You're going to State U on the East Coast. He's going to Private University on the West Coast. Fortunately for you, in this technological day and age, courting your cutie from 3,000 miles away is easier than ever before. Video cams, online phone services and instant messaging can keep the passion alive. "The issue is not what are the technologies, but what are the nuances within them," explains Brian Reich, author of Media Rules: Mastering Today's Technology to Connect with and Keep Your Audience.
Connecting via video maximizes intimacy. "Anything with a video is better because you get the non-verbals," advises relationship expert Dr. Diana Kirschner, author of Love in 90 Days. Dr. Yvonne Fulbright, sexologist and author of Touch Me There!, agrees. "[Video cams] also allow you to flirt and be silly, and remind your love of what eye candy you are."
Cameras you affix to your computer typically cost between $20 and $60, but you can buy a refurbished USB cam, like this one from Logitech, for as little as $4.99. (Of course, you need to pay for Internet costs as well.) Or throw a portable flip video camera in your bag to capture spontaneous moments. "You need no technical ability to shoot and post," Reich raves. Visit theflip.com to survey styles and accessories (camera’s start at $129.99).
If dabbling in life-casting doesn't sound appealing, then opt for a simple digital camera. "Take a camera on your normal day, shooting pictures of your life. Snap pics of your favorite hang outs, special scenery, and just your environment," suggests Dr. Fulbright. Check Craigslist.org and Amazon.com (STOCK QUOTE: AMZN) for new and used models. You no longer have to spend major dough to get a decent digital camera. A used Sony 3.2 mega pixel Cyber-shot is only $19.99 on Amazon.com.
There’s no need to burn up your cell phone minutes talking to your sweetie. Reich recommends Skype, a free online phone service that allows users to make landline calls to anywhere in the world. Some Instant Messenger (IM) programs, like Apple’s (STOCK QUOTE: AAPL) iChat, and Yahoo (STOCK QUOTE: YHOO) Messenger offer free voice chatting as well.
And sure, you can go old-school romantic with long letters (check out Papyrus for unique stationary and cards). But let’s be honest. You’re more likely to keep in touch regularly over IM. "I would recommend setting up IM dates," advises Dr. Fulbright. "Couples can find a time to login at the same time to converse. Qualifying it as a date time also makes it feel more special, giving the feel that you're still wooing each other from afar in making special time for each other."
Your words of love need not be long. Dr. Kirschner says what’s more important is the level of effort. "Be a little flirtatious," she says. "Tease each other!"
Maintaining love from afar can be stressful, but it’s far from impossible. "Because of technology,” adds Kirschner, “you can kind of be together all day long and into the night!"