Posts Tagged 'Romance'

Real life advice for long distance relationship success

How do you keep a relationship alive when one person is constantly MIA?   Well that’s a million dollar question and I believe I have the answers to it. This is not to say that my advice will please everyone, but, it is a result of my direct experience.

It takes a very special person to be married to someone who is constantly gone. The person left at home has to be self sufficient and independent.  Someone who can be a mom and dad at the same time, an accountant and housekeeper, and in most cases someone who also works outside of the home.  The one at home has to be able to juggle not only their own daily life but also the activities of the children, and any last minute requests made by their spouse or partner.

So how do you prepare for the day when the one you are with leaves for an extended time frame?  One of the most important things to do is to make sure you know where all the important paperwork is—for example: wills, important financial documents, social security cards and anything else you might need handy.  In my family this collection of papers is called the “War Packet.” Created when my husband went over to Iraq, we have used it ever since and update the documents regularly.  (If you need a power of attorney that’s the place to keep those documents as well).

Spend as much quality time with each other as possible—that doesn’t mean go out to dinner regularly, but whatever it is that the two of you do with each other that is special.  Whether you get up in the mornings and have coffee together or lay in bed when the kids are down talking about the day—make it more of a point to do it—but be careful to avoid taking it to a point where having to be together becomes tedious.  The night before the other leaves, help them pack, make sure that they have everything they need while they will be away. If they need a care package sent, write your list at that time and start it the next day.

The most important aspect of keeping the relationship alive, in my opinion, is communication. If the communication dies everything else will fall apart.  Good communication is not just talking to each other, because there are times when phone calls aren’t possible.  Keeping each other involved in the mundane daily things that seem trivial normally are actually very important when distance is between you.  Whether it’s a short email about your day, how the kids are doing (if applicable), or simply how you are feeling.

Just because distance is between you doesn’t lessen the importance of special days and holidays. They are just as important as when you are together, so make sure to send a package at Christmas, or, like in our family, if we can we call my husband, put the phone on speaker while the kids open their presents. This makes the other person feel involved, still an important and vital part of the family.

If your anniversary falls on a day they will be gone, go treat yourself and send them a special email or card. Do the same thing with Valentine’s Day. Basically, just keep them involved in the holidays and birthdays even when they are not there to participate physically in them.

Intimacy is it possible with out the other person physically being there.  How do you go about sexual relations with each other while one is gone?   Well, this is where it takes a creative mind. Yes, it is possible to have sexual relations with your partner while they are gone.  It’s a little different than when they are there (obviously) but it still works.  A few of my tricks to get me through the separation times include, phone sex, web-cam use and cyber sex.  All are very fulfilling and leave a satisfied body in its wake.  The intimacy side really doesn’t change too much because you are still with the person, just in a different form. However, you have to open more of yourself to them and visa versa.

When you have a relationship where one is away for extended periods of time you learn just how much you can take and sometimes have to push past those limitations to forge a stronger bond with your partner. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the strength deep down inside of you to push forward to another day.

Life keeps happening while the other is away and sometimes you have to face some of your hardest situations physically alone.  Here is an example of facing a hardship by yourself.  Mothers Day ‘08, I was out spending the day with my kids and saw my dad had called, so I called him back after we ate dinner. His roommate answered the phone and told me my dad had died that day!  Ya, it was like a nuclear bomb going off in my heart.  So I went home and call my husband, who even as he answered the phone knew something was wrong, and then knew once he heard me crying what it was.

In the days that followed my father’s death, my husband was my rock. Although he wasn’t there to hold me, he was there to support me, to listen to and reassure me in the ways I needed him to.  When it came time for me to go back to Washington to take care of the arrangements, he offered to come home but I told him no.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want him there but more like I needed to do it myself. He was going to be home in two weeks anyway. However, he called me frequently the whole time  I was there to make sure I was okay and listen to me vent, cry, whatever.  When he came home he held me while I cried and tried to let go.

Just because distance separates you and your loved one doesn’t mean it has to affect you or your relationship in a negative way.  The lessons you learn about yourself and your inner strength are what will get you through just about anything that could happen.  You find that you are stronger than you could have ever dreamed of being and if your life has been built on solid ground then it will stay standing when the storms start knocking at your door.

The homecoming day is one to look forward to for many reasons. It is such a relief to not have to do everything by yourself any longer.  Though there is a transition phase that takes place in my house. He starts to slowly take over the cooking, (THANK GOD) is there to help me with the household chores, and he steps back into the role of dad so I can go back to just being mom.  We make sure we have planned family outings and special time for us as a family but we also set aside time just for us to have quality time to ourselves as well.

Here is the bottom line that I believe most people don’t understand: Don’t take the time for granted that you spend with the one you love. Don’t take for granted their presence in your bed, because if the day comes when they have to leave for real period of time, you will be at a complete emotional loss. Every day you are with that person, be thankful that they are there.

There are people all around the world who see their partners daily but tend to overlook all they have in their presence. If you are a person who has a partner who is gone for extended periods of time you understand that time together is precious. Remember to always celebrate that, because it will be the memory of those times that hold you steady, strong and true during separation.


Ruminations on the meaning of romance

I’ll confess something up-front, I’ve been having a bit of trouble with this blog topic.

What constitutes my idea of romance? Well, I’ve never really given it much thought. I recognize when something romantic happens to me, but the sad news is, that up until recently, there was not much romance in my life.

I attribute this to the fact that I’m the sort of girl who has to be motivated to get in a so-called romantic mood. I’m not talking about sex, mind you, but actual romance. Now what do I mean by needing to be motivated? I mean that the typical combination of poem/flowers/candy doesn’t exactly do it for me.

I need is what I consider to be the perfect combination for me: Someone who is all-at-once part academic professor and half six-year old. The type of person who enjoys a good conversation about art, music or history, but finds use and beauty in the occasional food fight. A person who is thrilled to follow a philharmonic performance with a couple games of bowling and some beer. Someone who likes the books without pictures, but who still has a deep affection for Dr. Seuss.

That said, I have to keep the following in mind: Nobody’s perfect.

Even when two people are lucky enough to find themselves head-over-heals in love,
we all come with a list, (or in my case, a chapter), of shortcomings. So for me, true romance has to include acceptance.
It’s not just about doing small favors for one and other now and then, or keeping each other laughing through hard times, or spontaneity, or even pure physical attraction. All of these things I consider to be important, but I think true romance happens when two people are compelled to be next to each other. When they find themselves wanting to be a better person for the sake of the other. And when they carry the knowledge that they’re loved for who they are, including all of their lists (or chapters) of faults.


10 ways for women to be romantic (and drive their man crazy, in the best way, of course)

We’re in the process of ramping up a regularly scheduled blog from many of the key employees at Va Va Voom. I am no exception. When I was thinking up possible topics, I looked for romance lessons for women. As with any writing project, I immediately “Googled” to see what other writers have penned on the topic. I searched using a few different terms and to my surprise there is a plethora of articles and how-to’s for men, but very few articles specifically targeted towards women.

As an owner of a small chain of lingerie stores, I’m throwing my hat into the ring and presenting 10 ideas women can use to be romantic and irresistibly sexy to their man. Help him out, take some of the pressure off the relationship, and be the instigator once in a while, he’ll love it!

1.    Feed him. This is probably the simplest form of romance, but food is truly the easiest way to get to a man’s heart. There is no need to take him to a fancy restaurant, just find out what his favorite meals are. After a hard day at work, make sure that he comes home to a home-cooked meal and a glass of his favorite wine or scotch.

2.    Figure out the most insane place to have a quickie. Men love the danger of doggin’ it in public. Have a romantic tryst with him in the bathroom of his work, at a fancy restaurant or in a public park.

3.    Take care of his morning wood. Nothing says “I love you” like an early morning rendezvous. Take the time to get up a few minutes before he does and wake him up with some hot and steamy action. Most men wake up pitching tents. It’s your turn make sure his flagpole is properly saluted.

4.    Send him some NSFW naughty pictures and text messages. Warning: Make sure that he alone will get the sexy message. It’s not sexy when he’s giving a presentation to the CEO of his company and his phone sends him a sneak peak of your new crotchless knickers.

5.    Pay for a romantic night out. Culturally men are expected to take care of the tab for all dates, trips and excursions. Use your own money and take him out somewhere. Don’t let him pay for a thing. Make sure that you’ve gone to your local Va Va Voom (or other lingerie store) and picked out an evening outfit that’s sure to get his attention.

6.    Change the hair style in your garden. There are a number of products on the market where you can change your garden from a 70’s bush to something he’ll always remember. You can make a playboy bunny design or fashion a fabulous landing strip. Dye it an outrageous color or even dare to go bare. When you do it, take him out somewhere and give him hints all night long. It will drive him wild.

7.    He’s always expected to give you a massage of some sort or another. Book a couple’s massage at a reputable local parlor (no happy finish for you places). After spending a relaxing hour together, take him and give him the finish that he deserves.

8.    Watch a good flick with him (romantic, action or SciFi). Romantic comedies are the usual when you’re having the standard dinner and a movie night. Most men are feel they are being tortured, watching these films as if it’s a prerequisite for him to get a little one-on-one skin time. Instead, take him to a great film that he’ll enjoy and make sure that you totally get into it with him.

9.    Mountain love: What can I say? Find a great day hike and take him to your new love destination. There’s nothing like lovin’ in the woods. Make sure that you take a small blanket with you to shield you both and your skin from poison ivy and other critters.

10.    Dirty love. If your man is a traveling fool for his job, there’s nothing like writing him a dirty note expressing your love for him while he’s gone. He’ll appreciate you more when he knows you’re home waiting for his beloved return. Make sure his homecoming is just that: coming home to something exciting, something he has always wanted.

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