Personally, a foolproof formula on successful long-distance relationships (LDR) is totally nonexistent. However, if you’re looking for testaments on how some LDR couples have made / are making their relationship work (and you’re on the same boat), then read on!
Leaving on a Jet Plane
Triggered by a debate topic and suggestion from a colleague, I was tweezed out of my comfort zone to type my introverted heart out.The topic, “long-distance relationships are impossible!”, was quickly shot down with vague answers, without further insight or explanation. Dissatisfied, I presented the topic to several offline humans, which was met with earnest variations of ‘it depends.’ I also sent him the topic and asked if he was up for the challenge. Now, here we are.
Hey There Delilah
16 hours. A carefully curated Spotify playlist on shuffle.Artists after artist craftily construct a blissful lineup of sugar-filled jams that somehow illustrate the ripening of our romantic narrative. Super cheesy, but I’ve always been one to attach meaningful humans to meaningful lyrics. Now, unpredictability has temporarily stranded us here, half a world away, relaying sweet nothings across islands of borrowed time. Although most of my brain is submerged in unrelenting optimism, phobic pieces still drown in the possibility that somewhere down the line, this relationship will dramatically go down, Titanic-style.
Fortunately, as all relationships go, we’re not alone in facing fears, anxieties, and doubts that tend to plague romantic narratives. In terms of LDR, I often overlook the fact that as a military brat, my parents (among other military couples), have heroically endured tremendous periods of geographic gaps to make their relationship/marriage work. Other examples include LDR couples challenged with attending separate schools in different parts of the country.I’ve spoken to one of these duos, Jorje and Robin (super real names) to quickly exemplify how LDR are totally possible.
Jorje & Robin
Dating: 2.5 Years
Both based in California, but Robin attends college in Florida.
How did you feel about going long distance?
Sad, but confident.
How was your first month apart?
Both: First few weeks were tough.
Jorge: A few weeks in, I felt that I can do this.
Robin: Same, but some days were harder.
How did you prepare?
Both: Figure out time and schedule accordingly.
How do you guys stay connected?
Talk for 30min – 1hr a day. Stay in touch through social media, video calls and recaps of day.
Are LDR impossible?
No, you need to have a lot of trust and communication with each other, as well as love and understanding.
I Won’t Give Up
This year, my friend will marry the man she began a years-long LDR with. When I asked how they made it work, she simply said that they did their own thing and made time to communicate (via FaceTime & messaging). A key takeaway from this is to not forget about yourself, no matter what kind of relationship you’re in. Be present and live your life! In periods of self-doubt, he softens blows of combative mood swings with shared fears, and constant reassurance that relationships work if both people are willing and determined to make it work. I chime in that fears also indicate that you don’t want it to fail. We’re not experts in any of this, just learning like the rest of y’all. We revert to sweet nothings. The challenge continues.
*place in separate box*
* In the US, 14 million couples define themselves in a LDR.
* 3.75 million married couples are in a LDR.
* 32.5 % of all LDR are college relationships.
* 75 % of all engaged couples have been (at some point) in a LDR.
* 4.5 months – the average time before a LDR breaks down.
* 40 % of all LDR ends with a break-up.
* 70 % of all failed LDR fails due to unplanned changes.