they must make the most of it. Limit other commitments and minimize distractions to ensure the maximum amount of time spent together, and remember to plan romantic dates and fun times together while the time is limited.
Long distance engagements can be difficult, but they are not impossible. While couples may not enjoy the time spent apart, knowing their love is strong enough to survive the separation can make their time together even sweeter.