It comes easy to say “I do not believe in long-distance relationships”, “there’s no such thing” etc. I used to repeat these phrases all the time but from my experience I know that one has to fulfill several conditions to make the relationship survive regardless of the miles.
The long-distance relationship taught me a few things.
Firstly, you MUST set the date of return to the country, preferably before your departure. Two of you need to know when this torment comes to an end. In Oslo, I met a man who constantly extends his contract. His fiance doesn’t know when her beloved finally goes back. They’re arguing mercilessly about it…
Secondly, even when it’s hard, there are disagreements or even arguments, you can’t just stop talking to each other and have the so-called quiet days. Even if the last thing which you would think about is to talk with your loved one, you have to reach out and try to solve the problem, and then regularly write and call. Breaking off contact completely is the most painful thing you can do.
Thirdly, in addition to the date of return you need to plan weekends and mini-vacations together. It would be the best to plan the date of your next visit even before the end of the current one. This is likely to make each parting a bit less painful. Imagine a situation when you see you loved one off at the airport with no idea when you’re going to see him again…
Fourthly, you need to talk on the phone, not just text. You have to talk to maintain an emotional bond. A good idea is to switch on a webcam and watch what the other person is doing after work. You can cook dinner together, drink wine, or take a bath. When you need physical closeness, Skype comes in handy.
Fifthly, you have to accept the fact that your second half meets with other people of the same and opposite sex. Parties, barbecues, trainings, business meetings etc. Do not be angry when mutual friends post photos taken at the house party where your beloved is standing next to a girl you don’t know. There is 15 other people on this photo. Take it easy… Only one thing is crucial: do not drift apart from each other.
If you meet the RIGHT person, there are no obstacles you wouldn’t surmount. It is worth remembering that numerous people live and study abroad, and their relationships are fine. Still, it seems to me that a few months or a few years separation is not for everyone. Not everyone is so patient, determined and… brave. Before making a decision about moving abroad, ask yourself: am I ready for the ongoing … (month, years) separation, separate lives, different time zones, lack of immediate conversation and support, no physical contact?
Yes? I wish you luck. No? Give it a try, and if it fails, treat the experience as a lesson.
Have you ever been in long-distance relationship? Do you have any advice?