So, against all will and all manner of promises on my end, I’m currently in another long distance relationship. I never realized how distressing a long distance relationship can be, and its potential to end the sweetest of relationships, until I spoke to three people whose relationships have ended on the altar of long distance. True to it (on my end), my babe and I broke up for the first time in about two years of dating in the first month of our long-distance relationship. Now, we are back together- wiser and going through the hoops to make things work.
What I aim to do with this article is to provide some insights from previous and present experiences, alongside gleans from friends who have survived, or sadly, experienced the end of a long-distance relationship. Here are some insights to help your relationship survive a long-distance:
Talk about it (preferably before the separation).
Like many other hard decisions, we sometimes like to be in denial of what an LDR entails. We act like it’s nothing. We don’t acknowledge that this is actually a major and life/future rending event- hence, we don’t talk about it. Whereas acknowledging and facing the situation before it happens actually helps us become better prepared for it.
Here are a few of the questions you and your LDR boo (or potential LDR boo) could address together:
- For how long will you be gone for?
- Are you coming back?
- How do we plan to communicate?
- What possible challenges are we probably going to face?
- What are my responsibilities to you in that period?
These questions help you to be better prepared. You’ll know if you are to have a year’s worth of patience or three years. You’ll know if there is a future or it is totally pointless to hope and wait. You’ll anticipate all possible challenges and propose a possible solution upfront.
Don’t take every challenge a red flag or deal-breaker.
Every form of relationship has its own challenges, but long distance relationships are quite dynamic and peculiar. Hence, seeming little challenges aggravate such relationships more. However, you do not need to see a challenge as something to argue or fight over, or as something to break you guys up. Not all red flags should be “I told you so”. Approach every challenge as a “challenge”; a problem to solve, not your partner’s incompetence to nag over. You’ll need extra patience, positive outlook and readiness to cover each other more.Approach every challenge as a 'challenge'; a problem to solve, not your partner's incompetence to nag over. Click To Tweet In a long distance relationship, you’ll need extra patience, positive outlook and readiness to cover each other more. Click To Tweet
Get the other person involved in your everyday life. Like literally every hour-to-hour activity
Getting the other person involved in your everyday life is probably the best way to stay in touch and stay actively involved in each other’s life. More important than setting a special time aside to talk is actually being able to be in touch all through the day.
Tell each other where you are per time, how your day is going; what’s fun, boring or challenging as they happen. Share pictures and videos. Bonding and friendship is stronger when you are involved in every of each other’s tiny and mundane aspects of life- as opposed to just the major or special ones.Bonding and friendship is stronger when you are involved in every of each other’s tiny and mundane aspects of life- as opposed to just the major or special ones. Click To Tweet
Asides from sharing details of your day, get actively involved in each other’s “business”- be it in the form of assignments, work or proposals. This will keep you closer. However, don’t be all about the business alone that you don’t remember the smaller and seemingly mundane details of each other’s day.Get actively involved in each other’s 'business'- be it in form of assignments, work or proposals. This will keep you closer. Click To Tweet
Try different communication methods/plans until you find one that is perfect for you.
Communication is generally difficult for long distance relationships, especially in the case of partners with different time zones, or tasking daily schedules like school or work. Be open to experimenting till you find what will be fitting for both of you. Oftentimes, you’ll have to try different options, like different wake-up times or sleeping routines- the point is don’t give up until you find what works best.Communication is generally difficult for long distance relationships, especially in the case of partners with different time zones. Be open to experimenting till you find what will be fitting for both of you. Click To Tweet
Be willing to sacrifice and compromise.
This is probably one of the key factors that will determine the fate of your relationship- sacrifice. Both parties must be ready to make huge and uncomfortable sacrifices for the communication to continue and for the relationship to grow.
Sadly, one party might have to make more sacrifices than the other, and as difficult and uncomfortable that might be, you have to do it (if you really want the relationship to work). Such sacrifices include sleeping less, spending more, and maybe a complete lifestyle change or eventual relocation in the case of marriage. Both parties should make the sacrifice easy for one another. None should feel entitled, and both parties must constantly appreciate the sacrifice and replicate, when possible.Sacrifice is probably one of the key factors that will determine the fate of a long-distance relationship. Both parties must be ready to make huge and uncomfortable sacrifices for the relationship. Click To Tweet
Give each Other Space
I know this seems a bit contradictory to the “getting each other involved” advice, but you have to come to terms with the fact that there will be times and days this won’t happen- not because your partner is trying to avoid you, but they might just be busy and can’t keep you in the loop. As hard as it sounds, you have to be okay with this. Never lose your individuality to a relationship or to your partner. This means you must be willing to allow them to have their space when they need to, and you must be able to nurture a healthy personal space also. Everything does not have to be about your partner. This, however, shouldn’t be for a prolonged time. Get back together after being in your “personal space” and strengthen the bond of your love. Remember, its an LDR. Communication is the basic lifeline.Never lose your individuality to a relationship or to your partner. This means you must be willing to allow them to have their space when they need to, and you must be able to nurture a healthy personal space also. Click To Tweet
In summary, everything that will grow and thrive involves a good amount of work. Be prepared to commit that needed amount of work to make your relationship survive that distance.
I wish you the very best.
Read also; Ways To Handle Long Distance Relationships