Sunday, September 8, 2019

How To Survive A Long-Distance Relationship

Just like you, I was once single too. And to make you feel better, it also took me a few failed relationships and a lot of heartbreaks to eventually find the right one. I've waited for 24 years to meet the man who was destined for me. And three years ago, I finally married my best friend.



It took us eight years to get to where we are today. And believe me, it wasn't a walk in the park. Our relationship received a lot of punches, and we got hit so hard that we collapsed countless times. But despite our struggles, we knew that our passion for each other would always triumph over our trials. Our bond has certainly become stronger and wiser because of these. So when he accepted a job post abroad, we knew we were strong enough to stand both the time difference and distance.

Not everybody will get to experience a long-distance relationship. But if you are or have been in one, then you know that it's not an easy thing to be in. We've been in one for almost three years. But believe me when I say this... it gets better through time. It's doable and it strengthens relationships, especially if you put in the necessary work, commitment and understanding.

Some people are amazed to know that my husband and I got through being in a long-distance relationship because most LDRs don't even last (there's petty fights, misunderstandings, cheating, etc.). Of course, I'm no relationship expert. But I can definitely share our own experiences as a couple. I also know that every relationship is different. Mine definitely is. But we've been able to overcome all of our hardships by having open and honest communication. We've also learned how to trust each other, to reach compromises, and to make time for one another. These are some of the things that helped change the way I see love.


HAVE OPEN AND HONEST COMMUNICATION 

There were several things in our relationship that changed when my husband moved abroad. Even the first few days proved difficult for us because he didn't have a stable wifi connection, which to me was important. Even the 4-hour time difference was hard to adjust to. Plus his temporary sim and phone had only limited services. But we were set to stick things through. We waited for everything to settle, and in no time, we were able to talk on Skype. A few weeks later, we discovered that the WeChat App offered a clearer voice and video call option. 

Despite having so many of these messaging apps to our disposal, communicating with each other through these mediums also has its downside. There would be times when we would have heated arguments over text/SMS, that it would be hard for the two of us to immediately settle our differences in opinions. We would even go as far as a few days without talking to each other. 

Being away from him, and not being able to see his expression, and calm him in person was very hard. We certainly didn't have the opportunity to kiss and make up. But as time passed, we were able to adjust by really taking the time to talk, and by being more patient with one another.

LESSON: To have open and honest communication with your partner is important in any relationship. Remember that nobody communicates perfectly. You will need to extend your patience when it comes to your man because he might not be able to deliver the right words the way he's constructed them in his head. 

TRUST EACH OTHER, ALWAYS!

Trust is also an essential part of being in a long-distance relationship (or with love in general), for, without it, you and your partner might not even make it. Back then, I would get easily paranoid about a lot of things until we were able to talk things through. It actually pays to know that we've already learned to trust and to believe in each other like our lives depended on it. It certainly feels good to be open and not keep anything from him and vice versa.


REACH A COMPROMISE 

I would always allow him to go out with his friends even before (back when we were still in our boyfriend-girlfriend stage), with no time limit. But there was only a certain restriction on his alcohol intake. And now that he's working abroad, I continue to encourage him to go out more with his workmates, as being an OFW can definitely get lonely. I know that my man is a strong person. But interacting with other fellows can also boost morale. And when he goes out, he would make sure that I know who he's going with, where he's going, and when he's finally home. As long as I'm updated, I wouldn't mind if he doesn't text me the entire time. You know, giving your man space is a mature move. I actually get to appreciate my husband more when he sends me text messages while he's still out with his friends.

LESSON: We would fight all the time, especially during the early years of our relationship. We've fought so many times and have become frustrated at one another because we couldn't arrive at a mutual agreement. But through time, we learned how to listen to both sides. 

ALWAYS MAKE TIME

We always make time by being online at certain parts in the day. When he's off from work, we make sure that we get to talk via text/SMS, so that we can still catch up. There's always something to converse about, whether it's about our work, the new outlet stores or food stalls that he's recently discovered in the city, or the new episode of Game of Thrones that I was able to watch. We are updated about each other's lives and are always excited to exchange stories no matter how mundane those would be. We simply find joy in hearing from each other because that keeps us involved in one another's lives despite the time difference and distance.

To be in a long-distance relationship is both fun and work. You don't even need to be part of the statistics, which states that LDR's don't usually last. There's always a way to make things work out if you just put in the right mindset, and the right kind of love and understanding in your relationship.

Love, no matter how complicated it can be, works when you compromise and adjust to certain needs. You can also find pure happiness in loving someone when you start focusing on what's essential and great in that person despite their flaws. And if you can change the way you see the love in this light, then you will see love with much clarity. You can change the way you see long-distance love by staying focused on your goals together. So don’t feel hopeless about finding the right person for you because s/he will come at the right time. And if you have finally found your match, know that everything is going to be worth it. Because at the end of the day, finding 'the one' will definitely change the way you see love. 

Always in-love,
Mai

No comments: