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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

12 Important Things About Long Distance Relationship

Today marks Dane's 1st year as an OFW. If you are to ask me how I feel about it, I’ll say that I feel proud that we made it this far – well, I knew we’d get through this together, and even longer, but of course, we don’t know what lies ahead. If I were to remember, the first night that he left, I felt sooo empty and lonely… and worried!

The past year for me was too long and too short at the same time. I don't really know what to feel now that we only have 1 year left 'til he's home. We are halfway through this challenging phase. And God knows in our hearts, that we never want this to ever happen again.


Since today's his 1st year away from us, I'd like to talk about 12 important (referencing to the 12 months in a year) things that I can think of when I think about our current situation as long-distance married couples.


1. Communication is the rule of thumb
Making time is vital in a relationship and communication is not just true for long distance couples, even for those who are not. Communication is the key to every relationship. We need to understand and be understood by our partner always. We need stay connected and that is only possible when communication is done regularly.

We all know that technology is the LDR couples' friends: Skype, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, you name it! There are so many ways to be able to connect to your partner now. The tool is not the problem: it's the time. You'll be challenged with time zone differences and work schedule differences and if you don't make time for it, there will not be a time for your partner.

2. Discuss Important Things
Just because your partner is away, doesn't mean he's/she's not part of your every life decision anymore. Talk about your goals and plans, your savings, your financial situation, your child's schooling,  and many other important things. Nothing has changed except the fact  that you're physically away from each other.

Dane and I always discuss our plans because that is important for us. Especially now that we're planning a completely different route when he comes home. And of course, these plans aren't fixed yet but that's what we want to do and we are praying for that to be realized.

3. Plan for a time together
A time together is what keeps your relationship fueled. That's what you hope for and patiently look forward to. So make sure to plan that time together with your partner. Create an itinerary or even just a list of the things that you want to do when "that-long-wait-is-finally-over" comes.

For a year now, Dane and I have been talking about the things we wanted to do when he comes home: how it's going to be when he arrives at the airport, where's our first family bonding, etc. And I tell you, after a year of planning our time together, our itinerary has changed for the nth time already! lol! But that's okay, that's perfectly fine, because that's what keeps us excited. That's one of the things that keeps us holding on: the fact that it'll one day end.

Image Source: Tumblr
4. Save Up!
Most (if not all) OFWs, as we know, leave the country for a chance of a better financial status of their family. And as many always say, “kung kaya ko lang kitain ang sahod ko abroad sa Pinas, di na ako mag-aabroad”. However, that is mostly not the case. Which is why our loved ones are there and we’re left behind. As a wife and a person traditionally known as the “ingat-yaman” (treasurer) in the household, it’s very important that we save up money as much as possible.

I hear someone say, the financial stability of an OFW family depends upon how the wife saves the money that comes to her. Although this may not be true all the time because there are many OFW wives, the person left in the PH is the one responsible in handling the finances. And that should mean handling it carefully. This is the reason why I don’t touch Dane’s savings. I only get what’s allotted and leave the rest on his bank account. Because I want him to know that I value his every hardwork, I want this 2 yrs not to go waste. I want this to be the start of a better financial status for us, a stepping stone to a more stable state. Not that I’m bragging because this doesn’t mean that we have millions in our bank accounts right now, but I what I’m trying to say is, spend your partner’s money wisely.

Since both of us are saving up and taking amounts of our salary for our savings fund, it's important that we keep each other updated of our savings and the amount that we need to raise before he gets home. It's not easy to save up but we're both trying our best. Our savings isn't that huge yet but hopefully we'll reach our original target amount before he comes home.

5. Never care what others say
This is funny so I have to tell you: someone asked me why I tried to look nice when my husband is not around. That statement has sent so many messages to me, lol. I don't know if that means I looked like I don't care about how I would look before, or if I was ugly before and suddenly became a bit prettier now, I'm not sure, haha! But if you know me for a long time now, you’ll notice that I just started learning to use make up now and started to buy clothes for myself (not that I don’t before but it’s just not that often). That is because now, I can allot a few pesos to buy myself a few more personal stuff. I was too simple before until I became more interested in learning basic make up and fashion. Let’s just say I’m so dull before and I’m trying to learn to dress up now, lol! And it’s funny that someone actually thought about that the wrong way!

Some people around you might be “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” when they learn about your brave decision to go LDR but sometimes, there are nasty people who will immediately go ahead and wonder how long you will stay as a couple. Don’t spend time on these people, they’re not worth it. Focus on being a better partner, think of nothing but your family and your relationship.

6. It's OK to envy other couples sometimes :)
I will not be afraid to admit that I envy other couples who walk hand in hand in the malls or those who are dating in the park sometimes. That’s a natural feeling because we all want to be with the person we love – all the time! So don’t be hard of yourself, go on and envy sometimes, lol!

Honestly though, what I like seeing the most are older couples. Those senior citizens who still date at restaurants together, those who still go out together, they’re so admirable aren’t they? And when I see them, I think of no one but my Dane. Seeing older couples together take me to the future and makes me think that one day, it’ll be me and my husband, together, doing anything, going anywhere.

image source: Pinterest

7. Live one day at a time
I always mention this on my blog. Yes I do, and I will never, ever forget. Because this is how we got through it: living one day at a time. If we think of long much more we have to wait, it’ll be dreadful, but if we don’t count the days, we’ll be surprised it’s almost over (or halfway through for us). I read a quote before that says something about the longer you are away from your partner, the nearer the day that you’ll be together again. Since the day I read that, I always hold on to that.

8. "These are all temporary"
One more promise that you and your partner can hold on to is that it’s not going to be like this forever. One day, it’ll all end and you’ll be together again. In our case, we hope for this to end after 2 years, and nothing more. And hopefully, with God’s help, he won’t need to leave us ever again.

This is true even for those seafarers couple like my friends Melisa and Melody and their hubbies. Even if it’s really the nature of their husbands jobs to be away and to work at seas, it’ll still come to an end one day and they will still be together again. No LDR is permanent, couples are designed to be together. And this is one of the things you can hold on to as a couple.

9. Quarrels still happen
Yes, it still does. For Dane and I, I think we quarreled twice so far since the day he left. Lol. That was during our first few months away when we were still adjusting and were still in the process of settling things. Thankfully, it didn’t happen often. Back when we were together, I easily grouch because I knew he’s just around and we can always settle right away. Things are different when you’re not together. Even though quarrels are inevitable, my advice is try your best not to quarrel when you’re away.

10. Be productive and busy
If there’s something to be thankful for because of a long-distance relationship, it is certainly a time where you can make yourself better. Focus on learning new things and do things that you think can make you even more productive. Your partner would be surprised to see a better version of you when you see each other again.

Right now, I’m taking some short online courses to help me learn more about my passion which is blogging. I also decided to pursue my course in Theology and hopefully be able to finish it soon. I’m also learning the basic make up, lol! Because, really, I have no idea how to do that before! Haha!

Image source: Pinterest
11. Trust your partner
This is given. No relationship would work without trust. So believe that your partner will stay true and faithful, at the same time, also know when to listen to your instinct when you feel that there’s something going on.  

12. Above all, trust God
For someone like us who believe in God and want to make Him the center of our relationship, we put all our worries and leave everything to God. I remember I told Dane once, “we’re almost 1 yr away now, do you trust me now?” he told me he doesn’t trust me, he trusts God.

When we make our marriage our highest priority, with God as our faithful master, no enemies, will or imagined, can come between our us.

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28 comments:

  1. I'm quite afraid if hubby will be an OFW because he's very lazy when it comes to communicating. Even when we were just bf-gf, it's one of the reason why we always quarrel. But I love him of course that's why we lasted this long.

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    1. For me sis, if there's any way that no one leaves to work abroad, that's better. Love prevails anyway, but it's still a lot better when together. :)

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  2. Long distance relationships can be challenging but as a challenge, is quite realistic to overcome. Great tips you have here!

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  3. LDR has been a challenge for me and hubby for almost 12 years now. Good thing he works 28days off and 28days on at Doha.. He flies back home on a monthly basis thought it was stressful. Trust and communication is key!

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    1. Wow!!! Ours is nothing compared to yours! I'm glad to hear he comes back home monthly.

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  4. I think LDR will all boils down on trust and communication. Everything will be worth it in the right time. ��

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  5. I'm the type of person that a LDR won't work. I know this already sinceI've tried it before. I think, it is also important to know yourself too before engaging to this type of relationship.

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    1. You have a point on that one too, Frances! That's another thing to consider, I wonder what happens though if the person you love suddenly needs to be away for quite some time?

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  6. I've been in a LDR now for 8 years already TODAY. Now is our anniversary and I can tell you, these things are for sure true. We survived by trusting. That's the core for every relationship, LDR or not. Thank you for sharing this! It's not easy, it's hard work.

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    1. Wow!!! That's a long time compared to my 1 year! lol. I am so happy for both of you. May God bless your relationship always.

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  7. I had a long distance relationship before and it is so hard. Managed it for two years but eventually something happen to him and that ended our relationship. It was tough, that two years felt forever. I long to hug and kiss him but I can't. Then again, if the both of you stay strong and trust each other, distance would not matter

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that. But I know if not that person, someone else is meant for you. :) Yes, that's right trust is very essential in a relationship.

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  8. I had a LDR before but it was short lived. My current relationship can be considered as one (he lives in Laguna and works in Makati while I live in Rizal/Marikina and work from home). We are both busy so we do our best to see each other once a week, whether when I'm in Makati for an event or he brings me along to a work related function. I appreciate that we can spend time together and we also grow as individuals.

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    1. God bless you both! :) If there's a will, there's always a way. You can do this. :)

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  9. I haven't been in a LDR and I do admire couple who are in one and made it work talaga. Hubby is considering working overseas as well so your tips will surely come in handy though I think they are very applicable din on every relationship talaga :)

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    1. Yes, that's true. This isn't just for LDR couples. But will mostly apply to them:) Good luck on your plans. Stay strong. :)

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  10. Super agree especially on the save up thingy. Lagi nalilimutan yun eh.

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    1. Tama. And that's what I'm hoping to always do. Sinisikap talaga. :D

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  11. My then boyfriend (now husband) had LDR before when he had to stay in Cebu for a year. It was hard for me because I was used to spending weekends together. I agree that you really have to keep yourself busy also so that you don't always feel that you miss your partner. Great tips! :)

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    1. Thank you! :) It's really not easy but kaya naman. :)

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  12. Those are such an advice for those in a LDR. I would totally agree with all those, specially the Trust part. That's actually the key. Learning to fully trust your partner will give you peace of mind and everything else will follow. Thanks for the tips. Really helpful.

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    1. You're welcome, Jen! And yes, everything you said is true!

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  13. Thank you for this wonderful tips.very helpful specially that one of us is planning to work abroad by next month.

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    1. Awww. God bless you sis! It's not easy but together, kakayanin!

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  14. These are worthy tips. I admire your determination. You are pursuing some online courses and you really find time for that. Please share ha. Hahaa. Then your Theology plan is I wish you could fulfill. Here's to wishing you the best and happiness.

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    1. I hope too madam! Looking forward to that! :) Cheers!

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