When I was younger I thought I could never, ever be in a long-distance relationship. I always thought it was pointless, doomed, dead on arrival. Maybe because I didn’t know if I was capable of trusting someone to that extent, or I felt that I needed my partner to be physically present most, if not all the time. I’m sure I had several different reasons to point out back then; however, I guess I should tip my hat off to those that said:
You won’t know until you meet the right person;
because you really wont! Now, I am officially an LDR chic. I can’t say it’s peaches and cream; it takes a lot of sacrifice and effort for both parties. At times, you will arrive at a few breaking points. It will be tough. You will cry your eyes out and you might want to give up. But when you come out of it alive and still holding on, it will make you and the relationship stronger. You just might have built a fortress of a foundation for your relationship. If you are just like me and you have questioned yourself:
How long can I keep doing this? Will this last?
Then I suggest you read on. There are different ways to make it work and last. These are the top 10 I have come up with based on research and of course my own experiences.
- Keep in touch daily.
Communication is important in any kind of relationship. Most people say it is the key to making it work. I definitely agree! For LDRs, it’s very…I repeat, very important that you keep in touch every day. Not once a week, three-times a week, or every other day. I mean every single day. You don’t have to talk for hours, or every minute; that’s not practical. In fact, that might become a nuisance rather than a therapy. Just make sure you make an effort to talk to one another at some point of your day. This allows you to be up to date with what both of you are doing and it will give both of you a sense that even though you are apart, you are still aware of each other’s activities and relative presence.
- Keep your partner informed about your life.
Share information about your activities. This is a good conversation starter especially at the end of the day when you are both at home. You can talk about how good or bad your day went. This will also make yourselves aware of the new people, places, or events around your partner. Don’t forget that it’s not just about you. Even if you would like to vent, learn to listen because both of you are important.
- Listen to your partner’s concerns and communicate your own.
When things get a little complicated because of a fight or a misunderstanding, it’s hard enough for couples who are living in the same city; how much more for those that are miles apart? Your only options are talking on the phone or online; unless you are lucky enough to book a flight straight to your partner’s place. Anyway, the point is, it is a million times harder to settle conflicts in LDRs. So you need to adjust and train yourself to express yourself as well as to listen. This is NOT easy. Especially when emotions are at their peak. So it will also help that you allow yourself some time to calm down and think things through before talking it out. This way, you are both sane enough to talk without wanting to choke each other.
- Keep the relationship a high priority.
It is very important that both of you are keeping the relationship a high priority because if you don’t, things might get out of hand; one or both of you might feel too relaxed and used to the situation that you forget to compensate for the distance. Avoid cancelling reunions or putting off a phone call. Focus on what needs to be done and take note of the little details.
- Focus on the future.
Make plans to live in the same city eventually. This will verify that you’re moving forward and growing together and that all the efforts done were not a waste, but instead, stepping stones toward a future together.
- Trust in one another.
Suspicions will only pull the relationship down. It is absolutely necessary to be honest and open-minded. If you have any reason to feel uncomfortable or suspicious, open up about it and don’t rush into conclusions. Remember, communication is the key to every relationship.
- Avoid being controlling.
Sometimes, when we find ourselves insecure or conscious about the relationship we tend to control it. Lack of trust can also lead to this. Try to keep in mind that one of the advantages of being in a long distance relationship is the space you have for yourself. Use this to achieve your goals and plans in life. See your friends, have fun, live your life. Your life does not revolve around your partner alone. This will reduce the tendency of suffocating each other.
- Have a healthy sense of humor.
LDR or not a healthy sense of humor is a healthy habit. Being able to laugh about anything or at each other’s silliness is a character of an open, accepting relationship. Don’t hesitate to laugh about petty arguments or silly mistakes. You will find that you will feel better.
- Stay Positive.
Instead of thinking about the worst case scenario, think positive. Even if you are miles apart you are still looking at the same sky and breathing the same air. Nothing is impossible. So cheer up will ya!
Patience is a virtue. When you know that the person is worth the wait then it becomes easier to do. When you have a thriving relationship with your partner, sometimes, time simply flies. So don’t lose hope and think twice about giving up. Good things happen to those who wait.