Distance can make or break a relationship. It can either bring out the best or the worst in romantic partners. It’s not surprising that long distance relationships (LDR) have very low success rates, but it doesn’t mean being in one means your relationship is doomed to fail. It’s also important to keep in mind that while it’s easy for couples to talk about the idea of being in an LDR, experiencing the real thing is a totally different story.
There will always be unpredictabilities and challenges along the way. Making this kind of relationship work can seem tough and challenging—unless you have this vital element that has undoubtedly supported and nurtured romantic relationships no matter what: true love. But how do you know that you have it? And how can it save your relationship from falling under the statistics of failed LDRs?
Here are the signs of true love in a long distance relationship and how it can help you and your partner overcome the challenges of LDR:
1. You understand the inevitability of being apart.
You know it’s true love when there is acceptance. This quality plays a major role in understanding the inevitability of challenges in a relationship such as LDR. Accepting the circumstances of LDR prevents couples from looking at the more negative aspects of it: constant longing, fear of separation, insecurity, demand for time and attention, to name a few. Instead, you accept that the situation is necessary, especially if it’s for improving other aspects of your lives in the long run, such is career growth, academic reasons, personal goals, among others.
2. You sincerely do your part to maintain the relationship.
You know it’s true love when there is effort, from both sides, to maintain and nurture the relationship. Making an LDR work means doing your part to keep the relationship going, despite the challenges and unpredictable issues that may arise.
3. You know other ways to express love, despite the physical distance.
You know it’s true love when you and your partner know how to express love in different ways, especially with the challenge of being physically apart. There are many types of love languages: gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch. Knowing what you can offer at the moment and understanding what works best for long distance relationships can make a big difference.
4. You have a deep faith in your commitment as a couple.
You know it’s true love when you trust in the commitment that you made for each other. Starting a long distance relationship can be scary but if you are committed to making it work and doing everything to keep the relationship stronger despite the distance, then you’re on the right path. Just believing in the promise that you made to each other can help you go through the toughest times of LDR.
5. You have the enthusiasm to enjoy a life outside the relationship.
You know it’s true love when your happiness isn’t dependent on the relationship alone. The longing and sadness from being in an LDR can be crippling. However, being with the right person will give you the assurance and inspiration to enjoy life outside of the relationship. That is, doing your hobbies and the activities you love, working hard to achieve personal goals, and just living an independent life.
6. You get to spend happy moments with friends.
You know it’s true love when you have the time, energy, and genuine desire to spend time with friends or family. Some people in an LDR focus too much on maintaining the relationship with their partner by staying “connected” and online all the time. Others can’t even put down their phone that they miss out on the best moments of their lives with friends and family. True love gives you the assurance that you can be happy and bond with other people without feeling guilty about it.
7. Your heart doesn’t have any room for doubts.
You know it’s true love when there is trust. Trust issues and doubts, either directed towards the self or your partner, can easily introduce more serious challenges to a long distance relationship. Leaving no room for doubts means establishing a strong and full sense of trust so that your heart and mind only accommodate good thoughts. This sense of trust that can also serve as a form of comfort from longing to be with your partner.
8. You are not afraid of necessary conflict.
You know it’s true love when you are free to express yourself, even if it means disagreeing with your partner. People in LDR tend to play safe and try to avoid disagreements. While it may seem ideal, it is damaging in the long run, especially if you’re in an LDR. Unaddressed issues can nurture resentment and doubts. Avoiding conflicts is just delaying the problem.
9. You have a healthy way of dealing with disagreements.
You know it’s true love when there is transparency and open communication. Most LDRs fail because of unaddressed problems and unresolved issues. In every type of relationship, openness and communication are needed to deal with arguments and disagreements. Not talking about it or just waiting for the negative feeling to go away can slowly ruin the relationship. Take time to talk. Take time to listen. It’s a two-way process.
10. You know how to establish boundaries and maintain your own space.
You know it’s true love when you know your boundaries. Contrary to popular belief, successful LDRs don’t need constant communication. It doesn’t also need partners to constantly know what the other is doing. Establishing boundaries early into the long distance relationship helps couples claim and enjoy their own space and not feel bad about it. It’s important for any individual to have that freedom and privacy to be with their own company.
11. You don’t need constant reassurance that you are missed.
You know it’s true love when you just know that your presence, your time, and your attention matter. Most LDRs that did not survive the test of distance and time apart suffered from the need for constant verbal reassurance that their partner still wants them, despite the limited time together or the absence of physical touch. Even without words, even without reminders, you should know that you are loved, you are missed, and your presence matter, vice versa. Focus on actions more.
12. You continue to learn about each other.
You know it’s true love when distance does not hinder you from discovering the most beautiful things about each other. LDR should not stop you from exploring each other’s complexities. Distance should not stop you from getting to know your partner better.
One way to make sure that you still get to discover interesting things about each other is to try something new all the time. How about an online date and find out how romance can be expressed virtually? How about playing video games together to see each other’s competitive side? Or maybe discover each other’s creative side and make art by watching Youtube tutorials together?
13. You enjoy the present and you are thrilled about what’s next.
You know it’s true love when you find happiness in the present, despite the longing of not being able to be with the love of your life. Instead of feeling down, you try to just enjoy every day “together”. More importantly, true love makes you feel excited about what’s next and how surviving an LDR can make your relationship stronger, instead of fearing for the possibilities of breakups.
14. You see a future together during and after an LDR.
You know it’s true love when you can see your future together. Looking forward to the time that you will finally see each other can serve as a beacon that will guide you in navigating the challenges and complexities of long distance relationships.
Nurture your long distance relationship.
Experiencing a long distance relationship may seem to redefine what true love is, but it’s still the same love. It’s still true. Couples should understand that the strongest of romantic feelings can also be nurtured beyond physical interaction and being physically together. You know it’s true love when, regardless of medium, channel, or ways of expression, you can still feel each other’s presence; you can still appreciate the love and affection that you offer to each other.
Also read: 15 Signs of True Love in a Relationship