Successful Long Distance Relationship (LDR): Survive the “Waiting Game"
Long Distance Relationship Defined
Long Distance Relationship or LDR is one of the most difficult and challenging human relationship set-ups to be in. Hence the never ending search for the answer to the question, “How do we make long distance relationship work?” If you find yourself facing the challenges of being in one, knowing more about the subject would definitely increase your success rate.
Long Distance Relationships (LDR) or Long Distance Romantic Relationship” (LDRR) is an intimate relationship that takes place when the partners are separated by a considerable distance (Wikipedia).
Long Distance Relationship Statistics
According to a research with over 200 respondents by www.statisticbrain.com, majority of the couples in long distance relationships are either in college or part of the undergraduate population with some percentage already married. 40% of those in long distance relationships break-up and that increases to 70% when changes are not planned. Furthermore, it usually takes an average of 4.5 months to break-up if it’s not going to work.
Learn More about the 5 Love Languages
According to Gary Chapman, there are five (5) ways to express and experience love; gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy). Get his book to learn more.
Another online survey with 7647 respondents at www.quibblo.com showed that 86% of the respondents think a normal relationship is better than LDR. As if in a dark tunnel with no assurance to see the light on the other end, most say those in LDR are doomed. Despite the obvious preference of the normal set-up, 59% of the respondents are actually in LDR and only 22% said the relationship didn’t work out. The remaining 15% said they’re not in LDR but would give it a go and 4% said they would never.
The evident aversion of the set-up and the slightly high fail rate could primarily be because we, as human beings, need to express love and be loved and the absence of physical closeness, intimacy and companionship- common expressions of love- could sometimes be overwhelmingly sad and lonely. This is particularly true if one or both of the couple’s love languages require togetherness like quality time or physical touch. LDR just requires much more effort compare to couples close to each other, and too much waiting.
The “Waiting Game”
Surviving the “waiting game” is one of the most difficult things to do when in a LDR; waiting for the email, waiting for the call or scheduled online date, waiting for the holidays to see each other… the waiting goes on. Like a game that’s impossible to win. It can test your commitment and patience especially if it seems as if the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight. Sometimes, it can be an unbearable pain that letting go is the easiest escape.
But if you are one tough cookie who thinks the person you are with is worth the fight, here are some things to remember to win the "waiting game":
Nurture the Relationship. The distance between you and your partner should never be an excuse to neglect the relationship and the friendship. Individuals involved romantically would often spend as much time together as possible. Couples in LDR are no different. Fact is, quality time is crucial for your relationship’s success. Distance should never be a hindrance in sharing a part of yourself to your partner, also to know the person a little bit more every day. Open and frequent communication is definitely one of the best ways to overcome LDR problems.
Communication these days is much more advanced because of modern technology. We now have cell phones and the internet. And you can always spice up things by sending beautifully hand-written love letters or cards, delivered with flowers and gifts. Obviously, these cannot be compared to being physically together but it sure does make things a bit better, making the emotional loneliness more tolerable.
Allow Self Improvement. According to Guinness World Records, the longest-living person lived for 122 years. Not all of us will be given a chance to live that long, not even to a hundred years old. Life is short and you only get to live once. Instead of spending time dreaming of that most-awaited reunion, why not devote your time to self-improvement? Enhance. Develop. Evolve. Allow yourself to enjoy the blessing of life and be your best version, for your own pleasure and satisfaction or with the aim of improving your life and future with your partner.
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.— Aldous Huxley
You can devote your time to look better and pursue the healthier direction. You can work with your loved one as your accountability partner. Read inspirational and self-help books and have mind-stimulating discussions. This is also one way to get to know the person you care so much about and learn how they see the world. Based on your short and long-term goals, learn new skills, take certification courses or even complete a masters or doctor’s degree, as your time and resources permits, all depending on your vision of your future self and life.
How do you Intend to Improve Yourself in the next 3-6 months?
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Aim for Career Advancement. Couples these days are more open-minded and a lot are already professional or open to the idea of working together to support the family. Some couples are separated mainly because one or both parties need to work in a different city or country. While separated, it would be a perfect opportunity to focus your time and effort to aim for career advancement which is one way to ensure your family’s future and financial security. So long as priorities are managed especially the children, this would give you and your partner the chance to reach your career goals.
You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.— Stephen Richards, Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free
Value Other Relationships. Aside from nourishing the relationship with your partner, you should not forget that there are other important relationships in your life. Take advantage of your free time and spend quality time with the parents, siblings, other close relatives and friends. Most, if not all of these people, will never cease to stop being a part of your life and future, until you grow old. Cherish them and cherish the relationship. Having them around could also be a great support system for the LDR and they could also help as accountability partners who are able to reprimand and offer timely reminders, as needed.
Contribute to the Community. Before you are a son/daughter, a friend, a husband/wife, a parent, you are a human being capable of so much if you only allow it. LDRs could make life more difficult and lonely for you but if you only learn to reach out and give to the world, you would recognize that you are actually more fortunate.
Contributing to the community could mean sharing your resources whenever there are people in need; sharing food to the hungry, donating to organizations dealing with various calamities or initiating a fundraiser for a cause. It could also mean simple things like sharing your sports knowledge and skills to a group of teenagers in your community, teaching little children during a summer vacation or lending a hand to an old neighbor who needs help with the lawn. The opportunities to help and contribute around us are limitless. You just have to open your eyes and open your heart.
How will You Contribute to the Community?
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You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.— Mae West
The “waiting game” as a part of the long distance relationship cannot be considered as an absolute bad thing. After all, time is one of the most valuable things and if taken advantage of, it can be equivalent to a better version of you or a better life and future for you and your partner. You just have to use it, you just have to own it.
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