Question: What was the crucial element that helped your long distance relationship?
I guess quite a few of you must be in long distance relationships, because I get this question quite often. In a globalized world, I suppose dating or even being married long distance is getting more common.
My husband and I spent 3 years in a long distance relationship before getting engaged. With the Atlantic Ocean between us, it did not always make it easy (or affordable for students - which we were at the time) to spend time with each other in person. We calculated it the other day, and the time spent face-to-face during that time added up to between 7 and 8 months. While that is not a lot, we did talk almost every day.
Modern technology is fantastic for that and allowed us to stay in almost constant communication (as constant as an 8-hour time difference can allow for anyway…). If it wasn’t letter writing and emails, we could text and video chat - something our parents were not able to do in their own long distance relationships!
Did I mention that even our parents did the same crazy thing? Must be genetic.
Anyhow, despite a large time difference, insane cultural differences, and the fact that we were on different continents, it all still somehow worked out.
To answer your question, there were several factors that affected our successful (in my eyes) long distance relationship. I actually wrote a blog post about it a while ago called, “The Three C’s of Long Distance Dating.” You’ll have to visit to find out what those C’s are and to find some really fun ideas for your own long distance relationship.
But really it all boiled down to intentionality.
I know I use that word a lot, and it’s the theme of this entire website, but it really is true.
Intentionality was the one crucial element that helped our long distance relationship. We chose to make it work, which made every element something we intentionally thought about. Before we even started dating, we knew we were in it for the goal of marriage - and if that didn’t happen, that was okay. But we didn’t see the point of even going through such an ordeal without a goal in mind. What good would that have been?
We intentionally talked about core values with each other, but most importantly, we really tried to intentionally keep our relationship a God-centered one.
Practically, we had to be sure we were reaching out to each other and that the limited time we had to talk was used wisely and we were not distracted with other things. I’m not even kidding when I say that we often created agendas as if we were entering a board meeting before talking. That way we didn’t forget what we needed to share or talk about. There were several resources we used and developed to guide our conversations as well.
All of this is not to say that we have stopped being intentional in our relationship now that we are married - not at all! It’s just that intentionality in our relationship looks a tad different now that we are married.
But more on that dynamic in a different post!
Have you been in/are you in a long distance relationship? What was the crucial element that helped you?