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.