I have read and heard many sad stories online and in real life about failed relationships because of what seems to be one sole and general reason- long-distance relationships (LDRs) don’t really work.
Turning 2 years now in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend, I am hopeful and happy to believe that this isn’t true. The belief that love is too powerful to conquer and diminish and that it conquers and diminishes all odds is what keeps me in place. We are definitely not a perfect couple, so as to describe our relationship – we often fight and it’s difficult to make up because admit it or not, physical gestures such as kisses and hugs are important elements to make it work.
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In those years (I know this number is quite short to say something that’s unbreakable and still has a lot to prove and test), I managed to think positively and not to overthink things that end up to worse scenarios. There are times that I choose to think that this LDR is making me a better and stronger individual and here are 5 of them:
- When it gave me more time for myself and for my family
When my boyfriend is usually here with me during his vacation, we would plan a lot of things together and that gives me less time with myself and with my family. You can say that you can balance this though, but cases of LDRs are different. We really tend to make the most out of the time we have left with someone who’ll soon go leave for work again, do we?
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So, when he’s not here, I am busy making time for myself and for my family. Solo dates are less because I have family dates! Or if not, I go on quiet dates with myself in coffee shops, make myself busy with work and studies. The result was I became productive with many things! The key is finding one or two things you can be busy of. Maybe it’s about time to do that one project you are passionate about! Soon, you’ll realize you’re doing okay because the love you have to give is also contained in your passion and your family.
2. When I realized I have a career to flourish
I saw this as an advantage – some people find it hard to balance career and love life. Overtime or rest day work hinder you from having “babe time” but because I am in a LDR, what I do is I save my leaves for his comeback and that means a few days or weeks of vacation/bonding with him!
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Without him around, I had more time to focus on my goals for my career. I have a portfolio to enrich with experiences and I have a master’s degree to finish. In these things, he is one of my inspirations. One good thing about it is that he does not fail to shower me with his support. He cheers me up in tough times and would always motivate me to push further. This was when I also realized I am lucky to have him as my person.
3. When it made my heart grow fonder
Yes, it’s cliché to say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but LDR people, I know you agree on this. It’s really a different level of excitement to see someone you love again after a long time. The longer that I haven’t had time with him, the more I love the moments when we are together again. Seeing him again after a few months makes me feel it’s like our first dates again. It’s like the sweetness and thoughtfulness never fades.
Also, as much as possible, we refrain from having fights when we’re physically together. Time seems to be never enough for us, why would we spend it fighting and avoiding each other? We try to talk about and solve issues promptly.
4. When it made me stronger, independent as a woman
I can totally relate if you would say that you’ve had enough of “Me” dates already but then I realized that there are times that I had to do some things alone or, if I would come to think of it, I won’t really need someone to be there like going to the salon for pampering, paying the bills or looking for a place you’ve been dying to find because of its good food and you found it yourself. It’s nicer to have someone around though, but a voice in my mind reminds me it’s okay to be alone and it’s not required. I appreciated the time for and with myself because it feels empowering as a woman and that “Hey, I did it without anyone’s help”, and it makes me smile.
Here’s a tiny point to ponder – what are you without someone else? If you liked and you’re proud of your answer, I think you’re doing well. We need not to put everything of us in one jar because if it breaks, we might find it hard to be whole again.
5. When it made me think more that he’s the one for me
Being in an LDR is beyond difficult of what one can imagine especially if you haven’t been into one yet. It takes great effort, adjustments, patience and a lot more. I believe LDRs have different contexts also that may make it easier or harder for both parties. In my case, I had this random moment when I realized that I could’ve not stayed. I could’ve broken up with him and just find another who will always be physically here with me. What happens to our future? Would there be future for us?
Amidst all these questions, I am returned to one answer that makes me stay – that I love him like no other could. He’s the one because of many reasons or sometimes I can’t really point out, I just know it in my heart. I believe that distance can be conquered by much more powerful thing and that is love.
There are so many ways to counterpart these 5 times because I am much happier when he’s here, when we’re like any other couples who go out and have dates, or when we don’t have to rely solely on Skype and Messenger to communicate. I understand that you may or may not agree on the things I said but we all have our relationships differently in any other ways. For me perhaps, it’s all about hard work and trust.
Because of today’s advances, there are countless ways to make LDR work! Aside from that, we stick to the mantra “If you really want it, you’d find a way to do/have it!” so there is no stopping that love life even from afar. If you both do your best to make it work, it will.
This is an entry to Claire Delfin Media’s ‘Spread The Love Blog’ Promo. The entry with the most number of views will win a roundtrip ticket for two to Cebu via Philippine Airlines, and a two-night stay with free breakfast at Marco Polo Plaza.
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I am Desa Tayting, 22. I have been writing freelance since last year and teaching English full-time.