I would like to state that this is based on my own personal experience and what worked for me may not work for you.
I guess this is the first time for me to write this publicly on my blog, but I think that it’s about time. I’ve always been in long distance relationships. some people say that I constantly fall into a long distance relationship because I have problems settling, but I think differently. I tried to look for someone I like who lived around me, but they never seem to work out. so..
I wouldn’t say that all my long distance relationships were successful, but through experience and with age, I think I am getting better and I am proud to say that I am in a happy long distance relationship currently with someone who grew up at the opposite side of the globe.
before anything, one need to understand that long distance comes with a lot of sacrifice, and sacrifice does mean that both parties must have enough courage to face the circumstances and also have the attitude to be prepared for it. long distance relationships normally doesn’t work when..
- one party sacrifices much more than the other. the relationship must be balanced, and as equal as possible. since I am raised in Malaysia and I’ve studied in Korea, both places where the majority of men are dominant, I always felt like the lesser in a relationship. although it may not seem like it, it actually is. men pays for everything, provides for everything and the woman is seen as the one who does nothing but just accepting everything for granted and it becomes a habit. it subconsciously gives the woman less power and self confidence in the relationship and the one giving more will slowly feel more burden and the one receiving lesser and lesser will feel less loved.
- one or both parties couldn’t sustain an open heart. LDR requires a lot of trust. you cannot monitor, see or know exactly what your partner may be doing, he or she may be doing anything. but trust me, being truthful is the best. any information asymmetry, the trust will be broken.
- one of both parties are not good at communicating online. some people just aren’t good at texting, skyping and they barely reply to other’s texts. just make sure that you are made available and active for your partner on at least one platform.
okay, now to the main point, so HOW can you make your LDR work?
- like I’ve mentioned before, trust, trust, and trust. sure, I get jealous sometimes. but instead of just keeping it inside myself and going crazy from holding it in, I would just ask. if your partner is keeping something so simple from you, then you may want to reconsider your relationship.
- communication. be it by text, skype, facetime, whatsapp.. use as many platforms as you want, but just make sure to make it a daily thing to communicate with each other. my sister once told me that sometimes it’s not the topic, it’s more of the company, the presence. people asks me the same question every time, ¨don’t you run out of topics since you talk on the phone everyday?¨ and my answer is.. maybe, but I never get bored, nor enough. my conversations may not always be interesting, and it’s mostly just filled with silence and background noises. but it makes me feel closer to him, and that’s all that matters.
- effort to see each other. this may actually be much more difficult than it sounds as we very often can’t find the right timing to fly to each other or both have the same holidays, but having plan the next meeting date from the current meeting is important as it let you have something to look forward to, and it is what gives you strength and keeps you going.
- reminders of how much your partner mean to you. yeah, you do not always have to put it into words and let them know explicitly but in a LDR, you lack of physical touch and presence, and that’s why words are a big deal. even emojis! without emoji’s your text will seem very flat and emotionless so.. if you are not good with emojis then you better learn!
- not thinking so far ahead. anything could happen, so try to avoid long term promises. it is better to keep improvising your current plan than to make a long term plan and try to stick to it. when living at different countries, feelings may change and so you should be as flexible as possible. if not, then disappointments may swallow you whole.
- give assurance. yeah, trust is important. but so are things leading to the trust. I came to realize that every little assurance make you feel safer and it also helps in building a stronger bond. assurance comes in many ways. it may make you look like a terrible partner for demanding assurance but if your partner really does love you, I am sure he or she won’t mind. assurance to me could be a mere relationship status, a picture, meeting the parents, etc. it doesn’t have to be ¨tell me how, who, what, where, why on everything¨
- understanding. when you are in a LDR, you may often feel lonely with the lack of presence and because of busy work schedules, you may feel even lonelier. only knowing that your partner had tried all he or she could to spend time with you, you should learn to understand the circumstances and not get angry or frustrated over not being able to accompany you at times. often times, I felt like busy couples sustain the best LDR relationship because we have no time to feel lonely. but then again, it really depends on the individual.
- last but not least, a positive mind! I once broke up after a month of being in a LDR and I told myself that LDR is not for me. I had the second LDR believing that it will not work out because I did not believe in it and that I was merely just trying because the other party wanted it to work very badly. and it was long, but a painful and mentally abusive relationship (which is why a long-time LDR does not equal a successful one). again, after that I told myself no more LDRs for me. until I met someone who made me want to make it work. if you think that it wouldn’t work and you keep thinking about all the negative sides of it, I do not see how will it. so keeping a positive mind about your relationship is very important.
that’s all from me. hope it helps. :).
also, meet my adorable Scandinavian derp! (only how I look matters hehe)