You meet an awesome guy, but then he finds out that his company is relocating him to, uh, Russia. A few years ago, this kind of extreme long-distance relationship (ELDR) would have been an instant deal breaker. But today, ELDRs seem to be more common. Obvious reason: the economy. It’s harder to find a great job, so when an opportunity presents itself, people are often taking it…even if it means moving 300,000 kilometers away from their significant others.
We asked real women in ELDRs to explain how they keep their relationships strong.
"Three months into our relationship, my boyfriend got a call from his firm’s NYC HQ saying he was to be sent there for a one-year training program. We were in love, so one year apart felt doable. The time difference made it hard to talk regularly, so we agreed on just getting in touch at least twice a week. We Skyped every now and then, but not as often since I didn’t have Wi-Fi and had to share the family computer. So we resorted to emailing each other long messages. That way, he wouldn’t miss out on stuff going on in my life. It felt a lot like letter-writing; sometimes I had to get creative by designing my own e-cards, or by looking for songs or poems that would tell him how I felt. Just the act of writing them helped, because it was like I was keeping a diary for the both of us."
Keep It Fun
"Soon after my boyfriend of six years proposed to me, his mom, who is based in Milan, asked him to visit to start establishing roots there for when we’re married. We’ve been planning our wedding over Skype, email, and chat, and post regularly on each other’s FB walls. But I think one of the reasons our relationship works is because we keep things playful. I don’t text him my complaints about wedding plans, like I might if he were closer. Instead, I tag him on my Instagram pics of my new haircut or the hot dress I’m wearing out, and he sends funny pictures of him dozing off at his desk. These small, special moments connect us. They make us look forward to finally getting together—and having the 'bigger’ conversations.'"
Schedule a Daily Date
"I met my Australian boyfriend when I went to Melbourne two years ago to visit my sister. Since then, we’ve mostly lived apart—him in Oz and me in Davao. When we were long-distance, we made an effort to talk every single day. We found a narrow window of time that we were both free to call—like when I was driving home from work and he was getting into bed. The time between our visits passed much more quickly because I could look forward to speaking with him every single day. This year, he took a job at a Manila-based company so that he could be nearer, and I plan to join him there soon after.”