Time-zones are confusing. My boyfriend and I live in two different time-zones, the difference in time only amounting to an hour; but even figuring out which of us is an hour ahead or behind each other is really confusing.

I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for couples who live several hours apart. The most I have to worry about is if when he says “9 o’ clock” does that mean 8 my time or 10 my time? Living several hours apart would make things way more difficult to manage.

Making time for one another would probably be a lot harder too since you have to deal with your daily obligations in addition to the time difference. Something as simple as planning a movie night or even just scheduling a Skype or telephone call can be really difficult if 6am for one person is 6pm for another.

Okay, so we know it’s hard loving and living in two different time-zones. But how can we deal with it? Let’s explore some easy ways to do so!

Find new ways to express intimacy

So you may not be able to call each other whenever you want, because he’s usually asleep for most of the time that you’re awake. Long distance relationships are already lacking in physical intimacy, so we’ve found ways to reinvent the notion of intimacy in other non-physical ways.

Time-zones make even non-physical intimacy a real challenge because you can’t always do the same things that traditional LDRs do -like Skype calls, for instance. Your schedules just may not allow for the easy “hop on Skype and video chat at a whim” moments. So you’ll have to reinvent the idea of romance and intimacy to fit your situation.

I was able to talk to 6 LDR couples who are currently living in different time zones from their partners. Here’s what they had to say about reinventing intimacy in their relationships:

I send my s/o random gifts in the mail without telling him that I’m sending them. I like to send things that I know he can use and will make him feel closer to me. I once sent him a package full of breakfast things so even though I can’t be there to make him breakfast this is the next best thing! -Anonymous

A really cool idea would be send your s/o an email or letter that they could open and maybe inside you can have a little hand-picked recipe from you that they can make. And even though you aren’t in the same time zone you could technically share the same meal together because you’ve both made the same recipe. It’d be cool to switch off and maybe even take turns picking recipes and sending them to each other. -Anonymous, in a 2 year LDR

Sometimes just having an email or text message to wake up to helps the fact that you’re separated by time and distance. There’s nothing like waking up to a message or photo of your partner first thing in the morning. -Sarah, in a 6 month LDR

My girlfriend and I live on complete opposite sides of the world. So sometimes I’ll set my alarm on my phone to wake me up when I know she gets up so that I can send her a good morning text message and have a short conversation with her before passing out again. I like to do it because it makes me feel connected to her. -Jack, international LDR/Australia-New York

I have no idea how but my partner knows how to go straight to voicemail when she calls my cell. So throughout the day I get to hear her voice through all the little messages she leaves me, even though I may be busy working or at school or something. I honestly don’t think I’d be able to deal with being so far apart from her without the little things like that. -Anonymous, 1 year LDR

On my smartphone I have a time zone app installed. The kind that lets you see what time it is where you are versus where they are? It’s absolutely perfect for me because I’m so forgetful and I’ve broken so many appointments thinking I was 3 hours behind instead of ahead. It’s a life saver for me! -Anonymous, 3 month LDR

Be willing to make the occasional sacrifice

Sometimes you have to go the extra mile in the relationship -no pun intended! Take a day to spend some time with your partner, even if it takes out of a little bit of the time you spend with your friends.

Are you and your partner 8+ hours apart? Take a weekend when neither of you works, clear your schedule and have an all nighter so that you can spend the day with your other half. You may not be able to skype or even have phone calls with one another on a regular basis but you can schedule periods of time when you can sacrifice a few hours of sleep or a few hours of free time to make those special moments happen. Be flexible! You can even take shifts!

No relationship is impossible if you have the right attitude and are willing to really work for it! Being in a relationship with different time zones can be just as successful as any long distance relationship if you remain creative and determined.

photo © 2008 leoplus, Flickr