21 September 2016, by Flora Isabelle
I had previously mentioned that I’m a military wife and this basically translates to the husband often being away for detachments and overseas training. My job also requires me to travel quite a bit and sometimes, we can be apart for a few months at a stretch. In fact, he had just left two days ago – two months this time round :'( – and while I don’t consider myself an expert on long distance relationships (it really NEVER gets easy), here are some tips I have to cope with it:
1) Communicate on schedule
I know with technology these days, it is very easy to think that you can always talk as and when. However it is precisely because of this that we tend to lack thoughtful communication as a couple. Set time for a proper hour-long phone or video call just to chat, laugh and be together.
2) Write things down
If you are scatter-brained like me or have a lot of things going on, I find that it helps to keep a note in my phone to take down short 1 to 2 liners of the thoughts that come to my mind throughout the day to share with him during our phone calls – it’s the little things that matter.
3) Send photos of everything and anything
Nothing is too small to be shared..
Not even the teh peng you bought for breakfast.
Also, greeting each other Good Morning and Good Night is a definite must in my books.
4) Do not tempt fate
Things that you wouldn’t otherwise do when your partner is in Singapore? Now is NOT the time to do just because he/ she isn’t around to disapprove of it. It is much harder to resolve a misunderstanding when one party is away and dealing with anger and betrayal from a distance. Also, mutual respect is key to a longstanding relationship – long distance or not.
5) Do things together
Remember the SingTel ad when it shows the lead couple watching shows together, across the world, with each at their computer? Dating doesn’t have to stop just because you are apart – eat popcorn ‘together’ whilst catching an old movie, play online games together, leave your webcam on as you work throughout the day so he can catch glimpses of you… get as creative as you can!
6) Don’t forget the dates
Anniversaries and birthdays aren’t any less special because one is away. Plan little surprises and send a card (there’s just something about snail mail) to let each other know that you’ll always remember.
7) It’s not just about the good times
But the bad as well. Be sure to let your partner know about the times you’ve felt angry, disappointed or frustrated about the various events in your life whilst he/ she is away so they always feel included. Also, you will want to feel that your partner is there for you through life’s ups and downs.
8) Don’t play the power games
When we first started dating, I was afraid to tell him that I miss him because I didn’t want to come across as being the weaker one (now I tell him like, only 1,000 times a day haha) but really, what’s the point of being together to look like you don’t need each other?
After all, in the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw,