(photo from Unsplash: Tim Stief)
long-distance relationships are hard. And I’m not saying that because people have been saying that to me, but because of first hand experience. It is also even harder because of my love for travel and his ambitions for his own plans. I’m not trying to put blame, but I’m merely stating that we are two people with different ambitions and different dreams. We struggle in many parts of our relationship, and things keep popping up:
- I was in Taiwan, then I moved to the United States. He was in the United States, then he moved to China. By the way, this happened at the same time.
- Communication is key, but we’ve been living in opposite time zones.
- We want to talk every day, but Internet decides to lag…many times.
- Our schedules don’t really match.
- If we’re moving here and there all the time, what’s the point!?!
I look at these few points, which come from many, and thought to myself, “how have I been doing this for 2 years?”. The answer is a lot of work. Any relationship is work, but a long-distance relationship is a whole new battlefield. And after two years of making it work, I think there are tips to make it easier.
1. Take a deep breath
This is something that I really need to actually work on. Whenever we have a problem, I seem to always overreact and make the situation worse. Sometimes, after bad days, I argue with him and I don’t know why, I just want to. Stepping back, I see that the only reason why I want to argue is because I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated because I miss him and he is not here. I didn’t realize how much long distance relationships can actually affect how you treat your S.O., but now I know. This is a work in progress and easier said than done, but the first step is realizing that this is a thing.
2. Remember to save the date
Long-distance relationships are still relationships, so you have to set a time to meet. It may be months away and might be only once a year, but making a plan to meet up is important. For me, making plans to meet up helps me to get through things. I am reminded that even though we’re far apart, there is that point of time when we get to hold hands like other couples out there.
3. Use postal services
I am a romantic and I have always loved writing letters and sending postcards. Especially since I travel frequently, I like to send postcards to my S.O. It kind of replaces the idea of bringing the small gifts and it lets my S.O. know that I was thinking about him when I traveled to these places. I love traveling the world, but I’m also in love with a person so I try to share the world with him.
4. Sacrifice, compromise and appreciate.
Sacrifice and compromise. I hate to admit it but these things are important. Being in long-distance relationships mean that there are going to be sacrifices, some harder to make than others. However, remember that sacrifice should come from both sides so at the end it becomes a compromise. This comes in handy when living in different sides of the world and your schedules don’t match. So, skip the party once in a while, sleep late or wake up earlier, etc. And when this compromise occurs, appreciate what the other has done. It’s important to show appreciation and to let the other half know that they are not taken for granted.
5. Try to communicate
WiFi is my best friend since I decided to commit to my S.O., but it certainly sucks when I’m traveling to place without WiFi at all. That is why I always try to communicate whenever I can, usually through Skype, Whatsapp, and Line. However, when I’m in a country that doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, I usually ask around if there is an Internet Café and I send emails or messages there. Communication is key in every relationship, but don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to long-distance relationships.
6. There should be a time limit
Being in a long-distance relationship should be a short term thing and a time limit is necessary. Be it a year or even five years, there should be an agreement (compromise) between both sides to be together for the long term. Not making a time limit will cause each side to question and doubt the relationship itself. Why are we doing this if we aren’t going to be together in the end? Are we expecting to be long-distance forever? For me, I don’t think so.
So, are long-distance relationships worth it?
For me, it is. I know long-distance relationships are not for everyone, and I’m not saying they are. However, for me, I want to make it work. Is it tough? Yeah, super tough, but there are some upsides about the relationship as well. We might not get to see each other every day and yes, I do like to move around a lot. But that doesn’t make things less real, does it? Besides, we have been in this adventure for 2 years now. I have been on a journey with this man for 24 months, and I like our adventures. It’s not perfect and it’s not easy, but they wouldn’t call it a relationship if it were.
P.S: What are your thoughts on long-distance relationships? Comment down below!