I love being in a long-distance relationship. I get plenty of space and time to myself, can sleep in my own bed (partner-induced insomnia is real!), and rarely fight with my partner because we’re not around enough to get on each other’s nerves. However, staying close with a long-distance partner can be a challenge, and long-distance couples often develop unusual habits to make their relationships work.
“The level of connectedness for a long-distance relationship must rival that of those couples who have the luxury of being together,” author and relationship expert Susan Winter tells Bustle. “Long-distance couples must work double duty to make sure they’re sensitive to their partners’ needs. They understand that speaking to each other is a harder task to accomplish.
They must learn to anticipate each other’s needs in advance.” That makes being in an LDR sound like lots of work… but it can also be fun. And, at times, funny. Long-distance partners may not have all the bonding opportunities other couples do, but being in an LDR is itself a bonding experience. You’ll learn a lot about each other, for better or worse, and develop some inside jokes.
Here are some weird habits I’ve developed since getting into an LDR that other long-distance couples can probably relate to.
- Texting On The Toilet
for Bustle Sometimes, when you’ve got a really busy day, the only way to connect with your partner is to multitask. And often, that means talking to them in the bathroom. I have G-chatted, texted, and yes, even Skyped on the toilet. Once you’re in an LDR (or really any relationship) long enough, any desire for mystique goes out the window. And it works, as long as you’re careful not to drop anything in the toilet (I haven’t done that yet, knock on wood).
- Facebook-Stalking Your Partner
But that doesn’t stop me from visiting his page every few days just to admire the photos I myself tagged him in (and possibly leave yet another heart-eye emoji under them). I’m not sure what I’m expecting to see on his Facebook profile that he couldn’t tell me himself, but my inner detective gets the best of me.
- Exchanging Weirdly Business-Like
When email is one of your main methods of communication and you’re dealing with logistics like planning trips and calls, exchanges with your partner can start to feel almost like business emails. My most recent email to him reads, “What does your work schedule look like the 25th-27th?” Not exactly sexy, but real love is about doing the unsexy stuff that help . you support and rely on each other.
- Obsessing Over Flights
Especially when your dates are somewhat arbitrary, which is often the case when you’re visiting your partner, the options can feel endless and overwhelming. What works best with your work schedule? Theirs? What’s cheapest? What will get you to the airport at a time when they can meet you? Should you arrive in the morning so you can have the whole day together, or at night so they can pick you up after work? Or maybe in a different city so you can take a little trip together? The process of booking the flight is often more exhausting than the flight itself. The upside is, after a few months of doing this, you’ll practically become an air travel expert.
- Texting While You Masturbate
You don’t always have time for a full-on cybersex session, and besides, you can’t always plan out when the itch to masturbate will hit you. That’s what sexting is for. I try to keep my partner abreast of my self-love sessions, even if it just means texting him, “I just masturbated!” Even if it’s not the most seductive way of communicating this fact, he seems to appreciate it.
6. Reading Way Too Deeply Into Texts
When you’re doing lots of texting and emailing, every word can seem significant. The difference between “OK” and “K” becomes the difference between validating your relationship and hinting at an impending breakup (even if it really just means the difference between having the energy to type two letters and being too lazy). Fortunately, after a few “K”s that don’t end in breakups, these worries tend to calm down.
7. Giving Extremely Mundane Updates
To create a semblance of being together, my partner and I will send each other extremely mundane updates on our lives, including but not limited to “I’m eating Thai food” and “I just had the longest pee.” When you love someone, no detail of their life is uninteresting to you! So, long-distance couples do lots of weird things.
But don’t all couples? Part of the fun of a relationship is indulging in the weird things only you two do, whatever those things happen to be.