Posted on May 28, 2014

Long-Distance Relationships

Expat

I’ve posted before about trying to maintain relationships with family and friends at home while being an expat but I thought we should talk about maintaining a romantic long-distance relationship. You may be separated from your mate by a mere few hours-drive; a lengthy bus/train ride away or even oceans may separate you. Regardless of the distance, there is nothing worse than being separated during memorable milestones (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries). The endless good mornings, and goodnights on the end of a receiver, falling asleep to the sound of your mates voice and the aching to show physical affection are just a few indicators of how challenging a long-distance relationship can be.

As an expat, I think it is more difficult to adjust to a long-distance relationship with all the stressors of relocating to a new environment and embarking on a new job. Depending on how far you are from your mate time zone differences will play a huge role in how effective your communication will be.
Here are my few tricks to help cope:
 1. Nothing is boring: What may seem boring to talk about in a regular (non-long distance) relationship should not be ignored. Share what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Talk about what you bought at the supermarket, what you plan on making and what you love to eat at the moment.
These things will strengthen how well you know each other. You don’t want to come off as complete strangers when you meet up again.
2. Milestones are Important: Even thou can’t make it, occasions are important. Try to do something nice for the other to make them feel you care and they aren’t forgotten. This can be elaborate, sentimental or just a simple unexpected phone call, send flowers and try to be creative.
3. Be Emo (emotional): This is so important. Because you can’t show how you feel you need to be able to speak how you feel. So a simple love yah… becomes I will always love you, you’re the love of my life…blah blah blah. This goes the same for when you’re upset, irritated and annoyed. You have to understand they can’t see the stiff body language, slamming doors,rolling eyes so you need to be able to explain yourself as calm and coherent as possible. Raging lunatic phone call will end things quick.
4. Be realistic: Be considerate: This is hard for most women especially when they are in a rage of emotions (PMS), but keep in mind that it is hard on both people to be in a long-distance relationship. If you feel you are acting on the side of crazy, miss the phone call and call back when you’ve return to your sane self.
5. Trust it: I think this is the most important aspect of a long-distance relationship, well every relationship but can you imagine doubting 90% of your partners reasons/excuses. It will eat away at both you and the relationship and it is so much more fun and easy to be in a state
of bliss then of psychotic.
6. Make it count: It is so easy to forget what really counts in life. So make every call, meeting, video chat something to remember. If it isn’t worth going the extra mile to make it count then you shouldn’t be in it at all.
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