Do Long Distance Relationships actually work?

 “When two hearts are meant for each other, no distance is too far, no time too long and no other love can break them apart.”

With globalisation and all that stuff, its not uncommon for us nowadays to move around in our lives. This means, obviously, coming into contact with leaving the people we love. But how about the people we fall in love with? Are long distance relationships really possible? Or is it just some fantasy?

Long distance relationship (noun) : “a romantic relationship between two people who live far apart and so are unable to meet on a frequent basis.”

Or in my own definition, well actually the definition above is pretty much what I believe is the true definition. So it’s either 2 different cities, or countries, or even continents. Not two different houses. Or two different ends of the city. Please.

When I ask most of my friends that have been through a long distance relationship, whether they would go through another one, most of them said “NO!” straightaway. Which isn’t a big surprise honestly. It takes a lot of work. And constant heartache of missing that person for it to work out. It’s painful. I have personally had my fair share of a long distance relationship that actually went smoothly (luckily) but it still didn’t work out. But I would say I still believe in it. If it’s meant to happen, it will kind of happen right?

I personally believe that long distance relationships can happen so long as the two of them have:

1. A good foundation of friendship before that.

And I really mean friendship. Not being close to each other in order to get the guy/ girl (or courting?). And solid friendship that goes by to years. Not just a “oh I kind of know that person but I’ve never talked to him/her but she’s attractive but I’ll just stay silent for a good few years”. A good example of this would be being best friends with the person since you were in primary school or kindergarten.

You will literally be miles and miles apart. If you don’t have a good friendship to begin with, how will you maintain a conversation with that person and keep an interesting relationship? I mean at least if you were really close friends before, you’ll have things in common (things you like, experiences, etc) that you can always talk about and ask them. PLUS, if you were friends way before that you are so much more comfortable talking to them about anything which is so crucial in a long distance relationship when you barely have the time to talk to each other.

Are you comfortable talking to them about your insecurities that you’re facing? The annoyed feeling you have for the other because they didn’t reply at all or something? The fear you have for your future together? These problems can be a big thing for even normal couples. But become an even greater thing for long distance relationship couples because of the time difference, different setting issue, and all that.

So I suggest making sure you are properly good friends with this person before you want to risk a long distance relationship. If not it usually ends pretty quickly unfortunately.

A good foundation supports a strong and sturdy house after all right?

2. Trust (obviously) and loyalty

“The scariest thing about distance is you don’t know if they’ll miss you or forget about you” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook.

This is so much of a given since you’ll be living in probably different countries or continents, hours and hours away, not being able to see each other at all for at least a year except through a video call.

You’ll have no idea what the other is doing. You don’t know who your girlfriend/boyfriend is actually going out with. So you’ll have to trust that they are staying faithful to you even when you’re not there. And it takes both side to work out. So don’t you be the one that go out and abuse that trust of your partner either.

It might start out as something innocent like asking a certain someone out for dinner, but when your significant other is on the other side of the world it can get lonely. Don’t fall into the temptation of cheating just because you think no one is looking. You’re betraying your partner’s trust.

3. Having the same end goal

I think you can see having a long distance relationship as someone going on separate journeys but having the same goal in mind. And I think THIS is crucial. I mean all of these are obviously crucial. But if you don’t have this then ultimately all your effort is for nothing. Believe me, I’ve been there. It’s painful.

So before you go on a long distance relationship please make sure to talk it out with your boyfriend/girlfriend whether they want the same thing in the end. Do they want to live in the same country as you? Do they want to settle down somewhere you want? Do they see you two having a future together? What happens if you are of different religions? Is this going to be a problem? (If not, GREAT! if yes, again talk about it)

Don’t delay this conversation because it’s going to make letting go even harder. If you continue to just indulge in this relationship, I mean it can go very smooth sailing (trust me) you’ll have a perfect relationship except you’re working towards nothing because ultimately there is no end goal. And the harsh reality is that you’re just wasting each other’s time. It’s better to give yourself and the other the opportunity to meet a different person who can be your/their future.

If you do have the same goal in mind, then that’s great! Please continue 🙂

4. Communication and Listen

This is a big one. Communication. I mean I think this is a big one for ALL relationships. But in a long distance relationship its even more crucial because small things can turn to big things especially when you’re already emotional from missing the other person and all that.

So it would be advisable to communicate to each other frequently, tell them how your day was (ask them how their day went), tell them your fears (ask them their fears), tell them what made you happy today (ask them what made them happy that day). Tell them anything and everything about you and ask them anything and everything about your partner. This can surprisingly make you feel closer even when you’re living probably miles apart!

Oh and don’t forget that listening is a part of communication. As you can see from the list of things I suggested to talk about I also put in what you can ask. Please don’t be that person that is “all about me”. It gets annoying. So be willing to ask about your partner and if they don’t spontaneously share, then ask! Everyone loves for someone to listen to them. You just need to make the time and effort to do so.

5. Make time for each other.

“Contrary to what the cynics say, distance is not for the fearful; it’s for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love.”

I believe in one thing: There is NO such thing as having no time, you have to MAKE TIME.

If you believe the person is important enough I know you’ll make time for them. I have no idea how anyone can disagree with that. I personally would sacrifice sleep and me-time for someone that I love, wouldn’t you?

Take the time to reply the other’s text, or call (video call would be better).

When you’re home or in the same place, meet up – spend some time together, go on a date. Because when else can you do it? The next time he/she visits in 4 more years?

6. Truth and Honesty

Another thing that I believe is actually needed in every single relationship. But more so in a long distance one. You are living so far apart that being honest with each other is crucial.

When you are irritated of the thing the other is doing, say it. When you’re scared what the other thinks, ask them ask them anyway. When you’re feeling insecure about something, mention it. This way you maintain a transparent relationship with each other and this fosters the trust you need to know the other will remain faithful to you.

7. Don’t give up on each other

Ultimately, it can get a bit rough. There will fights and heartache and crying. But if you’re fighting for it it will be all worth it. Be willing to compromise one way or another. Remember the other party has feelings and needs to and be willing to listen to each other.

So don’t give up on each other. Work hard and fight for it. Struggle and brace through it.

“What comes easy, won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.”

 

Long distance relationships are not the most pleasant way to have a relationship. But believe it or not, if you survive through it, your relationship will survive through almost anything. Because doesn’t distance make the heart grow fonder?

Follow your heart. Find your passion.

 

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

“Though miles may lie between us, we are never far apart. For friendship doesn’t count miles, it’s measured by the heart”

I think those of you that read this would know that I have moved around quite a bit in my life. With this, comes the amazing opportunities to make so many new friends from all over the world. It’s a huge blessing and I am eternally grateful for it. However, there is one downside to it – I would never have that particular friend who I have been friends with since kindergarten.

Over the years, I have finally come to realise that friendship (and relationships too but that will probably be for another day) takes a great deal of effort to be maintained – especially if you are no longer in the same country. For those of you who feel frustrated that they have distanced from their old friends, here are some tips that I hope helps you (cos it has helped me so far :))

1. Make the effort to contact them

This may seem very obvious (at least for the first 6 months when you’re apart but becomes less so the longer it is) but you do have to make that extra effort to contact them. Not having their number is no excuse nowadays 😉 (don’t forget facebook messenger/ email/ etc). Find whatever way you can and contact your old friends.

2. Reply with all your heart

It might seem tempting to not reply after a while because you are busy and the conversation might not be so interesting but do reply. Of course you will be busy with other things (especially when you live in different timezones. But you can always reply later on (a few hours later, or even days later) when you actually have the time to reply all your friend’s messages. This really shows that you are making the effort. Half-hearted messages are the worst because it shows that you are in fact feeling bothered by the messages and your friend might be hesitant in replying again after that.

3. Maintain regular contact

There are friends that you can only talk to for a few hours while there are those who you can have a conversation for years non-stop (I’m not even joking it has happened). So whatever the conversation length is, make sure you keep in regular contact with them. Check-up on them when you feel it’s appropriate (e.g every week/ every month). This shows how much you do still think of them.

4. Remember important dates/ events

This is another thing that helps to maintain the friendship. Of course it’s a given to remember your friend’s birthday – so I’m not talking about that. But do try to remember important events happening in their lives – exams/ presentations/ job interviews/ when they are going on holiday/ etc. This is not only a reason for you to talk to them (hey sometimes even the closest friends run out of topic right? :p) but also it shows that you remember about them even though you are halfway across the world (and trust me it matters :)). Another extra step you can take is to maybe send them a card/ note/ present (depending on the situation) for this specific event especially if you know that your friend will really need that extra support from you 🙂

4.1 (?) Mini tip (especially for those that have friends that are in different timezones)

search the timezones on google or put the specific timezones your friends are in in your phone so you don’t forget the time difference. It comes in handy when you want to wish your friends a happy birthday/ good luck at a specific time. Hopefully then you won’t end up missing the event completely which has happened more often that I’d like to admit for me and my friends unfortunately :/.

5. Plan something

If you have plans to visit your friends in the various countries/ at home this is one thing I have always found helpful. Through this you get to finally meet your friends again and catch-up with them. Often I feel that this will make your friends feel remembered even amongst the new friends that you have made.

 

I focused more on Long Distance Friendships here because I know how valuable friendship is especially when you are someone who moves around so much and don’t get the security of having that 1 friend that is always there (because hey you are not even in the same country). I will write on Long Distance Relationships sometime later. The most important thing I think to remember is that Long Distance Friendships (like all relationships) takes both sides to make the effort. If you are the only one making the effort it’s not going to work out. So don’t forget to make sure you and your friend is on the same page :).

Oh if it doesn’t work out the first time round, try again (if you believe the friendship is worth it). There is never a point where it is too late as long as you’re willing to take that extra step. I just recently reconnected with a friend that I lost contact with for 4 years and another that I lost contact with for 9 years :). So hopefully these tips will be useful to you. And if you have any of your own tips please let me know too 🙂 I would love to get some inputs.

Friends are treasures – don’t forget that 🙂

Follow your heart. Find your passion.