Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Maintain A Long Distance Relationship

Someone close to me mentioned she was planning to relocate to another city to seek a better life. Moving is absolutely right for her career advancement but the clog in the wheel seems to be what will become of her relationship. Should she give up on what she shares with her boyfriend because she was moving out of the country? Or should she stay in the relationship and not mind the distance and all the challenges it could bring?

Having that conversation with her made me acknowledge the obvious. There are more people in long distance relationships than we know.  Most people don’t set out to be in long distance relationships but life happens and some decisions have to be taken.Keeping a relationship is generally tricky and most people will agree with me it takes a lot of work and dedication on both sides. How then do people who love across cities and oceans keep the flames burning?
How does one resolve disputes? How do people in such relationships stay faithful?  I am sure many people know the story of a friend or cousin that got shocked into reality after holding on to a supposed relationship with someone faraway only to realize it was a huge mistake.
No matter the ills, people keep this kind of relationships and it thrives.

From personal experience and reading several journals, the points below would be helpful if you are in such relationship or about to embark on one.

You need to communicate very often. You are not allowed to be too busy not to at least send one or two messages or make a call through an entire day. Well, only reason might be you are at a war front and couldn’t get network connection. Asides from extreme situations such as that, communication is key because that is the only way you can express your feelings and make up for the physical absence. Technology has made this so much more achievable through all kinds of apps and interface. Constant communication strengthens the bond and makes it easier to deal with the absence.
You should be mindful of grudges in this kind of relationship because the lack of physical presence can escalate an issue that could have been easily resolved. Understand your partner and don’t be too quick to judge their situations. Be in control of your temper and be ready to bury your ego in resolving issues.

You need to be open. This kind of relationships thrive on trust and good understanding. Both of which are earned over time. Some issues can be avoided if your partner is aware of the reasons why particular things took place. It doesn't matter that you are not in the same place, if you are going to be staying out late, let the other person know. Carry each other along on the happenings in each other's life just to avoid drama.

You need to have plans and expectations.  You should know where the relationship is leading to. It makes no sense to be in a relationship you are unsure about while shunning other prospects. If you are both serious about it and want to make it work, then you should make plans. My husband and I stayed in different cities before we got married but we agreed at some point after my law school, I was going to move to the city where he was for my youth service to make things a lot smoother. Having common goals and expectations such as marriage plans makes the commitment easier. That way, you’d know there is a time frame for the separation and you will both work bearing in mind that once the time frame elapses, you will be back together.

You need to visit each other often. Come on, how can you be in a relationship with someone that stays four hours away and you haven’t seen yourselves in years? That doesn’t look like a relationship that is being taken seriously on both ends. Much as communication helps, seeing each other at intervals is also very healthy for the relationship to bloom. You need to be familiar with your partner’s environment. Like understand what his/her day is like. You are likely going to feel less awkward around eachother if the visits are done regularly.
I understand this could be hard sometimes especially the logistics involved if the other person is out of the country but effort still has to be made towards visiting. To weather this storm, you can make permanent plans and take major decisions such as relocating.

Whatever relationship you are into, it takes hard work, disipline and dedication for it to thrive. If you both love yourselves, then you should be dedicated to the growth of what you share. Stay positive and let it flow.

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