If you would have told me a year ago that I would be in a long distance relationship right now I probably would have laughed. A relationship was not on my radar to begin with and now you want me to add in distance? That would have been a hysterical laugh by the way, followed by an immediate “no.” I was single and about to celebrate graduation in Vegas with my single friends. I was focused on my career goals and considered a relationship a distraction and too time consuming. But here I am, one year later, in a LDR and the happiest I’ve ever been. Long distance isn’t for everyone, but for me it’s been an experience of personal growth and life lessons. I’m sharing what I’ve learned and gained from being in a LDR, as well as eleven secrets to making it work even miles away.
What I’ve learned
I learned to allow myself to be open for once. My level of emotion and inner feelings expanded. I learned how to express myself deeper and clearer and made sure I discussed any issues and dislikes thoroughly. No matter if it would end up good or bad, I laid it all out there whenever I felt a certain way. I learned how to fully commit myself to being vulnerable and allowing another person to feel and see the real me. I learned how to discuss and not argue and to thoroughly listen and wait to speak. I learned how to be completely selfless. I learned how to pick up on energy and body language. I learned a new type of patience. I learned that there is so much more out there than what you deal with or see in your own city. I learned that your soulmate doesn’t have to live up the street. I also finally learned what it means to be fought for and to be a priority right in line with other importances of life. I learned true love. I learned every inch of someone like the back of my hand. I learned what it felt like to be seen as a Queen and to be unconditionally loved by a King. I learned a new, unexplainable kind of happy.
What I’ve gained
I’ve gained love and not lust. Being away from someone for long periods at a time built my relationship’s foundation primarily off intimacy, shared values, morals and key goals. I gained a genuine relationship solidified by compassion and guarantee without having to worry about mixed feelings. I gained a whole new understanding of caring. I gained new levels of trust. I gained a new boost of motivation and the best one of them all, I gained a best friend. Long distance sucks, but if you can make it through a long distance relationship, you know you have the real deal.
11 secrets for long distance lovers:
1. Positivity is everything.
It’s one of the most important ingredients to making a LDR work. Don’t allow negativity, toxicity, outside opinions or comments make you change how you see your relationship.
2. The little things matter and surprises go a long way.
Long distance relationships serve as the perfect opportunity to express and show how you truly feel creatively. Think outside the box. For me, I like popping up with things that hold more meaning than materialistic values. Whether it’s a hand written letter or just a simple text to wake up to, it matters just as much as any gift.
3. Always have your next visit planned.
It makes things a bit easier knowing you will be seeing each other again. Countdowns are fun too. It gears all the excitement to getting ready for the special day.
4. Don’t let jealousy overrule.
Control it and know how to tame it. Nothing brings up more issues than being jealous.
5. Do not fear the questions that need to be asked.
Just ask because it’ll bug you if you don’t. If you need more clarification, ask. If you are scared that the end result will be an argument or a fight, ask anyway. Don’t hold anything in or back.
6. Build a stronghold of trust.
Get to the point where nobody can tell you about your significant other. Nothing harms an LDR more than outside advice and opinions; all advice isn’t genuine advice.
7. Stay busy.
Don’t wrap your entire being around talking to your significant other. LDR’s flourish when they have vibrant lives outside of the relationship. Do everything you would do as if they were right there with you.
8. Don’t forget about intimacy.
It’s so easy to get comfortable and wrapped up in the idea of thinking you’ve made it this far and your relationship doesn’t need all the extra’s you pulled out of the bag in the beginning. It still needs the same level of intimacy, adoration and work as it did before. Keep each other intrigued. Know what your significant other likes. Make them feel wanted and emotionally secure even on opposite sides of the globe.
9. Communicate and have FaceTime dates.
If you don’t have apple products then turn to Skype or ooVoo. Technology is so advanced now that video calls are the biggest blessing for long distance lovers. Set up nights where you can enjoy each other’s company. Take the time out to enjoy actually seeing one another and talk about what’s going on in your lives separately and together. Make each other so aware that you feel like you are there.
10. Be supportive and pray.
There isn’t much physically you can do far away but always let them know emotionally that you’re in their corner and willing to take on their challenges with them. Pray for the struggles they endure or routes that are unsure. Pray for them to have guidance and growth daily.
11. Have a plan.
Know what the both of you need to do in the meantime, dig up a plan, work towards it, and have a guesstimated time frame for when you plan on coming together for good.
“I wonder why people still underestimate the authenticity of long distance relationships. I fell in love with his soul before I could even touch his skin. If that isn’t true love, then please tell me what is.”
Ashley Craddock is an aspiring sports caster who documents all the transitions and life happenings as she evolves into the woman she’s becoming. Find more posts on ashleyavenu.com