Oceans apart.

We all dream of finding that special someone. From an early age, we are exposed to stories about Prince Charming and a Dream Girl. I blame Hollywood and Disney. Maybe today some would even blame the Kardashians. They’re everywhere! So, you grow up searching for that special someone you want to spend the rest of your life with and in this day and age? There are so many ways to meet people. My husband and I met online nearly 10 years ago. We became friends, kept in touch and eventually we developed deeper feelings for each other.

Thus began the constant texting, 20 hour Skype calls(no joke) and long loooooong flights to visit each other. Many people have asked me how we did it and have expressed how much they admire us. The truth is… we just made it work.

Whether you met through friends or at a coffee shop, don’t let anyone in a long distance relationship tell you that they’re any kind of special or that they’re better than your relationship. Every relationship has their own rhythm and rhyme that no other couple could possibly understand. My husband and I are not any different. Sure, we spent months at a time apart from each other and only communicated via text and calls but without the desire to make things work, we would have a whole different storyline.

One of the biggest challenges was our timezone difference. Most of the year we would be 13 hours apart except when daylight savings kicked in for him. Then, we’d be 14 hours apart. 8am for me was 7pm for him. 7am for him meant 8pm for me. The rest of the day we busied ourselves with work and other things.

None of it was easy. So how did we do it?

Just like regular everyday couples who live together or see each other on a daily basis, I suggest date nights. Friday was and is still our date night. My Saturday mornings were usually Friday nights for him so we’d talk on Skype and sometimes end up on video just spending time with each other. I cannot tell you the amount of times one of us would fall asleep and the other would go about their business until the other one woke up. Sometimes we’d sync movies and watch them while texting each other. Whatever it was, we made sure to keep our weekends free so we could spend time together talking about each other’s week or just blabbering into the night/afternoon. Doing stuff you both enjoy is not impossible when you’re long distance. You just have to tweak how you go about it.

Was it always perfect?

The truth is, no, it wasn’t. We had disagreements and argued like normal couples. I would sulk and he would get annoyed with me. We often argued via text which was the worst possible thing because it made me feel like we could never resolve our issues. Miraculously though, we always did. There’s something about text that just made us have the courage to say everything on our minds and come to a compromise. I believe we consciously made the decision to always be honest about our feelings and type out in detail every single thing that was on our minds. It seems tedious but it made our bond so much stronger every single time. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder and the relationship stronger…..but…. only if you WANT it to. Again, it’s a choice. It’s always a choice.

The question remains though. How do you do a long distance relationship?

  • Honesty and LOTS of communication.

It always bugs me when you watch movies or observe friends (especially girls) who say one thing but mean the other. Forgive me but that’s fucking stupid. People aren’t mind readers. A person will never know how you truly feel if you don’t tell them. Beating around the bush is childish and it doesn’t lead to a solution. Addressing your problem could be painful but at least it gets addressed. Once that is over and done with, all that’s left is how to resolve the issue. That’s how you’re able to move on in a long distance relationship and grow together as a couple.

  • Don’t spend your time thinking about time apart. Look forward to the next time you’re physically together. Make plans!

In a long distance relationship, closing the distance is the best part. You’re finally together, there’s no crazy timezones and certainly no stupid text fights. But that time will pass and next thing you know, it’s the night before one of you has to leave. I hated those. I would always cry and cry and cry on my husband’s chest until I was out of tears. I HATED THE GOODBYES. Sadly, that’s just the way life works. We were both adults with jobs so as much fun those days together were, we had to go back to working for a living and paying our bills. When you read these Cosmo articles or People or whatever magazine you choose to read, they always recommend that you keep yourself busy when you’re in a LDR. So that’s what we did. We planned our next visit, talked about what we could do, reminisce the fun we shared together and the time apart just passed.

I guess for now, that’s all the insight I can share. Relationships are hard work and sex is the easy part. Anyone can do that. Raw intimacy that involves not just physical closeness but emotional and mental depth is the hard part. The books and the movies lied. Love is not enough. There has to be effort from both parties. Being with someone doesn’t just happen. You need to make the decision to do it every single day.

If you’re in a long distance relationship, I feel for you. Trust me, I get everything you’re going through. As the popular saying goes, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. Relationships get cloudy and it’ll feel like the sun will never shine through but if you have just a little faith, own up to your mistakes and communicate your feelings clearly, light shines through.

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