Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

Wednesday's Relationship Corner
I remember learning in an undergraduate sociology class about the impact geography played on romance and thinking how sad that was…. Specifically, I thought (at the time) if there is only “one soul mate” for everyone in the world and if you were born on one side of the world and your “soul mate” was on the other side you could end up living a life soul-mateless.

However, through the miracle of Skype I now realize that geography is no longer a barrier to being with your soul mate.

Yes, its possible to have a successful LDR relationship!  It’s just a matter of having the will to make it work.  LDR’s require a lot of work, but for the right person it can be worth it.  So how do you make it work?  Here’s how.

1.  Regular Communication.  With the likes of Skype and G-Chat we have finally reached the Jetson era, where you can actually talk to someone and physically see them – for free!  If you are in a LDR you must frequently take advantage of this, but it should not feel like a chore.  It must be natural, with a yearning to hear from your beloved and share your experiences that occurred during the day.  You can even have fun, by sending random texts letting your beloved know just how special they are to you, or that you were thinking of them.

2. Have an End Date for the LDR.   An LDR Should not be indefinite… This can and will  be trouble eventually.  It’s best to know that the current situation is not permanent and there should be a goal in mind as to when the torture of the LDR will end, and the two of you will be reunited in the same area code.

3. Plan Regular Visits.  My suggestions is to not let your time apart wane greater than 30 days. Each time you see each other make sure you have already planned the next congenial trip visit.  It gives you both something to look forward to and to not feel like “this is the end” after each visit.  More importantly it keeps the relationship alive and from becoming an “imaginary relationship.”

4. Trust is King.  This is a hard one because trust (as I will discuss in a later blog) requires a vulnerable willingness and often, takes time to develop.  However, the truth of the matter is that you have no other option but to trust the person you’re with if you are going to choose to be in an LDR.  Without this, an LDR is fruitless.  To assist with this, communication is key.   You must speak up when something is bothering you and equally about the good things. 

5. Beware.  If you have a propensity for cheating, stay away from LDRs.  In fact, stay away from dating for awhile and really work on this characteristic of yourself.   Cheating is not cool.

6. Be Creative.  Find ways to let your special someone know that they mean the world to you.  Whether it is sending them a bouquet of flowers, a hand written note or a care package, here’s your chance to make the weakness of distance a strength and capitalize on being romantic.

Overall, when it comes to love I do not believe geography should play a limiting role.  This world is way too big to be denied that perfect connection.  Besides, absence does make the heart grow fonder.  But, you BOTH must be committed to the success of a LDR.  Otherwise, it is futile.   

I leave you with 2 stanzas from “Time to Say Goodbye;”  a story about a couple in a LDR (I believe) separated by the distance of a sea and finally united… In fact, in your random act of being creative (Step 6) why not play this song to your beloved. 

Your Non-Relationship Expert, Girl with a blog,

Time to Say Goodbye
When I'm alone I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
There is no light in a room where there is no sun
and there is no sun if you're not here with me, with me.
From every window unfurls my heart the heart that you have won.
Into me you've poured the light,
the light that you found by the side of the road.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I've never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
it's time to say goodbye.

Time to Say Goodbye (Italian Version)
Quando sono sola
sogno all'orizzonte
e mancan le parole,
si lo so che non c'è luce
in una stanza quando manca il sole,
se non ci sei tu con me, con me.
Su le finestre
mostra a tutti il mio cuore
che hai accesso,
chiudi dentro me
la luce che
hai incontrato per strada.

Time to say goodbye.
Paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te,
adesso si li vivrò.
Con te partirò
su navi per mari
che, io lo so,
no, no, non esistono più,
it's time to say goodbye.