Meet Nicole...she blogs over at "Sunkissed With a Twist", she's a fellow Texan, and she's quickly become one of my favorite blogger friends.
She and her beau (Zach) met when they were just 14 years old (how stinkin cute!). They dated briefly before Nicole found out that she would be relocating to Germany with her family. One summer during a visit back home Nicole was reunited with Zach and it was "love at first sight - all over again". Zach decided to visit Nicole in Germany, and they've been together ever since, they just celebrated their 6th anniversary together!
Those words bring up anxiety and stress just thinking about them!
There’s no doubt that long-distance relationships can be incredibly... challenging.
Our relationship, by no means has been easy. Especially in the beginning! It was challenging to be able to fully trust each other. We were both really, really young and we had only spent the summer together before we decided to try long-distance. And let me tell you - it was NO cakewalk!
Long-distance relationships aren’t for everyone. You have to have a lot of patience, loyalty, respect, and the most obvious one, trust. I’m a really untrusting person anyway, when it comes to most people, so that was especially difficult for me. But it wasn’t so much that I didn’t trust him - it was more of not trusting other girls.
Overall, we spent about 9 months apart. Which is a pretty long time! With only one 5 week visit in between. Crazy! But it was so worth it.
It’s kind of hard to explain, but you just have to know that you really want to be with this person and know that you will remain committed - no matter what obstacles you face. And those obstacles will come in many forms, like time off, scheduling, travel, trust, loyalty, a possible time difference... but whatever gets thrown at you, you will be tackling it all head on, together.
I think the biggest lesson I learned was that jealousy and trust are major issues, but they don’t have to be if you don’t let them. You have to be completely honest with each other, or it just.won’t.work. Period. Nobody likes being lied to, so just don’t do it. Even if you think it’s something small. I’ve always said that being lied to is bad, but knowing that I was lied to and that I found out the truth on my own, is even worse.
So here’s a few tips and some things I learned along the way:
Be as honest and truthful as possible. If your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t want you going to a party where they know your ex will be there - don’t go. For real. It will save you both a lot of headache and stress. Also, don’t take pictures with your ex at said party that you weren’t supposed to go to. It may end the relationship! Just sayin’. Tell the truth even if you think it will hurt. You will thank me for this.
Make time to talk. Set up iChat/Skype dates, send sweet texts throughout the day, and try to talk to each other each night before you go to sleep. Knowing your sweetie is safe and sound in bed is such a comforting feeling.
Plan ahead. Make trips to see each other as often as possible. Distance can make the heart grow fonder - but too much distance will help you drift apart faster than any amount of miles ever could. If money is of concern, just talking about your day, every day with each other will be enough. As long as you both still feel “in the loop” and involved in each other’s lives, I think you’ll be more likely to last.
Learn to roll with the punches. Life won’t always be smooth sailing and arguments are bound to happen. But with any relationship, you have to be willing to compromise and find common ground. You have to put in extra, extra effort because you don’t have the luxury of seeing each other everyday. The stress can make it easier to give up and just say “forget it.” If you call, and they don’t automatically answer, don’t jump to conclusions. It will drive you insane and put tension between you.
Be rational - not irrational. When you get into an argument - and you will because it’s inevitable - take time to cool down before you do or say anything crazy. Even people in the best relationships argue. You don’t want to do or say something you will regret later. You should ALWAYS “say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.” Life is too short to have conflicts, especially with the one you love, so make sure you think before you speak. Heated conversations spiral out of control FAST, so know when to quit and just resume the conversation at a later time when you’ve both had time to think.
Be spontaneous. Send each other pictures in the mail, or even a little care package of his/her favorite things. It’s thoughtful and lets your sweetie know that they’re always on your mind. You could even show up for a surprise visit! There’s nothing better than getting to see your babe when you’re not expecting it.
Do everything (well mostly everything) in moderation. Don’t get all text crazy, or impulse crazy when you *think* something might be up. Even if you don’t think anything is up, but you just miss them so much you have to text all day long and see what they’re doing and who they’re with and what they ate and what they’re doing next... you are going overboard. You’ll seem too clingy and a little bat crap crazy! Don’t be bat crap crazy... but do:
Love each other madly. Be each other’s best friend. You have to really, truly, and utterly be in love to make a long-distance relationship work. But most importantly, I think the most vital aspect of any relationship is friendship. It’s not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes a relationship fail. If you can’t be friends, you can’t be anything. You have to be able to talk to each other about anything and everything. Always have their back.
Long-distance relationships aren’t for the faint of heart! It takes work, but the payoff will be huge. And if you can make it though a long-distance relationship, you’ll be able to make it through anything. I promise.