This week, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 4th year anniversary. Yes! That is four years of being together apart. How did we do it? Here are some tips to survive a long-distance relationship.
1. Always communicate. This is pretty obvious and is necessary in every relationship. When I was a kid and my father was working overseas, my mother would wait for my father’s phone call for weeks or she would send a “voice tape” where she would buy a blank cassette tape and would record everything she wanted to say to my father. Today, communication is so much easier and you even have a lot of choices. Video call is our favorite, of course! The only challenge is timezone so make sure you’ll find time to talk to each other even for at least an hour. If you really can’t because of difference in schedule, just leave a Facebook message or an SMS and tell your significant other how your day went. Always make him/her feel that you care.
2. Do things together. Who says we can’t have a date? If you run out of things to talk about, then it’s time for you to think of other activities that you can both do at the same time like watch a movie or eat dinner while on Skype. For more ideas, try browsing this long list of activities for LDR couples from this awesome website, Loving from a Distance. Be creative.
3. Trust is a must. Well, again, duh. But it is indeed a challenge if you’re a thousand miles apart and he/she spends more time with other people. Before anything started, you had an agreement that you’re both into this so stop being paranoid. We might not know what they are doing all the time but just like in a traditional relationship, we should give them enough space.
4. Be honest with each other. Along with trust, honesty is what builds a strong relationship. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and tell your partner how you feel. It’s really easy to lie when you’re far apart so don’t do anything that will break his/her trust.
5. Stay committed. Don’t be ashamed that you are in this kind of relationship so don’t hide it from other people. You are not single. That means you can’t just flirt with anybody. Remain faithful and do numbers 1 – 4. Involvement is different from commitment so if you think you can’t do it for a long time, LDR is not for you. Sorry.
6. Accept what you have. Be happy that you are in a relationship with someone who you truly love and who loves you back. We can’t change the distance but we can change our attitude towards it. We may feel envious of happy couples walking while holding hands at the mall but remember: we are not lonely. There’s someone waiting for us on Skype at home or they are just a dial away.
7. Set some goals. You should not be an LDR couple forever! Plan on the next time you’ll see each other. Create a timeline and draw an end goal–that is to close the gap. Make sure both of you are in the same direction. While waiting, set some personal goals, too. Right now, I’m trying to learn how to cook so that when we’re finally together, I can do that for him. 🙂 I’m also trying to get fit. 😛
8. Be optimistic. Don’t let yourself down and don’t let negative people affect you.The waiting can be painful but you know that there’s the sweetest reward in the end. Just appreciate the little good things like hearing your partner’s voice or receiving something from the mail. You know that it’s worth the wait. 🙂