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4 Long-distance Relationship Survival Tips

4 Long-distance Relationship Survival Tips

We all know that when you start a new relationship, our life starts revolving around it. We forget friends and family, our hours at work become torturous because of anticipation of the time when we finally go on our second, third, tenth date.

Of course, the scenario can be different and there may not be second third and tenth dates, simply because you are in different locations, which also means you have decided to do a very torturous kind of relationship – long-distance relationship.

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In both cases, there will be a time when you end up putting yourself on a second place and you might not even notice it. I was fortunate (or unfortunate?) to be in a long-distance relationship for a little over one year now and I would like to share my survival tips, which I have been using until now, since the long-distance is still on. These few tips will help you keep going, but only if you will truly believe in them.

1. Read books

Some people do not read books, some people love books, I was fortunate to be in the second category. My relationship with books is on another level.

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When I read a book I start reliving the story, by the time I reach the middle of the book I have images of characters in my head and by the time I am at the last few pages I start feeling empty because the story is coming to an end. The point is – learn  to create a relationship with something you truly love.

2. Become organized

This is related to everything in my life. I re-organize my closet every few months. I get rid of things that I do not wear, I give them to charity or sell them. I organize my bookshelf in an alphabetical order. I tidy up my drawers with make-up and underwear.

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I help my family to clear the garage filled with junk.I make sure the food in the drawers of the kitchen is stored in a way which makes it easier to find whatever I need. All these little things make me feel in control of my life, even though my long-distance relationship is not entirely under my control, the fact that everything else is, makes me feel at ease.

3. Keep calm and calm down

After the “pink happiness period” passes, usually after 3-4 months, you start to realize the harsh reality long-distance. You come back to an empty apartment with heavy bags full of groceries on a Friday evening and think “why the hell do I have to be alone”. Well keep calm and keep in mind that there are so many people out there who are dreaming about a quiet Friday evening to themselves.

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With time I have realized that the more I stress out about about being alone, the harder it is for me and my partner. Hence, I just started to find advantages in everything that I have to do on my own. When you stop obsessing about the fact that the last 3 weddings you had to attend alone, you can find peace in a yoga, good book, walk in a park or another 100 activities of your choice.

4. Keep up self-development

You simply cannot put your life on hold and wait for your long-distance relationship to transform into a short-distance relationship, because, like in my case, it can take much longer than you expect.

Hence, in the last 14 months I have read more than 20 books, I started learning Spanish, kept-up with German, started writing blogs, supported my family in various activities, tutored my niece English language, started actively practicing yoga and mediation, all that while having a job from 9-6 five times a week. I have realized that I cannot waste time getting depressed, because when my partner and I are finally together, I may not have that much time for all these cool activities.

Featured photo credit: Farida Karimova via facebook.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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