In this world we live in, it's getting easier to meet people from all over the world and to stay in touch. Whatsapp, Instagram, Facetime... are all good and free options. You would say that it's easier more than ever to be in a long-distance relationship (Ldr). But is that correct?
What to expect in this article
My personal story
Let’s talk about my situation. I studied in Sevilla (Spain) in 2018 and had a great time with the people I met there. At the end of that period, I met an amazing guy, called Nai. We only had one month left before I moved back home, but we felt like we had to continue.
After that month I went back to visit him numerous times. We made a deal to see each other at least every 2 months. Then in September 2019 I moved to Sevilla again to work and to be with him of course.
In 2020 he moved to Barcelona, so I went back home (the Netherlands), and then we did not see each other for 5 (!) months due to Corona. As I hated to be away from him and because BCN is an amazing city after 5/6 months I moved there. Can you imagine being away for 5 months from each other and then being together 24/7, because we were both working from home due to Corona. It went so well, so that has to say something 🙂
In April 2021 he knew that his visa and more documents could not be fixed, so he had to move back home, which is India.
Right now (Aug’2021) I am home and have not seen Nai for 2.5 months and Corona is not making it much easier for us to meet soon.
Now the question is, how are we dealing with being away from each other for a long period?
In every relationship communication is the key, but when you are in a Ldr it is even more important. Communicate about how often you want to call or text and ask each other what feels good enough.
Tell each other about the small things that happen in your daily life. Whenever you are struggling (could be about the relationship or life in general), tell it to the other person. It’s much more difficult to know someone is struggling by phone than in real life.
Lastly, set boundaries and respect those.
It might not be easy, but I have been doing this for 2.5 years already and we are doing a pretty good job.
2. Keep it spicy
It’s commonly known that being attracted to each other is an important part of a relationship. When you are away for a long time it is difficult. I think it’s important to keep it spicy.
Whether it is for fun or because you don’t want your significant other to go elsewhere.
I do want to warn everywhere of the dangers though. Always make sure you can trust him/her. I am sure we have all heard about catfishes and their dangers. I don’t want anyone to be in that situation. In Dutch we say: ‘A warned person counts for 2.’ Now figure out what that means.
3. Plan dates
It’s possible to only call with your partner, but you can make it more fun to plan dates, just like every other couple. Watch a movie together, have a pizza night, listen to music together, or play games online.
Nai and I like to have coffee dates and we just started with the serial ‘The Handmaids Tale,’ so I am interested in how it continues.
It’s basically the things that all other couples do as well. The only difficult thing is when Wi-Fi is not working well, I know the frustrations about that.
Something I like to do as well is to call, leave the camera on and do your own thing. You get to see more of each other’s daily life compared to when you call on a forced time mostly. Not everyone likes it, but it’s always something you can discuss.
Finally, be aware of each other’s time schedule, when is the other one busy, is working, and when not. Especially when you are in different time zones this is handy if you want to call or text.
4. Have the same expectations / end goals
Keep your eye on the prize, or better same prize. Talk about your expectations and end goals. No one can stay in a long-distance relationship forever. If that goal is to visit each other every 2 months, that’s very good, but you should also have a long-term goal. Will you try to live together in the next 2 years, get married in the next 5 years? Talk about it.
I hate to be away from him, but living with him in both Sevilla and Barcelona made me very happy.
Also, remember; What is the worry in living without your partner for one year, if you can spend the next 50/60 years with him/her? Whenever it gets difficult, that’s my mantra.
5. Trust each other
Trust each other. Jealousy or insecurity is very easy, believe me, so you have to trust. Tell each other you love them frequently. Talk about your insecurities (communication), but don’t let it control you.
Next to that, try to support each other. Even when you don’t like him/her playing badminton at a certain time, because you could be spending time together online. She/he probably choose it for a reason, so be happy about that.
Lastly, in my opinion, telling your significant other that you are ‘missing‘ him/her often, might not help. Personally speaking, I get sad when I say or hear that and I only say it when I really need to, but don’t do it too often. It’s sad that you can’t see each other, but try to be positive.
Unless it does help you both to say if often of course.
6. Surprise each other
Surprise each other every once in a while. Do not only trust the technology (calling, texting). Sometimes getting or giving a postcard or gift is also fun. Surprise visits are the best presents. Once I told Nai I couldn’t make it to the airport to get him, because I had classes, but I arranged something to surprise him there, which he loved of course.
Wi-Fi is not always my best friend, so sending a video is something I love to receive or send. Whenever I had a busy day and we didn’t have a chance to call, I try to make a video with a small update, which is fun for him to watch when he wakes up.
Surprising each other also means you were thinking about your significant other, you took the time to come up with something you think the other will love. Everyone will love that.
Fun present idea: a bracelet where you can write something inside, so it’s only visible for the other. On Etsy.com or Amazon.com you can find more of these cute things.
7. Stay positive if possible
Don’t forget that being in a Ldr also has its perks. You both might sacrifice more as in a ‘normal’ relationship, but don’t forget about your own life. Whenever you are away from each other, you have much more time for your own things, to meet with family, friends and do fun things. You can even do all the things that your partner normally wouldn’t like to do, eat or see.
There is a reason why you are apart, don’t forget about that.
One other positive thing is that the moments that you meet each other are way more intense and you look forward to it very much. But be aware that if one of the times you meet doesn’t go as planned it is also fine.
Another positive aspect is that you both know you are doing your best for each other and you are fighting for each other, that must be a good feeling.
I personally know a few couples who have been in a LDR for some time and they are still together. If they can do it, you and I can do it as well! 🙂
I hope these tips helped you and gave you some hope. If you have more tips, let us know in a comment. Helping each other never hurts.
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