Jess Kent and Eddie Anderson Jess Kent and Eddie Anderson Jess Kent and Eddie Anderson are in a long-distance relationship, but use apps like Glide to stay in touch. (Photo: Courtesy Jess Kent)

For long-distance couples, love is only a click away

In new trend, partners 'Glide' throughout the day to stay in touch.

With all the recent chatter about Meerkat and Periscope – services which allow you to live stream videos to family and friends – another app is also getting its moment in the sun: Israeli-based Glide is an app that lets users easily send video messages to loved ones. Think of it like a video voicemail.

While Meerkat and Periscope compete for the "one-to-many" video market – where people broadcast video to the entire world – Glide's major functionality seems to be more for its personal messaging capabilities. You could leave a Glide message for a group (like your siblings or your college buddies), but many people are using Glide to help foster one-on-one communication. To date, more than a billion messages have been sent through the service.

Rebekah Ford, a university student in West Virginia, stays in touch with her boyfriend Malcolm, in Maryland, in a number of different ways. According to recent statistics, 14 million people in America are in a long-distance relationship, with 32.5% of those occurring in college.

"Glide definitely looks like something we would use," Ford told From The Grapevine. "There have been numerous times when I am free but he is still at work. I can't call, but leaving a video message might alleviate some of that sense of loneliness. It would be nice to receive a wake-up video message, too."

Ford and her boyfriend seem to be the target audience of this new promotional video from the folks at Glide which highlights a long-distance couple using the service:

Commuting couples are also looking forward to using Glide because it can be hard to catch up in real-time. Jess Kent and Eddie Anderson both live in Los Angeles County, but because of traffic they actually live more than an hour away from each other. As such, they only get to meet up twice a week. They plan on adding Glide to their regimen of text messaging and FaceTime calls.  

Glide videos can be up to 5 minutes long, are stored on the cloud for later viewing, and can be shared with up to 50 people. But for long-distance couples like Rebekah and Malcolm, a video for two is more than enough. "We are always looking for different ways to feel more present," says Ford. "This definitely seems like it would be up our alley."

A landmark 1990 study by marriage psychologist John Gottman at the University of Washington discovered that couples who engage in these little "hellos" throughout the day are more likely to stay together in the long-run.

Glide couple Rhonda Reed met her fiancée Brandon on Glide.

Ari Roisman, a 31-year-old Philadelphia native who moved to Israel in 2008, created Glide with two pals. They all missed friends and family back in America. "At best, we would connect on Skype once or twice a month," he told From The Grapevine. "We would try more frequently, but it just didn't happen."

This led them to create Glide. "It fits like a glove for that type of a communication dynamic," Roisman says.  "The more people use it, the more magical it becomes."

Just ask Rhonda Reed of Essex, Md. She actually met her future husband on Glide. He had discovered her on the app, and sent her a welcome message. "You are just absolutely stunning. You've taken my breath away," he said in the short video. A week later, while nursing a cold, she sent a video back. "I had a tissue in my nose," she recalled. "Let's see what he really thinks." His response? "Even when you're sick you're stunning."

Reed laughs as she tells the story. "We had instant chemistry," she says. "We just clicked. From there it went into the relationship zone, and that's where we've been." 

Her fiancée Brandon, who lives in Chicago and works for Amtrak, is constantly traveling so the couple "Glides" throughout the day, and even have date night on Glide, where they watch TV together. "Without Glide, there would be no us," she says.

Seven months since that first video was sent – and after spending time together offline, too – the couple is now engaged. An October wedding is planned. "And, of course," Reed says, "we plan on 'Gliding' our honeymoon."

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