My parents are a product of long distance relationship. They met in their last year of college in New York, but mom’s family is from Jersey and dad’s live in Baltimore. When they graduated, both had to go back to their hometowns for work. Their relationship lasted for five years before they got married.
Yes, they live together now and one of them had to transfer. I asked that parent if leaving behind everything to move to a new place is all worth it. The answer I got was a number – 23. They’ve been married for 23 years.
It was over afternoon tea last week when the three of us were reminiscing of the past. My dad reminded my mom of the time that they almost called it quits. It was my first time to hear of such story. I always thought that my parents were solid, but like any normal long-distance relationship, they also had problems.
Surviving LDR and getting married
I asked them what happened back then. What almost made them part ways? I was very curious and my parents laughed at the whole situation before they explained to me everything. The reason why I was very intent on knowing how they survived their LDR was because I am in a long-distance relationship myself. It’s really hard and I want to be able to make it just like they did. I truly love my boyfriend, but he’s serving the country right now and will be gone for another year.
LDR Tip #1 – Set rules, limits and boundaries.
My mom said that for a long-distance relationship to work, the couple must talk about their rules, limits and boundaries. These rules are not about restricting the other person to have clean fun or to interact with other people. It’s not about that. The whole point of this is to openly communicate with each other about everything without having to fight. And of course, it is about letting the opposite sex know that you are unavailable. When they got married, my mother also requested my father that they see a relationship counselor at least once a month – just to keep their bond “in check”. That was one of her rules. My father agreed that the counseling helped improve their relationship.
LDR Tip #2 – Effort must be at 200%, if not more.
Once every two months, my parents would meet for a getaway weekend in New York. They both saved up for the trip and sometimes, my mom would visit dad in Baltimore or dad would go to Jersey. It was expensive, but they had to be with each other physically. They both made that effort and that was one of the reasons why their relationship was saved.
LDR Tip #3 – Talk to each other because you want to and not because you have to.
There is a very big difference between the two terms. When you feel like you HAVE to talk to your loved one instead of you WANT to talk to him or her, then, it’s a bad sign. You two are apart and the only thing that connects you both is by phone or computer. When it feels like a chore, then, something is wrong. Be open about your feelings and find a way to repair if there is damage.
LDR Tip #4 – Jealousy is a killer.
This is the reason why my dad broke up with my mom. He was so jealous of my mom’s office mate and mom was blushing when I asked her if her office mate was flirting with her. She said, “Well, he asked me out.” She said dad was getting cozy with the daughter of her boss and she wanted to “show” him. But they both agreed that it was treading on thin ice and playing with fire. That same day, my dad traveled to Jersey and scooped my mom from her date. He asked her to marry him that very night.
LDR Tip #5 – No secrets.
Secrets destroy everything. The common notion is that when you’re keeping a secret from your partner, then, it’s something that can incriminate you. Again, honesty and openness are the ways for a long-distance relationship to work. Don’t keep anything from your partner unless you want to end the relationship.
I’ve thought about the tips my parents gave me as they left for their usual date night. Just like that, I called my boyfriend since I missed him so much. When he answered, the first words I said were: “I love you”. He answered me back with, “I love you more.” I think we will make this LDR work.
Interviewee wishes to remain anonymous. Like her parents, the young couple are also seeking the assistance of online therapists to facilitate their concerns and issues.