‘Don’t count the miles, count the “I love you” ’s.’
I had a long-distance relationship when I was 18 years while I was in Paraguay, and although we were still together when I got back, I decided long-distance wasn’t really “my thing”. Boy, was I an idiot thinking I could rationalize something like that. When it comes to love and relationships, whether they are long-distance or not, you don’t really get to choose if it’s your thing or not. I learned that not so long ago. With all of my plans of going abroad I wasn’t really looking for a boyfriend, but when I met Bertrand, we just clicked, and after going out with him a couple of times, I fell head over heels in love. Luckily he felt the same, and things have been going great. But just like last time, I’m not going to cancel my plans of going abroad just to stay with him, because that’s not who I am and it would also make him very uncomfortable. Both Bertrand and I are adventurers and that is why we love each other, and if either one of us would deny the other to go on an adventure alone, we would be denying each other to be ourselves. (Can everybody follow?) It doesn’t make things easier, that’s true, but a wise man once told me the easiest path isn’t always the best path. And if you truly love each other, you find a way to make it work. And even though Bertrand and I are not yet at that point, I do believe that we can make it work. We’ll miss each other, of course, and I know from experience that there will be times when I wish I had stayed, but I also know that I can do it, I’ve done it before, and I know it will be worth it.
Personally I think that what you need to succeed in a long-distance relationship is the same as in a normal relationship, you just need more of it. Obviously, you need to love each other. You also need to trust each other and love yourself. Especially in a long-distance relationship self-love is important if you want to succeed. Luckily after three years of being single, I have had plenty of time to learn to love myself. The reason why you should love yourself is so important in a long-distance relationship, is because your partner is not around to show his/her love for you to you. Of course there is Facebook and Skype and Whatsapp to keep in contact, and are there few things more romantic than a handwritten love letter, you can bet your hat you won’t be receiving those every day.
Something else that makes every relationship a success is the ability to communicate, whether it be over the phone, in an email or face to face. In a long-distance relationship this is even more so. It was drilled into my head when I was preparing to go abroad to Paraguay and it’s still one of the best lessons I learned there: good communication can go a very long way. With a lack of communication, small misunderstandings can explode in no time, and it is highly likely that with two partners in two different countries, there will be some misunderstandings. Luckily this is one of the things I’m good at. I’m not afraid to ask questions and I already know Bertrand is infinitely smarter than me, so I’m not really afraid to look stupid either :-P.
When it comes to trust, I tend to trust people fairly quickly. It’s true I can be quite possessive over someone I love, but I’m not really the jealous type. This may sound strange, but the reason I’m possessive is not because I’m afraid he’ll do something with someone else, but because I want to spend as much time with that person as possible. Luckily for me are Bertrand and I on the same level, when it comes to spending time together, so no problems there.
I’m noticing that I’m starting to deviate from the subject, so I’ll leave it at this; if you have any thoughts or objections, don’t hesitate to comment and I’ll be glad to respond!