Making a long distance relationship work

Every relationship is different because every person is different in their hopes and dreams and in their personalities.

Whilst I’m not sure what a definition of a successful long distance relationship is (is it when you stop being long distance and have a relationship in person?) I thought I’d share some of the things that have worked for mi novio and I.

1. Commitment
We are both committed to having a relationship. We want to be with each other with the exclusion of all others.

2. An end date
Sunday 10 June, 2012. We are working towards the day when we’ll be together again and for always. The day after which there is no more long distance and we are both living in the same place. Without a definite date, or month, I think I would go crazy. It’s like anything unpleasant, it makes it easier to get there when you have a finish time, such as when that time on the exercise bike just got really hard, but you only have 3 minutes to go, so you dig deep into your energy reserves and do it.

3. Plans for the future
We have so many plans together involving travel, setting up a home, starting a business and having a family. When the going gets rough for a time, we can always seek refuge in these plans to get us through the time we are spending apart.

4. Honesty
All relationships require honesty, but a long distance relationship lives and dies on honesty. It is so easy to misconstrue something when you are not there in the situation. And it’s best not to hide things, even those things that can be taken the wrong way or cause pangs of jealousy. Being open helps mi novio to remember that I trust him and that he can trust me because I’m telling him everything I’m doing.

5. Remember it’s hard for them too
Sometimes I forget that mi novio is going through the same things as me. I wonder what he’s up to, who he’s spending time with and what little things are going on in his life beyond the computer screen. It’s actually worse for him because he has never been here in Australia so it is much more difficult for him to imagine what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis, whereas I can picture him going to work and spending time with his family.

6. Good communication
Long distance relationships are built on the memory of chemistry and clad with good communication. Even if mi novio’s day is the same everyday, I want to hear about it. I want to know all about what he’s doing because I’m not there to do it with him. A long distance relationship really gives you the ability to polish your communication skills and improve your story-telling abilities, your story is far more elaborate than I woke up, went to work and came home.

7. Make an effort
Relationships aren’t a one-way street. Both partners should make the effort to contact each other as they both have the responsibility to look after the relationship. It is much more convenient and cost-effective for us if I’m the one to call mi novio, but he will still email or send text messages so not one person is left driving the communication in the relationship. When I’ve felt as though I’ve been the one in control of the relationship contact and it starts to frustrate me, I ask him to send me a love note via email and this makes my concerns melt away.

8. Don’t be afraid to argue
It’s not all “I love you, I miss you” lovey dovey chat. All relationships have tension at times, and it’s easy to dismiss these feelings because of the distance and think you have to be nice to your partner. One time I had this funny desire to pick a fight with mi novio. I had no good reason for arguing, but I was feeling so numb with all the I miss yous that I just wanted to feel something different, something more passionate. And then it happened. I got grumpy, behaved childishly and then we talked about it. A lot. As we continued to talk through the issue I felt myself relax completely and feel a wave of love wash over me. Now I know why I picked the fight. I wanted that glorious feeling. However if you’re going to fight, you have to make up, and it’s best done straight away. Relationships seem to sour quicker over distance if a conversation is left on a bad note.

Mi novio is going to be here with me very soon, although the days seem to be ticking by slowly. As I think about our long distance relationship changing into an in-person relationship, I also think about those that are still in the land of long distance or who are just embarking on a relationship in different places. I wish for them strength, persistence and faith in love.

What else do you think makes a long distance relationship work?


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