Let me say first off – this will probably not be a popular post topic. This may be something you don’t want to look at or even consider.
As someone who’s in an LDR and who lives on the opposite side of the world of her family, I’m begging you to think on this.
When we fall in love with someone who is far away, it sometimes feels like both the impossible, and the most exhilarating mountain to climb all rolled into one. On one hand, there are the incredible lows of missing one another, of not getting to touch, kiss or simply be together. On the other hand, there is the intense high of that precious one to four weeks together. The time spent travelling together, learning about each other’s lives. Of being a privileged insider into your loved one’s innermost workings and being.
And we plan, sometimes impossibly, a life together, one filled with laundry, daily arguing, and deciding on the best meals for dinner.
I don’t think there’s anything which brings out a relationship’s needs faster than an LDR. It requires all the skill of communication that takes many people years to develop even when living together. It requires patience, love, and understanding.
And it also includes knowing what is important to you, and what is flexible.
After a point, perhaps with all the planning, you may wonder if all the work to close the distance is worth it. And you know what? That’s a valuable question. Don’t shortchange it.
What IS valuable to you? What makes that person you want to live with forever worth it.
I can feel the eye-rolling from here. Bear with me. What makes it worthwhile to you, to give up everything in your country, which can include anything from favorite foods to beloved family/friends?
Some people say love is unselfish. I disagree. It requires looking at what is selfish to us, and knowing if we can work within our limitations. It’s NOT selfish to be close to your family, and need to stay and ask them to move, or to ask for a compromise. Being in love doesn’t mean you HAVE to sacrifice everything that’s important to you.
It’s about priorities. And thinking about your future as you want it, regardless of others. And knowing that there are some things you can handle, and some you can’t.
And as always, a sense of adventure, because having an international love is an adventure all of its own.
Don’t be afraid to have standards for what you can and cannot stand. Don’t be ashamed to say “this is enough, and it needs to change.” And never, ever be ashamed to be who you are. Because in the end, that’s all you have. And all your partner has as well.
And any love that grows within two people’s competing needs is truly special indeed. And that is why an LDR is even more precious than words can describe – because despite all of those needs, wants, and more, it survives.
Love long and prosper, my friends.
Marisol Dunham has been a freelance writer since 2007, and now lives with her once long-distance boyfriend in Australia. An American wandering the bush, she writes about her life and writing ventures on her blog at http://www.madunham.com/. You can find her on Twitter at @maridunham.