Long distance relationships are nowadays a common social phenomenon to the point to become an almost standardized relationship pattern. In spite of all the myths surrounding LDR as projects doomed to failure in the short term, about 40% usually fail and 10% end in marriage. Sure, if no changes are planned for, about 70% of LDR will probably end but it’s also true that generally, and in no LDR – let’s say “NDR” for “normal distance relationships” – as well, we must include changes in the planification of future steps in order to develop the relationship and bring it to the next level.
As I am currently in a LDR, I was able to gather some experience in both positive and negative terms and convert the data into some basic rules to live the relationship with all its difficulties and complications and develop it, as it was a so-called “normal” relationship. Until now, I do not understand what “normal” should stand for..
- Do not stick to words: We all sometimes unwittingly say words we should not use in that context but we aren’t human dictionaries. It doesn’t mean that we have to weigh every single lemma, but paying attention when we speak out something particular will help us to avoid getting uncomfortable. On the other hand, we will have to be flexible towards our partner considering linguistic and emotional difficulties.
- Always consider the language of communication: if you come from different countries with different mother tongues, always take into account that it will more likely to lead to misunderstandings. Try to think, if possible, through your partner’s mind in order to understand their intention. If it doesn’t work, ask them directly and clear misunderstandings right away.
- Always consider cultural differences: LDR and intercultural relationships are not easy. An intercultural LDR is then a real challenge but still represents the most common type of relationship due to the augmented mobility rate and the easier accessibility in many countries in the world. As for the previous point, always try to see things through your partner’s glasses without getting to fast conclusions. Often what you understood is definitely not what they meant…
- Set couple’s rules but softly: You are no captain or army general. Set rules for your gear to work properly but do it after discussing them with your partner. Never impose yourself but never let someone impose anything over you.
- Develop a schedule or a general plan for your meetings: We cannot foresee what will happen but we can develop a plan and try to follow it as much as we can. Set a provisory schedule for the next rendezvous and adopt as the fundamental and priority objective to see each other on the short or mid-term, no matter what happens. A long wait before reuniting is not bad but shall not become a habitude.
- Write or call each other every day: Don’t think this is too much and don’t listen to those who tell you they call each other once every two days. Communication is the key. Even five minutes, a short update of what happened during the day or simply because you want to hear their voice. Call before going to sleep, say “good night, till tomorrow” and tell them you will talk again, when the sun rises. Associating light and warmth to your beloved one will give you peace and tranquility.
- Sacrifices and compromises: Two magic words you shall never forget. See friends, go out and have fun but always find time for your beloved one. Stop making decisions based on what’s best for you and start thinking about what’s best for you two as a couple. Be sure, then, that your partner will do the same because every strong relationship is built on two even pillars. Get down to compromises and never regret a sacrifice you made to take care of your relationship.
- Trust and self-control: Trust is the base for a successful relationship. Your partner won’t cheat on you, if your relationship has a strong and well established basis. Trust your feelings and the steps you built together, as well as the moments you shared and that strengthened mutual understanding and tied up the connection between you and your partner.
- Patience: Everyone has a personal schedule, especially when you’re alone, never forget this. Don’t get angry or nervous if your partner doesn’t answer a text right away, writes a short message or waits until late evening to call you back. On the contrary, be happy that they found time in their schedule to answer and they thought about you, even if their day was plenty of plans and appointments to arrange.
- Never leave issues unsolved: Try to talk with your beloved one until you get to the solution of every discussion you have, before it escalates in your partner’s mind. Going to bed angry or sad will only augment the distance between you.
- Don’t listen too much to what others say: Your partner is important. Sure, friends are too but try to avoid giving them more importance or more time on your schedule than what you give to your beloved one. Even if you’re miles apart, it shall not change the value scale. Moreover, friends can help you and give you good points to reflect upon but don’t let them influence you or your perception of what’s really worth fighting for in your life.
In conclusion, these aren’t steel rules which will prevent you from breaking up with your partner. Relationships develop and end on a very personal base and don’t follow a general process. What my tips aim for is to encourage you to take care of your partner in the exact measure as you wish him or her to take care of you. Love shall be the basic ingredient, to which you might add some tablespoons of comprehension, 2 cups of patience, a pinch of self-consciousness and tons of love.