Ferne kotlyar

5 Tips on How To Make The Waiting Bearable

You’ve found the love of your life! They’re wonderful in every way, and you look forward to spending your time with them. The only problem? It’s a long distance relationship. You’re stuck waiting for love, and you’re not sure when you’ll be able to close the proverbial love-gap. 

Long distance relationships happen for lots of reasons. Sometimes the couple meets abroad and wants to continue the relationship after each party returns home. Other times, you start in the same place as your partner, but other parts of your life pull you apart: work, school or family obligations. 

No matter how you ended up in this situation, we’re going to cover how to make waiting for love bearable. We’ll use a combination of real-world examples of a long-distance couple and practical advice to help guide you through this tough time — because we promise there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Waiting for love 

To get started, we’re going to throw a hypothetical situation your way to get you thinking about long distance relationships. We’ll then offer practical tips combined with how it might work out in this example relationship. Sound good? Here’s the situation: 

A little while ago, Santiago met the woman of his dreams, Valentina. The two are super happy together. But Valentina gets an amazing job in France and has to move. Now they're far apart and they see each other once or twice a month. It’s really tough for them and they both know that they have to wait. She has a job that keeps her in place, and he needs to finish filing immigration papers to attain citizenship in France. They just want to be together and they feel a bit frustrated that they can't have that. 

So, how do we ease their waiting time?

1. See it as an opportunity

First and foremost, it helps to see living with a long distance relationship as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. And one of the biggest opportunities is that you’re getting the hard stuff out of the way up front. Think about it: while most marriages start with a honeymoon phase where everything’s easy, you’re starting with a realistic view of the relationship, where challenges exist from day one. 

With Santiago and Valentina, it might help for them to think of their relationship as a period of proving their love for one another. Their ability to communicate, tighten and strengthen the foundation of their partnership through a long distance relationship is a great way to showcase how good they really are together. By seeing it as a creative way to demonstrate their love and care for each other, Santiago and Valentina can make waiting for love far more bearable than if they treat it as a huge roadblock to their success as a couple. 

2. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively 

On top of seeing your relationship as an opportunity, it pays to communicate regularly and creatively with one another. This doesn’t mean you have to text one another all day, every day. Instead, think about how can you strengthen your bond in meaningful but manageable ways. 

For Santiago and Valentina, that might look like having dinner together over Zoom, playing video games online together, watching the same movie at the same time and talking about it, or something else that’s creative and exciting. They might even send each other love letters as a fun, old-school romantic gesture. 

3. Enjoy your alone time and your time with friends and family

Long distance can be a blessing for numerous reasons, not least of which because you get time to focus on other important parts of your life. By not being able to see your partner all the time, you’ll be maintaining valuable relationships with your friends, family and yourself. While having a partner is wonderful, it’s also wonderful to live a life that doesn’t revolve around somebody else!

In the case of our couple, the two of them have plenty of their own hobbies to engage in without one another. They can go to the gym more often, pick up new activities, hang out with friends, see their families more often and catch up on TV shows they’ve been meaning to watch. The possibilities are endless. 

4. Stay positive

At the end of the day, it’s important to stay positive and remember why you’re in a long distance relationship. You wouldn’t be if the person wasn’t absolutely amazing, would you? And if they’re amazing, that means everything is going perfectly to plan. Your life and journey are unfolding beautifully, and you have a wonderful partner who’s excited to be a part of it. That’s so much better than not having that person in your life, isn’t it? And you wouldn’t settle for someone less than them who was closer, either!

For Santiago and Valentina, that means appreciating each other every single day. To stay positive, they should constantly remind themselves just how lucky they are to have one another, whether that’s in person or in spirit. They should send each other reminders that they’re thinking of each other, and they should also reassure each other that this is all going to be worth it for the long-term health of their relationship.

5. Start journaling with and about your partner 

Sometimes you just want to tell everyone under the sun about how perfect your partner is — especially when they’re not around. That’s okay! There’s a place to do that: in your journal. Or, you can talk to a coach through a journaling app. That way you can troubleshoot your long distance challenges with another person without weighing down your partner or putting undue stress on the relationship. 

Santiago and Valentina journal daily about each other and about their relationship. For them, it’s a healthy, helpful way to assess and ruminate on their relationship without using their partner as a crutch 24/7. Make no mistake: the two of them are there for each other through thick and thin, but it’s helpful to have an outside perspective when waiting for love!

You can make a long distance relationship work 

Love doesn’t work on anybody’s clock. It’s not bound by time, space, distance or anything else. As long as you’re able to see your long distance relationship as the kind of love that transcends those barriers, you won’t have any trouble making things work. 

If you need a little extra reassurance, why not check out our podcast on long distance relationships? You’ll hear firsthand from someone who’s also waiting for love about how to make the best of her current situation!

We have a special episode this week because today Ferne brings a personal challenge to the table. This mother-daughter session is real and raw. Ferne talks about her long-distance relationship with her boyfriend and how it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when they have to be distant for another couple of years.

Ferne is completing her Master’s degree at the University of Toronto, which will likely turn into a Ph.D., and her boyfriend is working in Montreal, waiting to get his Canadian citizenship. Both are stuck in different provinces, and they want to know how to make the waiting more bearable.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:

Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back™. If you haven't heard of The Journal That Talks Back™, I'd love to introduce it to you!  

It is a new accessible, affordable, and unlimited coaching for young professionals. And by young professionals, I mean people between the ages of 18 and let's say early 30s. Please come check it out. It's super cool. We're leveraging our journaling expertise to provide on-the-go, all the time coaching for young people. Check it out. thejournalthattalksback.com.  

But in the meantime, it is Fridays with Ferne. We're super excited to welcome Ferne back. Ferne, welcome!  

[00:00:50] Ferne Kotlyar:

Hello, hello! How are you today?  

[00:00:53] Kim Ades:

It's great 'cause it's Friday and I get to talk to you. So what's up? What's on your agenda today?  

[00:01:00] Ferne Kotlyar:

Lucky me. So today I have a case that's kind of close to my heart. We have a case about a guy named Santiago, who comes from Colombia and moved to Spain to work, and while he studied and now he's working and he wants to move and live there, and so he started applying for citizenship. 

So a little while ago, Santiago met the woman of his dreams, Valentina, and they're super happy together. But Valentina gets an amazing job in France and has to move. And so, now they're far apart and they see each other, you know, periodically once a month, twice a month, but it's really tough for them and they both know that they have to wait. Her because of her job and him because of the citizenship. He has to live there and she needs to be on tight for the job.  

So they really love each other and they're super happy together, but they don't know essentially how to make the time pass faster. They just want to be together, they want to live together and they feel both a bit frustrated that they can't have that. So, how do we kind of ease their waiting time? And the time that until they can be fully together and live together?  

[00:02:26] Kim Ades:

Boy, I know the situation firsthand. 

[00:02:30] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:02:31] Kim Ades:

Do we want to share with the audience who the situation really is about?  

[00:02:36] Ferne Kotlyar:

Oh wow, way to put me on the spot there, eh?  

[00:02:39] Kim Ades:

I think that's okay. The audience needs to know who we really are.  

[00:02:43] Ferne Kotlyar:

Well, yeah, so... My boyfriend is indeed waiting for his citizenship to come to Canada or to have his Canadian citizenship. He's in Montreal and I'm in Toronto. I'm studying at the University of Toronto, so I have to be here. And he has to live there for his citizenship that he applied through Quebec. So, it's been tough, not gonna lie. I want to live with him and kinda make things move along, but I have to wait.  

[00:03:17] Kim Ades:

You have to wait. So, I mean, let's forget about Valentina and Santiago for a second. Let's just talk about you. So, the truth of the matter is that you have this incredible relationship with an incredible human, who is super grateful to be with you and feels like you are the moon, the sun and the stars. 

[00:03:37] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:03:38] Kim Ades:

And so let's, first of all, acknowledge that, that this is not a flash in the pan relationship. It's a good, solid relationship. And to be honest at your age, I think it's okay for you to need to wait. I think it's a good thing. It's actually a benefit. I know you don't want to hear that from your mother... 

[00:03:57] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:03:57] Kim Ades:

But it's a good thing because what it's doing is it's giving you the hard stuff upfront. And so oftentimes, you know, you're in love, you get married, it's the honeymoon. And then boom, the hard stuff comes. But you're dealing with the hard stuff upfront. And so the first thing that I would suggest is that your perspective about what's in front of you can be a little bit different.  

You could say, "okay, so this is what we need to go through in order to be together. Wonderful. And we're going to go through it together and we're going to put ourselves kind of in the same boat and row together and work it out together. And this is an opportunity for us to really, really enhance, tighten, strengthen the foundation of our relationship". So this is not a bad thing. This is actually an opportunity. So we want to start off with that.  

That the perception of it isn't that you're in jail or you're in purgatory or you've been punished for the next couple of years, but that this is an opportunity to really, really build something very, very strong. That's number one.  

Number two, is that the truth of the matter is that you're not never seeing each other. You're seeing each other fairly often and maybe it's not every day and maybe it's not a living together situation permanently full-time, but you are seeing each other. And in a pretty interesting creative way! I mean, he comes to you for a couple of weeks, you take a two week break, you go to him. And so the creativity of coming and going is very interesting. 

But what you're also doing is you're learning about, "how will we live together down the road? What's going to be important? What kind of space do we need? How do we interact? What kind of time schedule do we live with? Do we have the same values?" And so I think this time is really valuable for you in terms of learning about each other, spending time together, but also spending time apart. 

And I think that's going to be very important to instill in your relationship is to have some time separately, so that you're not together and then only together, that you have a little bit of your own time too, and you're creating that from the get-go. I think that's going to be very important as you move forward. 

So now the question is, how do you have fun in the next couple of years while you're busy working and he's busy working and you're in Toronto and he's in Montreal. Honestly, I think you're doing a great job of having fun. You're playing video games sometimes, you're talking your sharing your struggles and your challenges, you're in contact all the time, you're maybe having dinner together, even if it's through Zoom. Like, there's a lot of creative togetherness.  

And for you, the key is not "how do we do this" because you're figuring it out, you're doing it. It's "how do I stop resisting it? How do I stop feeling the pain of this? How do I just say 'I'm okay with it'?"  

[00:06:59] Ferne Kotlyar:

Just two years is a long time and I don't mind waiting for, you know, half of that, but two years just seems very long before I can get what I want, you know?  

[00:07:09] Kim Ades:

But you have what you want. You have a wonderful, lovely, incredible human in your life. And so when you say "I have to wait till I get what want", what you're really saying is "I'm looking at the absence of what is, instead of looking at what is, that's incredible and amazing. I'm working on my PhD, I'm in this amazing relationship, I'm close to my family"... Okay, that's personal, I'm biased". But you have a lot of what you want. This one extra piece is something that's on the way.  

You know? Like, let's look at you a year ago, before you met your boyfriend. You were like, "mom, I'm never going to meet anyone!" 

[00:07:50] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:07:51] Kim Ades:

"There's nobody I like!" So look at how far away you were at that point compared to where you are now, there wasn't even a human in your world! 

[00:08:02] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:08:02] Kim Ades:

So a lot of this is perspective, but most of what this is, is you're resisting what is. What is is perfectly fine, it's okay. You are creating your own pain, by being so against the fact that you have to wait for what you really, really want, instead of seeing that what you really, really want is actually right in your hands, so much more so than it was even just 12 months ago.  

So, you know, I often say to my clients, but especially my kids and they don't like to hear it: just chill out. Everything's good. You have everything. Everything is lined up for you. Everything is unfolding beautifully. Your career, your relationship, your home, everything is there for you. You don't need to resist it. 

Thank you for sharing your story. 

[00:09:00] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:09:01] Kim Ades:

Any questions?  

[00:09:03] Ferne Kotlyar:

Well... I mean, I understand that I have to be okay with it, but... What do you do when you just miss him? And then, I mean, I can call him...  

[00:09:15] Kim Ades:

It's okay to miss him.  

[00:09:16] Ferne Kotlyar:

But it's hard!  

[00:09:21] Kim Ades:

It's hard, but you know what? Here's the interesting thing. You miss him because he's not physically there, but he's so with you. He so with you every step of the way. And so when you miss him, a great thing to do is start to think about, you know, every time I talk to you, one of the things you say to me is "he's so good". 

[00:09:41] Ferne Kotlyar:

He is.  

[00:09:42] Kim Ades:

"He's so good to me". 

[00:09:43] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:09:43] Kim Ades:

"He's so good!" And so that realization, that moment of appreciation, in a way, fixes everything in the moment that you're missing him.  

[00:10:00] Ferne Kotlyar:

I just want to give him a hug, but...  

[00:10:05] Kim Ades:

Everything's good. Everything's lined up. Everything's unfolding exactly as it should. It's a beautiful thing. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the process, milk the moment, enjoy the conversations, focus on the fact that he's in your life, that he's there, that he's willing, that he's interested, that he's so dedicated and committed to you instead of what's not here. 

[00:10:33] Ferne Kotlyar:

Yeah. You're right. Easier said than done though. [Chuckles]  

[00:10:38] Kim Ades:

I know, I know. And if you need a hug, I'm here.  

[00:10:42] Ferne Kotlyar:

Yeah. [Chuckles] Thanks.  

[00:10:45] Kim Ades:

Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being open. I know that I outed you and I apologize, but I think it's so much better when we get to coach people live than when we get to coach a case, even though that's fun too.

[00:10:56] Ferne Kotlyar:


[00:10:57] Kim Ades:

But thank you. For those of you who are listening, you just got a sneak peek into our relationship and how I interact with my daughter on a basically daily basis. She matters a lot to me, I'm in her corner and I'm super, super proud of every single thing she's doing. 

[00:11:19] Ferne Kotlyar:

Thanks, mom.  

[00:11:20] Kim Ades:

I don't tell her often enough. For those of you who are listening, I hope that you took something from this conversation. And if you have a case, a challenge that you want to share with us, please reach out to us. Ferne, how do people reach you?  

[00:11:34] Ferne Kotlyar:

Please email me! So my email is fernekotlyar@live.com.  

[00:11:44] Kim Ades:

And I can be reached at kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. And we will see you next week. Please send us feedback, we'd love to hear from you. How did you like this episode? Now that we kind of completely went off of our original plan. Want to hear from you. Have a great week guys. 

[00:12:04] Ferne Kotlyar: 


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