From ONF to LDR: going the distance

The course of true love can be a tricky one to navigate. Firstly, how do you manage when something casual – an ‘ONF’ (one-night fling) – seems to be heading …

From Onf To Ldr

The course of true love can be a tricky one to navigate. Firstly, how do you manage when something casual – an ‘ONF’ (one-night fling) – seems to be heading towards something more fulfilling and longer-term? Secondly, to add even more tension to this tricky transition, what happens if the serious relationship is an LDR (long-distance romance)? The good news is that neither of these scenarios needs to be overly taxing at all, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Let’s take a closer look into the dynamic that will transform an ONF into a LDR, and the solutions that will ensure a successful outcome.

The spark of one-night fling

There’s nothing quite like a casual fling to get the adrenaline rushing. For many people, looking for love isn’t necessarily something they intend to treat too rigorously, at least at the outset. A lot of singles are content to ‘play the field,’ because with online dating possibilities each weekend will bring new adventures and fresh one night friend opportunities. After all, the singleton demographic represents a vast pool of potential talent.

Why should anyone feel tied down to one person when a one night friend will tick all the boxes – passion, fun, enjoyment, pleasure – without any need for energy-sapping commitment?! By signing up to an ONF website or app, singles can take their time sifting through the incredibly rich diversity of profiles. There’s always something super-sexy about indulging in one-nighters, where there are no strings attached. You just never know where this might lead!

Understanding it’s something more

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It’s all very well to get involved in a series of casual dates, where you accept that your partner is going to be ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ But what happens when you get to tomorrow and realise you wish this wasn’t so casual? Even the most relaxed fling can generate oodles of chemistry, and this can quickly progress to a situation where the feelings are deeper.

The key to managing this potentially tricky (but massively exciting) transition is communication. Talk at length about your expectations, moving forward. If you and your partner are separated by distance, have a bunch of questions prepared to confirm the degree of their commitment. Have a candid discussion, either via video chat or in person, revealing how much you feel for each other. Understand you are scarcely the first couple this course of events has impacted, and certainly won’t be the last. So, strap yourself in, share your feelings and goals, and enjoy the ride!

Navigating new realities

Taking what was previously a fling to the next level will mean getting used to a whole new bunch of ground rules. Start by making sure you’re 100% certain of the seriousness of the situation, that it could be sliding towards love rather than merely strong infatuation. There are many ways to gauge this, from asking yourself how often you find yourself thinking about the other person when you’re apart, to wondering about longer-term aspirations, such as starting a family. Do you still feel as dedicated after asking these sometimes difficult questions? If you do, fabulous. All that remains is for you to ensure this partnership will survive the distance between you.

Building trust and intimacy long-distance

One of the greatest issues facing any LDR is trust issues. Jealousy may not be an attractive trait in anyone, but it’s also perfectly understandable. When you’re not with someone all the time, how could you possibly know what they get up to? Where they might go to hang out, sometimes on the spur of the moment. The people they might talk to. Or flirt with. But rather than fretting about the likelihood of them being unfaithful, make sure you’ve discussed all these potential worries well in advance.

Ask the candid question: ‘Do you want to make sure what we have is exclusive, or do we settle for an open relationship?’ (This compromise accepts straying is only human but being reunited in the longer term would be more important than dropping everything). For most enduring LDRs, the emphasis will be on exclusivity. This will require both parties to not only trust each other implicitly but also to demonstrate this.

Planning visits and virtual dates

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Trust can be maintained by touching base regularly, either via texts, phone calls, video chars or WhatsApp messaging. It can be underscored by sending gifts or making plans to find the time to rendezvous face-to-face, perhaps during a holiday period. If you are organizing a trip, this will need to be done well in advance, so no last-minute glitches arrive with the potential to derail your agenda.

Pay close attention to details such as localised industrial action that might impact travel or inclement weather conditions. If the logistics of a visit are trickier to get around, then an excellent alternative is to reach out virtually. Everyone got used to Zoom calls, and FaceTime or WhatsApp video meetings during the pandemic. You can take full advantage of this flexible method of contact to keep each other informed of everything that’s been going on in your respective lives. You can also become intimate during these moments, depending on whether you feel like exchanging naughty dialogue, or take this to the next level by sharing fantasies.

Use your imagination to describe what you’d like to do once you’re reunited again. The voice you adopt can drop an octave to sound more alluring. You could send each other risqué photos, ensuring absolute discretion when forwarding these (checking and then double-checking the recipient address to make sure nothing ends up in the wrong inbox!) Another wonderful alternative guaranteed to increase the frequency of your long-distance calls is making use of sex toys during your flirtatious conversations.

Utilizing digital tools to the fullest

How Often Should You Text in a Long-Distance Relationship

Whichever online tools you opt for, make sure you utilize them to their full effect. When it comes to video chats, use a laptop or personal computer if you want to present the largest screen. On the other hand, many cameras in hand-held devices are powerful enough to display high-definition images.

Another thing worth bearing in mind is there may well be different time zones involved in making long-distance contact. Be aware that when you decide to dial, it might be in the middle of the night wherever your significant other happens to be. If they don’t answer your call because they’re dead to the world, this will be so much more than a disappointment. It will be an outright passion killer!

To use video chatting most effectively, schedule calls well in advance so there are no surprises, and never any danger of a no-show, or someone having double-booked this moment. Knowing exactly when the LDR-related contact is going to be made will allow this key date to be placed in calendars, in bold lettering, guaranteeing the excitement will build as the deadline approaches. When you’re not communicating, merely seeing this get-together highlighted will be enough to give you a boost, regardless of what you’re currently involved in.

Mundane tasks will be performed with a renewed verve once you know a video call to your loved one is only hours away. It would help to think about what you intend to say or do during this connection – be prepared to inject the conversation with hilarious icebreakers!

I'm Jesse, your long-distance relationship expert. I share tips and advice on my blog to help you navigate the ups and downs of long-distance love. Whether you're just starting out or have been apart for years, my blog is here to help you stay connected and happy despite the distance.