Saturday, July 14, 2012

Surviving a LDR: The Hardest Part

When I look back on the time Tyler and I spent apart while I studied abroad, I have a lot more insight to phases our relationship went through during this time.  One of the difficult parts of maintaining your relationship with someone when you cannot be together for an extended period of time is dealing with your own selfishness.  I am guilty 100 percent of this.

You are in two different parts of the world.  You're living in two different cultures.  You're living in two different time zones, and sometimes in different days.  Its hard to schedule good times where one person isn't sacrificing their time to do something else they need or want to do.  

There were many times I wanted Tyler to go out with friends and find something else to do with his time so that he would not miss me as much...but for that to happen, I had to let go of the time I got to talk to him.  I didn't like to do that.  I'd read so much advice advising how the best thing to do is to not spend too much time talking to each other, which would increase the amount you missed that person...but I also didn't want our relationship to become stagnant.  It was hard finding a balance.

It was really hard for me to not become frustrated if we did not talk at our normal times.  As I have talked to friends who have also dealt with living away from our person for an extended time, it is really much easier to become frustrated at them while apart.  It was too easy for me to turn something that was not a big deal, into a BIG deal.  This was usually my fault.  Possibly because between both our personalities, mine is more high strung and his more calm (yet this is no excuse for me not keeping my emotions in check.)

If I could go back and learn to put into practice a few qualities, I believe the most important would be these:

    Be patient.

    Be understanding.
    Don't be selfish with someone else's time.

    Learn to sacrifice your own time so that the other person can do other things.

    Be proactive to be kind to them first, before expecting them to do something kind for you.

    BEFORE you let something bother you, talk to them about it, as they probably don't realize what they are/aren't doing that is frustrating you.

    Try your best to keep your word, and be understanding with their frustration when you can't.  The times I got lost on a bus in Kunming and didn't make it home by 9 to Skype was always frustrating for Tyler because he couldn't know why I wasn't there.  He always understood later, but it is just a frustrating process when you don't keep your word, even when unintentional. 

I hope this is helpful to any brave souls who are venturing to be apart for awhile.

With Love...and a Cup of Hot Tea,

Missed the first two posts?  Find them here and here!


  1. Good words even for two people in the same place!

  2. long distance can be the worst! my husband and i did it for 10 months but i've got to say, that afterwards, we were so much stronger for it! thanks so much for linking up!

    1. We totally agree - we are also much stronger for our time apart too. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh, yes, we did that! And it was hard at times to be like "Please go hang out with your friends and it's OK if we don't talk tonight!" when i actually thought "I hope you stay and I don't want to share your time with anyone else!". Guilty :-)


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