Long-distance relationships are tough—you can’t hold your partner, hear her voice, be comforted by her presence, and let’s not forget the intense thirst that keeps you drier than the Sahara desert. But while distance is a make-or-break factor in any relationship, some LDR couples have been able to power through the isolation, the temptation, and the problems with internet connection to get through to the other side.
Here, people in successful LDRs share love advice besides the usual platitudes of “have trust” and “don’t fuck around.” Read on for tips on what mindsets to adopt, how to make use of your time, and what to do when the going (and the thirsting) gets tough.
A long-distance relationship is not for the faint of heart, so know what you’re signing up for.
“Being in an LDR means your partner should always be a priority. Be ready to compromise on things like times and apps to use for talking to each other, and if, like me, you’re saving up for a big move to be together, you need to seriously figure out how to go about earning more while spending less. This type of relationship is admittedly more fragile than most, so it definitely needs more TLC.” – Joy, 33, in an LDR for 10 years, soon to live in the same city as her partner
This is an obvious one, but just keep talking, if only virtually. It’s the least you can do for a partner you can’t even hold. *sniffs*
“If you want it to work, stick to it—both of you. Make use of any point of contact, be it Skype, Facebook Messenger, or Viber. Set a schedule at least; make sure that you talk constantly and regularly. You get to have the freedom and space that you need as a person, so give them the attention and time that they deserve as your partner.” – Mac, 29, in an LDR for 3 years, now living in the same city as his partner
The usual call-text-Skype routine is fine and dandy of course, but come on. You can do better than that.
“Be creative. Women want to feel your presence and be surprised even when you’re far apart. My boyfriend sends flowers through delivery and randomly sends sweet notes via emails, which I appreciate.” – Jonah, 31, in an LDR for 1 year
Just because you’re in an LDR doesn’t mean you have to kill off your social life and park your pambahay-clad self at home just awaiting your Skype dates.
“Live your own life; there are too many people who get caught up in the distance and forget to live. Make new friends. Meet new people. Have your own activities. Have your own adventures. That way, if (or when) you end up together, you have so much more to share with each other. There will be no resentment and you will both be better for it. If it doesn’t work out, then at least you did not put all your eggs in one basket.” – Jay, 36, in an LDR for 3 years, now engaged
“Being in a long-distance relationship is already hard and I don’t want to make it any harder for my partner. So go out. Meet people. Do the things that make you happy, as long as you know your priorities. In the end, you’ll be together, grow together, and have fun together. So make the process exciting and worthwhile while you’re apart.” – Lhesley, 24, in an LDR for 3 years, now married and soon to live in the same city as her husband
Use your time productively—these long-ass stretches on your own are just what you need to take up a new interest or make a killing in your career.
“Be busy building yourself up during your work hours, and share your successes and experiences with your partner to sync with her before going to bed. In my case, Jacob was in the army and either had a strictly routine schedule or was deployed and therefore given classified instructions that were sometimes issued abruptly. During the days he had routine schedules, we would have our routine Skype sleepovers; he was five hours ahead, so he would leave notes for me and set it in front of the camera in his side of the world for me to read when I woke up. When he was deployed, we would send selfies to each other so we both knew what the other was up to while being super on top of our own lives and careers.” – Denice, 25, in an LDR for 4 years, now engaged and living in the same city as her fiancé
In the same way you’re encouraged not to languish in lovesickness while in an LDR, give your girl her own space to grow and have fun, too.
“Provide personal space. I know people will say, ‘Isn’t the distance enough space?’ But even with the distance, being too clingy just kills the spark. Nobody wants to be bothered with 30 missed calls and 300,000 messages after not replying for three minutes. It works the same way as a regular relationship; you don’t put each other on a leash. It’s hard the first few months because anxiety just gets to you, but it’s something both parties should work on. After all, it feels so good to be missed from time to time!” –Ansoy Ming, 28, in an LDR for 1 year
“When your girl lets you know that she has a girls’ night out, just let her go and enjoy. Try not to pester her for updates about what they are doing every few minutes. When my husband tells me he is with friends for a BNO, I just tell him to enjoy and wait until he messages me when they are done or he has reached home. She will appreciate it when you let her be with her friends, and that is a manifestation of your mutual trust in your relationship.” – Ella, 33, in an LDR for 4 years, now married and soon to live in the same city as her husband
When the nights get too long without bae, summon all the Bonifacio-level bravery you have in you. (Yes, you have it in you, soldier!)
“Be brave. It is not easy being in a long-distance relationship, but in my case, financial concerns play a big role. Before my husband left to work abroad, we had a long talk about being brave, about sacrifice, and about not giving in to temptation. For us, it’s out of sight but certainly not out of mind. For 15 years, we’ve been keeping this up, being brave for our sake and for the sake of our kids.” – Joey, 47, in an LDR for 15 years with an OFW husband who is home one month a year
Buckling from the pressure to be brave? It won’t hurt to seek divine intervention to keep you on the straight and narrow.
“Commit your relationship to the Lord. Ask God to guard both your hearts from any temptations. Pray for your relationship and your future plans. My husband and I also usually say our prayer requests with each other.” – Bonnie, 33, in an LDR for 8 years, now married
And to drive home the point that CHEATING = BAD, here’s sound advice from someone who’s been there, been dumped.
“If you get lonely and horny because your partner is far away, just slap the ham or double-click the mouse. Because an affair, though fun, can lead to a much bigger pain in the ass in the future. Take it from someone whose ass has been run ragged by complicated liaisons. Keep it in your pants, boys.” – John, 42, in an LDR for 2 years before breaking up