Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lion's Life Wednesday: Getting Long Distance Right

***Lion is my best friend from college. He's a very focused young man working on getting his MD. This focus makes having a love life a very difficult undertaking. But he's making it happen somehow.***

Last week, I talked about looking forward to next month when Lion and I take a trip down to Florida. Specifically, I discussed being interested in seeing his interactions with his girlfriend Rudy as compared to the last time I saw the two of them together. I'm excited to get a front row view of their relationship as it stands today (err, next month rather).

This week, I have nothing new to report. So, I'm trolling the internet to see what advice is out there for long-distance couples. If it talks about not having long-term commitment or plans, that would be even better.

Turns out Google will give you a ton of links about how to manage your long-distance date, relationship, romance, even marriage. But I clicked on something that looked useful but also possibly light-hearted. Plus, I love lists. I found Long Distance Dating: 10 Tips For A Good Relationship. It's on the website, which calls itself "your source for knowledge". Lord only knows what else is floating around on that website.

But I check it out nonetheless. I'm a sucker for catchy titles, what can I say? As I read the article, it had a pretty interesting introduction, although the ideal couple they describe doesn't sound anything like Lion and Rudy. Soul mates? Lion doesn't even believe in soul mates, but I kept reading because I was dying to see what these 10 tips were. So without further delay, here are the 10 tips and whether or not Lion and Rudy follow them.

Tip #1: Make a game plan Um... I guess they have a plan. They know they want to be together short term. They know they probably will not be together long term, as she wants kids and he doesn't. I think they allow room for the relationship to change and grow. Otherwise, they wouldn't have declared to each other their love. So they've got this one.

Tip #2: Communication is key This part sounds very unlike Lion. They suggest you tell the person how much you love them and miss them every time you speak to ward off insecurity. Based on their busy schedules, I just don't see Lion squeezing I love you into every text message. Maybe he does, but I doubt it.

Tip #3: Be there for the person in good times and bad times Seeing as how Lion is in medical school and always super busy, I imagine he could be there more for Rudy at times. But they seem to have a pretty good support system going. They talk about things once they're talking. But if either one calls the other one at some odd hour of the day to discuss an emergency, they might have to wait a bit for a callback.

Tip #4: Make the commitment I'm pretty sure this is what they've done. Lion isn't seeing anybody else. He's not even doing much in the way of flirting with anybody else. That sounds like commitment to me.

Tip #5: Send old-fashioned letters and packages through the mail I know he's definitely done this once or twice, but I'm not sure if it's a habit or not. They don't really do gifts like a typical couple. They didn't exchange anything for Valentine's Day this year. And for Christmas, Lion bought Rudy tires for her car. Can't (shouldn't) send those in the mail.

Tip #6: Uncork the bottle They definitely don't talk about some major issues in the relationship. I know Lion avoids certain topics because of fear of how Rudy will respond. Also, since he feels they have an expiration date, he doesn't see the need for constant conflict resolution for things that are really long-term problems anyway.
Tip #7: Use technology to your advantage This is something they definitely do. Without text messaging, they wouldn't talk nearly as often because of their horribly schedules.

Tip #8: Common interests give you topics to discuss The only thing I know they have in common is that her sorority is the sister to his fraternity. They probably have more, but that's all I know.

Tip #9: Make the other person remember how great you are I honestly don't know. But this tip is about balancing the good in your life with the bad. Making sure you share both is important, but I'm not at all sure how Lion and Rudy do on this balance. Seriously, I can't even conjecture a guess.

Tip #10: Plan visits Oh yeah. Considering how expensive it is to fly from St. Louis to Tallahassee, I think they see each other pretty regularity. And like I said, we're headed down there next month. I do wonder when is the next time she's coming up to the Midwest though. Aside from visiting, they also vacation together on breaks/holidays.

They have at least 7 out of 10, and some of them I truly didn't know the answer. They didn't do too shabby on the tip list. They could do better, but they've got a lot of the building blocks needed to maintain a strong long-distance relationship.

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