I haven't seen my boyfriend in two months. We are more than 500 miles apart, separated by three states. So, when YourTango approached me about using the web to add some spark to my long-distance relationship, I agreed (surprisingly he was not reluctant to the idea either—I told him there would be games involved).
The assignment: use Tokii with my significant other for a month and blog about our experience using it. Tokii's motto is "keeping couples connected," and with games geared towards starting the conversations we tend to skip in everyday life, it's easy to see how this could really work. Since studies show 70 percent of long-distance relationships end within six months due to communication issues, Tokii acts as the middle man for all the things that social mores prevent us from saying and asking. Stuff like:
- "I'm in a bad mood so don't try to touch me tonight": The MoodMeter allows you to choose emotions from "horny" to "stressed" to clue your partner in (with super cute emoticons of course).
- "I hated the socks you got me last Christmas, so get me this for my birthday": The Wish List function allows you to tell him exactly what you want without seeming ungrateful.
- "I'll cook more often, if you watch less football": The Trading Post allows you to make compromises and swap favors.
A website that helps you connect and communicate with your significant other may seem superfluous to some, but it turns out couples aren't talking to each other in real life. A recent study in the UK found that people in relationships spend less than 15 minutes on old-fashioned communication (i.e. talking), but 41 percent text, email and use social media to keep up with each other throughout the day. Long Distance Relationship Tech Tips
My beau and I are in the 41 percent. We text, video chat, email and send pictures back and forth. So while the web is already a natural place for us to connect, I'm hoping Tokii will incite more creative communication between us.
Step one was to take a quiz to discover our "LoveZones"—the relationship qualities that are most and least important to us. For example it is crucial to me that my mate "makes me feel I'm a priority in their life" but "building or creating something together" is a non-essential. The quiz reinforced that I like to be appreciated (what girl doesn't want to hear thank you every once in a while?). I want my ideas to be heard (obviously, journalist hello). And I am impressed by random acts of kindness from my partner, like doing the dishes after I've cooked.
On the other hand, my guy is into collaboration (I'm guessing he answered differently than I did on the building things question). He likes to explore and discover new things with our relationship (Tokii is right up his alley). Finally, he loves to spend time with his partner—uh, big problem there since this is a long distance relationship.