Does distance make the heart grow fonder?

distance

My boyfriend and I recently celebrated our 6th year anniversary. Almost three of these six years have been spent as a long distance relationship. The first five years were pretty smooth, but my recent move out west brought upon distance problems for the first time. Fortunately, like in any situation in life, we learn and grow from tough experiences. Being more than 2000 miles apart has actually given me a deeper understanding about our relationship.

People always ask me “how do you do it?” Well, I don’t have all the answers when it comes to relationships, but I do want to share what I’ve learned to be crucial in keeping a healthy and happy connection.

 Communicate!

  • There’s a difference between open communication versus good communication

  • Open communication = being able to talk about everything and anything

  • Good communication = open communication + a mutual understanding [not necessarily agreeing, but definitely understanding]

  • Miscommunications can happen regardless of open communication

I am open and honest to Andy on just about everything and I make sure he understands my view. Along with this, I believe Andy truly appreciates my effort in reciprocating this mutual understanding by acknowledging his perspective. It’s equally important to make sure my thoughts are heard but to also understand his side of things as well.

Make Time

  • Lack of physical interaction leaves everything up to text messages, phone calls, and the occasional Skype session

  • I resorted to unplanned phone calls and constant texting as our way of conversation but the 3-hour time difference created a barrier

  • To fix this, we planned out free time to talk – this respects each person’s schedule and makes for better conversation without all the distractions

Stay Captivated

  • As mentioned earlier – modes of communication become more limited and without a physical interaction, it requires that much more work in keeping each other captivated

  • Finding things that are more meaningful to share or talk about keeps conversations entertaining

I’m guilty of sharing my mundane day-to-day events and constantly asking the same question “what have you done today?” Andy is in med school so I already know the answer to that… “just studying.” Finding other things to talk about creates an engaging conversation. Also small gestures like [sealed-stamped-and-mailed!] hand written letters create spontaneity instead of resorting to the normal digital texts we see on our phone/computer screens. The small gestures have huge, rewarding effects.

Have a Future Game Plan

  • This game plan could range from relocation decisions or just the next rendezvous date

  • Being far away from each other is already difficult but not knowing when the next time we’ll see each other makes it harder…

  • But by planning things out we truly have something to look forward to!

Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or not, always remember that relationships take effort. To all those in long distance relationships: keep your spirits up and learn to find strength in each other. Long distance relationships definitely are not easy. Know that your love for one another can help carry the relationship until you are able to be reunited again.

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