In my early 20s, it was the naivety of youth and ambition that brought me to Africa, and I dealt with the end of a young relationship before I could even tell people that “I was in a long-distance relationship” or “it’s complicated.” The idea of a few thousand kilometers broke us up. In hindsight, our relationship would’ve never stood the test of time nor distance.
Since then, I have continued to journey in the abyss of the dating scene. Finding a life partner, or what I like to call “partner-in-crime,” is incredibly difficult when you live a transient lifestyle where rapid global changes can inspire you to make life-changing decisions, such as moving to another continent thanks to a new job or career path, in a whim.
For people like myself who travel a lot, the odds are that you will meet a lot of interesting people and accumulate so many new experiences that writing a memoir, eventually, is a given. Cookie-cutter lifestyles just aren’t your thing. Chances are you will find that you are more attracted to individuals that you meet during your travels simply because they’re more likely to be in-tune with you than those waiting at home. Falling for someone from a far-a-way land isn’t such an improbable idea when they have the same values, morals and goals as you do.
And if that is the case, you’ll just have to bite the bullet and accept that ‘adaptability’ is the new ‘stability.’
If you’re currently in a long-distance relationship or are thinking about embarking in one, here are three important tips that will bring some winning ‘stability’ into your romantic endeavour:
Set goals together and work towards a concrete finish line. You can’t be long-distancing forever.
What do you want from this relationship? If being away from your beau is what you want, then go ahead. But most will long for the moment they can be united with their partner and be able to never part ways at an airport again.
Like all things in life, setting realistic goals are paramount to achieving what you want. If you’ve left for a two-year contract, make a point to see each other before the end of that term. What happens after the contract? Do you move? Does he move? Where will you both call home?
It’s important to know when the finish line will happen, otherwise you’ll just be wallowing in a relationship without any direction.
Create common experiences with Smartphone applications.
With the digital age, loving each other despite the physical distance has never been easier. Say goodbye to writing letters or paying for costly phone bills. Smartphone applications like Skype, WeChat, Viber and WhatsApp will help you text and send pictures to one another as if you were actually right next to your partner.
The goal here is to create the feeling of common experiences, like you’re experiencing something together even though your lover might be thousands of kilometers away in another time zone or hemisphere. You don’t have to spam your partner with endless chats – people do need to work you know? All you need to do is just ensure that your partner knows you are present, and that you’re only a message away.
Keep things natural – don’t force it.
Great, you’ve made it to the finish line! But did you know that it’s pretty common for long-distance relationships to fail afterwards? Distance can loosen your bond, but as many successful couples before you can attest to, it can also strengthen it. The key is to communicate and grow your relationship as if you weren’t separated by physical distance. Easier said than done.
Try to just go about your relationship without the pressures, keep it loose and natural. Don’t draft a timetable of when you need to Skype her. Instead, you should Skype her whenever you want to talk to her, see her. Don’t make the “long-distance” part of the relationship into a chore. It is simply the circumstances that you’ve been given. Remember ‘adaptability’ is the new ‘stability.’