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?
- Is a third culture kid more likely to succeed or fail in an intercultural relationship?
- Canadian-Danish intercultural relationship – the difficulties of relocation
- African American-Romanian, wealthy and poor, issues of age gap and unequal romantic experience, can we make it to marriage?
- American-Indian Intercultural Marriage – Older Wife, Younger Husband, and a Love That Overcomes
- A “Non-Engagement” Engagement – An Offbeat Engagement Story of a Swedish/American and Japanese Couple