Hello all you hopeless romantics! For the past year, I’ve been getting messages asking me whether I was ever going to continue with the LDR Chronicles – a little series I started when I was in a long distance relationship to help others in the same predicament.
Well, you ask… and I shall deliver. After a year, I have finally put together episode 6 of The LDR Chronicles! This episode, Mattias and I discuss 7 things that anyone in a long distance relationship should consider before meeting for the first time.
You can check the video out below, or keep scrolling to skim through our 7 tips.
1. Build the trust
I mean, this seems pretty obvious. Why would you ever book an expensive plane ticket in order to meet someone across the ocean if you don’t trust the person you’ve been talking to?
Well… unfortunately sometimes things can go terribly wrong. For example, take the Dutch man who was in an ‘online relationship’ with a girl from China. He flew all the way from the Netherlands to the Chinese city of Changsha only to be stood up. I gotta give this guy props though – he waited 10 days for his so-called ‘girlfriend’ and had to be hospitalised for exhaustion. Talk about dedication… but NO SYMPATHY.
MAKE. SURE. YOU. CAN. TRUST. THE. PERSON. YOU’RE. TALKING. TO.
Know the ins and outs of his/her life and make sure everything they’re telling you about themselves adds up. You don’t want to end up being completely catfished and/or kidnapped and thrown off a cliff.
2. Figure out the logistics
Ok. So your significant other isn’t a serial killer. GREAT! You can start figuring out the nitty gritty in terms of booking your flights and getting the first meeting underway.
Here are some things to figure out:
- When are you both free? Is work and/or study going to be a hindrance to your time together?
- Are you both splitting the cost of the airfare?
- Will you be staying at a hotel or crashing at their house?
- Are all the parties involved (i.e. family, friends, roommates) OKAY with you visiting?
- How long can you visit?
- Do you need a visa or any other entry requirements?
Personally, I think it’s common courtesy to split costs. It’s not fair to push all the costs to one person, especially in a relationship that’s riddled with a lot more risks than the average couple may face.
Check out Skyscanner to compare airfares!
3. Be open-minded to cultural differences
Culture shock is a real thing. Be prepared to be completely flabbergasted by cultural differences. It may be something that’s massive – like how you greet people. It may be something small– like having pot plants on the window sill.
Always be open-minded and mannered and don’t be afraid to have a giggle when things get awkward. I find that the more you genuinely want to know about a country and it’s people, the more you’ll feel at ease.
I remember my biggest culture shock when I was in Sweden was walking into a female change room at a swimming pool AND SEEING ALL THE WOMEN NAKED. I internally panicked – but I had a good laugh with Mattias and his friends after, lol.
4. The physical stuff
The things that go on behind your closed doors is none of my business. However, be aware that when you meet for the first time, your physical senses can be overwhelming. Don’t take this as a sign that you should rush into the physical stage of your relationship. Treat it like any other relationship – if you’re not ready to take things further, then BE HONEST. And please, always make sure that your significant other has given consent.
You have all the time in the world (in fact, an entire lifetime) to explore each other on a physical level. Don’t feel pressured just because you might only have a few days together before you’re separated again. This is just the first meeting and I assure you, you don’t want to live with any regrets.
5. What if it all goes wrong?
It happens. Sometimes a personality can be completely different to from online to the real world. Maybe they’re too demanding. Maybe they’re too snobby. Maybe they’re just not the right person for you.
If that’s the case, remember to be civil. You both agreed to this meeting and even though it might not work out as a romantic relationship, it can still be a fun friendship. Make the most of your time in a new city – explore, make friends and have a wonderful adventure. Just because things didn’t work out doesn’t mean you have to ruin your trip.
6. What do you do with your time together?
Kudos to you if you live in a city that’s brimming with landmarks and fun things to do! If you can afford to do the fun touristy stuff, then go nuts. However, if you live somewhere where the tumble weed often blows past, then take it as a great opportunity to connect with family and friends.
Take time to explore local areas. Discover childhood stories about a park or a community centre where your significant other might have grown up. Schedule dates with friends and family. Go for a picnic. Watch a movie. Play some board games. Bake some treats. Get to know each other better.
7. Saying goodbye
Saying goodbye SUCKS. I’ve had to say goodbye to Mattias at least six times and each time it felt like a dagger to the heart. But you know the good thing about that? It means that there’s an emotional connection. It means that the time you guys spent together wasn’t wasted and that you’ve both impacted each other in many ways.
Use the heartache as assurance that you’ll see each other again! 🙂
Anyway, those are the 7 tips that Mattias and I have for those of you in a long distance relationship! If you’re about to meet your long distance girlfriend/boyfriend for the first time, then GOOD LUCK! Have fun and always remember to stay safe.
Let me know in the comments if these tips helped you out!
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