Cuddles, comforting smiles and dinners-ready-when-you-get-home aside, losing your partner to another time zone can have its benefits.
Since my husband moved to China, leaving me to rediscover life as a one-person household, I have developed a real fondness for the virtual version of my man.
In fact, the guy I have begun to think of as 'Ed 2.0' has so many benefits that, when he reappears in solid form, I fear the original model may need an upgrade.
Here are five reasons that (as long as you have Wi-fi) a long-distance relationship ain't so bad..
Have you ever wished that, when it came to bedtime, you could simply 'switch off' your husband. Yes, that initial cuddle/reminder you're not alone in this cold, cruel world has its charms. But then the cute, snuffly breathing turns to deep rumbles, his body heat melts your right side, and you remember that physical partnership comes with a price.
Far better to say good night. Give him a virtual kiss. Then turn Skype off.
When was the last time your husband's eye lit up at the idea of planning your activities for the next three months?
Well, the advantage of suddenly becoming elusive is that your partner starts to find 'everything' about you utterly fascinating. You'll be allowed to have an at-length discussion on how to get the best deal on your gas and electricity, simply because he loves the sound of your voice.
Without the need to accommodate your partner's desire to relax and enjoy himself all the time, your obsessive side can finally take over and all self-improvement plans executed.
Finally you can start that all-mackerel diet, meditate three times a day and be in bed by 7.30pm wearing a lavender eye mask, without anyone attempting to crack open the latest box set of Breaking Bad, a bottle of wine, and 'drag' you to the sofa.
4) Effortless Love
The trouble with living with someone you love is that in order for the relationship to last, you need to demonstrate this affection with thoughtful, selfless actions on a regular basis.
The beauty of 'telephone love' is that you can hold his tiny pixelated head in one hand, tell him you dream of his presence, and then not be obliged to follow up this sentiment in any demonstrable way.
Skype love is free (literally, doesn't cost a penny), undemanding and completely devoid of the need for personal sacrifice.
5) No Nagging
Have you ever noticed that it's easier to engage in a bit of flirtatious banter, when neither party is hacked off about the fact your kitchen ceiling still needs painting.
Now he's no longer within walking distance of your local B&Q, conversations will quickly revert to their original, uncomplicated, form.
Instead of spending hours discussing all the awful jobs that come with a shared roof, you can swap stories about the misery of running your independent homes, while being reminded of just how much you love hearing their opinion on the deteriorating state of your kitchen worktop.
So there it is. Want a break from the norm? Try a virtual husband. But beware. You might not want to swap him back.
Here are a few more digital ways to ensure absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Digital lip-locking could be the future of long-distance relationships, hopes Dr Hooman Samani of Lovotics, who has invented the world's first robotic kissing mouth. Click here for more juicy details.
Turn your memorable daily moments into a postcard, and send them to your loved one. Suddenly social media is as intimate as a love letter. Click here for more details.
If you're missing your partner, a new project that's in the pipeline could help close that physical gap. Pillow Talk is a product that aims to connect long distance lovers, by enabling each person to hear the other's real-time heartbeat. Click here for more details.
The Vibease smart personal massager can be used long distance to ensure your relationship doesn't lose its fizz! Click here for more details.
Count down the seconds until you see them again with Carl Goldsmith's ingenious relationship app. Click here for more details.
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