|Long Distance Relationships - How to Make it Work|
|by Rachelle Arlin Credo|
Long distance relationships are dreadful. I know this because I'm currently living one. You watch other couples walk down the street hand-in-hand, kissing, etc., everyday and you can't do anything but envy them. So how can a long distance relationship work? How can you keep on loving someone if you can't even see them?
The answer is...it depends on how much you want it to work. True love can overcome any odds thrown in its path if you want it bad enough. So the question is, how do you do it? Well, I do not think that anyone knows exactly how to make it work, but I can certainly provide some points on making it work.
1. COMMUNICATION is the key.
In every relationship, whether near or far, if communication is taken for granted, it can cause the relationship to quiver until it eventually dies a natural death. That's why in any given circumstance, communication has to be given utmost importance. There are so many available media to ensure that the communication stays open. From snail mails and phone calls to chat systems and e-mails or e-cards. These media can be effective means to convey your hearts desires to your loved ones. Let them know about what you've been doing and thinking because in that way they will feel like they are there with you. This will also help you feel close even though you are miles apart.
2. Send off CARE PACKAGES.
It can be anything -- a little gift of flowers; a collection of the letters he has sent you designed artistically into a scrapbook; or your sweetheart's favorite jewelry -- it's really only limited to your imagination. Engaging yourself in this way is beneficial for both of you. You get to concentrate on gathering these items and putting them together, thus keeping your mind off not being together to a certain extent. Your loved one will see how much effort you put into it and how much you care. Even if it is nothing more than a card,it shows they mean enough to you that you can take the time to let them know. It never takes much money to show a little love with a small gift. Trust me, it can melt a heart!
3. Keep yourself BUSY.
You couldn't just sit there and wait 'til he comes back to you. What if he doesn't come back at all and all you did was sit and get your tummy flabby, won't that make you just miserable? You won't just be stunting your growth as an individual in the process but you'd also be developing emotional insecurities. In order to avoid that, you have to focus yourself on other things while waiting. Try to identify your passions. Get in touch with your creative nature. If you are a homebody, you can read tons of books which can help you grow intellectually and emotionally or you can choose to lounge before your computer and surf for hours to learn invaluable things over the internet. It's an endless "ways-to-make-yourself-busy" list and it is up to you to decide whichever you're interested to get involved in. But remember, being "busy" is not an excuse to forget your "special days" and worse yet, your loved one. You're doing it not just to occupy yourself but also to allow yourself to grow even with your lover's absence.
4. HONESTY is the best policy.
The path to true intimacy and connection especially in a long distance relationship is through "total honesty" to each other in the fullest sense of the words. By being authentic and telling your full truth to your loved one about your thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, issues, boundaries, etc., you are gradually building up a zone of confidence and comfort for both of you. This is very essential if you want your relationship to really last. Seeking to avoid conflict and maintain harmony by censoring yourself can work for a while but it won't take much time until your suppressed truth comes out in other ways, such as withdrawal, resentment, "acting out," etc. I know, sometimes, telling your whole truth can be difficult and even scary, but it will result in the kind of relationship that you really want-- a relationship where all the cards are laid in the table.
5. The value of TRUST
Trust is a very fundamental aspect in any relationship. That is because having trust in a relationship takes away doubt. When you trust someone you never have to question their motivation about anything and with mutual trust that relationship is solid. You must learn to be true to the relationship and must never give way to insecurities, strange feelings, suspicions and quick impulses because these will only bring your relationship down. Don't push away negative comments, or advice. Just trust in yourself and your partner. If you two are true to each other and have no hidden motives then you'll be alright. Remember "Love never fails."
6. COMMITMENT is a habit not an achievement
In every relationship, it is a must to be able to learn how to commit and be committed. For most long distance relationships, the very reason why they fail is because both parties couldn't go on with the commitment and they feel too weak to withstand the tribulations of time.If you have committed yourselves to each other without shilly-shallying, then you have a good promise ahead of you.Your comitment to each other will keep the passion alive and the fires burning thus sustaining the growth of the relationship.
7. PATIENCE is a virtue.
Being in a long distance relationship requires being steadfast and persevering. If you aren't this kind of person and you're involved in a long distance relationship, then as much as now, you better try to learn to be patient. Focus your attention on all the positive aspects of the relationship and never give your hopes up. Showing that you value your partner and the relationship and that you are willing to work patiently through it will let them know you truly love them.
This is applicable only for those who have the comfort of having their own personal computers at home.But for those who don't, there are computers-for-rent in cafe's with webcams already attached to the computer system. Having a webcam is actually very fun and exciting. Even if you aren't together but looking at each other's face in the broad screen makes you feel like you're just so close, so near to your loved one. My boyfriend and I use Yahoo messenger to express our emotions with smileys and it's melting my heart to see him smile in the cam when he gets my messages.
9. Make special occasions SPECIAL.
It is not everyday that a special day comes so when it does, it must be celebrated no matter how far apart you are. When I speak of special occasions, I mean birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year and Valentine's Day. During these occasions, you can plan out some heavy-duty phone call or an extended online time for the evening. Regardless of whether you talk every night or a couple times a week, be sure you both carve out some time for that particular night. If you're too stingy to settle on a lengthy phone call, but have cheap and unlimited online access, plan to send instant messages to each other or meet in a private chatroom somewhere. If you can't be together, at least you can be "talking" and "spending some private moments together".
10. ENJOY LIFE!
Not because your loved one is away, it doesn't mean that your "life" is taken away with him as he sets on for greener pastures. You have your own life to live and you must live it up to the purpose you were created for, with or without your loved one.Anyway, we have our family and friends. What are these social beings surrounding us created for anyway?
Remember,there are definite hardships associated with this relationship style but it is important that those who thrive in a long distance relationship see the suffering, difficulties, distance and time as tools in cultivating their love and rearing up the maturity in their relationship. The best you can do is to strive to be the best of who you are as a person while your partner is away so that when he comes back to you, you are already a full-grown individual whom he will love even more and be more proud of more than ever! For now, just be happy in knowing that across the miles there is someone who thinks you are so special, they are willing to engage in a terrible thing such as a long distance relationship. Keep in mind that your suffering is not forever since your loved one will be back soon and when that time comes, everything will be much sweeter than it was back then.
About the Author
Rachelle Arlin Credo is an entrepreneur and relationship coach. She also works as an image consultant and part-time writer. Her stories, articles, essays and poetry have been published in various magazines and online publications.