Distance between two hearts is not an obstacle; rather a beautiful reminder of just how strong true love can be.
These were the words I kept telling myself for three years.
Here’s our story…
Abraham was my first love. I met him 20+ years ago on a beautiful summer night in Iloilo City, Philippines. However, things didn’t work out, and we drifted apart. I also moved to the US, and we never saw each other again.
A few years ago, I went back to the Philippines. Our paths crossed, and we realized we still love each other. We got back together and oh yes – love was sweeter the second time around!
Much as I wanted to stay longer in the Philippines, I had to return to New York for a job opportunity. Though we were miles away from each other, we were determined to make our relationship work. Here’s what we’ve learned to survive the distance.
1. Keep the lines of communication open
Thank God for facetime, emails, and facebook messenger. These means of communication made it possible for us to update each other every single day.
There’s a 12-hour time difference between the Philippines and New York. Most of the time, I’ll wake up early in the morning and we will facetime each other while I’m eating breakfast (he’s having dinner on the other side of the world).
If for some reason, we weren’t able to chat with each other, we usually send messages and photos of what we did during that day.
2. Find time to see each other
I traveled around 8,506 miles every year to visit him in the Philippines. That’s approximately an 18-20 hours plane ride from New York. I only have 2-3 weeks of vacation time, so we cherished every moment we spent with each other.
If you want your relationship to grow, it is vital that you spend quality time together. The phone calls and emails are not enough to find out if you are compatible with each other.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Have you been staring at other couples, wishing you can be like them? Are you fighting over some issues? Did you hurt his feelings? Do you want to hold him tight and tell him you’re sorry? Are you getting frustrated?
Being in a long distance relationship is difficult. Taking care of yourself is crucial
There are several ways: a healthy diet, exercise, listening to your favorite music, reading uplifting books, learning a new hobby, talking to friends or counselor, etc. Do the things that help you balance your mind, body, and soul.
4. Stay faithful
It is said that if you truly love someone, being faithful is easy. If you’re having a hard time staying faithful, then you need to reassess why you’re still holding on to this long-distance relationship.
Staying loyal to each other is essential for your relationship to thrive and endure the test of time and distance.
5. Set a goal
Where is this relationship going? When can we be together? These are difficult questions to ask if you’re in the early stages of your relationship. Eventually, as your relationship grows, these questions need to be answered.
On one of my trips to see him, I was surprised upon arrival at Iloilo City International Airport when Abraham proposed to me.
Of course, I said YES!
Now, you might not be ready for this yet. Maybe, you just want to spend more time together and get to know each other better. I think it is still important to set relationship goals.
6. Plan your next move
Let’s say you’ve talked about moving to your partner’s country next year. What’s the next step? Do you need a visa? What documents do you need to start the process? Do you need additional training or certifications to find a job in his/her country?
I wasn’t familiar with immigration laws, so I contacted a lawyer to help us plan. He discussed with me the different requirements to start the fiancé visa process. I shared this information with Abraham, and we listed the steps we needed to do to make our dream possible.
7. Take Action
It’s time to do something with the plan! Go ahead and apply for that visa, save money for the trip, get the training you need, etc. Brace yourself for this Big change in your life.
Abraham and I submitted all the documents needed to apply for a fiancé visa. He also prepared for his interview at the US Embassy in the Philippines.
Waiting for the result of the interview was nerve-racking. I was so happy when he called and told me that he passed!
Finally, we will be together.
Are you in a long distance relationship? Any other tips you can share to survive LDR? Feel free to share your story or insights in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.