It can be dreadful. You see couples holding hands, kissing, shopping together, having coffee etc., and you can't help but envy them. Worse is when Christmas is coming and you are bound not to have your special someone by your side.
Not everyone can handle being in a long distance relationship. The adage "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" can either make or break both of you. It does work but it will rely heavily on how much effort both parties involved will make to make it work.
I know this because I had been in one. And here I am, married to the same person after getting married then separated for more than a year because of VISA documents.
So how do you do this? How do you make true love conquer all odds? Well, here are some tips which might help you stabilize your relationship despite the distance.
Constant Communication is Key
Whether near or far, if communication is taken for granted, it can cause the relationship to suffer. In this digital age, hardly can you find an excuse to not communicate.
In my experience, we often left messages to each other over email or instant messaging. We also made a routine to webcam for an average of 2 hours every weekend. When one is on a trip, we try to make calls over apps like iMsg or Yahoo Messenger. When I arrive at the office during weekdays, we allot time to FaceTime for a few minutes while I organize my desk or make coffee.
Make use of the available technology.
Share Gifts and Care Packages
Being together will have given you ideas on what your partner likes. In our case, we sent each other gifts during birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes on random dates.
There was a time when my husband sent me a Christmas present of a book I've been wanting. I was surprised he knew my preference and he mentioned that he was able to view my amazon wishlist and thus made the purchase for me.
Keeping track of your beloved's social media timeline can also give you hints of his current hobbies and interest. I once gifted him with a music moleskine passion journal for his interest to study music and writing hobby. He loved it and is using it for his music-related notes.
When your partner is sick, you can send care packages consisting of items he or she likes. Favorite tea brand, a preferred DVD, fruits, balloons, a funny picture of you, etc.
Keep Yourself Busy
Keeping yourself busy doesn't connote forgetting your loved one or your "special days". You can't mope around and wait for the day he or she will come by for a visit. Keeping yourself busy will prohibit you from stunting your growth and develop emotional insecurities.
Do new things. Try a new sport or hobby. Get creative and join a painting class. If you are a bookworm, write a list of all the books you want to read. Blog, travel, make furniture, etc. Anything that can make you productive and happy at the same time.
In my experience, I spent my time being a restaurant-hopper, fueling my passion for food. I also attended a Communication Excellence class for speech and confidence building. I became a movie and mall buff. Not that I bought a lot of things. I just like window shopping.
There are tons of things you can do. You're doing it not just to occupy yourself but also to allow yourself to grow even with your lover's absence. Patience is a virtue after all and keeping busy will also make time run faster for both of you.
The Value of Trust and Commitment
Be steadfast in your relationship. Having trust takes away doubt. Being committed to each other without being swayed by any temptation will signal good promise ahead for both you. Your commitment to each other will keep the passion alive and the fires burning thus sustaining the growth of the relationship.
Enjoy Life and Make Special Occasions Special
Special days must be celebrated no matter how far apart you are. These occasions are birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year, and Valentine's Day. During these days, you can plan out extended webcam time, or spend for an extra special gift. This is regardless if you already talk constantly. Special days are meant to spend private moments with your special someone.
Just because you are far apart from each doesn't mean a part of "life" is taken away from both of you. You each both have lives to live and hardships are expected in long distance relationships.
Think of of the situation this way, being happy individually and apart from each other will make you grow into a better person so when your loved one comes back, he of she will be more proud of you as full-grown individual and things will be more sweeter than ever.