So you have found yourself in a long-distance relationship. Perhaps you used to tell yourself it could never be you doing the long-distance thing – but here you are… you have been doing it, haven’t you?
Perhaps you have just started and are worried about how long this can continue. I am writing this to you because it isn’t easy to be dating someone who doesn’t live in the same country as you. I know this feeling all too well and have learned a few things along the way.
Here are some things I wish someone had told me when I was in a long-distance relationship.
Is it really as hard as they say?
My dear, I wish I could tell you all that it isn’t as hard, but it is.
You will miss your partner a lot, and you need to know your why in those moments.
You might also deal with the people in your life asking you whether you are sure the person is being loyal to you since you aren’t living in the same place. In addition, you might deal with some doubt from friends who have had a bad experience with long-distance relationships, and they may even try to warn you that this may not end well.
This brings me to my next point.
Only you know why this is worth it
Only you know why you are choosing to stick with your partner. Despite all the ups and downs of being so far away from each other, you know your why. By now, you will have had deep and meaningful conversations about your resolve to maintain your relationship from afar.
By now, I hope you will have spent time in person to know what kind of person you are dating. You might have also overcome some hurdles and become stronger for it.
Let your close friends and family see how you are with each other
It is up to you how much of your relationship you want to share with your friends and family. However, when you tell them about it, remember they must also see how you interact with your partner to understand your relationship.
Therefore, you can introduce your closest friends and family to your long-distance partner in person or via video. For example, when you are with your friends, you call your partner and let your friends see how you interact with each other. If there are any red flags, your friends can notice this and inform you. On the other hand, if there are good things about how you relate with each other, your friends will also let you know that they think you are a great match.
Get used to the many questions from concerned friends and family
Some people decide not to tell their friends and family about their long-distance relationship until things are more serious ( e.g. pending nuptials) because of the many constant questions such as, ‘What are your plans?’ and ‘When are you guys getting married?’ or even worse ‘how long will you do this long distance thing, aren’t you tired?’
I know this line of questioning all too well. And I can tell you it is a lot of pressure to put on someone. So when you are in a long-distance relationship, don’t be surprised when you start hearing these questions from parents and even close friends who are all too eager to see you get married.
Despite the constant pressure from friends and family, I implore you not to pressure your partner to settle down. When you both decide to settle down, you want to make sure it’s not because you pressured them to do so – but because they wanted to settle down too.
Constant communication is necessary in a long distance relationship
Okay, this person you love dearly calls you daily and speaks on the phone for hours, but you haven’t seen them in a while. It might have been months, weeks or years since you last saw each other.
Or you haven’t been able to meet up for one reason or another (pandemic, limited finances), but somehow, you are still going strong.
And how might you manage this?
By constantly communicating with each other, of course.
The rule of thumb is to transfer how you would communicate with your partner in person to communications over the phone. For example, having frequent video calls throughout the day would be best. Facetime, WhatsApp conversations, Facebook messages, and emails all count, so keep the lines of communication open and communicate as often as possible.
You are not alone – many people have done this long distance relationship thing before your time
You might see and admire many couples, even in your inner circle, who have gone through the whole ‘long distance thing‘. Some make it no secret that they used to live oceans apart from their partner before they settled down. So you can learn a lot from couples sharing their long-distance relationship journey with others.
Visit each other as often as you can
Make plans to visit each other; you will need to make sacrifices on your holiday allowances and use it up on your visits to see your loved one. At times it will be challenging to get a considerable amount of time off work, but taking turns where one of you goes and the next time the other person comes to your country will make it fair.
Sometimes, you might be dealing with a situation where only one person can travel more than the other. Whatever you decide, plan how often you will visit in a year so you are prepared for the sacrifice you make for your relationship. And whatever you do, remember, only you know why this is worth it.
Make future plans to settle down in the same place
Later in your relationship, you might make concrete plans and take steps to settle down together and end the long-distance part of the relationship. But, let’s face it, most long-distance relationships is not for the long term.
When you start making plans to settle down together, make sure it is clear who will be relocating out of the two of you.
It is a lot for one person to uproot their whole life to move elsewhere, so remember, making this happen will take a lot of planning. Therefore, plan carefully and don’t listen to anyone who tries to hurry you up. Remember, it is your life, not theirs.
I have so much more to say on this topic but I will leave it at this for now. Until next time.