A few key thoughts about keeping love alive across the miles, by Steve Harper.
My partner and I have never lived in the same state. When we met almost 5 years ago, he was living in Maryland and I was living in NY. Now I’m in Los Angeles and we’re still going strong and having a terrific time.
People ask me how do we do it. The rules are simple and powerful.
Is it easy? No. It takes a certain amount of patience and ingenuity and it’s not for everyone.
And yes, we look forward to living in the same state, but it hasn’t happened yet.
The key factors here are commitment and respect. If you’re determined to sabotage a relationship, it doesn’t matter if you live in the same part of the country or the same house. This is the bottom line for all healthy relationships – long distance or not.
Here’s what we have found works:
1) Have a solid daily routine. By the time I wake up I have a “good morning” email in my inbox. We check in by phone during the day, text at the drop of a hat and Skype or FaceTime often. I end my day calling him to share a good night prayer (yes, he wakes up for the call).
2) Schedule visits regularly. We see each other in person every 30 – 40 days. More often if we can swing it with work schedules and other events. Sometimes we see each other every few weeks depending on what’s possible.
3) Create a community. We’re both members of The Mankind Project, an international men’s fellowship, and consequently we know many of the same people. We hang out with mutual, supportive friends whether we’re on his coast or mine.
4) Connect with family. We spend holidays with his relatives or mine and we have a loving web of family (and family Facebook friends). I enjoy posting photos of our adventures and seeing posts from the “in-laws”.
5) Stay honest and transparent. When we’re feeling lonely and missing each other, we talk about it. It’s important for us to be clear about what’s going on whether we’re sitting next to each other or on the other side of the country.
Long distance relationships are not for everyone. But they’re entirely possible with commitments, respect and rules grounded in love. Find a way to solidify your relationship no matter how close or far you live from one another.
Photo credit: MsSaraKelly/flickr