John and Abigail Adams had parchment and quills. Alfalfa and Darla had tin-cans connected by strings. And Barbie had Ken at her beck and call.
Throughout history, famous couples have found new and inventive ways to make sure their sweet nothings get communicated to their beloved in full.
For the modern-day couple on the go, the software program Skype makes free video chatting the fastest and easiest way yet to log in face-time, however many miles apart. With the addition of the new Skype app for both Iphones and Android, Skype can literally be carried around in your pocket. Gone are the days when Skype was just something your roommate in the dorms used late Friday nights to try to maintain her passionate, albeit ultimately doomed, relationship begun while studying abroad.
Even though we are no John and Abigail (however powdered our wigs may be), my boyfriend and I have spent countless hours communicating long distance through Skype. As a former long distance couple, we took every advantage of the free software possible. It’s a great tool for couples that miss the simple feeling of being in the same room together.
After our two-plus years doing the Skype thing, here are some helpful dos and don’ts I picked up along the way:
Do: Skype Date
It is important to arrange a specific time you can both be at your computer or on your cell phone, especially if there are time zone differences involved
If you’ve got some extra time before the call there is no shame in putting on makeup and combing your hair. Now, I’m not saying to pretend your video camera is broken just because you’re having a bad hair day, but if you rarely get to see each other in person it is nice to remind your partner exactly what he/she is missing every once and awhile.
Note: Some couples delve into more graphic forms of internet affection while on Skype Dates because of the functionality of video. This is something my vanity just won’t allow. With the ever-present little corner box displaying my personal video feed, I could not handle watching myself attempt to look sexy. The shame would be too great. But in the interest of full journalistic disclosure, yes, some people have Skype Sex.
Whether or not your Skype Date ends with Skype Sex is entirely up to you. Just remember what your mama always said–God and a Patriot Act-enabled worker are watching.
Don’t: Use Skype as a Weapon
If you suspect your partner of lying about his or her whereabouts or of other general malfeasance, do not turn your instrument of love into a dreaded instrument of hate. Demanding a Skype video tour of his/her apartment, closet, or bed will not solve the trust issues in your relationship. If you have gotten to the point where Skype is being called upon to prove fidelity…well, I’m no Dr. Phil, but I would say it’s probably time to reconsider your relationship in general.
Do: Have a life outside of Skype
No one wants to talk to a person that only says “I miss you” over and over. Even the most devoted and bereft lover will get bored with such a conversation eventually.
So get out there–and get a life.
Maintaining your independence will make the time you are separated seem to go by faster, and help you keep your sanity. Yes, it is important to honor your Skype Date schedule, but it is also important to pencil in some time free for going out with your friends. Trust me, unless your partner is a Stage 5 Clinger, your boyfriend or girlfriend will ultimately thank you.
- A feeling (somewhat) tech savvy Lindsay