The girl I'm in love with lives half a world away from me.
I'm in a long-distance relationship with a girl who lives exactly 8,672 kilometers (5,388 miles) away from me, at least when you believe Google Maps.
During my last trip to Thailand, a feeling that I hadn't felt in a long time hit me. I met a girl who was so beautiful and amazing, that is was simply impossible for me to NOT fall in love with her. I tried to avoid long-distance relationships and any other form of relationships my whole life.
After meeting the most amazing woman who Bangkok has to offer, I started to see things differently. A few years ago, I always criticized people who lived in long-distance relationships. Whenever someone mentioned the topic I claimed that they never work out and that every long-distance relationship carried the wretched stench of failure.
But I've been in a long-distance relationship for nearly a year, and I can truly say that it's amazing. However, I don't want to lie to you by saying that it's always easy. It's not always easy and you will face quite a few challenges when you live about 9000 km away from each other.
The good news is that it is doable. I learned a lot from my experience, and I hope that I can motivate you to believe in your relationship, no matter what other people say.
Here are the 10 most important lessons I've learned during my long-distance relationship this year:
1. Be Determined
Maintaining a long-distance relationship is never easy (especially when you live on different continents), which makes it a real challenge from time to time. Even though I chose this kind of relationship, I honestly have to say that it's not for everyone.
If you're not 100 percent convinced that you're in love or doubt that the relationship will work, you will get in trouble. You've already failed before you even started. You need a sense of certainty that your partner and the relationship is worth the effort, the time and sometimes even the suffering.
2. Visual Contact Is Essential
When it comes to long distance relationships, we live in the perfect day and age. Thanks to the technological development we can communicate with everyone, no matter if that person sits in front of us or lives 8,672 km away.
If you want to make such a relationship work, you have to see each other on a regular basis.
Don't just text on Facebook and send a few funny Snapchat pictures when you're in the mood — use Skype on a regular basis and interact with each other, face-to-face.
Visual connection is by far the most powerful way to express emotions, and that's what a relationship is all about.
3. Go On Dates
Who says that you can only have dates at a café or restaurant? Don't just wear your most comfortable sweatpants when you're Skyping with your partner. Wear a nice shirt and floss before you smile in the camera.
It doesn't matter if you're going on a regular date or on a virtual date. Your number one goal is to make your partner addicted to you. Unfortunately, nobody will make you their addiction when the only thing he or she can say about you is that your hair looks frazzled.
4. Don't Forget The Sex
Everybody who gives dating advice to men can confirm that sexuality is an extremely important part of every relationship, but what do you do when you live too far away from each other to have sex every day?
One thing you can do is to forget about dressing up in front of the camera. Start to focus on getting undressed, and you'll see that even a Skype call is actually a hidden romantic and erotic experience. (Want some variation? Take your camera under the shower and let your partner watch you.)
5. There's Excitement In The Silence
One of the most common fears that guys have when they're talking to a woman is that they will run out of things to say. This awkward lull in the conversation that everybody is afraid of is actually NOT bad at all.
Sometimes when I Skype with my girlfriend, we look and smile at each other for several minutes before we talk again. Don't force yourself to entertain your partner. You can enjoy each other's presence without saying a word.
6. Stick To The Schedule
You promised your partner to Skype in one hour but unfortunately your friend wants to come over. Well, you can also delay your Skype date and have a good time with your friend, right?
You can do that but don't wonder why your relationship went down the tubes when you do. When you delay it once, the chances are high that you'll delay it again. This is a dangerous path, and at some point, your partner might delay the call forever.
If you're determined to make your relationship work, then you must show a willingness to stick to the schedule.
7. Save Some Money
Skype is the most amazing invention to make long-distance relationships work, but at some point you will get crazy if you don't meet each other in person. Too long without physical intimacy is definitely not good for a relationship.
No matter if you plan to visit your partner every month or every six months, save up some money for future flexibility. If you're like me and committed to relationship with someone who lives on the other side of the world, then you will need a few extra dollars to finance the travels.
8. Plan Your Visits
In case you also live far away from your partner, you're probably very excited whenever you're about to visit him or her. That's great but please don't make any rash decisions.
I know that it sounds very romantic to visit your partner spontaneously, but if you have to spend the days alone because your partner has to work all day, you waste not only your money your time as well.
This is something that I had to learn the hard way. I once booked a flight to Bangkok without even thinking about the fact that she had university at that time. It was an amazing trip, but when she had to leave the apartment for class, I could have slapped myself for my lack of planning.
9. Ignore The Naysayers
If you're with someone who lives in another country or even on another continent, people will tell you that you will fail. I know this from my own experience, and I know how much that sucks. Don't listen to them!
Just because some of those people had negative experiences with long-distance relationships doesn't mean you'll have the same experience.
Every person is unique and every relationship is unique. As long as you believe in your relationship, it doesn't matter what the naysayers think.
10. Trust Is Key
Besides believing in the relationship you also have to believe in your partner. The fastest way to kill every long-distance relationship is by being jealous and anxious that your partner will cheat on you. If you can't get over those feelings, your relationship will fail.
Trust is the foundation for every relationship. I know that it's easier to trust someone who lives with you than someone you see everyday, but unless you trust your partner, the naysayers will end up being right.