You hear the horror stories about long-distance relationships that tells you all the reason why you shouldn’t even attempt to give the relationship a chance. I am here to tell you all the reasons how you can get through if you give it a chance. There is no one better to advise on this topic other than a person who has been through the entirety of a long-distance relationship. I guess you know where this is leading, yes, I am currently in a long-distance relationship and have been for the last four years.
Just to give you a little bit of a background on my relationship. We started dating at the age of 17, right out of school. We were young and ambitious, so we had our own personal goals we wanted to pursue. Knowing the difficulty that it could place on the relationship, we decided to work on our personal goals while being committed to the relationship. At the age of 22, I flew to Australia, another continent, 8,700 kilometres away from my partner.
I am not going to say that this is the best thing that happened to us because that would be a lie. There were times I felt like our relationship was not moving forward or our future was uncertain. I came to realise these doubts are inevitable whether you are geographically separated or not, especially at a young age. It was hard adjusting in the first few months. As time passed, we learnt the ways to make it work.
It takes a few months to adjust to the change. I started to take one day at a time. I moved to a new country away from my partner and family, everything was an unfamiliar setting. I was focusing on what I needed to accomplish for the day and stopped worrying about factors that were not in my control. I would wake up every morning and write down tasks-to-do for the day. Once, I get all my tasks completed, I feel accomplished. Not going to lie, some days I failed at this, but tried again the next day. Eventually, I adapted.
The main reason why we opted to a long-distance relationship was to pursue career and educational opportunities. What a waste of time would it be if we failed at it. We are doing everything to ensure we work towards achieving those goals. This helps us to keep ourselves busy and days feel shorter and time travels faster. Whether this is attending lectures, working, running errands, engaging in a hobby…. less time you idle, less time you spend missing each other.
The next point, I am finding it hard to put this point in to words, so hope this makes sense: have something to look forward to. You know what day I am looking forward to, 9th October, the day I get see my partner again. If you don’t have a plan as to when you and your partner will reunite, everything will seem too far away. Always have a date or month in mind as to when you will see each again. Everyday keep reminding each other that it is not far long.
I think the next point is a given, but I will state it anyway: communication. When you both are stuck in two different time zones and zero physical interactions, a lot of important things can go unsaid or misunderstood. Most of the arguments I have with my partner is because of poor communication, where one of us misunderstand, misinterpret or makes assumptions. It is best to communicate and consult any concerns you have about the relationship with your partner. There is no one that knows the relationship better than the two people involved in it. Rather than confronting and taking advice from friends, first, reach out to your partner.
Keeping in line with the point about communication, take (at least) a few minutes out of your day to update each other. Even if you don’t have anything important to share, simple things like what you cooked today, how your day was or where you went (cheesy, I know, but it matters). Even better, share pictures and videos, so it feels like you both are sharing the experience. My partner and I enjoy sharing real-time photographs of what we are doing or eating because visuals speak a thousand words with no time wasted on typing the same. While at the beginning, it might seem impossible to find a convenient time for both, things will fall in to place. Don’t take communication for granted since this is what keeps the relationship alive.
Finally, no matter what you do, the important thing is that you make a choice. Any relationship got issues. Whether you and your partner decide to work on the issues or break-up is a choice. Same principle applies in a long-distance relationship. During any cross-road, you have the choice to go forward or end it. Remember, make this choice when you are feeling neutral. Don’t make rash decisions when feeling any negative emotions like anger, frustration, doubt or lonely. If you want to try a long-distance relationship, remember it is a decision between you and your partner, no one else.
In my honest opinion, if I had to do the last four years all over again, I (and my partner agreed too) will make the same choice of a long-distance relationship. Our decision had a positive impact on each other’s personal growth and careers that is proving to be beneficial for OUR FUTURE.
Until next time….