Note from Devin: In this post, I dig deep into something that really annoys and hurts people in long distance relationships. This post will help you communicate and love people in long distance relationships in a way that will strengthen them in their long distance journey.
I sat quietly in the tour van as the lady in front of me talked loudly about how her daughter lived abroad in Asia. She went on to say that she’d been teaching there for a year.
“I am so happy she didn’t fall in love with anyone abroad.” She clucked to the other women around her.
This is something I just love putting people on the spot with. Because I truly hate it when people try to make couples in long distance relationships feel like they are a mutated untouchable alien just because they love someone from far away.
Listen up people.
It’s not okay. I am sure that you don’t want to knowingly hurt people, but couples in long distance relationships are already undergoing something that many people will never be able to understand or even imagine. I know, because I’ve experienced it.
I was halfway between Hawaii and Australia when all I wanted to do was jump out of the plane to ease the restlessness in my legs. I walked down the aisle every few hours and that wasn’t enough.
Couldn’t I be there already? I aimlessly scrolled through the movies and found countless romantic comedies about couples living oceans apart. I chuckled silently, while thinking, Hollywood doesn’t even have a clue when it comes to what long distance relationship couples go through.
Long distance relationships are romanticised much like everything else in Hollywood. Hollywood knows about the excitement and beauty of long distance relationships, but they stop there. They really don’t show the truth behind the long distance relationship story!
Many people fall for someone with a different accent thinking it will be easy like it is in the movies. And long distance relationships can in fact, be blessings, the couple just needs to equip themselves properly.
Communication is the key
It’s extremely important for those in long distance relationships to keep their communication line open. Technology has made it easier for people in long distance relationships.
Technology shortens the distance. Whether a person is across the country from their lover or across the world… communication will hold them together. Whether that be through text messages, snail mail, Skype, or picture texts of each other throughout the day. Read More
Have you ever felt worried or nervous that your long distance relationship wouldn’t work out? Have people ever made you feel like it wasn’t possible?
There were a few times in my life when people made me feel like I was a lunatic for believing in love across the sea. And I don’t really know why people do this to couples in long distance relationships. But I am here today as proof that long distance relationships do indeed work out. My fiancé and I have been in a long distance relationship for about 5 and a half years. And now we are finally in the same country and are no longer separated by the ocean. We made the long distance relationship work.
I want you to know that it’s possible too. If you are in a long distance relationship or know someone who is, these are the ABCs to making a long distance relationship work for you. I want you and your partner to thrive, not “just” survive.
The A-Z List To Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work
A. Attitude –
A lot of thriving in long distance relationships comes down to your attitude. How you speak to your loved one and also how you speak about him/or her when you aren’t talking to them.
How we kept a good attitude:
Every day in a long distance relationship it’s vital to stay positive with a good attitude. I’d try to look for the positive in the moment that I found myself in. Enjoy the moment you are in—here and now.
You also need to believe in your relationship and what you two are working towards. Because there are plenty of people who will try to make you feel like what you are fighting for isn’t worth it. Believe in yourself and your relationship. Know that for certain.
How we believed:
Once I met this lady and she asked me why my boyfriend was in Australia. I kindly responded with, “He is finishing up school there.”
“Oh, was he just studying there?” She asked.
“No, he actually lives there.” I responded.
“Ohh….” She said, opening her eyes wide. A judgy look came across her face as she said, “Thank goodness my daughter didn’t fall in love with someone when she went abroad.”
You can imagine how comments like that sting. I mean here we are already struggling and fighting to make our relationship work and then a stranger comes and gives me the stink eye with some rude words. It’s crazy how those kinds of comments hurt, but I had to stay positive about my relationship… because If I didn’t who would?
I had to stay positive about my relationship… because If I didn’t who would?
Set up a regular time to chat face to face. Johan (Yo-hun) and I spent many hours Skyping and Facetiming. Also, make sure that you give them the best of your time.
How we communicated:
A few months back, I was really busy with work and wedding planning. So much that I wasn’t able to chat until 10pm or even later. This wasn’t good because it made my fiancé feel like I didn’t care about giving him a good chunk of quality time.
We spoke about it and then decided how to fix things. It really helped.
Make sure you:
Set up a time on your calendar where you both can come together to talk about your day.
Don’t chat too early or too late. It’s so easy to have misunderstandings when you are tired, which we all know is an easy time where fights could enter.
D. Dream –
Dream about what your life will be like together. But, don’t just dream.
It’s super important that you figure out the end result. It’s not really ever the easiest conversation. If you don’t figure these things out you’ll feel like your never moving toward an ultimate goal where you’ll be together. Because that is the ultimate goal in a long distance relationship.
How we dreamt:
We sat down pretty early in our relationship to figure out how many years it would be till we’d be able to get married. We figured out that we’d wait till he finished school, which landed us in 2016.
Yes, at first that seemed like a long stretch goal, but we had to make it work.
So it’s important that you figure these things out:
Are we going to get married?
When will we finally be together?
What do we have to go through in order to be together? (Example: visas)
Who is going to move where?
E. Encouragement –
Kind words always make things work easier. Sometimes all you need is a hug, but that can be super difficult when your hugger isn’t nearby.
So make a habit of encouraging your partner. It’s like a verbal hug.
How we encouraged each other:
There were many times in our relationship when a hug would have really helped encourage each other. But, as you all know that isn’t really possible when it comes to long distance relationships.
Johan was finishing up university as an architect student. If you are or know an architecture student you know that it’s a stressful degree filled with a lot of hard work.
I encouraged him with words and also tried helping in any way that I could. In 2012, I was in Australia and helped Johan finish a project one night. I was helping him but felt like I wasn’t being too helpful.
Food for thought: Everyday ask yourself this question: “What can I encourage my partner in today?”
F. Fighting –
Make sure that when you have arguments or fights that you talk it out. Don’t wait too long to fix a blow-up.
Some people need time to think about arguments while others need to talk about it right away to feel better. Which ever you are, make sure that you respect your partner and get the problem figured out as fast as you can.
How we dealt with fights:
Fights and arguments are never fun. Ever.
But, sadly they happen. I found that most of ours happened when we were either tired, sleepy, or tuckered out. Guess those are all other words for being tired.
Make sure you set short term goals for when you can see each other. If you have things to look forward to, together then it won’t seem as long.
Some things you could plan for:
What are some ways that we could meet up?
Where could we meet up?
What are some things that we could do together?
How we set goals: Johan and I spent a lot of our time together on small trips or doing fun activities. It’s really nice, because then when you are a part from each other you have memories to get you through the tougher times.
H. Help –
Get help from people around you who believe in you and your long distance relationship. It’s like setting up a safety network.
Who can I trust with these things?
Find someone who, after speaking with them, makes you feel good and like you could conquer the world with your partner.
How we found help:
My mom was super helpful in encouraging Johan and I in our relationship. We are so happy she was able to listen and inspire us to move forward.
I. Inspire –
Be your partner’s biggest inspiration. Encourage them in their dreams and goals. Tell them that they can do it. Give them ideas.
Share interest in the things that are interesting to them. They will love you more for it.
How we inspired each other:
As you all might know, I (Devin) am a writer and I love writing fictional stories. Johan once made me something from the book I’d written and gave it to me for my birthday. I remember crying huge tears. Good ones. He’s also created covers for my books to inspire me forward in my writing.
J. Jump –
Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith in a long distance relationship because you aren’t always going to have the answers for it.
How we jumped:
There are quite a few times that we had to jump. In the beginning of our relationship, we decided to try a long distance relationship out. There were also times where we didn’t know who was going to move where, but we tried staying positive amidst that knowing that we love each other and that something would work out sooner or later.
K. Kindness –
Speak with kindness to your partner. Try not to tell them everything that they need to fix. Share with them what they are doing right. There is a shortness in the world of kind words.
How we showed kindness:
Johan always sent me little text messages with pictures of beautiful flowers. Throughout the day it was just nice to receive little messages or pictures showing you that your love was thinking of you.
Also, Johan sent me flowers and chocolate. It really showed that he was thinking of me and it really surprised me.
L. Loyalty –
If you want your long distance relationship to work out you must stay loyal to your partner and not put it in a compromising situation.
How we stayed loyal:
Johan and I are both very loyal people and wouldn’t put ourselves in compromising situations.
If there was ever a moment where one of us felt like the other was treading in dangerous waters we’d bring it out to one another as kind requests.
M. Money –
It needs to be said. In a long distance relationship, you are going to need some money. There are times that you are going to have to go with little so that you can save up for travel tickets. That might mean not going to movies as much, because your ultimate goal is to go see your partner.
How we dealt with money –
There were times in our relationship across the ocean where one of us or both of us didn’t have a job. This is super hard especially when the only way you’ll get to see your partner is to buy a $1,000 ticket to fly across the world.
A few months ago, Johan signed up to work for Uber and he really enjoyed that. Plus, it really helped to make some extra cash to help us move toward our goals.
N. Notify –
Let your partner know if you are struggling with something or let them know if you are having a tough day.
How we notified:
Whenever I was having a tough day I’d chat with Johan and tell him about what was troubling me.
O. Optimism –
Stay optimistic in your relationship. It’s one of the major important factors that will keep the heart pumping in your relationship. Always look for the sunbeams in the sky. Give up on looking for the garbage in the ditch. Start looking for the flowers growing amidst the landfill.
We would then remind each other that we need to enjoy the moment we are in. That we need to enjoy the time with our parents and to work hard toward our goals.
Q. Quality –
When you guys get together, spend quality time together since now while you are apart there isn’t a quantity of time that you can spend together together.
How we spent quality time:
We’d take many road trips. Going out on the road to new places during the weekends. During the week, we’d go for walks in the morning and at night. Sometimes we’d even do some small little trips to the beach or movie theater.
R. Right –
Don’t always try to be “Right” in your relationship. Don’t say something just to say the last word. Instead have an open communication like adults.
How we worked on “right”:
Sometimes it’s been difficult to not have the last word, but one thing I’ve found out is, that it’s easier to brush it off your shoulder and to continue the conversation.
S. Surprise –
It’s important to surprise your partner. Surprises always make things interesting.
How we surprised each other:
Johan planned out a surprise visit with my parents. He flew over to America and surprised me at the airport. Then he also fit in a surprise proposal. Want our whole engagement story?
It was like a fairytale.
T. Trust –
You have to trust your partner especially if you are in a long distance relationship. If you can’t trust each other then you are going to have problems.
How we trusted each other:
We just sat back and trusted each other. I know that might sound crazy to some people. But honestly trust is having a reliability on someone else and that they won’t hurt you.
If you are worried about being hurt, sit down and have a discussion with your partner about it.
[Tweet “If you are worried about being hurt, sit down and talk to your partner.”
Yes, I actually wrote unicorn there. Unicorns are magical and unique happenings in your life. Look for things that sparkle and shine in your life as a couple.
How we spotted unicorns:
There were times that Johan sent me letters or packages. It brightened up my day whenever I got something in the snail mail from him.
One time I created a puzzle with a photograph of us on it. Then I sent him a multitude of letters with 2-5 puzzle pieces in them. (I’d written a message on the back of the puzzle as well so the only way he’d get to read the whole message was if he got all the pieces and put it together.
That was fun!
Celebrate the small and large victories. There are plenty of small victories.
How we celebrated the victories:
W. Win –
Don’t try to win arguments. Try to win your relationship. Every time you stop trying to win arguments you win your relationship.
You only live once. Every human being only has one life.
Live each day as though it were your last. Show your partner that you cherish them and do things to show them that you do.
How we yolo:
At the very beginning of our relationship, we decided to make a jump for the long distance relationship. We knew that we only have one life so why not make a jump toward each other over the sea. And it worked.
Z. Zazz –
Keep your relationship interesting. Do special things for each other to show how much you care and love your partner.
How we created zazz:
Once I wrote out a bunch hints on post-it notes and then went into the grocery store. I told Johan to come into the store when I texted him.
I texted Johan a message: “Come into the store. Find the _____ section for your next clue. You always warm my heart.”
Then in what ever aisle I wanted him to come to, I’d put a sticky note on the food item that he’d find. On that sticky note I had written a special message just for him to bring him to the next clue.
He really enjoyed this and has mentioned it countless times in the past.
You Now Know The A-Z List To Making Your Long Distance Relationship Work
All in all, long distance relationships can be difficult, but when they are given a little tender loving care, they have the ability to shine and sparkle giving joy and happiness to both people involved in the relationship. It also sets a lighthouse on full-brightness so that other people in long distance relationships can find healing and happiness. You become a role model to others in relationships when you make something like this workout.
I am working at CoSchedule. Still loving it. Also starting my creative side-hustle business and am writing as much as I can. I am getting married in June, so I’ve been really busy getting all the wedding things figured out from bridesmaid dresses to DJs and wedding cakes.
Also, my fiancé, Johan will be coming to the states on the 30th of this month. SO SOON! Guys and gals… long distance relationships really do work. :)
I have been thinking a lot about Facebook recently. There is so much negativity, hate, and division on there.
I can definitely see the division in our country when I’m on there. And what makes me so mad is that it really seems like Facebook isn’t doing anything to make matters better. Why is the country so divided?
There is a young lady, Tomi Lahren, who is speaking out. Finally, someone is speaking out about all the problems that most people are either avoiding or aren’t speaking out about on main news channels.
I majored in English/mass communications and I was taught that the media is supposed to be society’s “Watch Dog” but lately it’s seems more like the media is acting like the president’s play poodle lap dog.
When are more Americans going to stand up?
I decided to reach out to Tomi to tell her that she is doing the right thing. If I were getting attacked for doing good, I’d have wanted people to stand up next to me.
So I wrote on her Facebook page and then…
And I never said anything mean.
But then these two people wrote under my comment. It was hate speech. How could someone say such rude things. These are words that separate people and don’t unite people. Why is it that when it comes to all of these Black Lives Matter and radical groups that they are extremely hateful and mean.
These are words that separate people. They don’t unite people. Why is it that when it comes to all of these Black Lives Matter and radical groups that they are extremely hateful and mean.
I reported the comments to Facebook to have them removed. But to my surprise, I got a response that said that Facebook doesn’t consider that hate speech. When was it ever right to tell someone to eat a D***? Or saying that someone’s dad is a clansman? Or when was it ever right to say that all whites should burn? To me, that sounds like racism and hate speech.
Seriously? Is this what humanity has come to?
A few other people also reported those FB comments but got the same responses from Facebook.
I seriously can’t support something that is so evil. I am thinking about taking a break from Facebook for awhile. I can’t support a platform that doesn’t stand behind the values of America or that supports hate speech and the act of tearing apart the country.
Visit Tomi Lahren’s Facebook page and you will be sure to find more trolls speaking out hate against her. Give Tomi some love. And if you get a chance… report the trolls who are doing “hate speech”. Maybe Facebook will finally do something about it.
Sometimes life gets super busy and you push back your blog publishing til the last minute.
When that happens, it’s easy to lose track of your blog’s productivity and organization.
And then you face the blinking cursor problem: What in the world am I gonna blog about today?
Well, you can take control of the busyness in your schedule with some simple marketing tasks that will give your blog direction to help you focus, solve the blinking cursor problem with a storehouse of unique content ideas, and plan exactly what you’ll publish way ahead of time to keep it all really easy. In the long run, you’ll be more relaxed and save time that you can use for other awesome stuff.
Secrets To Setting and Reaching Goals
Do you ever feel like you have too much on your plate? I know I have.
Set goals that are achievable and start out small. Doing so will take the weight off your shoulders. There are many secrets that will help you set and reach your goals. Here are a few:
1. Know Your Blog’s Vision And Set Goals To Work Toward It.
When you know your blog’s vision it’s easier to move in the right direction. You won’t follow empty ideas that lead you in the wrong direction. Your blog should point towards your vision.
Have you figured out your vision yet?
If not, here are a few questions to get you thinking about your vision:
What do you believe in and value?
What do you want to create? And why is it important?
Do you know someone in your life, who you’d consider a client crush?
What are some pain points your client crush is dealing with?
What might they want to know more about?
How can you help them?
Once you’ve figured that out, you can write your posts with that person in mind. Later, your client crush will read that post and feel like it was written with them in mind. If you give away useful content, your client crush will start trusting you. They’ll come back for more and will possibly share more with their friends. Read More
Have you ever feel like a trapeze artist walking across a wire balancing fine china on your arms, head, and shoulders when it comes to balancing your life with work and your writing?
Yes? I know I’ve felt that way before. But the truth really is… you only have one life, so it doesn’t come down to balancing life and work. It’s actually about learning how to manage your time and use it wisely.
Here are 7 steps that will help you get your work and life planned out so that you are getting more done and enjoying life.
I love “Friends”!! Isn’t it the best? You can relate to so many different parts of the show. Phoebe doesn’t have the best running form, but at least she is running. If you take care of your body your days will be less stressful. You will also feel better about yourself.
You only have one life. A longer life = more written words. Another
A longer life = more written words. Another thing that goes with this is making sure you drink enough water and get enough sleep.
2. Get Up Earlier.
I’m to work at 9 am every morning. Lately I’ve been trying to wake up earlier so I can get a run in before work as well as getting some words written before I leave home. Check out this cool bedtime calculator. You can type in when you want to wake up and they tell you when the best time is that you should go to bed in order to wake up at that time.
I’ve been working on a new novel. I bring my novel freewriting notebook with me wherever I go. Whether that is to work or church or even on errands. You never know when an idea will pop into your mind. In this notebook, I answer questions that get me thinking about who my characters are, what kind of world they live in, and what the rules to their world are. I’ve really found it helpful.
4. Cook Before You Are Busy
Get a slow cooker.
Prepare meals on the weekend and then freeze them. Then before you go to work, throw your frozen prepped meals into the slow cooker. Your food will be ready for you by the time you get home from work.
Make sure you set aside some relaxation time for yourself. Maybe that means a bubble bath or a massage on the weekend. It’s just important that you take care of yourself during your busy lifestyle so you can recharge.
I have some great writing friends who totally understand the work that goes into fitting writing into your day. It’s nice to have people around you who understand your daily struggles and joys.
7. Go Someplace
Remember when Anne from Anne of Green Gables said, “There is so much scope for the imagination.”
She was right. There is so much scope for imagination in the world around us. Go somewhere on the weekend to fill your mind with new thoughts and ideas. Or go for a walk in a new place. Over the weekend, I went for a walk down my road and saw this.
It’s a field. Honestly, I am so happy to live so close to the country. I live on the very edge of the city.
This is a very cookie cutter filled world, but what if you are a cupcake with icing and sprinkles instead of a cookie? If you aren’t like everyone else there is a good chance that some people will think you are “different” or “weird”.
At CoSchedule, where I work, I read Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. For anyone who hasn’t read it, it’s a brilliant piece of artwork. I loved it.
In his book he speaks about how some schools “stamp out insight and creativity” now that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good teachers out there because there are good teachers out there, but as Seth said much of society wants and trains people to be cogs in a machine. And that goes against being a Linchpin.
When I was in kindergarten, my teacher told my mom that I was creative and that people would want to change me. She told my mom to not let them. And sure enough when I got into higher grades some teachers thought It was weird that I was always dreaming and using my imagination. Some didn’t, but some did.
The world couldn’t use a cookie cutter on me. Read More
Do you sit a lot? I know I do, because I work at a computer. I write and edit for a living so I sit at my desk to get my work done.
Do you struggle to find time to work out throughout your day?
I’ve struggled to find time to work out, but one of my top 2016 goals is to get in shape and that means that I’ll have to add small increments of physical fitness into my day throughout the day.
I know that is probably on many people’s resolution’s list, but this year it is a must not only because I’m getting married in June. (By the way, I found my dress! It’s gorgeous!) I want to feel healthy and live a nice long life.
It can be difficult when life gets you down. Everything is going good and then out of nowhere it just seems like a tornado drops out of the sky and turns your world upside down. Ever felt that way? I know I have.
It can be hard to stay positive when you feel anything but happy. But, you don’t have to sink down into the dumps all the way.
To me, it seems when one thing is turned upside down that it’s very easy to have other areas of your life turn into un-stable ground as well. Situations that resemble sinking sand and the people whose words feel like a sword piercing your chest have a magnetic pull on you. In these kinds of situations, you need to tread carefully.
Here are some tips on how to stay positive even when life is hard.