6 secrets to successful long distance relationship

in Intercultural dating

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intercultural couple Gleenn
Glee and Glenn on their second meet up in Bangkok

Maintaining a long distance relationship and making it work is not easy. It takes endurance, patience, trust and creativity more than a normal relationship requires. Most intercultural and interracial relationships are long distance and that’s due to a lot of online dating and social net working sites, anyone from anywhere in the world have access to this open border relationship.

I’ve lived both long distance relationship and long distance marriage. I attest that in spite of the difficulties, there are ways to nourish your relationship regardless the distance.

Secret #1: Have a schedule for regular communication, make it daily

Communication is important in any relationship; however, for couples who live five or fifteen hours apart, it’s important that a schedule for daily communication is established.

Make sure to spend quality communication time every day. Be open about every single thing that took place in your day. For me and my boyfriend (now husband), we spend at least two hours of catching up about how our day went over the phone for week days and through Skype for weekends. Make use of cheaper international calls and take advantage of voice chats provided for free by Skype or Yahoo Chat.

Secret #2: Trust

Any relationship requires trust otherwise without this element; your relationship will not grow. You must trust him and you also must make sure that you are trust worthy. Don’t do anything that can potentially ruin his trust when he finds out. However, trusting your mate when you cannot see what he/she does and where he/she goes isn’t easy. Well, that basically depends on how long you’ve known your partner. If yours is still new, then go check the next tip.

Secret #3:  Have a background check done on your man/woman

It’s difficult to give your complete trust to someone whom you’ve just met. Building a relationship out of distance requires a lot of resources and you don’t want to spend time, money, effort and emotion for something that will only turn out fake. This is a smart move for any relationship or marriage no matter what country, race, religion etc. “It’s too easy for someone to lie, hide or cheat the system so to speak and you should know everything before you agree to an intercultural relationship.”

See the discussion about this topic on the comment section: My American-Christian best friend is marrying a Ghanaian-Muslim

Secret #4: Be creative in spending your quality time

Find a recreation that you both enjoy. Talking over the phone for hours every day can exhaust topics that are left to discuss and would lead to boredom. It’s important that you find other ways of spending time creatively with fun. When my boyfriend found out that I felt bored with always chatting over the phone, he started looking for websites where we could play online games together. It made us laugh together. It’s really fun.

See how this couple creatively spends their quality time over Skype:  American-Filipina interracial marriage

Secret #5: Send crafty personalized gifts, or anything meaningful

My boyfriend pampers me with a lot of gifts but the best gift he sent me was his sketch of the portrait of my godchild, a very beautiful girl. As a return, I also made two charcoal sketches; one is a portrait of him and the other of me. When he received them, he was completely stunned at how good I made them. He immediately framed and displayed them in his room.  At times he sends me his  favorite t-shirt with his perfume on it. As a return, I also send him my favorite dress or sweater. We give back those items to each other when we reunite.

Send letters through postal mails. Even if technology makes writing quick and easy nowadays; e.g. emailing or instant messaging, sending hand written letters or cards to your mate is more romantic. It feels good to read something hand written by your love.

Secret #6:  Find time to see each other

Even if it can be expensive and stressful, it’s important that you find time to meet and be together. It can be during summer or Christmas vacation. Reuniting for a week or two and making the most out of it can refuel the relationship. The memories and experiences will inspire you to look forward to more exciting reunion in the future.

Note: Sleeping together immediately on your first meeting will most likely blow everything. Don’t be too available for him. I didn’t sleep with my boyfriend until the wedding and it made him pursue me more.

Secret #7: Pray and let God lead you

If you’re someone who believes in God, always bring your relationship to Him in prayer. No matter how you work hard to make things work, if God has a different plan for the two of you, things will not turn out the way you want. But if you’re truly insistent, you might get what you want, but at the end you’ll realize that it isn’t what you need. So make sure to incorporate God in your relationship as you aim for a safe and successful long distance relationship.

These are the top elements that proved necessary and effectively on my own long distance relationship. What are your secrets in making your long distance relationship work?

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White Bhabi

#4 I have some great ideas for this! I once wrote a handbook for spouses of deployed marines and found some really fascinating ideas. Let me list a few.

Watch a movie together. Both of you set the time, the movie and either call on the phone and communicate during the movie or call afterwards. It’s like a long distance date. You discuss the movie – the likes, the dislikes, the crazy scenes. Pick out movie snacks, prepare like you are actually together and enjoy the movie-long distance. This works great for movies in any language as well and can help partners understand culture, and you have a first hand guide available to explain the things you don’t understand.

Send video grams – make a little video saying something sweet or just about your day and send to your sweetheart. They can watch it when they miss you and you’re not available. The only downside is that if you only have email, you have to keep the video’s short. YouTube allows private videos available by invite only for longer videos. Just remember your sweethearts internet speed before uploading anything too long. Alternately, you can send music grams. MP3’s or videos of you singing his favorite song.

Have a meal together. This may be hard to accomplish with different time differences but you can try. Talk on the phone while eating dinner and talk about the sites around you, your day, etc. The same things you would talk about on a real date.

Cook for your man. There are all sorts of cake in a jar recipes online. Make a special cake in a jar for him and send it to him to enjoy. Little sentiments go a long way. If he cooks, he may be as inclined to do the same for you. Just make sure you package it well so nothing breaks during shipping.

Try googling for things women do when their man is deployed, ways to stay close during deployment, etc for more great ideas from the pros. Those poor women in the US Army live without their man roughly 70% of his career so they can get very creative. Use it to your advantage.

Glee

You’ve given us really fantastic creative ideas, White Bhabi. I’ll admit, for how many times I’ve thought of the Army wives and that how difficult it must be to have their husbands away most of the time. I take them as really offbeat wives. I believe they must have made use of creativity in spending quality times.

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