*Background gist* I’m in a long distance relationship (LDR for short) and so i’m kinda writing this based on firsthand knowledge.
Now that we’ve gotten that outta the way, let’s move on to more pressing matters.
I’m not going to lie and say LDR is the best thing that has happened to me since ketchup, (I mean, ketchup has to be the best thing ever invented), but nah, it has been challenging, and hard and tiring. I’ve constantly been feeling like I’m missing out on lots of fun and exciting things especially on those lonely days when I get on social media and everyone is posting pretty pictures with the ‘boo’ and all I can think of is “Manz not hot’!! *Skiaaaaa*
But the thing is, I’ve learned a lot in my 16 months of LDR. I’ve learned to focus on the important things, I’ve learned to communicate a lot better, I’ve learned to be creative and expressive. Every relationship takes a truck load of energy and effort to work, LDR and non-LDR, only that these are in different forms.
Here are a few tips that can help you not just survive but thrive and enjoy your LDR
- Communicate, The main reason why people grow apart isn’t distance, people grow apart when they stop having mutuality. When your routines change, when your mutual friends change, when you can’t keep track of what’s happening in your individual lives, then what’s there to gist about? Slowly, talking over the phone becomes such a bore and before you know it, the ‘I don’t think we’re compatible anymore’ gist comes up and someone starts over-eating or over-working depending on how serious you are about life. Thanks to WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, and a host of other Apps, communicating is now a lot easier and dynamic. You get to see each other, you get to hear each other’s voice. But then be sure you’re talking about everything, the fun stuff, the interesting stuff, the routine stuff, pretty much EVERYTHING.
- Prioritize your relationship with your partner above other social commitments. It’s very easy to begin to take one another for granted because you’re miles apart and so it is extremely important that you consciously put the other person ahead of your other friends.
- Plan, make solid, realistic plans except of course you plan to do LDR all your life, which will be extremely weird. Start making plans for the future, talk about where you’re headed with the relationship, think about the big picture, this creates hope which you can hold on to on days when you’re weary – because trust me, you will get weary.
- Be Creative, come up with new exciting ways to have fun with your partner (google is your friend!), surprise them with gifts and nice stuff, send them goofy videos, read books together, do things that you’d ordinarily not do to make things fun. The list is endless if you’re all for a fun LDR.
- Guard Your Heart! This is probably the most important part of sustaining your LDR. Truth is, you’d meet really cool people, amazing people that tick all your boxes and they’d have an advantage over you partner because, well, they’re here now and they’re everything. In order to avoid the unnecessary heartache and confusion of having to choose between your partner on diaspora and the ‘here now and everything’ person, just guard your heart and stay away from situations/people that might endanger your LDR.
Truth is, LDRs are hard; every relationship is hard actually. You just have to put in the work, stay focused and keep the spark from fizzling out. Happily ever after is not exclusive to non-LDRs. LDRs too end up on BellaNaija weddings. Stay Strong!