If there’s anything that I’ve learned, it’s that when entering unfamiliar waters, a list will only get you so far. That’s not to say that planning isn’t important, it just won’t prepare you for EVERYTHING.
This week is the second installment on the LDR ‘mini-series’ that I started last week. I delve a little deeper onto the issue of time- something that really opened our perspective on our LDR, and how we learned to balance. This was a major issue for us as a couple, and hopefully our insight will help you out too!
Time was always an issue for me. I am a STICKLER for time. To be early is to be on time, and being on time means you’re late… I did not grow up with the typical ‘Indian Standard Time’ mindset… so it was kind of a big deal for me.
I understand the rest of the world does not operate on my timetable, but I would get very upset if my partner changed things at the last minute. It almost felt borderline disrespectful to me, especially when I made a lot of effort to be on time.
Coming to the realization of the source of our tension helped us fit better into each other’s lives and schedules.
There has to be a balance between your life apart and your LDR, and the balance depends on how much time you want to spend communicating with each other.
It’s easy to push away things that are not in your physical reach, but it also doesn’t make sense to plan your daily life around your LDR.
I think that to a certain extent you have to remain respectful and faithful to the amount of time you want to spend with your long-distance partner. If you want to remain in a relationship, then you have to still work for it.
This goes hand-in-hand with my second issue of time- treating time with each other with the same respect as if you were physically together. For example, let’s say you’ve planned that virtual date night. Then your BFF calls you up to go see that movie you’ve been dying to see all month. What do you do? Do you tell your partner to postpone your date night? Do you pass up on movie night?
There’s not exactly a correct answer. For me, it was very important to treat virtual date night the same as I would as if he were physically present. I really strove to not create a difference between being together versus not.
The reason why that there’s no correct answer is because there will inevitably be situations where either of you will have to adjust.
All honesty on the table, this was very difficult for me. I did not want to think it was okay for my partner to change things last minute, etc. etc. This led to arguments about us, arguments about when it was okay versus when it wasn’t. Eventually, I learned to be a little less uptight about these things and realized that if changes like these ever came up, that they were not because I was less important, but rather we were trying to find that balance. These conversations, although unpleasant, are also important to have. Unfortunately, they most likely won’t take place until one of you is not okay with something…
The thing to keep in mind through all of this is to stay positive, keep an open-mind, and treat the beginnings like an experiment. Some trials will work, while others won’t- you just have to tweak it.
At the end of the day, you have to do what feels right for you and your partner. These are just meant to serve as a guide, your relationship will have to do the heavy lifting!