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8 tips for a successful Skype relationship

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Beth Cook is a dating coach and wing-woman who throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences and would love to hear from you. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

This past week I found myself at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. The museum was born out of a traveling international art exhibition organized by a couple who broke up and thought that the end of relationships deserved mourning.

What an idea! Most of us have spent weeks in sweatpants, eating takeout and drinking too much at some point in our lives. Why not share these stories of loss? It's therapeutic.

Several heartache narratives on display involved long-distance love, and one stood out: a relationship that was cultivated and terminated on Skype. One half of a sad couple had transcribed their Skype conversations into a book, which accompanied a clock stopped at the time their relationship ended.

That got me thinking about what it takes to have a successful Skype relationship. Here are some tips.

1) Download the latest version.

If you and your lover aren't using the same version of Skype,  you won't be able to see each other's pretty faces. 

2) Use a fast Internet connection.

Otherwise you'll be making frustrated or annoyed facial expressions throughout the conversation. Don't let your relationship fall victim to coffee shop WiFi.

3) Set the scene.

Don't sit in the dark or under bright florescent kitchen lights. And for goodness' sake, clean whatever room you're in.

4) Get the camera angle right.

This will prevent the illusion of a double chin or a gigantic forehead.

5) Don't stare at your own photo while you're talking to someone else.

It's narcissistic. Devote your attention to the digital object of your affection.

6) Talk often and for short periods of time.

Multiple-hour Skype conversations are exhausting and difficult to schedule (especially across time zones). Try talking a few times a week for 30 minutes at a time.

7) Avoid eating while Skyping.

It's gross.

8) Have Skype sex.

It will keep the magic alive between in person meetings. Conjure up the courage to bring it up first. You're not the only one thinking about it.

While there's no guarantee that your long-distance love will last, at least now you can ensure that bad Skype etiquette won't be the reason for its failure.

Photo via Global X