Managing Long-Distance Relationships

My boyfriend and I are about to have our first year together a month from now. The only reason why it probably sucks is that he’s unsure yet when he’ll be back home. It’s been two months and counting since I’ve been in his arms, and I do greatly miss being wrapped around him in my sleep.

If you think about it, we spend most of our time apart. I am based and working in UAE, while he spends most of his time traveling for business abroad in countries where he’s assigned to. We’re almost always not in the same time zones but even so, our relationship still feels like the most intimate I’ve had in my life.

He inspired me to write this piece today, in celebration of how we survive a seemingly long-distance relationship. Here’s a couple of things that worked for us:

Firstly, is that we try to communicate everyday as much as our schedules permit. He’s undeniably a very busy man and yet, I’m quite thankful that he finds the time to text me throughout the day when he can. I believe it would be especially difficult to do long-distance if you’re the type to prefer talking face-to-face. Not that we don’t, but having the tolerance and persistence to still communicate via text almost 80-90% of the time is still a feat on its own. And for some reason, we never run out of things to talk about — even if it is something light, or silly. We’ve gone a long way when it comes to our communication skills, and we just keep getting better at it.

Secondly, we almost never fight. I’ve said it before, but we don’t really have anything to fight about, quite literally. And even if we have a spat out of the blue, we do make up almost instantly. We don’t dwell on past problems either, which is something that I’ve learned to appreciate from my past relationships where used to keep tabs on each other.  With him, I focus more on my, his and our happiness than creating something to fight about.

Third is that we are always there for each other, no matter what. That sounds very cheesy, but it is true. A problem I used to have with long distance relationships is that I seem to often feel alone, especially when I have good news to celebrate or bad news that needs comfort with. But with him, I surprisingly never felt that. He is always there for me, through thick and thin. And he’s always, always supportive of whatever I set to do, and been my rock all this time. I love how he opens my mind to so many new things, and how he helps me become a better person everyday. Even if we are apart, it doesn’t feel much like we are.

Fourth, is that he taught me the power of choice. My mom said something quite strange to me one time about my boyfriend, which is: “It’s a good thing that your focus is only on him, despite him being away all the time.” It was weird to me that people seem to expect that just because my partner is away, I have all the reasons to look for another one. I know I could and he knows it too, but it’s a matter of choice. I know I have all the freedom to be with someone else, or to cheat on his behind, but I value my relationship with him more than any other potential love interest there could be. That, and I respect him tremendously.

Fifth, is that we give each other space when necessary. Like I said, he’s quite a busy man and has lots of priorities, so as a girlfriend, I try my best to give him the time and space he needs because I do not want to stress him out even further. There are times when I’m a clingy baby of course, but I understand when he doesn’t have the time to coddle me and I try to respect that as much as I can; though to be fair, boundaries are very important when it comes to relationships in general, not just LDRs.

Sixth is that we focus on growth individually, and together. Being that he is older than me, I tend to lean on him most times as my mentor in life. He helps me develop my character in a lot of ways, and I pay back by being supportive of him in his work. He knows the right motivation to get me to do things, and pushes me without becoming controlling or overbearing. We’ve also slowly started to talk about our relationship on long-term basis like probably moving somewhere where we can be a little bit more together. I believe it is also vital in a long-distance relationship to see it having a future because that’s what moves the relationship even further.

Lastly, we’ve not seen each other for a while now but our relationship has not gone cold. Lots of people I know keep on tease me if we are even still together, or if he’s still my boyfriend, because I’ve not talked about him. Yes, we’re still together and he’s still my boyfriend. We’re mostly apart and yet, strangely enough, our relationship just keeps getting stronger. Our chemistry is something that I haven’t experienced with anyone else,  and it’s undeniable. We’re just as excited about each other as we had when we first met.

How about you? What are your relationship tips for doing long-distance arrangement?