Keeping the Flame Alive

Relationships are complicated as they are and distance only make things more difficult.”

Long Distance Relationship (LDR) has never been easy. You have to put a lot of effort to make it work. You have to go extra mile, not to mention spend extra bucks just to spend quality time with your love one. Because the absence of physical contact, sometimes the tiniest misunderstanding can trigger world war III and no matter how many emoticons you send, it’s not the same real warm hug from your love one. Some make it through, consoling themselves that the distance is only temporary and there will come a day that Skype/FaceTime session will turn into face-to-face date.

Having said that, I'm happy to say that after all these years of being far from each other, me and my partner were still together, still keeping the flame alive. In fact, we already got married last year to seal the bond of our relationship. Though we’re still separated by distance, it’s only a matter of time we’re waiting to be together permanently. Looking back on how we started, I could say it’s really a milestone on how we’re able to overcome the hurdles of our long distance love affair. It’s hard to maintain indeed and sometimes very frustrating. There were days that I ache for his absence most especially during important occasions. There are times that we argue over petty things and there’s also a big one, a reason that made our relationship goes towards the borderline. To tell you honestly, I couldn't count on how many times we tried to break up and how many buckets of tears I cried. But at the end of the day, when all the issues have settled and realize each other’s mistakes and shortcomings, forgiveness comes in. I think one of the reasons why we’re still together is we love each other deeply that we couldn't let go of one another.

In my opinion I think there’s no actual formula that you can apply to make your long distance relationship work but I believe that there are ways to keep the flame alive. This is what I gather on being in a long distance relationship.

1. Always communicate. Communication is very important to make LDR work. In this age of technology (thanks to smartphone, we're connected 24/7), there are so many means to choose from - Texts, calls, e-mails, viber, skype, or even snail mail – it’s up between you and your partner of which is the most convenient medium for both of you. My partner and I make sure that we always call or text each other despite our busy day, or we chat whenever we have time. Send him/her lovey dovey message or a simple I love you or I miss you, good morning/goodnight whenever you can. After all, wouldn't be nice to know that your partner always thinking of you.

2. Spend quality time together. Make time to visit each other as much as you can albeit the cost you splurge and the distance you have to travel. My partner is always trying his best to visit me personally as often as he could. We go and do activities together to make the most of his visit.

3. Be patient with each other and resolve your misunderstanding immediately. Misunderstanding between relationships cannot be avoided and sometimes it can be overwhelming. However, don’t let negative emotions get the best for both of you and don’t sleep without reconciling your differences. Don’t let pride get in the way because it will make matter worse and complicate things. 

4. Trust each other. Being away from each other is not a reason to forget your commitment. Likewise lacking trust with your partner would often raise doubts, suspicion and jealousy. It’s normal to crave for affection and somehow we want an assurance that you’re the only one in his/her life. However, both partners should talk about this things and make sure that you always on the same page, willing to endure and conquer the distance. Don’t give him/her enough reasons to distrust you.

5. Send gifts or cards to express your affection, care and appreciation. Obviously, this sweet little gesture means a lot to our partner. It is one way of expressing our love and commitment to one another. Regardless of its cost, how big or small your present is, the most important thing is to show how much you care and appreciate his/her.

6. Set goals. All long distance relationship is just temporary, but for how long, partners should talk about it. You should set goals and plans in your long distance relationship so that you have something to look forward to. I believe one of the reasons why LDR work is because we share a common goal - to end up with each other for the rest of our lives. I know, we’re still a baby on our married life and we have a long way to take but it’s a learning process and continuous passion.

I am not trying to be an expert in LDR. I have my fair share of ups and downs in my relationship. What I would like to point out is that long distance relationship is a joint effort, a teamwork between you and your partner. Yes, it is difficult. I can’t deny that, but what’s keeping you together is the bond of love and commitment for one another not just physical contact.