A long distance relationship doesn’t usually catch you unawares. But if you or your significant other travel for work, and travel often – you might suddenly find yourself in a part-time long distance arrangement.
If that is the setup from the very first date onward, you likely know what you can expect. If one of you morphs into a frequent flier a few months, or even a few years into the relationship however, you will need to do some adjusting both to the way you see your partner, see yourself, and the dynamics of the commitment.
Here is the advice I can offer after 5 years of living the frequent flier life – head over heels for a guy who spends 9 hours every day chained to a drawing board back home.
Honesty is the Best Policy (Most of the Time)
Speak your truth, all the time. If you are used to sleeping in the same bed every night, having to spend a lot of time apart will not have either of you jumping for joy. Don’t bottle your feelings up, thinking you are doing anyone any favors. If you hate it, say it. Both of you need to know how you feel about the situation, because keeping it bottled up is the road to breakup.
Don’t Fight if You can’t Hug it out
The only time you should try to postpone the truth is when you are 9 hours apart, talking on the phone, and you can reasonably foresee that what you are about to say will hurt the other person. We all say things we don’t mean in a fight. But if you allow those words to fester, and don’t get a chance to make peace before bedtime, it will hurt all the more.
Travel Together Often
Travel is good for the soul in general, and especially good as a way to take both of you out of the routine of spending time apart. Even if the frequent flier among you is jet lagged and wants to curl into a roll and binge watch GoT again – book a holiday together. From personal experience, an active holiday is the best choice – like the Camino de Santiago, rafting on the Tara River, or anything out of the ordinary for both of you.
Make Your Choice Every Day
The honest truth is that you don’t have to be in a relationship that does not suit you, even if you love the person. You make a choice, between them and what you think you want. However – if you do make the choice of staying together and living apart as much as you live together, don’t shuffle any blame around for the times that are bad. If you choose to stay put, that is your choice. If they choose to travel, that is theirs. Don’t point the finger at them for not choosing what you have, or what you wanted them to. When the bad times overshadow the good ones – remind yourself of the choice you made, why you made it, and remember that there will always be good times ahead yet to come.
You can find more from Rebecca on RoughDraft