Long-distance relationships and I have a love-hate relationship.
My affair with my long-distance man has been ongoing for awhile, probably since 2006 or maybe 2007. We got into a serious relationship in May of this past year. Since then, things have been going downhill (OK, there have been a few uphill moments.)
Early on in our affair, I was on great terms with LDRs. I had more free time, and I was less stressed. I actually appreciated the distance. But lately, this appreciation has been decreasing.
Don’t get me wrong: I value my experiences gained through my long-distance relationship. It has taught me so many valuable lessons.
My current affair involves an amazing man who happens to be more than 7,800 miles away. He has a different taken on our LDR: Plainly, he just hates it. But he has been trying his best to come to terms with the distance and has put so much effort in making sure that things work out.
I started disliking LDRs when I truly got to know him and realized that there was so much I was missing out on. This became even worse after we met.
Long-distance relationships are hard. Here are some things I’ve learned through the ups and downs.
Long-distance relationships have a number of challenges, and most of them (if not all) involve him.
- Not being there: I get so frustrated when I can’t be there for him. At times, it makes me feel useless and like I’m a terrible girlfriend. For instance, there occasions when he has a bad day, and me not being there physically makes things worse. Or I hate it when he is ill and the only thing I can do is text him or call him. This really annoys me. My relationship is put to test when he needs me and I can’t be there for him.
- Celebrations: Distance makes it impossible for us to celebrate special occasions together. We can’t celebrate each other’s birthdays or ordinary holidays such as April Fools’ (one of my favorites!). Oh, and we can’t attend weddings together, which is the worst because I love weddings!
- Speed: Due to distance, things can’t move as fast as they should. Our immediate families live on opposite sides of the world, and we get to meet once a year, which is absurd. It’s very frustrating, especially for him, given that things are moving at a very slow pace. Distance can’t take all the blame for this, just 80 percent of the blame.
- Misunderstandings: Distance has caused a lot of misunderstandings. We are very opinionated, so whenever we have a misunderstanding, it will often lead to an argument. We have a lot of arguments, and we will probably have many more to come.
- Time difference: Oh, this is one that I’ve become quite familiar with. Our current time difference is seven hours. When I go to sleep, he’s about to wake up. When I wake up, he’s in the middle of the day. No good mornings or goodnight. I mean, we say it to each other, but we can’t have the same response. It’s something minor, but it’s still annoying.
- Patience: I’m extremely impatient. This relationship has taught me to be a little more patient. Yes, there are occasions when I’m very impatient (OK, it happens often); however, I’m way better than I was a few months ago.
- Trust: This is something I struggle with. I have the hardest time trusting people. I usually don’t necessarily doubt people, but I don’t trust them, either. It took me a long time to fully trust him. There was a time I asked him why he trusted me, and his response was that he didn’t have a reason not to nor did he have an option. Being in a long-distance relationship requires you to trust people and take that leap of faith.
- Communication: Our communication has been enhanced due the distance. Most of our arguments are caused by fear and frustrations with distance, and because we can’t talk it out, we had to find a way to communicate. One of the best way for people to get close is for them to share with each other. Try working your way through 1000 Questions for Couples, written by best-selling author and relationship expert Michael Webb. With 1,000 questions, there’s no chance you and your long-distance man will run out of things to talk about anytime soon.
- Being correct: In relation to arguments, I have come to realize that it takes two to tango. At the end of the day, it is not about who is right or who is wrong. It’s about how you made your partner feel. Winning isn’t as important as feelings. If your partner matters to you, then you have to be totally OK with “losing” as long as your partner is happy.
It’s important to find ways to deal with the challenges caused by distance.
- Stay busy: An idle mind leads to overthinking (something that I’m really good at). Although my relationship is important, it shouldn’t be the only things that is important to me. I made this mistake in the beginning of my current relationship, and all it led to was doubts and overthinking.
- Talk about it: I don’t mean physically because this is not possible, but just let it out. If you’re angry about something your partner has done, then find a way to let him know. For me, I write about it. Then once he’s read what I’ve written, we talk about it through chatting or calls.
- Keep it real: LDRs are hard, and it’s OK to have some negativity every now and then. Things don’t always work out, and always being optimistic is just deceit.
I’ll be the first one to admit that my LDR isn’t perfect. We argue frequently. We say hurtful things to each other once in awhile. It’s not easy being in an LDR, and most of the time, it can leave you feeling drained.
However, every now and then, something amazing happens, and it helps you realize that it’s worth it.
If you truly love someone, then the distance becomes worth it. At the end of the day, we’ll close the gap, and it will just be the two of us.
What have you learned from being in a long-distance relationship?