I’m not really an expert in anything. Really, I’m not. Unless you count laughing a lot, being quirky, and doing everything really fast. No? I didn’t think so.
I personally don’t consider myself a relationship expert either, even though I’ve been in one for a very long time. Oh yeah, and we’ve spent half of that time doing the long distance thing. I still don’t believe that neither Vishnu nor I are experts.
We were actually talking about our relationship the other night, and we came to that conclusion together. The things that worked for us and kept us together for so many years may or may not work for others. Every person, every relationship is so unique and should be treated as such. Personally, I think that all relationships, romantic or not, should be based on a few basic principles – love, trust, honesty, respect, friendship. But when you go one level deeper to the individuals in the relationship themselves, it all depends.
It always comes back to that…it. all. depends.
So, even though we’re not experts, that doesn’t mean we don’t like to dole out advice! Especially when it comes to the long distance thing. The second part of mine and Vishnu’s conversation that night was about how we made it through the past few years. Basically, if someone were to ask us to tell him/her our “secrets,” what we would tell them. It took us a while, but we came up with a pretty good list. And of course, it was good blog material…so here we are…
Please keep my favorite phrase (it all depends) in mind while you read my list because no two couples are alike.
I’d like to call this The Non-Expert’s Guide to a Long Distance Relationship…
This sounds so basic, and maybe it is, but when you’re in a long distance relationship, communication needs to be both individuals number one priority. You have to build it in to your day – even if that means having multiple two minute conversations throughout the day. Every little bit counts when you’re trying to bridge the distance.
And with all the different technology that’s around these days, it’s a lot easier to stay connected. Vishnu and I talk on the phone, video chat, text, email, gchat, and send each other snail mail every now and then. Ok that last one is just me, but that’s because I find it fun!
2. The Blame Game
Don’t play it! Plain and simple.
Something we found in our relationship is that we never blamed each other for the distance. Instead, we understood that it was just circumstance, and that we wanted to overcome it together. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, there will be times when you ask yourself if it’s worth it. And if you ever find yourself doubting the situation, talk it through, but don’t automatically start blaming your partner for something you both agreed to try out.
3. Be an Individual
With relationships, it’s so easy to lose yourself in the other person. It’s so easy to become one – act like one, talk like one, do everything together like one. But something that’s always brought Vishnu and closer together is remaining two distinct individuals in our relationship. We both have our own hobbies and interests that don’t really intersect at all, but that’s ok! We respect our differences and realize that it’s a good thing to want to have your own time.
In fact, this element of individuality has really helped us with the distance. It’s what’s allowed us to maintain a good base of friends wherever we are. It also allows us to go after our passions – school, work, blogging . With the shared understanding that I am Parita and he is Vishnu, we end up supporting one another versus suffocating or stifling.
So much for my individuality…he made me put on a Ga Tech sweatshirt! Juuust Kidding!
4. Visit Each Other
Try to always see each other as much as you can based on your situation. Make the effort and go the distance…it’s important to spend time together face to face (duh!).
Also, every time you see one another, do something different – try a new restaurant, go for a massage, go to the movies, go on a picnic, take a day trip, etc. The possibilities are endless. Another way to keep things fresh is to meet up somewhere in the middle and experience a whole new place together.
That’s us in Sedona, Arizona!
5. Don’t give up!
Trust me, it’s hard, we know. But have faith and listen to what your heart is telling you. Long distance is not for everyone, but if you truly believe that someone is worth fighting for, go for it. Do yourself a favor, take a leap of faith, and try. Who knows…you may end up marrying your best friend!
There you have it…the “secrets” to our relationship. Again, we are no experts, but it’s worked for us and it may or may not work for you…it all depends.
What’s the best piece of relationship advice you’ve ever received?