How to Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

February 7, 2016

A year ago, I wrote the entry below on my JET Program blog. I’ll follow-up with an update later. Until then, enjoy!

If you type the words “long distance relationship” into Google, you will find an endless list of articles on how to make your long distance relationship work. The problem with articles such as “55 Ways to Make Long Distance Relationship Work (Really? 55 ways?),” “21 Tips on Making a Long Distance Relationship Work,” and “22 Things No One Tells You about a Long Distance Relationship” is that they give general advice on things a rational person already knows: communication is imperative to the success of a long distance relationship.

For some, a long distance relationship can mean that their significant other is a few hours or a few states away. In my case, the distance spanned the entire United States and the Pacific Ocean or approximately 8,389 miles (13,500km). By using simple, made up, math, I would need to increase normal communication by 800% in order for my 8.5–year relationship to stand the Long Distance Relationship Test.

If communication is vital then I have all the tools: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Skype, MagicJack, WhatsApp, Line, SnapChat, Vine, Pinterest, Blogger, Gmail, and OoVoo. However, what is the point of all these social media outlets of your significant other doesn’t make time for you? Despite the challenges of moving to a new country, the first year of my extremely long distance relationship went by smoothly. Nevertheless, communication soon became scarce entering my second year. I was seemingly pushed down the priority list in favor for a new group of single friends and a budding obsession with CrossFit. I protested the issue of his indifference several times, but I was met with both eye rolling and wording that suggested that I was doing the typical “crazy girl” thing.

You see, these “helpful” articles never discuss what happens when you fight in a long distance relationship. In a normal relationship, whoever was in the wrong would apologize with both words and action. In a long distance relationship, you can only apologize via text or Skype and since there is no physical/emotional feeling of remorse, something that would have only upset me for two hours now pisses me off for two days! Do you see the problem here? Therefore, unresolved fights and weak communication are the happenings of a disaster but add temptation and the allure of the single life into the mix, and you have the start of World War (E)X.

In short, extremely long distance relationships are difficult, but it’s important to communicate your feelings even if they result in the end of that relationship. It is better to save face than to have your girlfriend find out in the midst of a vacation that you’ve been secretly seeing another woman, taking her out on dates, meeting her family and, unbelievably, messaging her right in front of your girlfriend. And then have that, now, ex-girlfriend write about it in her blog.

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