In today’s article, I decided to write about a very personal aspect of my life aboard.
For those who work at sea and maintain relationships with those who stay ashore, it’s essential to create mechanisms to being close when apart.
How did we meet?
Both of us joined the nautical college in the same year, at the time he used to study marine engineering. We had been friends for one year but became closer during a trip we made on the Tall Ships Races.
A lot of people talked really poorly about me keeping a relationship while going to sea and advised against it. The reality is that we’ve been together for 4 years and we are closer than ever.
How is it possible to maintain an LDR?
When we want something to work out, we need to concentrate on the bigger picture, meaning, despite missing the other person we should think that we will see each other personally eventually.
And all of this doesn’t apply only to the love of our life but also to family members and friends that we might grow apart from while on board.
If on one hand, working onboard is a thrilling adventure, being apart from those we love is certainly one of the hardest aspects.
Tips on making an LDR work:
With COVID 19, thousands of people were forced to be apart from those they love, even those who where sure they would never be in an LDR faced themselves with this hard truth.
For me, the following situations help:
Make a schedule to speak with one another:
This is especially important when both of you are in different time zones. It is essential to specify which time of the day is more convenient without interfering whit job and other responsibilities.
The maximum time difference I experienced was 5 hours. As I was doing the 4 to 8 watch, I used to call at 3:30 a.m., his 8:30 a.m.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that still don’t offer internet services onboard their ships, which in my opinion should be mandatory, at least for the ships that do long voyages without signal, since especially for those who were born in my generation, it gets difficult to remain disconnected.
Send updates often:
For example, sending messages when you wake up/ Go to bed is a simple yet great way to show the other person we are thinking about them.
Send pictures of the food you try for the first time or some amazing views.
Control the expectations:
Both need to be certain you want an LDR!
In my case, when we started dating, I was already studying to become a deck officer, so we both knew I would be far away for a huge amount of time, and we would have to date digitally.
Keeping a countdown:
It may sound silly but for me, it helps to know how many days are left to see those I love! (I kind of do countdowns for everything XD).
Do things together:
Watch the same TV series or movies can be an amazing conversation starter, even when our lives are separated for thousands of miles.
Being honest about the way we feel:
It’s not worth it to try to look strong all the time. There are days when we feel more down than others from being apart and being honest about it is important.
It’s essential to maintain good communication because when you far from each other you can’t make peace trough a romantic night out.
Having an especial object given by the other:
It helps to have something with you to hold when you are missing the other person.
In my case, I have a necklace and a stuffed animal.
Send postcards and buy gifts:
Sending postcards from the places we visit and buying small gifts are an amazing treat!
It shows that even apart you are thinking about them.
Ask about his friends and family:
It’s essential to stay updated about each other social life, in a way that you won’t feel like strangers when you meet again.
What about you? Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship?
If the answer is yes, please share your experience with me down in the comments below!