My husband and I had gone through long-distance relationship for more than three (3) years with an approximate distance of 6500 miles and 15-hour time difference. With that, we always get asked with questions: “How do you survive being away with each other?” and “Is LDR possible?”. We thought it would be nice to share the things we did in our journey in order to make it work and hope it would help others who are going through the same thing as well.
1. COMMUNICATION. Just like in every relationship, communication is a must. You have to do it FREQUENTLY and it should be based on HONESTY and TRUST. Don’t intend to conceal things and pretend that everything about you is perfect because it is just not the way it is. Make use of the tons of tools available in the market that are usually free for your advantage like facebook, facetime, viber, skype, e-mails and even snail mails!
Frequency and honesty. We would talk for hours in a day about anything! We want to maximize this time to learn about each other’s likes and dislikes. We would even sometimes do cooking sessions together because we talk so much about food!
Snail mails. This can be a good break from the usual video calls. I don’t know about you but there’s something about opening envelopes with handwritten letters fresh from the mailbox. Yes, it can take months before the letter arrives. Yet, it is still worth the try because this effort can be so fun and romantic for the both of you!
2. VISION. Set goals as a couple. Ask questions like “When are we having the next video call again?”, “What are our future plans as a couple?”, “When are we moving on from being in a long-distance relationship?”. Of course, married couples are not meant to spend the lifetime away from each other. We do not intend to stay in this kind of relationship forever! By asking questions like these, you have something to look forward to that lessens the longingness for each other.
Set virtual dates. In our case, we would always try a new coffee place to have our virtual dates or if you’re saving up, you can just set it up at home and make a 3-in-1 coffee. hehehe
Plan and save up to see each other once in a while. Together with my parents, I visited him and his family and friends in Canada.
3. CREATIVITY. It sucks that you don’t get to see and spend time with each other on a regular basis so instead of wallowing yourself in frustration, use your creativity to cultivate your relationship. LDRs don’t have to be boring! You may want to try these:
Flower delivery. He would surprise me with flowers for special events by ordering online or sometimes by asking help from friends or my family members. Just make sure that the website you’re trying is legit. There are also other things you can order online like balloons, cakes, books, etc.
Send gifts via couriers. I’ve tried DHL for a couple of times and they have met my expectations. Just a reminder that when sending gifts internationally, the receiver would sometimes have to pay the customs tax. For this package, Genis had to pay $21CAD (about Php700) just to claim his gift. haha
Send e-gifts via giftaway to each other. Giftaway is such a cool idea for sending e-gifts. It only works for the Philippines though. We’ve tried this for several times too and there are a wide variety of e-gifts to choose from like e-money for restaurants, massage services, etc.
Surprise Videos. you can do videos for him/her. With the help of my wonderful friends from Mustard band, we made a surprise music video for his birthday! You can find the link here.
4. FAITH. For Genis and I, all the things mentioned above will never be enough. In this world where a lot of things are unsure and shaky, our relationship in Jesus Christ has been our solid ground on which we stood. We have learned to love like how Christ has loved us. We have learned to forgive how Christ has forgiven us. We have learned to stay faithful to our commitment to each other because we are committed to Jesus Christ first. I don’t have pictures to show on how we’ve shared our Bible studies and prayer times together but a big chunk of our time has been spent in doing these things.
In closing, I would say LDR is not the ideal setting for any relationships. It sucks to be away from the ones you love. Yet, I hope the things I’ve shared here can help inspire you as you journey in this process until you see each other and begin a life together. If asked whether LDRs are possible? I would say YES! With much effort and prayers, it is possible!