I will always remember my first long-distance relationship.
I was 22, and he, 23. He was from a small town in Veneto, Italy, and I — Los Angeles, California.
We fell in love — real love.
An out-of-this-world, extremely passionate and insanely toxic kind-of-love. The kind that some people never get to experience in a single lifetime or, the kind that people find themselves in over and over again.
We were two kids from two different parts of the world – trying to build a world of our own. Every feel of his touch, the sound of his laughter, and a glimpse of his perfect smile propelled me to test my boundaries in love.
In other words, I lost all sense of self-control.
We hopped on the next available flight just to be together, learned each other’s languages to communicate with our families and dreamt of escaping to a new world that would allow us to evade visa regulations.
Together, we resisted the opinions of our loved ones, refused our life passions, and toxically chose each other, every-single-time.
The universe was on our side, and it was him and I against the world. We believed we’d make it – at least we thought we would.
It’s been five years since the start and the end, and although life had other plans for us, I’m grateful for the memories – for ‘our’ story. I’m grateful to be the woman I have become because of him – for the standards I’ve set in my search for love, but mostly, I’m grateful to share the knowledge I’ve acquired through our chapter together.
I stand by Henry Ford when he said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
I’m not sure if I’ll ever find myself in a long-distance journey again, but if I do, I’ll look forward to starting a new journey with all my noteworthy lessons.
Here’s are 6 tips to a successful long-distance relationship:
1. To create a routine together is to create a journey together.
Whether you’re routine orientated or not, every partnership begins with making small, and eventually larger promises towards one another.
Commit to a simple routine that reserves time for all the meaningful and casual conversations together.
A FaceTime routine will make you and your partner feel secure, confident and excited through your days apart.
2. FaceTime to SexyTime
There’s something insanely seductive about Facetiming to SexyTime. It brings out the creativity in you and surprisingly boosts your self-confidence.
You feel exposed but in all the right ways.
What’s sexier than to watch your lover navigate his/her eyes through your body without being able to touch you…yet? It’s one of the best “bad-but-so-good” pleasures your partner needs and that you can truly give yourself. No pun intended.
Get wild, fun and inspired to learn all the new angles, positions, and skill sets you never thought you had.
3. Don’t stress if every trip isn’t perfect
It’s stressful enough to know if your third SexyTime date went well – the last thing you should worry about is whether your last visit went to his/hers or your expectations.
I get it, sometimes planning is necessary to ensure a promising trip, but unless there’s a stop to meet the parents or a trip to Paris, try not to map how the visit should go.
Some visits will be full of sex and passion, others will be loaded with enlightening conversations, and there will be a few filled with disagreements and bickering, and guess what? That’s okay!
‘Real’ relationships are full of ups and downs and long-distance relationships are no exception.” ― Allison Bowsher
4. Revel in your independence
Even if you have the time and luxury to travel into the arms of your love at every given opportunity – don’t.
Instead, revel in your independence. It’s a very whole and reassuring feeling to know there is a man/woman living this earth that loves you entirely enough to commit to something as challenging as a long-distance relationship.
Now, remember how loved you are and use the time apart to create a better ‘you’ by continuing to focus on our hobbies and chasing your passions.
5. When in doubt, ‘hope’
Hope was the only feeling that kept our story alive. It was the only thing that kept us smiling through our tears, lifted us through our doubts, and enlivened for our future.
It was the light at the end of our tunnel.
Doubts will be a large factor in your long-distance journey, and like a pain in the ass, it will fluctuate throughout your relationship.
However, it’s your ability to hold each other accountable to hope and strive for the best outcome, that will shape the success of your relationship.
6. Remember the gap is only temporary
Through every dispute, my lover and I had, we’d unintentionally blame our relationship challenges on the gap that separated us.
We stopped reminding each other that the circumstances were only meant to be temporary – neglecting the truth that one day there would be a solution.
Remember that sooner or later, you and your partner will share the same zip code, be members of the same gym, attend local cooking lessons, and eventually, that the two of you will build a home to continue pursuing your future in.
All that there’s to remember is the distance is momentary, until one day, the two of you decide that it no longer is.