How many of you are in a long distance relationship?
When I moved back to Malaysia for work, I left my lovely boyfriend in Singapore. Although we are only 350km apart, an hour flight away and just a border apart, we knew our relationship was in for a change. There was bound to be a strain on our relationship. After all, long distance relationships are never easy and never will be. Some may call me selfish, maybe too young and ambitious, but I simply could not turn down the opportunity to move back to Malaysia despite being in a loving relationship with a man I cherished. Malaysia is home to me and has always been where I would like to be.
So, I quit my job in Singapore, packed my bags and booked a one-way ticket home. My boyfriend took me to the airport in a taxi; we kissed, we hugged, we cried (confession: I behaved like the most dramatic person in the airport). To make our relationship last, we knew we had to rely on modern technology (BBM messages, Skype, phone calls), as well as fortnightly visits and a whole lot of trust. There was so much uncertainty… So many what-ifs clouding our minds.
Now, as though in a blink of an eye, we’ve been in a long distance relationship for 2.5 years! A very long time, especially since I was told most long distance relationships don’t last. Three years into our relationship, I’m glad we are still together and as loving as ever. Of course, being constantly physically and emotionally apart changes the physics and chemistry of our relationship but somehow we’ve managed to make it work.
My Top 5 Tips for Making Long Distance Relationships Work
1. Trust and Honesty
Learn to trust that you will be together and believe it with your heart and soul! It’s important not to draw associations between the person you are currently seeing and past failed relationships. Give you partner a real chance. Once you start to lose trust and become insecure, you’ll unconsciously begin to sabotage your own relationship.
Being in a long distance relationship leaves no room for the both of you to play guessing games. You can’t see, feel and touch each other, so the only way is for you to be completely honest with your partner about your feelings and needs. This may be hard for some who tend to bottle up their emotions and still expect the other party to know. Trust me, your partner will never know. We’re no mind-readers. It’s really quite simple – just say how you feel, plainly and clearly.
2. Have Faith
The saying, “faith moves mountains” may be over used, but how many of us truly believe it? Fate may have brought the two of you together but you will now need faith to keep your hopes and dreams alive. I often visualise a life of love and happiness when we both can be at the same place. Always believe that the both of you will make it no matter how bumpy the road gets along the way.
Good communication is the key to success for any healthy relationship. Make it a point to communicate regularly when you are miles apart, whether it is in the form of BBM messages, Whatsapp, emails, phone calls or Skype. Each individual might have varying degrees of communication wants so make sure you are on the same page on how often you want to talk and commit to it. Don’t break these “dates”. This gives each other something to look forward to.
4. Regular visits
My boyfriend always tells me that humans are very visual creatures so it is important to see and touch each other. Seeing each other can really rekindle the fire between the two of you. If time, money and distance are not too much of an issue, make it a commitment to visit each other. Plan and budget well, nothing is impossible. I have been flying in and out of Singapore at least once a month for the past 2.5 years. My boyfriend does the same by flying to Malaysia to see me. This way, we get to see each other fairly regularly. Yay!
My boyfriend has instilled in me the habit of having gratitude. Always remind yourself why you love your partner, especially when you are in a heated argument or when you feel like giving up. It is during times like this, when our relationship is most vulnerable, that we tend to want to give up. But don’t make any rash decisions in times of sadness or anger. More often that not, you’ll end up regretting a hastily made decision. Aim to always show gratitude and pay attention to your partner. Your relationship will only become stronger as the both of you will grow to appreciate and love each other more.
Of course, my tips are not exhaustive but I believe these are the basics of making long distance relationships more manageable. At the end of the day, being separated from the one you love is not easy so be realistic when you do decide to embark on a relationship like this. It is not for the faint of heart. There will most probably be lots of arguments and bumps along the way but if you are resilient and truly committed to being in the relationship, nothing can stop the both of you from working things out. As much as possible, just try to enjoy the journey and the experience your relationship is providing. Good Luck!
What do you think? Have you been in a long distance relationship? What helped keep the spark alive? Please share : )
Also, this sounds fun – Pillows for long distance lovers.