Story By Sella Tania – The Mom’s Life Cycle
MY LDR STORY
I was working as Freelance Tour Guide when I met my husband, Matthew, online. When he visited Singapore (which is near my country, Indonesia), he asked me to show him around. That is how our relationship deepened from virtual friends to virtual couple. Despite the distance, both of us worked hard to let the relationship blossomed beautifully by maintaining constant communication. Just like any couple, we discussed the likes and dislikes, family stuff, mundane things as well as opinions about various issues. That way, we get to know one another pretty well, notwithstanding the fact that we hardly see each other. We were in a relationship for 3 years before we decided to tie the knot. And that was when problems started to crop up. I am an Indonesian-Chinese who is bound by certain familial culture and tradition while my then-fiancée is a French. Cultural issues abound in cases like this because the Asian (and Chinese, at that) conservative ways and sometimes impossible customs clash with that of Western beliefs. However, love prevailed and everything ended well eventually. The very reason why I think I am highly capable of discussing this topic in which you may find tips on how to survive your own long-distance-relationship (LDR).
Our family now lives in France…we were blessed with K, our daughter. However, because of his job, there are times when he has to stay away from us. Just like now when he is undergoing some training. I really do not like being apart from him as I miss him so much when he is not around. Moments like this one reminded me of our time as boyfriend-girlfriend in an LDR. But also, it teaches me a lot about the meaning of real relationship.
Talking about LDR, many women would not prefer to have this type of relationship. In fact, only few women could survive this kind of arrangement. I think, it is because they are worried it will just turn into a sad affair in the end. I saw many long distance relationships that ended that way.
So what are the problems facing an LDR? Here are my thoughts on the matter:
PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED WHILE IN LDR
1) Lack of Patience
Come on, girls, let us be honest…isn’t it hard to just communicate via chatting, voice or video calling? He is there and yet, not really there. That type of communication has some sense of reality but, at the same time, artificiality. In video calls, for example, you have to sit in a certain angle for a long time so you are within the range of the camera. Isn’t that kinda unreal? Because, in real life, if you are talking with someone you actually move around (or you might even get cozy, uhm, just saying). In LDR, it is always a case of “so near, yet so far”.
2) Lack of Trust or Jealousy
Jealousy, I believe, is normal in relationships. There is even a saying that if you never get jealous then it is likely you are not really in love with that person. However, if you are always insecure or jealous all the time, I can guarantee you 80% that your LDR will turn sour quick and easy. No one likes a boyfriend or girlfriend who does not trust his/her lover. It is an annoying trait.
However, I also find this understandable especially in long-distance relationships. I, myself, am not the jealous type…but while I was in LDR, I experienced sense of insecurity or “jealous attacks”. Basically, I think, it is because of the fact that we do not see them. Thus, it is easy for doubt to grow in our minds. I felt pangs of insecurity every time my then-fiancée went out with his female colleagues on a night-out even if he assured me he is going with male friends. When this happened, I discussed it openly with him. Communicating our doubt will help our partner understands our feeling and, many times, they act positively when you are honest with them.
Chatting lacks tone of voice and therefore you cannot hear if your boyfriend/girlfriend is saying something nicely or not nicely. The interpretation of the words lies in you. And your interpretation of it many times depends on what mood you are in while reading it. Voice or video calling may lessen the problem but will not totally eliminate it because it does not provide us the opportunity to see the body language of the other person.
Secondly, the language…if one or both of you are not native speakers and are just adopting English as a way to communicate, then you may have problem of expression and comprehension. Sometimes, such situations lead to fight.
4) Limited Time
Talk about time zone difference and you know very well that it would involve a lot of effort just to have time to be together – virtually. Many times, people in LDR would just opt to quit than to make effort and deal with fights.
5) Negative Thoughts
This is related to #2…and this happened to me a lot during the course of my LDR. Whenever he failed to reply to my emails or messages, a lot of negative thoughts comes to me. What happened to him? Why didn’t he reply to me? Is he sick? Is he with someone else? Is he this, is he that. Overthinking will ruin the relationship.
So, tell me, has any of these happened in your LDR? Now, let me share with you the possible solutions to your problem. I am the expert here, remember? I call it “Keys to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Works” and here they are.
KEYS TO MAKE YOUR LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP WORKS
1) Communication, communication, communication
The most important thing to have in a relationship regardless if it is actual or virtual is COMMUNICATION. My hubby and I maintained almost daily communication for as long as our time and jobs could allow. This simple action keeps the relationship close and tight because you get to talk many things – sometimes mundane, sometimes significant, sometimes small ones, sometimes big ones. It does not matter – find time to communicate, put effort to communicate. What counts is the fact that you are talking…sharing and exchanging energies. Even if that is only talking about your neighbor or the cat or the dog or your day.
Of course, we have to be grateful to the ease and convenience of today’s technology. LDR is no longer as expensive as it was in the olden times.
Yes, trust is a virtue you must have while in LDR. If you cannot trust a person, then do not have a relationship with that person. Because without TRUST, you are just wasting your time and energy. That affair of yours will go down the drain sooner or later. Trust is necessary to counter negative thoughts and jealousy attacks. It lessens the fights also.
A relationship could survive on respect alone; but without respect, love cannot survive. I think, it is best if we have the capability to meet each other halfway – to understand and to see things from his/her point of view and not just ours. Always aim to harmonize.
4) Make A Life Of Your Own
This is true whatever kind of relationship you are in – whether actual or virtual. You have to make a life of your own. Do not focus your life on your partner alone. Or you will end up facing Problem #5 – negative thoughts. When you are in your job, focus on your job – the goals you want to achieve there. If you do not have a job, find a hobby that will make you creative and happy and let you grow as an individual. In my case, I blog and I do crafts for K.
5) Think Positive – Have Some Faith
This is my last tip for you. Do not overthink. Do not create ghosts in your own head. If you don’t have any proof – if you did not see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears – then do not start making that endless “what if” questions in your brain. Think positive. Pray for him/her, maybe that would be even better.
There, you have it! If you have any question let me know. I am Sella Tania. Visit my site here.