It’s not easy to be in a long-distance relationship (LDR). Obviously, you don’t get to see and be with each other and even if you see each other on cam, it’s not same as holding them, kissing them, or hugging them for real.
I’ve always believed that if there’s a way, there’s a will. Relationships only work when two people work together to make it work. It should be a two-way effort. And if some LDRs work, why yours can’t?
I was privileged to talk to two of my closest friends who survived long-distance relationships and eventually tied the knots. How they did it? Here are some tips:
- Constant communication is a must.
Texas-based Filipino couple Bonivie and Jhon Mascarina has been married for three years now, but prior to that, they’ve been in a long-distance relationship for a year before getting married.
Bonz is a licensed nurse working in the Philippines while Jhon lives and works as a dialysis technician in the United States. The two met online via common friend.
Considering the 12-hour time difference, Bonz said communication is a must in their relationship. They try to maximize all means of communication such as Facebook, Facetime, Viber, and Whatsapp.
We all know it’s easy to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world now if you want to, unless you don’t have internet access (which is very rare), there’s a bad weather, you skipped paying the bills, or you don’t have a phone to begin with (which is also very unlikely!).
- Trust is everything.
Trust is everything for Ann and Joey Palmer, who survived a nine-year LDR before getting married. Like Bonz, Ann used to live in the Philippines, working as a preschool and elementary teacher; while Joey is an estate assistant at the University of Bristol in England, United Kingdom. The two met online.
“When trust is lost, everything follows,” said Ann. She also believes constant communication is really important. “No matter how busy you are in your daily lives, make sure to communicate.”
When you’re in LDR, you can’t avoid getting jealous. Jealousy is an instinct that we feel to protect humans from losing the person we love. You can’t tell your partner to stop seeing his/her friends or go out or work because you’re not there.
And even if you’re together, you can’t always be together all the time. I’m sure you try to keep separate sets of friends.
So Bonz make it a point to introduce everyone to Jhon during their conversations. “I’d tell him about my family, friends, especially those people I interact more at work to avoid misunderstanding/jealousy. I would also tell him if I will go out and whoever I am with,” said Bonz.
- Patience and understanding are key virtues.
They said LDRs leave a gap between two people. Some distances make the heart grow fonder, but some result to lack of physical and emotional support, loneliness, misunderstandings, jealousy, among many others.
“Since you’re in a long distance relationship, patience and understanding are key virtues. You need a lot of patience to wait for that day when you’ll be together. You need to really commit if you’re in LDR”, Ann said.
Ann and Joey broke up for a while in their nine-year relationship. Ann admitted she got involved with another guy, but Joey did everything to win her back. And when they’re back together, that’s when Joey finally promised to visit her in the Philippines and overcome his phobia of riding airplanes.
Ann waited eight years for Joey to finally visit the Philippines. In 2015, he finally asked her hand for marriage and the happy couple is now married for two years, living in the UK.
4. Pray for your relationship.
They say one of the most important parts of the journey to finding true love is faith. You have to believe that there’s someone out there for you and if you’ve found the one, continue pray for your relationship to work. There are no guarantees to forever!
Bonz had been praying for the right person with specific qualities. When Jhon came to her life, he did not possess everything she’d been praying for but when he asked her hand for marriage, she just said yes!
“͞When he asked me to marry him, I told him yes right away. I think I was ready that time. I was 28 years old and my family is okay with it as well,” said Bonz. “Pray together, pray for the relationship, pray for one another and for the people around you,” advised Bonz.
As in every relationship, there are good and bad sides to it, and missing our partners and loneliness are what makes long distance relationships harder. But whoever said love is going to be easy? Both should work hard for it to work.
LDRs may be tough, but it’ll always be worth the wait – the sacrifices, sleepless, dateless, and lonely nights when the two of you are finally together.
I also believe if two people are meant to be together, they will be together someday, somehow, at some point, no matter the space and distance between them. God will always make a way!