I’m sure you already know that falling in love is just the tip of the iceberg.
That you need more than just love to actually get your Happily Ever After and be together in the end. We have been together for almost four years now since the day I sent that first message (and yes, I made the first move).
True, there are a lot of couples who have been together longer than us, but here’s the catch…
We’re a long-distance couple who have had to deal with being 8,000 miles apart from each other daily. People often ask us how we deal with this much distance while only having met twice in person. It takes a lot of work and commitment to thrive in a long-distance relationship. But you do need some essential things so your relations
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You pour your heart and soul out for someone who lives a thousand miles away from you. That needs courage and trust. Yes, trust is something that both of you should earn in the long run, but without it, no two adults could ever go long-distance and live to tell the tale.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” -Ernest Hemingway
Sure, you’ll still have your doubts here and there.
There’ll be instances when he can’t reach you on your usual talk time.
But when you mutually trust each other, it’s easy to banish all those irrational fears away.
A decent enough cellular/internet connection.
Back in the days, we depended on telephones and snail mails for communication. Being in a long-distance relationship then would’ve been extra difficult.
Whereas now, with the mobility of cellular connection and almost instant and constant internet access, you can feel that you’re connected with your loved one. Despite being miles and miles apart. Except during days when the connection isn’t as stable as we all could hope for.
Just remember… there will be times that technology might fail both of you. This is where trust comes in. Especially since both of you won’t always be online to check up on each other’s activities.
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A couple of hobbies.
There’s no going around this fact, you two will surely experience moments when work will get too busy on his end, or when school will be too hectic on your end. There’ll be pauses, where you’ll be waiting up for your loved one a tad bit too long than you would’ve preferred. This is where hobbies could come in handy, it’ll turn that waiting time into a worthwhile and even fun pastime.
Why not try grabbing that new novel you’ve been eyeing at the bookstore?
Or turning to one of your favorite video games?
And you know what? Eventually, these hobbies could also be your favorite bonding moments in the future. When you two already get the chance to be finally together.
A career path or a particular job you’ll be happy in.
Your career isn’t only for income generation, but it’s for personal growth too. Having a stable career while you’re in an LDR though?
That’s like making sure you don’t go crazy missing your loved one cause he or she couldn’t go online on your scheduled video chat date.
Having a job means saving yourself from all the overthinking and worrying. This also makes the waiting phase easier to deal with.
A stable source of income.
You can’t share a future without saving up for essential milestones. One of you will have to let go of your birthplace and live on the other’s hometown. And meeting halfway across the globe costs money.
You can’t fly across states, or countries, with only your undying love as your resource.
Add on the internet/telephone bills for communication. Those things definitely need to get paid as well. You see, money alone doesn’t necessarily determine if your LDR will work or not, but you can’t deny that you need it either.
A dash of creativity.
In an LDR, you can’t just treat your boyfriend or girlfriend out. Nor could you just drop by at his/her apartment to give that surprise present you prepared.
Both of you will need a kick of inspiration here and there.
Why not create a personalized package just for your loved one? Or buy something for him online and surprise him? I’ve tried putting passwords on my online letters for him, passwords that he had to figure out based on clues that have significant meanings for the two of us. Don’t even start on online gaming, that is one of our personal favorites.
There are a lot of things you could do actually, you only need to be creative on your ideas.
A rather brutal streak of honesty.
Plain honesty works. But being brutally honest with each other? That’s the best kind of honesty there is. It’s because you rarely see each other which makes it work best for your relationship.
You should be able to tell your loved one exactly how you feel about that girl who expressed an interest him. You should be able to tell him that you’re uncomfortable going to this place and that you’d much prefer to spend your evening together somewhere else. You’ll feel quite vulnerable at first. Because we’re often taught that we shouldn’t be sharing these kinds of things.
People would often tell you that ‘what he doesn’t know won’t actually kill him’. Don’t even follow this rule. Don’t even think about it.
Telling the truth and making someone cry is better than telling a lie and making someone smile.” -Paulo Coelho
Even a lie by omission could make a huge difference in how strongly you both have built the foundation for your future. Relationships, especially long-distance ones, should be built on trust and honesty.
Faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty.
If you and your partner are just starting, this is the best time for you guys to establish the rules and boundaries of your relationship. You have both agreed to be in a relationship.
Both of you will be investing emotion, time, and your lives into your LDR. The least you could both do for each other is make sure that you’ve established that what you have is an exclusive, no cheating kind of deal.
“Those who are faithful know only the pleasures of love: it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.” –Oscar Wilde
Loyalty should work both ways. It’s obviously not just important, but essential as well. And this applies to all relationships, not just for LDRs.
A very strong sense of commitment.
A relationship, be it in-person or long-distance, could never work without this. You should know that your commitment is your word of honor and that your word of honor is who you are as a person.
When you know that your partner is as committed to your relationship as you are, then going through obstacles seem a whole lot easier.
“Love is not maximum emotion. Love is maximum commitment.” –Sinclair B. Ferguson
You’ll know for sure that your relationship can go the distance (both figuratively and literally). It can even make the geographical separation seem shorter. And the time spent away could feel like weeks rather than months.
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Look forward to your next milestones together.
It’s a given that you need to set goals for yourself, even if it’s not something you can easily tick off of your life goals checklist.
Setting your individual goals give you direction. It helps keep your sense of self and independence. You don’t want to end up being codependent on your partner.
What about your shared goals, is it really necessary? Yes, it is.
That’s where your journey as a couple begins. This will give your relationship direction, color, and passion. And that will give you something to look forward to in the future.
Here’s a tip: Keep your focus on your next date or trip together. This will not only help you get over your ‘missing you blues’, but instead you’ll be able to anticipate for the days when the two of you will be seeing each other again.
Previously published on “Hello, Love”, a Medium publication.
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