LDRs can work!
In January of last year, I relocated to Shanghai, leaving my life as I knew it behind, including my boyfriend. He supported me 1000% and we agreed that we would find a way to make it work. See, I was pursuing a dream of moving back to Asia to live for an extended period of time and he wanted to support me in making a dream come true, as I had supported him in making his dreams come true.
It is now almost 1 year to the day I first left. I just came home from dropping him off at the airport and we are stronger than ever. In some ways, being separated has helped us realize how much we love each other and that there is nothing we wouldn’t be willing to live through to make each other happy. So, why do we work? I thought I would share some of our strategies. If they work for us, maybe they would work for you
- We share a common goal – Sharing a common goal: I think this is the single most important thing you can do as a LDR couple. Figure out what you want to do, be, achieve together and work towards it together. I’m not saying it will be easy, but having something you are both shooting for is an incredibly strong force that keeps you together. Why? Because with this goal, you are building a future together. You have a common understanding of where you want to be and you can focus on that as a way to keep your connection strong. If you have areas of growth, you can work ont hem together. If there are things you are strong in that he/she is not, you can fill in those bits for each other. It’s win-win all around!
- We follow our passion and share our successes with each other – Having a common goal doesn’t mean you lose yourself. You still need to have your own goals and targets which you want to achieve, areas that you want to grow in. You still need to have your own life. Being separated by 100s or 1,000s of miles should make that easy. Many couples become so consumed with each other that they forget that they need to have a life of their own. This the second most critical component. Strive towards a goal together, but don’t forget who you are, what you want to achieve. It’s OK to have things for yourself. It allows you to bring freshness the relationship by sharing things you are doing and bringing novelty to the relationship. For example: my honey attend a business meeting every week and I get to hear all about it when we talk. And you know what? He is so excited and recharged when he comes home from his meeting, he puts wind in MY sails!
- We help each other grow in our time apart – Growing together allows you to grow old together. I’m not perfect and neither is he, but one of the most uplifting and invigorating things is when he tells me of a struggle he overcame, something new he learned or experienced or when he did something that was out of his comfort zone. And I know it’s the same for him! It is so enriching to our relationship. We learn a lot from each other, so we continue to look for opportunities to expand ourselves.
- We believe in each other and the depth of our love – He is the best Cheerleader I have and I am the same for him. We believe in each other and our abilities without question. It’s incredibly empowering to know you have someone who believes in you in your corner. It makes you feel almost invincible. And we believe in the power of love and we know that (yeah… it may be cheeky) our love will conquer anything that get thrown on our path.
- We put each other first – Putting each other first is something that will only work if you both do it. You can’t be in a situation where you put your significant other first and they put themselves first. There has to be trust and you have to feel and know you are his/her number one priority. Without that, it’s a one way street straight to Break-up Town.
- We give each other 100% attention when we are together – 100 % attention. Presence. No matter how or what you call it, when you are together, BE together. Forget the phone. Forget the emails. Live in the moment. Absorbed in each other’s being. Nothing else in the world should matter but you two, in that moment.
- We connect daily by whatsapp, skype, phone – A day does not go by when we don’t speak to each other at least twice. It feels like something is missing if we don’t. It doesn’t mean we have to spend hours on the phone. Sometimes, it’s just a quick “Hey Hon. How are ya?” Sometimes, we do spend an hour on the phone. But the important thing is to connect. And when you do, remember… Presence. When you’re not all there, you can feel it, even over the phone. Make him/her your whole world when you’re on the line.
- We look for ways to surprise each other – Sometimes, it’s a text he can wakes up to that tell him something funny, or simply reaffirms how much I love him. Sometimes he sees something on FB that reminds him of me or of us and he posts it to my page to find when I wake up. It’s stupid simple stuff, but it show the other that they are top of mind.
I wish you a very successful relationship and I know that no matter what happens, things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to.