Long Distance Love

Whether it is a consequence of work, college or the pursuit of other endeavors, long-distance relationships are becoming more popular. In fact, according to Statistic Brain, it is estimated that 4 to 4.5 million non-married college couples and 3.75 million married couples are in a long-distance relationship. Nevertheless, being in a long-distance relationship is still challenging. Even with the phone, the internet and the ease of flight, it is still very difficult to cultivate and maintain a healthy relationship from afar. Here are some tips that make a long-distance relationship sustainable.

Do not put your life on hold
Just because your significant other is away does not give you an excuse to put your life on pause until they come back. The two of you are most likely apart for a productive reason, like work or school, but you must realize that living life apart does not have to mean that you will grow apart. Realize that growing apart and growing individually and separately are two very different things. Once you see the difference, the phrase “long-distance relationship” will suddenly take on a new meaning.

Do take this time as an opportunity to grow as an individual
Whether it is a book club, exercise class or new hobby, take advantage of this time to work on yourself. With this newfound time, you can spend more time with your kids, reconnect with old friends and focus on who God wants you to be as an individual. It can be an exciting and empowering time if you approach it with the right mindset.

Do not make surprise visits
It may sound romantic, but probably will not be. Unless your significant other’s friends, family and coworkers all know about the potential visit, it could be a catastrophic event. Your significant other may have a meeting or other important plan scheduled. Additionally, by randomly flying for a surprise visit, you may not be able to capitalize on your fleeting time together because of the spontaneity of the event. However, planned visits are great provided you have the resources. Just make sure you plan ahead!

Do send unexpected letters and care packages
Being apart can be lonesome, but thoughtful notes and gifts can perk up anyone’s day. Send homemade baked goods, favorite treats sold exclusively at your nearby market or photographs. Even silly picture messages via phone will do. Your significant other will appreciate the thought, and you will feel good about brightening his or her day.

Do not neglect the world around you
This may come as a no-brainer, but in the beginning of every relationship, there is always that period where every encounter or phone call seems heaven sent. Eventually, you will come down from cloud nine. However, know that the phone will ring again, and in the meantime, you ought to enjoy the time you have even if it is spent apart.

Do schedule your correspondences
In an effort to avoid obsessing over every call, designate a regular time and day to talk. That way neither of you will interfere with each other’s responsibilities and plans, and nobody is stuck glued to their computer or cell phone. You could even expand this concept to scheduling dates. Use Skype, Oovoo or Gmail Chat as a way to video chat online. You can spend time together doing morning devotions, having a mid-day meal or sharing an evening coffee. The possibilities are limitless!

Long-distance relationships do not have to be miserable. With smart phones and webcams, you can still hear, see and talk to your significant other. Save up money for flights, and you have the whole experience! But with every relationship, time, patience, honesty and persistence are key. Continue to be open with each other about finances, feelings, and current events. Enjoy the time apart, patiently wait for their return, and in no time the days of Skype and emails will only be a memory.

Cresonia is a contributing writer for the Good News of South Florida and can be reached at [email protected].

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