Posted by AfroElle On 3:07 AM
It’s true that while absence makes the heart grow fonder on the other hand it can also make the heart sick. Long distance relationships can be taxing on the mind specifically if you are not prepared to deal with the ups and downs that it can bring. I had no idea what I was getting into when I unexpectedly ventured into my first long distance romance so the moment that doubt set in, and it will, I wanted to turn to some solid advice on ways to make it work.
The first time I met him was when I was a toddler being carried on my mother’s hip. That was long before I ever knew what love was or for that matter even cared; and long before I became a military brat and moved out of state to places where the smallest thought of him would be washed away by the current of life. That is, if fate hadn’t intervened and brought me back home as a teenager where we would ultimately meet again this time as boyfriend and girlfriend. I remember his smile, the color of his skin, the texture of his hair – recent pictures show that he’s shaved it off now, and I can remember the feeling I got whenever I was around him. We weren’t permitted to be alone back then. I recall not being able to leave the porch steps whenever he came to visit and my grandmother watching us like a drill sergeant from the marine core at the screen door so as to make sure that he didn’t try to slip in a kiss. And there was nothing more that I wanted than to be swept away in a kiss.
Now, fifteen years later, fate has brought us together again.
The beauty of embarking upon a long distance romance is that you get to know one another in an invaluable light without feeling the need to be rushed. If you are honest, you can expose each other to the person you really are. The downside is one that can’t be overlooked; you are not together. And it can be something as small as not being able to reach him for an extended period of time that will make you doubt and your own insecurities set in. I have found the following tips to be the most helpful in either case.
Trust one another
Trust has to be the first step. Whenever doubt sets in, and once again it will, especially if you’ve been hurt before, remind yourself that you trust him/her. It’s impossible to know what’s going on if you’re separated by distance. And hey, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s going on if you’re not. That is, unless you’re a secret agent, which, we all know how to be if we needed to be regardless of how inaccurate we tend to be. Who has the time for all of that? I’m not saying that you should be naïve. Instead, if you want to give your relationship a chance, trust that there is a bigger plan. Trust that things will work themselves out. Trust that he will trust you and that you are capable of trusting him.
Regardless of what you think is going on however many miles away trust is going to be a key component in your relationship. I am finding that is almost like forgiveness. You do it for you, not for the other person. It keeps you sane.
Have a Plan
If you have evolved from getting to know one another to being in a committed relationship, you must also determine what your plans are if you want it to succeed. What do you want out of your relationship? Where do you see yourselves in a few years? And know that eventually something has to bring you two together whether you move to be closer to him or he moves to be closer to you. When the time is right, this is a topic that you two should definitely explore.
Plan to Meet
It is also important to discuss when you will have the opportunity to meet one another. If you can’t get together once a month, what about once every other month, if not then when? Spending quality time enforces the bond that you two have already worked so hard to create during those lengthy telephone calls or loveable emails that you both enjoy.
Communication is another key component when building any lasting relationship. Plan to talk and or email/text one another often even if all you have to say is good night or how was your day? I even heard some people who like to send love letters or attend Skype dates. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, so long as you communicate. Also respect boundaries. Don’t get upset if the other person isn’t readily available. Instead of letting doubt creep in, let that be an opportunity to miss each other more making the next time you connect that much sweeter.
Your long distance romance is an opportunity to get to know one another in ways you probably wouldn’t have tried before. If you prepare yourself, it can evolve into a relationship that can be enforced by the trust you share, the plans you make, the times you meet, and how you communicate. I trust that there is a bigger picture at work and that bigger picture is undoubtedly the reason my friend and I have crossed paths again. I’m counting down the days until we reunite but for now I hold the times we share and those special memories we have close to my heart.