Let me start this post by saying that I’m not an expert on this topic, nor do I want anyone to think so. Also, I know that every couple is unique, and every circumstance is different. This is a post of tips that I learned throughout my 3.5 years in a long distance relationship with B.
It’s supposed to be hard
There’s nothing really glamorous about long distance relationships. I don’t think we’re the bomb because we survived 3.5 years in it. It’s not easy. It’s messy, sometimes ugly, and lonely. So gosh darn lonely you think your body won’t handle it and it’ll break in two. You will be the one person who’s got a partner, but is alone at every single gathering. All of them. You will see your friends starting to date, breaking up, making up, and you will be in a limbo. Not here, not there. Just suspended, just waiting for life to make a move. There’s nothing easy about it, there’s no sugar coating it. It sucks. Distance is a challenge, but not impossible. If you really, really want it, it can be done.
Follow your heart
Be prepared to listen to advice. Be prepared to be laughed at, or scoffed at, or even be lectured because of your choices. I endured hours of people trying to tell me there was more to life than being glued to a computer screen, of them telling me I had to stop wishing on something that would never happen. If you know that person is the one, I strongly advise you to develop selective hearing. It hurts when there’s not a lot of support pouring from everyone. Just keep in mind they want nothing else besides your happiness – they just don’t understand. Nobody understands. Only the two of you can tell whether your relationship is worth the distance and the wait.
Trust your partner, completely
There’s no beating around the bush with this one. If you don’t trust your partner, chances are you won’t survive a long distance relationship. Black and white. You can tell me there’s more to a relationship than trust, and I agree. I will tell you though, had I not trusted B completely, blindly, we wouldn’t have survived. No matter how much I love him, if I didn’t 100% believe that he would never cheat on me, or betray me, I would’ve broken it off. Simple as that.
There were times when all we had was a computer screen between us. For almost a full year. No touch, no kisses, no hugs. No human contact. It’s normal for your brain to wander, for you to look around and imagine how life would be like if you didn’t have to away from each other. Be prepared to rely solely in each other’s words. It’s the only thing you have.
Take advantage of technology
It may sound silly, but B and I joke that Skype saved our relationship. We wholeheartedly believe in this. I don’t know how people did it in the past. B and I had an agreement of talking to each other through video at least once a day. When we couldn’t we’d use whatsapp, photos, or Magic Jack to talk to each other before going to bed. We developed a routine. It made us feel like a normal couple when everything else was up in the air.
We relied on date nights through Skype. We’d both select a movie, and we’d both play it at the same time, we found online games we could play together, we found 100 questions we could ask each other, etc. We tried to keep it interesting, and keep it as close to what we would do on a date night as possible. You have to be creative, you have to be open to “wasting” nights out with friends and devoting time to your loved one.
Have a solid plan
If you have no plan for the future of your relationship, you’re in for a tough ride. Knowing that I was going to move back to the US to be with B was my lifeline. My destiny, the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow. However you want to put it, you need a plan. You need to decide who’s moving, and when. It can be months, years, a conditional promotion, but have a plan. Not having a plan makes it so much harder. The limbo is never ending. B and I knew where we wanted to be at the end of this journey. We knew we wanted to be married, and I knew I was the one who was moving.
If you don’t have a plan, doubts will creep in. If you don’t have a plan, if your heart doesn’t feel secure on your decision, it will wander. And you may find it anchoring itself to someone else. Someone close. I’ve seen it happening, and it’s not pretty. It’s heartbreaking.
Whatever is meant to be, will be. It’s what I took from this experience. Give it 1000%. Don’t hold back. Be honest and act like you hope your partner is acting. Just because you are not physically together it does not mean this relationship isn’t real. Remember that. It’s real. For you, for him. Don’t let people take your confidence in your relationship away from you. Fight for it. Lord knows how we fought for ours.
I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? What would be your advice?