As people become more global, it becomes more frequent that one person in a relationship needs to be overseas for a prolonged period of time for studies or for work. This is especially true for a small country like Singapore, where there are tons of priceless opportunities to be picked up when outside of our small island. For students, the chance to study in a prestigious ivy-leagued school and to interact with the very best brains around the world should never be passed up. Similarly, if given the opportunity to expand your horizons while working in an MNC and be stationed abroad, many know that there are lots of benefits to such an opportunity.
All these just makes it more and more likely that many couples will have to struggle with the challenge of maintaining a long-distance relationship. Many couples start out never intending or believing in this concept of LDR, until they come face-to-face with this decision, either to try a LDR or to break it off clean. Whatever the decision, it will not be easy. Thus for those who are optimistic and feel that your partner is worth the wait and the challenge, here are some useful pointers that can help enhance the survival of your relationship.
Have a Target Date in Mind
No one likes uncertainty when it comes to interpersonal relationships and hence you must discus the separation with your partner. You two must decide on an end to the separation. We all need a target and a goal to work towards and it is always good to state upfront honestly how long the LDR is going to last. If you one party is going for studies, decide how long it is going to be and if it is for a work assignment, have a confident date that the assignment will be concluded. All in all, you have to have a definite goal to look forward to or else it will feel like you are groping in the dark. That particular feeling may be very frustrating.
Do not try to rush through emotions, take your time. Leave enough room before setting the end point so that you can fulfill the original goals that brought on the separation. Keep it realistic and don’t get carried away. Making unrealistic promises that you will never be able to keep will be absolute disasters for your relationship.
Establish a Realistic & Regular Communication Plan
As you embark on a long distance relationship, rest assured that your phone bills will skyrocket. Because talking to her regularly and having a good time talking is going to become necessary to maintain your relationship with her. Prepare for this by moving to a phone plan that has unlimited long distance calls or at least make sure you have the best rates. Make sure you call her as much as she calls you. If she feels ignored and forgotten, you will be in a world of trouble.
Also schedule physical dates with her and mark them down. They are very important and you must try not to miss any of them. If you think you will miss one, let her know in advance. For solutions that are easier on your pocket, try PC based voice chat options like Skype and AIM.
Before the actual end arrives, regular physical meetings make things a lot easier to bear. Of course this may not be easy to achieve if both of you are on different ends of the world, but if possible and if you think this relationship is important enough, you'll want to try to schedule visits as far as possible. A short visit like a weekend together can make a world of difference and you need to make it at least once every two months or so. Voice and video chats can only go so far but nothing can (yet) replace your touch or your smell. There is nothing like physically meeting her that shows her that you still care about her.
The best thing to do is to take a vacation together, away from respective homes. Go somewhere you haven’t been to before and spend some quality time together. This will infuse some fresh life into the relationship. This will help your relationship to grow stronger even though it is long-distance.
Trust is Everything
As you start spending more time away from your partner, you will notice that your older habits of being a single person are kicking in. It may not be very noticeable and it will of course not be exactly the same. But they will be there and it will be the same for her as well. Soon, you will hear her talking about people you have not met, other men she is spending her time with. She will change like people do with time and when you next meet her, she won’t be the exact same person. The same thing will happen to you and there will be slight changes in you. You won’t notice these changes in a close relationship because you see each other regularly.
When you go long-distance, you are no longer able to give her company during her free time like you used to. So she will be looking to spend her time with someone else. The same will apply to you as you look for people to spend time with. So do not get overtly jealous just because she is spending time with somebody else.
The Long Distance Love
Remember that it is all about what is more important to both of you. If you both value the relationship more, you will be willing to sacrifice some career success. If you are both career oriented, then you might be willing to hold the relationship back for while. In the end, it all boils down to mutual understanding.