It all comes down to excuses…If there’s will, excuses have to disappear. But we also have to be rational about it. Leaving everything behind and going straight to her door, saying “Here I am my baby, I’m yours forever…Please let me in!” it’s as big of a mistake as not visiting her often enough.
Distance is just a circumstance, but “time” is what’s really separating us from the women we love. (find out why, here)
When thinking about the long time we have to wait before being together again with our significant others, a number of reasons for that come to our mind: our daily activities, our long term plans, the high costs of traveling, the specific circumstances we’re currently in, and so on.
In this “simple” article, I am going to go over these 4 main impediments and give you some reasonable suggestions that come from my personal experience, on how to eliminate or at least minimize these 4 obstacles. Note: These suggestions apply more to couples living far away from each other, same as I live 2000 Km away from my girlfriend.
Number 1: Daily Activities.
These are activities like studies, daily jobs, duties (military), commitments, etc. that restrict us to just buy a flight ticket and go visit our girlfriends any time we want. Because of them, we need to wait a certain period of time until we have a new holiday or some free time to go away. So what can we do? Here are a few tips:
Get her to visit you. This might sound common sense, but you can easily use your holidays to go visit her, and she can use her holidays to visit you. This way you’ll make it possible for you to see each other more often. And the fact that you’re not having a holiday, but she’s coming to visit you, is not such a big problem. You can still go to work and then “come home to your baby”. It’s not the perfect scenario of a “great visit”, but can still be a great option for you to meet more often.
Get a flexible job. By having a flexible job I mean, having a job that allows you to work from your laptop, and thus from anywhere in the world where there’s an internet connection. This you’d be free to travel any time you want, and still have a job that pays your bills. Depending on your skills, having a location independent job is not that hard nowadays. This could be a job as a freelancer, blogger, writer, online entrepreneur etc.
Now, if you think that such jobs are low paid – THINK AGAIN! It does take some time and effort to get to a point where such jobs can really pay your bills and cover you expenses, but from there on you are free to live wherever you want.
For some inspiration and more information on starting a location independent business you can check out Mark Manson’s Podcast: Starting a Location-Independent Business or his “How To Start a Successful Blog” article.
Freeze a semester. If you’re a student and you can’t wait to be together with your girlfriend again (and for longer time), just take a more radical decision and freeze a study semester, just to go and live with her for a few months. It’s a risky thing to do, but the reward is worth it. Being together again for a few months, could be the factor that makes you long distance relationship much stronger and gives you more motivation to fight for it.
Needless to say that you’ll have a lot more memories together, which you’ll keep remembering and recounting later one when you’re apart. Now when I said that these suggestions come from my own experience, I wasn’t joking.
As you may know already, I am in my early twenties and I’m close to getting my Bachelor Degree now. But this semester(autumn 2012) I decided that I want to be with my girlfriend, so I froze my semester and I’m about to visit my girl for around 3 months.
Get a replacement. Depending on the job of course, and on your financial situation, you could get a replacement or delegate your tasks for 1-2 weeks while you could have a short trip to meet your girl again. This could make for a great surprise and could be a nice way of refreshing the relationship.
Give up commitments. Give up some time consuming and freedom restricting commitments. When I talk about commitments I mean, responsibilities that you might have towards yourself, other people and/or organizations. If you’re a student, then you might be a volunteer for student organizations. If have a job, then you might be involved in a couple of projects (which may not be that important). If you have kids to take care of, you could send them to an orphanage…:) just kidding! You could have someone else taking care of them for a short period of time.
Number Two: Future Plans
Sometimes I find myself unable to travel to see my sweetheart because of some future plans that I might have, like traveling somewhere else, or going to an upcoming concert, or attending some special events, or getting a project completed until a deadline etc. In these circumstances what you could do is to:
Include her in your future plans. Therefore, travel together to the destination you wanted, going to a concert together, inviting her to attend some event with you etc. This way the restriction could become an amazing opportunity for both of you to see each other again.
Give up some plans. You could also give up some plans in favor of visiting her. Therefore, instead of you having a trip somewhere else, you could choose to visit her. Now, I am not advising that you just start giving up everything just to meet her all the time, but sometimes that could the optimal solution.
I found myself a few times in the position of choosing between going to an exotic country with a couple of friends or visiting my girlfriend…and guess what I chose? (hint: I went to visit her, and we had a great time) Of course you want to be reasonable about that. Giving up your life all the time is not the best solution either.
Direct your future plans towards being together. When planning for the future, nowadays I tend to direct my plans towards spending more time together with my girlfriend. You want to always be looking for possibilities to close the distance forever. But if there’s no possibilities yet at the horizon, don’t give up, read this article “The Future of the Relationship?, and make sure to make future plans with “her” in mind.
Number Three: High Travel Costs
Being far away from our significant other means that we need to spend a lot of money for flight, train or bus tickets if we want to visit our girlfriends. And that’s what most of the times restricts us from seeing our partners more often. What to do about it?
Share the travel costs. Yes, it’s okay to talk to your partner and agree on sharing the travel costs of you visiting her, or her visiting you. Normally, being a gentleman, you could offer to split the costs of her visiting you, but of course it depends on your and her financial situations.
Therefore if you’d split a flight ticket in two, it becomes so much cheaper to see each other again. And I said that it’s okay to share the travel cost, because it’s in your mutual benefit to do it.
I would NOT suggest that you cover the full travel expense for your girlfriend to visit you, unless she really can’t afford it and you really want her visit you. If you cover her travel expenses a few times, she’ll start to see you as both needy and a provider for her, and you want to avoid that.
You don’t wanna become her sugar daddy, and if she can’t afford visiting you, then you can visit her when you have the possibility.
In the case when you don’t have enough money to travel to her, don’t be shy to suggest that she pays for half the ticket if she wants to see you sooner. If she can afford it, it will be a great way to save money and also a great way to get her to invest more in the relationship. And NO, she won’t be less attracted to you because of that, quite the opposite!
Meet somewhere else. This is a great way to both save on travel costs, and also travel together. (and fun a great time) This basically means that you agree to meet in a specific country, city or location, instead of visiting each other in your own countries (locations).
I have many friends that regularly meet their girlfriends in Italy (Bergamo) because it’s a cheap destination with Ryanair. And from there they travel around the country for a few days enjoying each other’s “bodies” and each other’s company.
Put money aside only for travel costs. I’ve once created a savings box, and for 3 months I’ve put money in it every single day. Sometimes 0.50 cents, other times 1-2 dollars, and other times even 5 dollars a day. And to my big surprise, after 3 months when I opened it I had around 250$ in total. Was I happy? I sure as heaven was! And boy, I bought a lot of cool stuff for myself, because it felt like this money were “a gift” from someone else to me.
Even though I haven’t tried making a savings box for my traveling expenses (because I manage my money in a very unique way) I think it could be a great idea for you to try it out. Because if you manage to do that, you’ll end up feeling like traveling for free or at a special discount.
Get cheaper flight tickets. Below are some of the ways I use to save on flight tickets.
- Buy your tickets early. By “early” I mean at least 3 weeks before departure and optimally 2-3 months ahead. If you want tickets for vacation destinations or during high traffic seasons like Christmas holidays, Easter etc. then make sure to buy your tickets around 6 months ahead.
- Use a combination of low cost air companies, trains, buses. If you have time and patience to really “research” your flight options, then this might be a great solution for you. This would mean that you check all the available routes that could lead you to your destination and the available means of transportation.If you are in Europe, you could use a combination of complementary Ryanair flights plus train and bus traveling to get to your destination cheaper. I personally try to avoid currently combining more means of transportation because I find it tiring and not worth the amount of money saved. But I did use to fly sometimes to 3 different destinations, taking 2 trains and 2 buses to get somewhere for 30$ cheaper.This method is not for everybody though, because it requires some patience and work to check out various routes and various airlines, but it could be a viable option if you want to save 30$ from your flight and use them for a nice meal a local restaurant.
- Take time to search for best fares. Set aside some time for checking all the search engines that you can find online. The exact same fare (same company, same hours) could be 10-50 $ cheaper in the next search engine you check.From my experience for European flights (where I travel frequently) I use momondo.com and skyscanner.com. I find these two search engines the best ones. But don’t believe me on this and make sure to check other search engines too.
One great trick that can save you 10-30$ is to use Skycanner.com and change the “country” from the upper right corner of the webpage. The website automatically recognizes the country that you’re currently in by your IP address.
Therefore what you can do is to play around and change the country, but leaving the same currency (euro or usd). This way you’ll see how prices for the same fares could vary depending on the country you “told them you’re in”. So if you choose Denmark, then the search engine will look on the Danish websites for fares; and you’ll find that in different countries the prices could vary with 10-30$. This happens because the commissions either vary or are non-existent on different websites.
- Buy directly from the airline websites. This is another way to skip the commissions. You could find your cheap fare on Skyscanner for example, see what’s the airline and then check the same fare on the company’s website. Most of the times this will save you the commissions that you normally pay when buying from intermediaries – around 10-20 bucks.
- Be flexible with your travel dates. A one or two days flexibility could save you as much as 50$ per ticket. I love Momondo.com for comparing prices on different dates.
- Sign up for frequent flyer programs. This option is very popular among the “true nomads” that fly more than 10 times a year. So if you are one of them, get yourself informed about it, if not you can just stick with tips above.
Number Four: Your Circumstances
There could also be many circumstances that could make it impossible for us to travel. These could be circumstances like: prison, war, health problems, traveling risks, bad weather, losing passport, being robbed etc. So, in terms of controlling your circumstances I can give you one great principle that helped me a lot in the last 7 years of long distance relationships, and which is…
Being precautious and thinking preventively. If I want to make sure that I have no restrictions for traveling to visit my girlfriend, then I tend to be twice as precautious as I’d normally be. I have always been a precautious person, which has helped me avoid many troubles in my life so far, but when it comes to avoiding possible travel restrictions I am twice as precautious.
To give you an example: When you buy a flight ticket 2-3 months ahead, you have to make sure that there won’t be changes in your health situation, your financial situation, your freedom, your documentation etc.
So you want to avoid potential dangerous situations like fights, getting overly drunk, breaking the law, being ignorant about your money and documentation, buying flight tickets in unfavorable periods of the yearand so on; and you want to think preventively on how you could avoid them.
What you found in this article are just suggestions for you to choose from depending on your situation, and they should be taken as such. A few things to keep in mind though before starting to plan your next visit, are the following:
- Take care… giving up too much to just visit your girlfriend might put you into a weak position. Also striving to visit too often and especially when she’s not very enthusiastic about it, can also affect your relationship. Make sure that she can’t wait to meet you again and she’s willing to spend time with you when you arrive there.
- When planning to visit her for longer term, you must have a plan B in case things don’t work out. It could happen that you break up; relationships are very perishable “fruits” so you have to consider this possibility too.So, when making plans about visiting her for a long term, make sure to think twice about it, and find alternative goals for your visit.
- Plan your visits carefully so that they are memorable and enjoyable. Read the “13 Tips To Have A Visit To Remember” for suggestion on how to have memorable visits.
Did I get you inspired? Or maybe got you thinking about your possibilities? Post a comment below and speak your mind!
With Great Respect,