At my ripe old age of 23, I’d like to believe that I’ve had my fair share of love experiences. There are many layers to loving someone, with each one carrying its own incentive, motive, and meaning. But whatever weight or importance you’d like to give your other half and ensuing relationship, things can get quite tough when they’re far from sight but still a bit too close to your heart. You’ve guessed it, we’re here today to talk about long distance love— and it’s not going to be fun.
Let’s face it, we’re lucky enough to be living in a time where the world really is our oyster. Opportunities to travel at whim and hop on a flight at the drop of a hat are plenty for those willing to embrace the LDR lifestyle. But alas, everything comes at a price — and this one turns out to be quite expensive.
Catching flights, when you’ve already caught feelings for someone, is a real headache on its own. Any sense of stability is virtually non-existent and as much as clothes can quickly be packed and thrown in a suitcase, you can’t necessarily fold your girlfriend inside a backpack (although If I could, I probably would).
Most of my past relationships eventually led to being heavily based around online messaging. Whether it was because of me, them, or simply because of the direction of our lives, one of us always ended up having to leave. Not permanently, but long (and usually also far) enough to get us reconsidering the nature of our relationship or totally moving on. It has nothing to do with being cold-hearted, but loving from afar comes with its own set of problems and no rulebook to teach you how to solve them.
Reading this, you can probably guess that I am no stranger to long distance. Having had too little guidance each time to learn enough from my mistakes to make the relationship last or at least end on good terms, here are five things I learned that will help you navigate a long distance relationship.
Make your intentions
Remaining exclusive, non-monogamous, or simply wanting to cut if off cold turkey once you have to pack up and leave is okay, just as long as you communicate that with the second protagonist of your love story. They deserve to know where your head is at without being led on. Transparency is key, always remember that.
Always have something to look forward to
Don’t leave each other without having an idea of when you’re going to see each other next. It will give you a much-needed sense of comfort amid all the stress that comes with LDR. If it helps, think of it as a reward you’re putting work and patience towards. Being left in the dark as to when you’ll be able to snuggle and cuddle your sweetheart again can prove to be quite disheartening and tough, so make sure to fill your calendars up with as many meet up dates as you can afford.
Have a long term plan where you won’t be long-distancing anymore
To be completely honest, if you’re not planning to spend a decent chunk of your life with the person you’re long-distancing with, then it’s probably not worth it. You’re making it so difficult for you, and them, when you both know that an expiry date is looming around the corner. So why hassle yourself with this whole ordeal if you’re not going to tie the knot or at least be together for a long run?
Keep the fire burning whichever way you can
Be creative in your relationship. Thoughtful gestures really help to keep the fire burning between two lovebirds — even from abroad. Surprise flower deliveries are always a good idea, but you didn’t hear that from me though.
Messaging and calling is cool, but don’t overdo it
You don’t want to be that person who’s always glued to their phone. It eventually ends up being suffocating and you lose the intimacy of the bond you once shared with your other half. Make sure that you’re always looking forward to texting or calling your partner without having it turn into a chore. Also, wouldn’t it suck when you finally saw each other in person after so many weeks or months, and didn’t have anything to say because everything has already been shared over the phone?