Long Distance Relationship Guide (Part 2)
This is the second part of our two part Complete Guide to Long Distance Relationships. You can read part one of the series by clicking here.
As with every other point I’ve made this far, do this through phone calls and through your experiences when you are together. It’s the same as the progression of every other relationship, you just have to make sure you have a little stronger foundation and implement more assurances. If those assurances need to be vocalized, do that. If you can do it through your acts or the time you spend together, do that.
By stronger foundation and reassurances I mean that you need to make sure they know you care, you are investing yourself, and you’re willing to put forth effort. This gives them a stable platform to make their decision from. If they know you will work towards ‘making it work,’ they’ll obviously do the same.
Now, If you know they are interested but seem hesitant, be patient. Everyone has this dark belief of long distance relationships. Most people think they don’t last. Make sure this person knows with time and support it can become something amazing!
While the two of you are separated and living different lives, there are natural tendencies to have suspicions. If you are monogamous, don’t give in to your jealous thoughts. Trust. If you are not monogamous, trust that they are “fooling around,” but don’t give in to your jealous thoughts. They may be, they might not be. If you assume that they are, and can except that, then it won’t sneak up and become a problem in the future. If you can’t except that but made the concession, you’ll soon meet a destructive feeling called resentment.
That resentment will help the jealousy grow, and the trust will diminish. You’ll embrace the suspicions, your actions will reflect this, and things will begin to spiral downwards. So again, trust. Trust her to do what she said she was going to do.
I’d like to add a personal view point. I classify non-exclusive relationships into two categories: Non-monogamous or open. A non monogamous relationship means that the two of you have decided that you are going to commit physically and emotionally, but if another person comes along and you….”oopsy….” became a little promiscuous, it is pardoned and not spoken about. An open relationship means that you and your partner have committed to each other emotionally, however you actively seek other partners, and are open about it. In my opinion, stick with the former because eventually you are not going to want to share something that precious to you.
For a long distance relationship to be successful it must have reasonable expectations, plenty of freedom, and joint independence. One of the common reasons for the stigma behind L.D.R’s are because people who are not naturally independent try to create one. One, or both of the parties needs to have more physical comfort, security, or connection with the other. There is nothing wrong with that; see to their needs as much as you can. It only becomes a problem if those needs are not capable of being satisfied with rivers of roads between you. You’ll know, so trying would just lead to disaster.
Expectations: they exist in everything. Long distance expectations should be different than if she were, say, a bike ride away. Those expectations come in the form of freedom and limitations. Believe it or not, in a proximity relationship they are actually much more conditioned. With space comes slack though. My greatest piece of relationship advice to offer is never become an anchor.
Let her have her freedom, and you have yours. Don’t try to set limitations. To weigh her down is to stunt life experiences, personal growth, and aspects of enjoyment. Do you really want to do that to a person you care about? Always keep in mind that you are there to share your lives with each other (and when possible, experience together) not live each other.
Be the string on each others balloon…floating around together, but never tied down.
As I mentioned just above, you need to make sure that you are providing freedoms. Additionally, you should be taking advantage of those freedoms. That is (believe it or not) one of the perks of a L.D.R. Don’t put all of your energy and time into trying to talk to her and to keep things going. It will do that on it’s own as long as you don’t begin to leech. In order to avoid those temptations or your wandering mind, find awesome things to do. Get new hobbies, volunteer, get a side job, start writing. Whatever you want. Those freedoms give you that time, but that time can bite you in the ass. Just make sure to remember to stay occupied and you won’t have to worry.
It is also good to keep occupied with her when you two are apart. Spark up fun things to do together; you’ll maintain a good connection that way. A couple ideas are picture message games, email games, or online games. You could even create a date night where you two go see the same movie and then talk about it afterwards. Or go to a restaurant with the similar menu, and eat together on the phone. Become craft pen pals. Get creative and do whatever you want to do to occasionally bring some excitement into the virtual realm of your relationship.
This is related to “Visiting Each Other.” Another perk of the L.D.R is you have the interesting and unique ability to meet somewhere rather than the Friday night Cineplex. Setting up half way meeting points is fun. Schedule mini ‘vacations’ to places that you two have never been…and meet there. Because she isn’t always in your room or a couple blocks away, the adventure opportunities are endless.
If you have those capabilities then why not use those options? Veer from the mundane. Do interesting, fun, unexpected, out of the ordinary, or boring and dull things. Between not always seeing each other, time passed, and expectations minimal, your ‘hang outs’ will always be something you both look forward to! [Although, remember that it is good to have a real one on one, in person date night every once in a while. That way you won’t make mixing it up a routine, but you will have an interesting relationship through and through.]
If things have proceeded to an awesome point in the relationship and you still see a future, then talk about it. Plan things around it. If you have “way points” to reach, you can reach them together. This not only gives off a sense of accomplishment for both people, but it also helps push you two to new heights. You just did something together and/or you are looking forward to something soon to be.
Set goals that include both of you. Talk about specific dates and times that you will be together; you both have that to look forward to. Where do you see the relationship? What do you want from the other person? If you occasionally create a frame that involves the future, you are casting yourself in their future. Not only does this convey that you are still interested, but it also subconsciously relays their importance to you.
I’ve stressed flexibility many times in this article. So far you’ve decided you are willing to make concessions and exceptions. You are willing to minimize expectations and give more freedom. But now it is time to think about you. In all honesty a relationship will only work if it works for you. Therefore you need to figure out what you are willing to sacrifice and what you are not. Figure out what your priorities are, and what they are not.
Write them down and think about them. Do not stray from that list. Flexibility goes a long way; but just as in the literal form, if you stretch too far you’ll tear a muscle. In a relationship if you become to flexible you’ll either be bending to her will or breaking from yours. Neither is healthy and neither will result in an enjoyable outcome.
Lastly I will note budget. Both time and money need to be budgeted if you want to maintain the “long” aspect of the relationship. It doesn’t matter if they are 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 6 hours away. Use this travel time to your advantage. Use it to do homework, business papers, writing, napping, or reading. Use it for anything; I personally know that I am more productive on a 3 hour train ride than a 3 hour coffee shop stop.
You also have to plan and use your money wisely. Traveling costs a bit more than just visiting someone up the road; you also have to take into account the expenses while you are with your significant other, and the expenses for the lodging. This all can build up to take a big chunk out of your pay. That is why it is important to structure a new budget so you can afford to see this person. If you can’t afford to get there and stay, how do you expect to afford the relationship?
There are so many aspects of a long distance relationship, and I covered many of them here. However, since it is such a drastic and dramatic step, I would recommend (if contemplating taking that leap) check out a book or two. The more perspectives and advice you have, the more likely that the relationship is a success. Good luck.
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About Locke Star TSBMag followers! I present to you myself, through the alias of Locke. I am a member of the pickup community, an avid self developer, growth promoter, and a robotic ninja pirate. I just became a contributing author to this wonderful land of knowledge; I hope that through my words and the words of everyone here, we can all help to build naturally attractive and socially adept men and women.