Personal Guide: Dealing with a long distance relationship (LDR)
a romantic relationship between two people who live far apart and so are unable to meet on a frequent basis.
Ever thought you would be in this kind of situation or set up? I sure didn’t, but apparently this is my reality now. Sure, it doesn’t really suck but it’s definitely not ideal either. Robbie and I have been together for 3 years now and the first 2 years and 10 months of our relationship we were both in Manila together. 2 months ago, Robbie moved to the beautiful island of Boracay which is definitely not so far, I mean, it’s an hour away via airplane. 2 months, it hasn’t been that long yet but it definitely feels like forever already. Robbie decided to move because of a better work opportunity so of course I’m going to support him all the way but to be completely honest that doesn’t mean I was exactly ecstatic about the move. Don’t worry, before writing this post I made sure to tell Robbie that I was going to be completely honest and he’s fine with it.
The big question: How do we make it work?
Yes, its only been 2 months but as early as now we’ve found ways to make our relationship stronger. The first month was unbearable. Mostly because I’m a very jealous person and I like to be in the loop, you could say I have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Which is definitely not a good combination if you decide to be in a long distance relationship. This is going to sound totally cliché but it’s the truth, so to answer the question above: there are 4 factors that help make our relationship stronger even with the distance. Communication, honesty, trust and individuality.
Communication is definitely a given and a number 1 priority, we’re both lucky that we live in the age of social media where we have so many different ways to reach out to each other. Of course we use the typical texting and calling but what’s great about the different apps nowadays is that I can even tell him how I feel by sending him gifs or memes (yes we are millennials), I can give him real time updates on where I am and what I’m doing by sending him snapchats and I get “facetime” with him by having scheduled FaceTime dates. It’s definitely hard for me because I’m the type of person who shows her affection with physical interaction so this was a huge adjustment for me but I take it day by day and I’m slowly adapting to it and coming to better terms with the situation.
Honesty. In our relationship we have no secrets, it’s not a rule or a requirement, but just something that we do. Robbie and I don’t keep anything from one another, not because we’re overbearing and overly protective but we genuinely like sharing everything with each other. Because of this, we’ve become closer and gotten to know each other better. For example, if I do something stupid or something good or bad happens to me while he isn’t here I will automatically tell him. Not because I’m guilty, it’s just I believe he has to know these things so that he will always understand where I’m coming from and I personally don’t like the feeling of finding out things from other people, so I don’t want him to feel that way either.
Trusting someone is definitely not something that’s easy to do, until now I have trust issues because of previous experiences in life. I used to tell him all the time “It’s not you who I don’t trust, it’s the people around you”. Which I realized is still not a fair statement because even though I was telling him this, I was still mad at him and picking fights. In my opinion, even if I said that it would still show that I, in fact, didn’t trust him. Because if I did, no matter who he was around I would still trust in the fact that he would make the right decisions, even if he was surrounded by bad influences. Trust definitely didn’t come easy for me, but when I finally let my walls down and decided to trust him 100% it cancelled out a lot of unwanted negative feelings from my end and I can positively say that we’re in a better place now because of this.
Finding, growing and maintaining our individuality has got to be the most important for me to be able to deal with the situation that we’re both in now. For the past 2 years that we were together we were starting to be so consumed with one another and making our world just revolve around our relationship. We were starting to forget about the world outside of our relationship and everything was centered on us, as a couple, and not as individuals. Being apart for these past 2 months have made me realize that I also have to focus on me, Lauren, without Robbie being by my side physically. And now is a good chance for me to dive into things that I forgot about when we became a new couple.
Reality is I wasn’t 100% sure that this set up was going to work for us and it was and still continues to be a challenge for our relationship. We have good days and bad days whether or not we’re in the same place. I could have said up there that it’s really love that keeps us strong but as I grow older I’ve realized that love is just one factor in a relationship and if you want it to work, to last and to have a meaningful one then it really does take so much more work than just two people simply being in love. Recently I’ve gotten back into being myself, as Lauren the individual, I’ve also realized that instead of taking this the wrong way I could turn our situation into a positive. As I mentioned earlier we were starting to forgot who we were before we began dating, so now, I’m getting back in touch with my creative side, focusing more on work and moving forward with life in general. I could have taken this move as a bad thing, I could have given up on us or simply whined about it everyday but instead I’m taking it a day at a time, and I guess I’m really lucky that I’m dating a guy like Robbie, because this honestly wouldn’t work if we both weren’t willing to make sacrifices and make this happen.
This new journey of mine with Robbie is just beginning, I look forward to figuring out again who I am as an individual and growing with Robbie even with the distance between us. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Boracay is one of the most beautiful islands in the world and I’m only an hour away. *winkwink* It’s also our 3rd year anniversary today, so happy anniversary to us! <3