Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Happy Valentine's Day, readers! Yeah, it is such a coincidence that I'm writing this article about love on Valentine's Day, which is aptly (although not necessarily) represented by couples giving chocolates, candies, and the like, expressing this important and immortal quality of humanity. Before we go further, let me do a real quick check: do you know what 'LDR' stands for?

Although it might sound like the name of an organization (think of IBM, WHO, or BBC), 'LDR' is actually the abbreviation of 'long-distance relationship', in contrast to 'SDR', which is the short form of 'short-distance relationship' (honestly, I don't know whether the term 'SDR' legitimately exists or not and I am too lazy to do research by googling it *LOL*. I'm going to use it throughout the article as it sounds harmonic with its 'sibling'. *grinning*). As for the meaning, I don't think I'd have to expound it to you, as it is crystal-clear that 'LDR' refers to a relationship in which the lovers live far away, separated by long distances (well, that's a bonus for you). I believe that not many people have this kind of relationship, but some do. And, I am one of them. However, this article will not be focusing on my relationship with my overseas girlfriend, but rather it contains insights into an LDR, partly derived from my experience as a 'performer' of this life choice. Let's get started.

Most people in an LDR, by the very fact that they live thousands of miles from their loved ones, cannot frequently meet. And this is I think what most people would agree is the greatest challenge of living in an LDR. The feeling of missing between the lovers must be, to a great degree, deeper than that felt by SDRers, and it can literally bring them to the point of being extremely emotional. Tears rolling down the cheeks could be a common sight among LDRers. While SDRers can be in close proximity to their loves whenever they want (it is not necessarily true, but I'd say most of them would meet their partners at least once a week, typically on the weekend), long-distance 'fighters' have to have a huge supply of patience as they need to wait for ages before hugging and kissing their babies. Hugging and kissing. Right. Unlike SDRers, the encounters had by LDR couples typically do not outnumber (half of) your hand fingers, and it is plausible to think that this results in them doing the two affectionate acts many more at one time that their short-distance counterparts. However, as with other types of relationships, the primary recipe for success in an LDR is communication. The quality and quantity have to be maintained in such a way that the passion between the couple keeps on burning. Thanks to technology, now it is super easy to reach your beloved one, say, who is 1,000 miles away. Two of the apps that I recommend LDRers use for video calls are WhatsApp and Messenger. Although you can't really touch your partners via this kind of program, they are really helpful when it comes to having an LDR.

A friend of mine (a former colleague, if I'm not mistaken) once suggested that it would be economical to have an LDR since the couple meet much more rarely than SDRers. I would say that this might or might not be the case, depending on certain factors. LDRers may need to save up a lot for flight tickets; these could cost hundreds of dollars (I myself would need to pay approximately 110 USD for a round-trip flight ticket at a minimum). In addition, they might need to "make up for" what they would have done as an SDR couple: having fun at tourist attractions, having dinner, buying couple clothes, etc. I also heard this sort of notion that LDRers are prone to unfaithfulness, or that it is wiser not to be in an LDR as there is the insecure feeling that your partner will cheat on you. Well, I'd argue that SDRers also cannot escape the fact that there are also numerous opportunities for them to date another man or woman and break their romantic promise. I believe it is all rooted in commitment; it goes back to their very own heart. One won't be swayed into another's arm if they genuinely love their partner, whatever the situation is.

The last comment I would like to make is about the status of an LDR itself. I have the conviction that LDRs cannot go forever: ultimately, they need to transform into SDRs. So we might see an LDR as a stepping-stone into a more 'perfect' state of relationship, where a man or woman can be in full intimacy with their beloved one. As this is a very important matter, an LDR couple ought to discuss it seriously and decisively.

LDRs are not for the faint-hearted. It demands courage, perseverance, resilience, and, last but not least, commitment.

Are you in an LDR? Or do you know someone who is in an LDR? Please share your thoughts and/or experiences in the comments below!

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