We never planned to be in a long-distance relationship. My relationship with Miguel is still new; we’re only together for two years now. Honestly, getting into a long-distance relationship again scares me. I’ve traveled that road before, and it wasn’t easy. But, I know it will be easier now because I learned my lessons and thanks to technology, we can communicate easily.
I’m happy and grateful when people ask me if I feel lonely here. They know that I don’t know anyone here aside from my coworkers, but I am comfortable and I appreciate my alone time. Honestly, it’s all thanks to Miguel. Ever since, even when I am in the Philippines, he has been my constant.
I may not have a clearer picture of how to handle a long-distance relationship, but so far, the things I listed below work and are working for us.
How to handle a long-distance relationship?
First and foremost, we made sure that we both know what we are getting into. Before we started dating, he knows how much I wanted to work and live abroad. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to move unless it’s in Sweden. Now, being in a relationship, we talk about our future and where this relationship is going.
We somehow made it work. Although I got here first, we never thought that one of us will have to move abroad this soon. Nonetheless, we sat down and talked about our setup and prepared ourselves as much as we can before I left.
Have a constant communication
With only 6-7 hours difference, being in contact with each other wasn’t tricky. We both want to keep each other updated, so when one of us is still sleeping, we still send messages. Isn’t it nice to wake up reading messages from your partner?
On my first few weeks here, we often talk on the phone after I finish work. Which means it is pretty late in the Philippines. Now, we thought it would be better if we will talk before I go to work instead. I feel like my day wouldn’t start right if we didn’t speak to each other before I go to work.
Being in constant communication builds trust with each other. It makes you miss each other a lot, but it also makes you feel you are close to each other.
Trust each other
The simplest solution to everything: trust. I trust him that he will not do anything that will hurt me or our relationship. More importantly, we trust each other and our relationship. It’s not that both of us are complacent, we give each other the benefit of the doubt.
I know trust is an essential aspect of every relationship. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be if the trust is gone. One thing I learned is to stop prejudgment before hearing the other person’s side.
Miguel often goes out with his friends: sometimes it starts late at night, sometimes it’s an overnight thing, but that’s okay with me. I don’t mind.
Know each other’s schedule
We both try to keep each other updated about our plans despite the distance. Miguel hangs out with his friends more often now, and he is usually away on weekends. On the other hand, I prefer to stay at home. Knowing each other’s schedule lets us plan on when we can have the video call or voice call.
I prefer not talking to anyone if I am doing something important. Otherwise, if both of us are free, then that’s the time we call each other.
Another example: at least once or twice a week, he goes from Antipolo to Makati and vice versa. He leaves at 5 in the morning, I stay up and wait for him so we can talk over the phone while he’s driving.
Go on a date
It’s simple. We watch the same movie at the same time, prepare food and talk while watching. Going on a date despite the distance makes it interesting.
Make distance an opportunity
This is not an opportunity to go behind each other’s back. But a chance for us to do things on our own. Although we prefer to be together most of the time (or talk to each other), we respect each other’s time and schedule.
We both love/hate the time difference (GMT+1 in Stockholm and GMT+8 in Manila). We both know we want to be in each other’s lives in the future, so we try and learn how to live apart first. When we were together, we tend to depend on each other. Like, for example, in preparing documents, Miguel dislikes doing that. I, on the other hand, love it, so I’m usually in charge of it. Since we’re apart, he has no choice but does it on his own; it is a learning journey for him.
Have a goal in mind
I’ve been saying this in almost every post, but I really believe in delayed gratification. We talked about the kind of future that we want, and being in a long-distance relationship is part of that process. We’re planting the seeds now. In the end, it will come to fruition.
To make long-distance work, make sure that you are on the same page and you have a goal in mind. What do you want to achieve? Are you willing to sacrifice?
I don’t understand the point of lying to each other. Trust is hard to earn, especially with the distance. Stay honest all the time, and prepare to listen. Also, be clear with your expectations while you’re in a long-distance relationship.
Be committed to each other
You need to put in a lot of effort into this. Being there physically makes a lot of difference. It came to a point when Miguel felt stressed and down; he had to take a week off from work, and I couldn’t do anything to comfort him. I couldn’t hug or hold his hand, and tell him that everything will be okay. Nothing. I could only comfort him over the phone.
Staying in a relationship needs hard work, but staying in a long-distance relationship needs more work too.
Look forward to our next meeting
Wow, it’s already 6 months since we last saw each other. Every time I think about our next meeting, I feel butterflies in my stomach. I miss having to kiss or hug someone. Or, waking up next to someone. Having someone waiting for me to get home, having someone to pick me up after work. Having someone to do things with.
There may be times when I’m feeling homesick — not because I miss the Philippines, but because I miss my friends and family. Miguel has been a big help and he has been my constant since I moved here.
It’s only been a while, I thought we would struggle, but we didn’t. We haven’t reached a point where we fought and stopped talking, but hopefully, it won’t happen. I’m grateful that we both listen and try to understand each other, and not make things complicated. See you soon, Miguel! ❤️
Since this long-distance thing is still new in our relationship, that’s the list for now. 😊