Whether you’ve been together years, months or a few days, beginning to date someone over the phone can be a nerve-wracking experience. It differs very much from talking to someone in person. When you’re used to free flowing conversation, facial cues and clear tone of voice, phone conversations can feel quite lacking.

This can be even more difficult for couples who are separated. Emotions run high when you miss one another, sometimes more than you are able to express. Conversations that may have once come easily to the both of you can now become a bit strained. This can be very frustrating. In spite of all of this, however, talking on the phone can become a very important part of your relationship.

Making time out to speak to one another on a regular basis can be difficult. We all lead busy, hectic lives. Calling one another is a particularly crucial part of this stage in your relationship because it lets your other half know that even though we are separated “I still care about you” and “I am thinking of you.”

But before you begin your romantic calls to one another, it’s important to remember a few key etiquette rules and tips that will help to make sure that you both get the most out of your time together on the phone.

1.            Timing

“Timing is everything.” Call your loved one at a time when you know they will be available to talk for at least a few minutes. The last thing you want to do is to call in the middle of a busy day at work, or while they are in a meeting with a boss or even worse -while they are sleeping. Your schedules may no longer be as synced as they once were so if you have to set times to call in advance, do not hesitate to do so.

2.            Location

Everyone knows that it’s rude to talk on the phone in an elevator, right? Wrong. Don’t talk in elevators, buses, trains or public and quiet places. Any place where people are cramped together and space is limited, please use your manners and don’t talk on your phone. It can be a horribly awkward experience for the people around you. Texting is a great alternative for situations where talking on the phone isn’t the most viable option.

3.            Atmosphere

Phone conversations offer you the rare setting where the only thing you have to focus on is your voice, their voice and getting your words and views across clearly. Please make sure that you can both get the most out of your conversation together. Avoid having major distractions near or around you. Instead, it is best if you both find a quiet comfortable area where neither of you will face distraction or interruption from other people.

4.            Courtesy

Keep your focus on your loved one and the conversation. Do not talk to other people around you, or do other things or activities while on the phone. (Unless you’re doing them together.) To show respect to the person you are calling means that you will focus on them and what they are saying because it is important to you. Paying attention in this way also means that you will have a lot more to give to the conversation because you are actually listening.

5.            Preparation

For some people, talking on the phone is something that does not come easily at all. It may then be appropriate to prepare beforehand so that your conversation will go a little more smoothly. No one wants to give their loved one the impression that they are uncaring or bored, when they are really just a little phone shy. What’s an easy way to keep the conversation going? Ask how your loved ones day went and how they are feeling. Plan to tell the person about what’s been happening in your life. Ask questions and remember what’s been said. Beforehand; write down everything that you want to say or talk about. Use this note to guide you. The more you talk on the phone together, the less you will need the notes to help you.

6.            Surprises can be okay, sometimes.

Not everyone loves surprises, but for the people who do this can be a real treat. Call on a day when they aren’t expecting you to. This is a flattering way to show that you were thinking of them and will make your loved one feel special and appreciated. Make sure the time that you arrange to call is a practical one that doesn’t interrupt a part of their daily life.

7.            Be positive and end on a high note.

Positivity will always be attractive. Try not to spend a lot of time complaining. Make a serious effort to keep all of your conversations positive and the groaning to a minimum. Even if your conversation wasn’t the greatest this time, try to leave on a positive note. You’ll both get off the phone smiling and it will be the thing you remember most about your conversation, making it easier for the next phone call to come around quickly.

The most important thing to remember when speaking to your loved one is to be yourself. Change can take a lot of adjusting and it would be tempting or even easy to forget yourself amidst your new circumstances. Your loved one misses and wants to feel close to you and all the things that made you special and loved by them. Do not deprive them of the memory of you.

If you haven’t had the privilege of yet meeting, don’t you want the person you love to know you for who you really are? If you follow these tips, your conversations will be delightful and something you will both love to remember.