Advertising
Advertising

14 Things No One Tells You About Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

14 Things No One Tells You About Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

Boy meets girl. They go crazy over each other, knowing one of them is leaving town in less than a month (or a week, or a day!). The story never gets old.

The dreadful day approaches. They’re at the airport, time is running low. There are tears, sloppy kisses and endless promises that they will get through it no matter what! One leaves. One stays. But know this: “dating” in no way prepares you for a long-distance relationship. It is a different kind of ball game altogether.

Before moving to France to be with my partner, I spent over a year living in a limbo of visa paperwork, lonesome nights lying awake, and carefully crossing out days left until we met again.

Now, I need to put it in bold: long-distance relationships seriously suck!

Below are 14 things no one will tell you about being in a long-distance relationship, except for someone who has already done it.

1. Congrats! You’ve got a free ticket to an emotional roller-coaster ride!

Some days will be fine. You’ll just do all the usual stuff — go to work, catch up with friends for drinks, walk your dog and work out every day to look fit when you finally meet again.

Advertising

But there will be terrible days too. Days when you don’t want to get out of bed or do anything meaningful — except for embracing your pain and loneliness. Days when you seriously question your decision: “Is it worth it? Why am I doing this?”

You’ll go from moments of tremendous joy together to hopelessly depressing thoughts on the night before your departure: “Will I survive another separation? I’m not sure how many more times my heart can be torn apart until it finally breaks!”

2. There will be a lot of tough choices to make

So where are we heading? How do we see our future together? Should I leave everything and move to you? Is it worth it? Who will come and visit? When?

Get used to the endless swirl of complicated questions you both need to answer honestly.

3. Your laptop is your real significant other

At least for now.

You will fall asleep with your beloved’s face on the screen. The first thing you’ll grab in the morning is your laptop to check if they’ve already sent you a sweet “Morning, sunshine!” email. You’ll put your laptop next to your plate so you can have dinner together.

Advertising

You’ll also get to know all the latest video, chat and photo exchange apps, all designed for couples who are apart.

4. Time will be your main enemy

When you are together, you’ll savor each and every moment. You’ll plan to do all those amazing super-romantic couple things, or simply enjoy the warmth of actual hugs as long as possible. Yet, you will never get enough time.

But once apart again, you’ll simply wish the clock ran faster: “Is it Friday already? So, there’s just 24 days left until I visit. Can I please wake up on day X?”

5. You will get more creative trying to fill up your time

Always wanted to learn French? How about play tennis, enroll in a Japanese cooking class, or master ink drawing? This is a high time to find new hobbies and try new things. Keep your mind engaged and let it focus on learning new skills. Besides, isn’t it an awesome way to impress your partner when you finally catch up again?

6. There will be all sort of memory triggers that will cause you to randomly cry

I thought I was emotionally strong. I was proved wrong. Numerous times.

7. It won’t get easier in time

Even if you think you can get used to being apart and are now stoically waiting for when things get easier, they won’t. No matter how long you are in a long-distance relationship, you always miss your significant other like crazy.

Advertising

Revisit points #1 and #6 and accept that.

8. You learn to live in a twisted reality

They’re never there, but they’re all yours. You spend too much time inside your head replaying all those sweet moments spent together, having all those daydreams and conversations.

That’s odd. I know.

9. Your friends won’t be as supportive as you expect

“OMG! So you’re like one year into a long-distance relationship? How do you cope with, you know … desire?”

“Does your boyfriend even exist?”

“Why don’t you find someone else to date?”

Advertising

Right.

Why can’t a cat become a dog?

10. Long distance feels heavy

Your partner won’t be around every time you desperately need them, not on one of those “bad days” when you are one step away from a yet another mental breakdown. Not on those days when you fail and need more support that any sweet words on Skype can convey. Eventually, you learn to cope with a lot of things on your own, and you grow stronger and more mature in the process.

11. Finding the time to visit is complicated

You won’t be able to come and visit each and every weekend or month as you originally intended to. You still have different and conflicting commitments holding you back. (Or else you’d be sitting next to each other already, right?) And unless booked months in advance flights cost a pretty penny and get insanely expensive during holidays and vacation seasons. Exactly, those times when you are most likely to be able to visit.

12. When you finally meet again, you just pick up just where you’ve finished

When you are together again, it seems like those ugly weeks apart never existed. Like you finally pressed “Play” and started living your perfect life again. At least until it’s time to go back home.

13. Eventually, you develop this odd feeling of sureness

You will begin to consider that if you are not soul mates, why would both of you bother so much? Your relationship are definitely not about sex. Rather, you are like friends without benefits most of the time. You can talk over anything — hopes, fears, dreams, insecurities. Jealousy is just an empty word as you grow absolutely confident in your partner and yourself.

14. You know if you both see this through to the end, your relationship will survive anything

As a couple you will develop this invisible, bulletproof bond. It will carry you through all sort of arguments and life difficulties. After all, if you survive the long-distance thing, everything else from then on will seem easily manageable!

Featured photo credit: Hearth symbol in sunset via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Elena Prokopets

Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

7 Ways To Learn a New Language Faster (Backed by Science) 22 Amazing Pineapple Health Benefits (With Simple Pineapple Recipes) 15 Cool And Practical Apps For Couples 14 Things No One Tells You About Being in a Long-Distance Relationship 9 Tips to Prepare For Your First Multi Day Hike

Trending in Communication

1 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively 2 How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life 3 What Is Self-Worth and How to Recognize Yours 4 How to Build Self Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power) 5 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

Advertising

2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

Advertising

If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

Advertising

Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

Advertising

10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

Read Next