Dear Girl,

So you have ended up in a long distance relationship. Your SO is miles away and you feel lonely and empty inside. You are confused and wonder why it has to be this way. You want to just sit and cry.

Well, my friend, I can’t take away the pain you feel being separated from the one you love. I hope you know you aren’t alone. There are many others who have been right where you are at. I am one of them. I know how it feels. I know the pain. Let me tell you part of the journey you are about to take.

You have a long road ahead of you. You will feel discouraged, but don’t give up. You can make it. Never forget why you started and always remind yourself that the distance is temporary and one day you will be with him, never to be separated again.

When you go out you will suddenly notice all the couples around you that you never noticed before. They will come out of the woodwork. In front you in church, walking beside you as you walk down the street, at the next table in the restaurant. You will watch them. You won’t be able to stop yourself. They will be laughing, smiling, talking, happily oblivious to everything except each other. They will be an ever constant reminder that your loved one isn’t with you. It will feel as if they are throwing it in your face.

You will feel jealous and angry that they have the privilege of being together but here you are, alone. You will feel as if you have been robbed of something. Yet you will feel happy for them too, happy that they don’t have to experience the sadness of being apart. Realize that you wouldn’t wish this on anyone and breath a quick prayer that the couple you see will never take for granted the joy of simply being in each other’s company.

Some of your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers will tell you it’s too hard, to give up, it’ll never work out. You can’t listen to them. Block it out. They don’t understand. Smile at them, at their concern for you, but no, they can’t understand it. When true love has been found, distance cannot break it; it will weather the storm and come out the stronger.

Trust in each other will become difficult, but essential. You will have your fears. You will wonder about who he has talked to, where he was, and if he is telling the truth. It will happen. You must let go of your unfounded fears because if you don’t it will wear down both you and your relationship. When the separation has ended your trust in each other will have stood the test of time and be much stronger.

Your day will revolve around when he is going to call or Skype with you. And you must invest time in those calls because they are all you have. You will look forward to and count down the hours until the time he will call. Your heart will thrill when you see his number calling your phone, or when you hear the Skype ring as you patiently await him. You will build memories from those calls and Skype times. You will learn how to communicate with each other. When the distance has closed someday, you won’t easily take his presence for granted.

You will count down the time until you can visit with him. You will start by counting the months, then weeks, days, hours. You will invent all sorts of new systems for counting down in order to make it sound sooner. When you do finally meet, you will enjoy each other’s company more than any other couple! You will hold onto those memories after you have said your goodbyes and they will keep you going until you can visit again. They will be very special memories.

My dear girl, as in all relationships, you will fight. Having a fight long distance is not the same. It hurts worse. It cuts deeper. Sometimes phones reception or Skype signals are bad and your words are misunderstood, adding to the tension. You can’t reach out to the other person as easily. When they put down the phone there is no more that you can do. These fights will help you though. They will help you communicate with each other better. They will make future disagreements easier to get through because you have already learned how to work through them.

You will feel discouraged. You will ask yourself if it is worth all the effort. You will cry. You will wonder if it’s normal to feel the discouragement, the frustration, the doubt. It is. Don’t give up. You can make it through. It is only a matter of time. You are not alone. You are in the company of many other people going through the same thing.

You will make it through and in so many ways you will be stronger from it, both as a person and as a couple. You will be reunited with him. Dream of that day. Hold onto your memories together. Don’t let the distance separate you or tear you apart or paralyze you with fear. Prove to the world that your love is stronger than that. Don’t give up. You can do it.

Mary Magdalo is a 21 years old writer from the US and her husband is from Asia. She was in an LDR for a year and half and is now happily married to the love of her life and the distance has been closed! You can find more of Mary’s writings on her blog: My Filipino Husband