*This article was featured on Rappler on Jan. 15, 2016 🙂
I’ve been on a long-distance relationship (LDR) with R for over a year before he moved to the Philippines to be with me. We’ve had our shares of ups and downs, from him upgrading his phone plan to make more international calls and me learning to be more techie, to us fighting over small things because we are just so tired and can’t be bothered talking on Skype.
An LDR at the beginning of our relationship has definitely worked for us with the lessons I’ve highlighted below:
- We learned to be more patient because we understand that we can’t have everything we want right here, right now.
- We learned to make more compromises.
- We got to build our relationship on trust, commitment and connections, rather than on physical things. For example, when we need encouragement, we can’t simply expect the other to give a hug so we are able to define what we feel in words. When we are frustrated, we can’t simply walk away for we have to talk over things to make things better. At the end of the day though, it’s all about the choices we make.
- We learned to sustain a relationship while not having to compromise our time with family and friends. Best of both worlds!
- We learned to be more creative. More on that later.
Now let’s go with the many ways we used to survive an LDR:
- Connect via all channels available: Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, Email. Our favorite which truly is a hidden gem, is Lovebyte! We totally love this app as it allows us to share privately encoded messages, list down our goals and lessons learned, and highlight our relationship milestones. The app truly personalizes the whole sharing experience.
- Here is Lovebyte’s official video to give you a better overview of the app:
- Celebrate milestones together. Even together or apart, make time for each other on those special occasions. No one’s too busy unless we say we are– “busy” is not an acceptable word in any relationship, whether that is within and with others.
- Celebrate every day. Every day is what brings us to milestones. Oh, and every day is a milestone too!
- Do random acts of sweetness. R sent me this message on Viber instead of the usual “Good morning”.
- Spend weekends together when you can. It is always the least busy, at least work-wise, part of the week so give each other some time to enjoy each other’s company.
- Surprise each other! R sent me a framed embellishment for my wall, which originally was just a simple grid photo I sent him on Viber.
- Reunite when you can! All hard work, patience and sacrifices are always rewarded in the end. Now, the Slurpee Couple is not just a Viber photo or a wall embellishment.
I am definitely happy with how things turned out and this just proves that distance and time differences will never be hindrances to making a relationship work. They say LDR is not for everyone. I agree with this, but when you put in the equation someone who does not put in the effort, who does not love you back, and who puts in games over talking to you on Skype– being with a person not meant for you is definitely not for everyone. I hope no one tries to fit in this kind of situation because it will never be a happy ride.
Life is short and is meant to be spent with people who really care about you. Say “no” to situations where your life, sanity and whole being are to be put on the line. Respect and love yourself for by doing so you can expect others do the same for you 🙂