If I could meet my two-years-ago self and tell her “You will be in a long distance relationship soon”, she would probably laugh at my face and tell me “Yeah right” while rolling her eyes. For me, LDRs (Long Distance Relationships) were never an option. I always thought “Nope! Not for me, thank you very much” and just brushed it off without a second thought. That’s why when I met Hitomi (my current boyfriend), I didn’t want to be in love with him — essentially because we were going to live about 10 000 km apart. But since love is something you just can’t fight against, it created a strange situation for the first months of our relationship. I thought there was no way I would go back in Canada and deal with a LDR. Funny how life turns out, right?
Fortunately, LDRs are not as difficult as everyone seems to think they are. Of course it’s hard at times, but you can totally go through that with your partner if you are willing enough.
However, I think long distance relationships are not made for everybody. Some people can, some people can’t. It depends on your character, your past experiences, and the degree of committment you’re ready to put into your relationship, just to name a few.
A lot of people, either family or friends, asked me how I could do it, or what was the magic trick behind my relationship with Hitomi. Why was it still working, after two years? How could that happen? Most of them probably expected my relationship to fall apart in the first year or so, but then it didn’t. Here’s why: there’s no magic trick, just two personnalities that fit together, even through a long distance relationship. My character and Hitomi’s make us able to survive through that difficult situation that is a LDR. Here’s what I think you need if you want your long distance relationship to work well.
1. You have to trust your significant other
Because you don’t know where they are and what they’re doing all the time. If you don’t trust your partner or if your partner doesn’t trust you, the relationship won’t last long before one of you gets tired of all that pressure and jealousy and leave.
Hitomi and I aren’t jealous at all. It’s not that I have never been jealous in my life; I certainly have (with a previous boyfriend). It’s just that somehow, Hitomi doesn’t make me feel as if he’s going to cheat on me in any way. He never made me feel like that, because he never did anything that could lead me to think he would. So, I trust him. I don’t mind it when he goes out with his friends or meet with one of his girl friends for dinner, and he doesn’t mind that I do a girls’ night-out in Tokyo with my friends or go see a movie with my male bestfriend. We are just happy that the other is having fun and confident in knowing that it doesn’t go against our relationship. Also, knowing each others’ friends is a good way to calm some jealous feelings.
So, I would add that you have to be confident in yourself in a long distance relationship, because if you aren’t, then jealousy will come in some ways. If both partners are confident, they will trust each other.
2. Independance is key: you have to be happy being alone
I think that’s one of the most important thing concerning a long distance relationship. If you have a hard time living all alone and need your significant other a lot, you probably will find LDRs difficult to live with.
Personally, I’ve never been in search of a boyfriend; it always happened as unplanned. The main reason is because I am happy either being single or in a relationship. I’ve never had the need to have a boyfriend. Hitomi is exactly the same: he is happy even when he’s alone.
I won’t lie though, sometimes LDRs are hard, especially when you miss your lover. But most of the time, it’s manageable.
Of course, I’m not saying I’m not happy when I see Hitomi. I’m just saying I don’t have a hard time living by myself when we’re far from each other. I have a wonderful family, awesome friends, and an easy life in general. I may be lucky, but you also have to find what makes you happy in the little things you do everyday by yourself. I’m not a fan of the “better half” romantic saying, because I don’t want to feel incomplete when I’m not with my significant other. He’s not half of me; he is a whole human being which I respect and love, and I’m a whole human being too. We support each other, we learn from each other and we grow together, but we are by no means better or worst than the other. We are equals and we can survive by ourselves (although being together is much more fun).
3. You have to be accommodating/easygoing
Because one day, one of you will have to move for the other. You shouldn’t let go on everything you care for as a way to be with your partner though. But you will have to talk about it sooner or later, and if you’re both not accommodating, you’re doomed.
In a previous post, I mentioned how anxious I was about moving in Japan to be with my boyfriend. We talked about it very calmly and seriously, and it’s recently official: Hitomi is going to spend one year in Canada starting from next year on the working-holiday visa. It’s big news, especially concerning the fact that he has to leave his job (which is a huge thing in Japan). I might actually write a post about that later.
Anyway, what I meant to say is, we both make efforts to accommodate the other as much as possible. He understood my reluctance to move right away in Japan, so I didn’t even have to ask him to come to Canada: he proposed it willingly.
The bottom line is, a long distance relationship is not easy, but it’s not as hard as you might think, especially if you have a personality similar to the three previous points. Good luck to everyone who is also in a LDR!