No matter what your age, relationships are tricky, but the distance factor is particularly top-of-mind during your late teens and early twenties. You may have the experience studying abroad and moving around quite a bit – from your hometown to a college campus to your post-grad city of choice, perhaps with a semester abroad or some long-term travel sprinkled in.
How does dating work with all this geographic uncertainty? How can you deal with the relationship with the guy or girl of your dreams on the other side of the world? Not only you will be a long plane ride away from each other, you will also have some time differences, limited Internet access, and many other factors that will make it hard to communicate and keep the relationship while you and your beloved one are apart.
But it IS possible to survive in a long-distance relationship! Keep your chin up!
Read on for real couples’ takes on long-distance love, and get to learn their tips on how to keep relationships alive when they are thousands of miles apart.
#1 Always Plan a Visit & Book Tickets Ahead of Time
When Sarah graduated from college in Seattle last year and moved to New York pursuing her masters’ degree, her boyfriend Vince stayed behind in Seattle and began to work. They decided not to break up because they liked each other a lot, so they started the long-distance relationship since then. In the first month of separation, they missed each other so much that merely relied on Facetime was not able to work off their lovesick.
Thus, they made a visiting plan – flying to meet one another no less than once a month. This strategy has been proved quite effective that kept their relationship stable and long into the future.
They also found that it was helpful to book flights early. Beyond the practical lower cost reasons, it was very assuring for them to know when they would meet each other next time; it gave them something to look forward to and could make them feel a bit more secure.
Until now, after one and a half years of long-distance relationship, Sarah and Vince found it was not as scary as they thought, and they even started feeling comfortable with it. Long-distance brought them more private space and made their hearts grow fonder. They always cherish the time they are being together, so they seldom waste time arguing.
#2 Make Technology Work for You & Be Patient
Daisy and her boyfriend Mark have battled with the long-distance relationship for 3 years, since Mark came to the U.S. for college studying, while Daisy stayed back in China. Not being able to meet frequently, Daisy and Mark chose to make video calls through Wechat or Facetime every day to feel more connected with each other. This strategy allowed them to not only chat spontaneously throughout the day and share inside jokes or momentous events happened around them, but also see each other through video calls. This always reminds them why they are choosing to be in this relationship, and brings them courage to move on.
Daisy and Mark have realized that it was hard to resolve an argument when they could not physically face-to-face after years of long-distance relationship experience. In this kind of situations, keeping calm, expressing feelings clearly, and being patient and understanding are critical. They recommended that it was useful to make a rule not hanging up on the other person, because it would only make the whole situation worse.
Daisy told me that it was really difficult to maintain a long-distance relationship, especially when you could only meet each other twice a year, but it could be worth it.
#3 Trust Each Other & Not Communicate All the Time
Helen always wanted to make video calls with her boyfriend, Danny when she just started the long-distance relationship. She felt insecure and depressed when she found out that her boyfriend considered spending night after night at home on Skype with her was more like a burden. In fact, it was tough to find time to Skype when they were both having classes, social commitments, and a time difference made this even tougher.
This issue was a big challenge for them at first, but after numbers of discussion together, they figured a way out. They scheduled their Skype calls at a certain time every day, and learned to build trust without hiding anything. They realized that nothing would rot away their self-esteem and confidence faster than doubt and the only way to get around doubt was to cultivate transparency.
Helen not spending all of her time talking to her boyfriend anymore, instead, she started to take advantage of her time overseas by exploring new hobbies and activities. She was happy that she realized communicating regularly with her significant other was important, but definitely not all the time.
Good Luck, Long-distance Lovers!
After reading all these experiences and tips, do you still hesitate to start or continue your long-distance relationship? Just because your partner is in another city or country does not mean that you cannot be spontaneous and loving. Indeed, long-distance relationships are difficult to maintain, but they can be incredibly rewarding too. Think about being able to look back at your time apart and knowing that your love was strong enough to survive. If you may stay together through separation, you may stay together through anything life throws at you. Keep your chin up! You may survive in a long-distance relationship!