I hope you're all having a fantastic week! Can't believe it's May already...For those who have have exams coming up - best of luck!!
I'm extremely sorry for not posting last Thursday, I've been completely bogged down with work. This week's Co-Lab Thursday topic is HAPPINESS. There are many interpretations on this, so I wanted to focus my interpretation to a post I've been wanting to do for a while: Long Distance Relationships (LDR).
"Sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn't make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more." —The Last Song, Nicholas Sparks
So what about LDRs? More than half of my relationship with J has been long distance. The distance between us isn't as extensive as compared to those involving different time zones, but nevertheless long distance. LDRs are never easy. Not in the sense that it is a lot of effort, but that it hurts to be away from the one you love for so long. You feel sad when you see other couples walk past, and may sometimes feel lonely. Despite whatever hardships long distance may bring, I have always believed in them. So, it actually really upsets me when people say things like 'Long distance relationships never work out', 'What's the point in them?', 'You'll be cheated on/you will cheat' etc. Particularly for those going from seeing each other every day, to long distance, such comments can be daunting, hurtful, saddening and scary. Yes, LDRs may not work, as with any relationship, but to say they never work before trying? Isn't that a premature assumption?
The worst I feel is when people break up just before they go to University. Their reason? The mere fact of going to University! I'm not saying that every relationship ends just before Uni, there are so many reasons why relationships don't work out, and it so happens to occur before Uni. But a lot of my friends or people I know made this decision just because they were starting a new life....I'll also admit that I understand that Long Distance isn't for everyone, but, as long as circumstances permit, at least give it a go? Especially for those who claim to be each other's everything, and love each other so much. Of course, it may not have been 'real' love, whatever your take on love is. But, for me personally, if you claim to love someone so much, how do you know it's not going to work before you've even tried? If it doesn't work out, then at least you can say you've given it a go. As otherwise, you may be lose someone very precious. Yes, fate could bring you guys back together, but how long would that be? Maybe I'm just being naive?
Anyway, this post just contains a few things to keep a happy long distance relationship. As I mentioned in THIS post, I'm no love expert and do not claim to be, I'm merely stating my experience :)
(All images are downloaded from Google)
Skype, Phone, Text, Email...just anything.
Many people have said this, and most will be bored of hearing it, especially as it's common sense. But it is very true. Communication really is key, not just in LDR but in every relationship. But I feel especially in LDR. As you might not have that face to face contact as often, taking time to speak to your OH is essential. Especially if you're starting a new chapter in your life, be it starting University or a new job. New beginnings and adventures are always interesting and exciting, and you will both meet new friends, and be involved in many activities, which is fantastic, and I encourage you to be as involved as possible. You can meet friends for life there. But don't neglect your relationship. If someone stops making the effort, it'll end up with you both not giving the relationship a chance.
In the age where technology is a part of our every day lives, it is impossible, unless you're living on a dessert island or there is no wifi at all, for you to not find a way to speak to your OH. Skype to me, is the best intervention ever, and if I could, I would hug Mr Skype Man. It has been a life saver for J and myself. Being able to see the one you love, even if it is via a social medium, is the second best to actually seeing them. I would really recommend anybody in an LDR to download Skype (here) especially as it is FREE! Even if you don't Skype, just a little text during the day will be fine.
Of course this is a generalisation. If you have a certain way of communicating with your OH, say seeing each other every weekend, but not skyping or texting much during the week, if that works for you, that's completely fine :) Just make some time for your significant other, letting them know you're thinking of them in whatever ways suits you both :)
2) Honesty, Trust and Being Open
It has been said many times that Trust and Honesty are key elements for a happy relationship. Which is very true. And I believe this is truly tested when you're in a LDR, or even you are away from each other for a few days/weeks/months because of holidays, gap years etc. If you don't trust your OH, not only will it strain the relationship, but will strain yourself. You'll be constantly worrying and it'll just make you unhappy. This therefore links to the point about 'Being Open' with each other. If you are having worries, don't be afraid to share them. If he/she didn't text when they said they would have, there might be a valid explanation. Trust them and give them the benefit of the doubt. You should know them well enough :) But never keep any worries to yourself and burry your head in the sand. They won't go away. Until you talk it out, the problems will persist. What you're worrying about might be very trivial or a misunderstanding/misinterpretation, so discussing it with your OH will help dismiss any concerns. Also if there is something seriously wrong, it allows you time to figure out what you want from the relationship. My advice is to not leave it till it's too late.
Take the time out to see one other. Plan when your next visit will be. Whenever I have to leave J, I cry. Although, admittedly, I'm a rather emotional person;p I just hate being apart from him. But what gets me motivated is knowing when I'll next see him :) So rather than moping about when you're by yourself, you can concentrate and do what you have to, knowing that you have seeing your OH to look forward to.
4) Little Surprise Notes/Letters
Whenever J or myself leave each others, we sometimes leave secret notes for one another. It can be placed on your bedside table, inside of the book you know they would read etc, just to give them a surprise and put a smile on their face. I definitely recommend this as it just gives such a heart warming feeling. Also sending occasionally hand written letters is also an option. Before our exposure to technology everyone communicated via letters, so why not write a letter for a change? Because everyone seems to be emailing or texting, it's always a lovely surprise to have something handwritten. I don't know, it just feels more personal and you can tell that time & effort has been put to write that letter. However, never expect such things, as this could cause many problems. Appreciate the thoughtfulness and kindness :)
5) Watch TV etc together
Okay, this one might sound a little strange, but bare with me;p Watching TV, Movies, going on dates are things that most couples do, even friends. So why stop that just because of some distance? You could have dinner dates over Skype, or watch TV at the same time. This is just another way to do 'normal' couple-y things :) Granted this will be more difficult for those living in different time zones. But you could always schedule, compromise and see what works best for you both.
These are just a few things J and I stick by. At the end of the day, I think the main point in maintaining a happy LDR is knowing what you both want. Knowing that you both want the relationship to work, and therefore doing as much as possible to make sure it works :) For those who are in LDRs or considering going into one, if you believe in what you two have, I say go for it! Don't give up before even trying :) Being in any relationship has its ups and downs. If there are more ups than downs, fight for it, don't let some distance get in the way of someone and something really special. I'm still on this journey, and am still learning. But this experience has given me new found appreciation for J, and I believe helps bring two people closer together.
The song I've been listening too is a cover of The Neighbourhood's 'Sweater Weather' by Kurt Schneider & Co. I absolutely love the original - the beat...omg so catchy! I've been listening to Kurt's work with Sam Tsui for a good few years, and have loved them from the very beginning! I actually heard Kurt's version before I heard the original of this song, and was instantly hooked. Seriously the guy is far too talented for his own good...can't count how many instruments he can play. Alyson Stoner and Max Schneider (not related to Kurt btw haha) are such talented singers. This is just a fantastic cover, and I would highly recommend you all to take a look at their other work!
Anyway I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Hope it didn't offend anyone :s
Do you think LDR's work? And if you are, or were in a LDR, what did you do to keep the spark or be happy? :)
I would really love to hear your thoughts and advice:)
I would really love to hear your thoughts and advice:)
Enjoy the rest of the week everyone! Take care and speak soon!