“How to survive a long distance relationship”. Such a highly requested topic and I never had time to write. But today I’m going to write, because I’m inspired by this quirky Finnish song “Kylmästä lämpimään”. Okay I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be quirky but let’s assume it is, because the lyrics go like this–
Alalalalong was rumbling from the beach bar,
When I rose from the surges of the Atlantic’s swell,
I saw you and told:
You wanted to take a photograph with me
I wanted to take you with me,
As a souvenir,I said
Lady,let me take you far away
But how could I have taken the tropical flower
To the freezing weather,
It would not have been love
Well so the whole song is about this guy staying in a cold, cold country, meeting a girl in a warmer country and falling in love with her. SO they were intimate with each other, and then basically now being back in his own country, he wants to go back to the tropical country to snuggle with her. Anna did the cover–the girl’s version–and to be honest both versions are pretty awesome.
Does it sound familiar? Niko bought ME–the tropical person–back to cold, cold Finland right?!?! Terrible. Haha.
On a serious note, today’s post is about long-distance relationship, and how to survive it. I’m going to make it as no-nonsense for you as far as possible. And different from most long-distance relationship guides you would be finding online, I’d come up with an algorithm that allows customisation, instead of generic stupid rules. Yea, I find most long-distance relationship guides too ambiguous, like wtf is “believe you’d make it”?
My Beijing friend presented me with a notion before– The emotions of the boyfriend and the girlfriend will change after they have not met each other for 21 days. Well she said that it was the discovery of a scientific study, and if you think about it it’s probably true, but do any long-distance relationships guide tell you this online? NO!
So I’d decided to write my own guide. Is my algorithm reliable? Well, I’d tested it on 5-8 friends who asked me for long-distance advice, and this method totally works. Personally I’d done long-distance relationships myself using this method too. Successfully! 🙂
How to survive a long distance relationship: figure out two things.
Firstly, figure out the type of partner you are. Are you a high-maintenance partner, or middle, or low?
After you’d figured that out, the next step would be to find out what type of expression of love you value the most.
Part One: How to figure out your level of maintenance.
It’s fairly simple really. The two extremes are as follow:
- If you call and text your partner everyday for a couple of times, and require to meet at least 3 times a week for dates when you are not doing long distance, you are high maintenance.
- If you call and text your partner once or twice a week, and perhaps meet up once a week or biweekly, you are low maintenance.
Well I know people who belong to both the high maintenance and low maintenance group. So the idea is that if you are high/low maintenance and your partner is the same type, there wouldn’t be problems. Problem only comes in when there is a mismatch of groups.
How do you solve this? Hold your horses, let’s go to the next part first!
Part Two: How to find out your dominant and least dominant love languages.
- You and your partner–Go to http://www.5lovelanguages.com to take their short test. It’s only 30 questions and both of you can complete it in 5minutes respectively.
- After completing the quiz, take note of which is your dominant way of expressing affection. They have five– (1) Words of affection, (2) Receiving gifts, (3) acts of service, (4) physical touch, (5) quality time.
TO be honest, if your dominant love language is physical touch, and your partner’s something like “words of affection”, you guys are quite screwed in long distance relationship. But acknowledging that you are screwed is the first step for some sort of compromise, or solution, so that improves your odds in surviving it.
The purpose of this exercise is to increase your awareness to your partner’s expectations of love. If quality time is their dominant language, Skype more or keep a common blog. If receiving gifts is their dominant language, send more packages of love over. Such packages need not be expensive, simple things like FOOD or CHOCS should be welcome! If words of affection are their dominant language, type more emails, write more letters/cards, etc.
If it’s physical touch try your very best to meet once every three months, if not you or your partner will just really suffer mental anguish.
One important takeaway from this exercise is to try not to use your limited time appealing to the least dominant love language of your partner’s. It leads to a lot of nonsensical arguments like “Why don’t you do X, Y, Z for me” when your partner is indeed trying, albeit in another form.
How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship: Why Long-Distance Relationships Fail
You see, the thing about why long-distance relationship fail is not so much of mistrust, but a lack of communication and misguided expectations. When a misunderstanding arises, you do not have the benefit of the physical presence of your partner to solve or mediate that misunderstanding. The above framework allows you to truly understand the thought/emotion mechanism behind you and your partner. It’s only after understanding that you can overcome the potential challenges, no?
And let me tell you this– If you guys have followed the above steps in my framework which is communication-centric, but the partner still cheats on you in a long distance relationship, dump him/her immediately. It just goes to show that he/she is not serious about you.
And let me let you in to this potent yet simple tool that will maintain your relationship– Maintain a freaking skyping/emailing/facetiming routine, and stick to it no matter what. Like, seriously! Even if you are drop-dead tired from school and work, stick to this. A 5 minute “Hi” and a simple update is better than none. Trust me.
Yep, and that’s it! If you need a listening ear, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment, I’d be happy to provide it. I know LDR sucks to the core and if I can hear you out, I will! 🙂