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Guest Writer, Sofia Phakdeeyut - The truth behind having a long-distance relationship

My name is Sofia Phakdeeyut, I am 24 years old and I am born and raised in Falkenberg. Things that bring me joy and inspiration are my friends, my family, my training, and my boyfriend. My topic for this guest writing is "the truth behind having a long-distance relationship". Hope you’ll enjoy this read!

Let me take you to the very beginning - I moved to the United States to start my adventure as an au pair. My intention here was never to find someone that I would fall in love with, but clearly, I was wrong. It all began at the gym. He was one of the employees and we have been talking back and forth, and then suddenly there was this moment when he finally asked me out. I obviously couldn’t resist so I said yes. A couple of months later I had my return scheduled and neither of us wanted to end the relationship. So we said to each other that we can make it work, let’s try it.

Ever since that day we still have it going, 4 years later. Many friends and family keep asking how we make it work, what kind of plans we have and who’s moving where, and so on. Being in a long-distance relationship might not be for every couple. Some people might see it as a waste of time being separated, but from my perspective, there are some benefits as well. I see this relationship as an experience and a unique way to love. Not just to love my partner, but to love myself. This is the time for me as for him, to think about my own value, the time to discover the person I am and what goals I have.

Let me tell you the top three keys that have kept us going through the last 4 years. Communication. This might be the top of every couple's list, no matter what the situation looks like. Talk to each other. Stay honest. Be open-minded. Talk about feelings. However, the communication doesn’t have to be 12 hours a day. Many couples believe that they have to compensate for the distance by doing it more, which is not true. Second, comes Trust. In fact, trust-building and communication, which I’m guessing you already knew, are the tools to make any relationship enable to work. Trust has never been an issue for us, which has made this journey, I wouldn’t say easy, but working smoothly. My last key is to have a Plan. You need to have a date or at least something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow or next month, but at least a timeline to follow.

Today we all suffer from a pandemic no one could have ever predicted coming. Corona. This is our and every long-distance relationship's worst nightmare. Neither of us is or has been able to travel to see each other. We are both at the moment very clueless about what to do, but what we can do right now is to wait and believe that borders will open very soon. This pandemic kind of puts our future on hold, we don’t have the ability to actually set a date for what’s coming next, because no one knows when this pandemic is going to end.

I might as well give you some great tips to make a relationship more fun and hopefully, it will work for some of you.

  1. Make time for communication - Figure out each other’s schedule, especially if you are in different time zones. It is helpful if your partner knows your schedule so that you could drop a text or make a call at the right time.

  2. Do things together even when you are apart - It is way more fun if you decide to do things together. As play games online, cook together, or have a date through the screen.

  3. Do similar things - Pick a TV-show, music or books that you recommend, in that way you have more topics in common to talk about.

  4. Enjoy your time with friends and family - You might feel alone, but you aren’t lonely unless you want it to be. Take this time to enjoy the moments with family and friends.

The most difficult thing about being in a distance relationship is obviously that you miss each other like crazy. I do. I miss him every second of the day. It is also the time when I need him the most that are hard. But I know for sure that he is just one call away. I wouldn’t say there are easy times being apart, but it is just how you want it to be. Do you want it to be easy? Make it easy. Make it fun. As said before, take this time as an opportunity to experience love in a different and unique way. The best part of this is when you finally get to meet again, that’s when you realize you should appreciate your time together.

Last but not least, I would like to end with my favorite quote “when I picture myself happy, I picture myself with you”.

If you would like to find more about me, you can find me on Instagram @sofiaphakdeeyut or you could also get in touch with me through my email sofiaphakdeeyut@gmail.com. I hope you enjoyed this and I wish you a great year in 2021.

Best regards,

Sofia Phakdeeyut