The reality of your life as a performer is that work will often take you away from home. It will take you away from friends and family and away from your true love. Keeping a romantic relationship strong across the miles is difficult, but not impossible. It’s hard on both parties, but keep in mind the particular struggles of the “one left behind.” They are left in the place where all of your memories together live. They will see you in everything they do and will need a particular sensitivity throughout the engagement. You’ll be meeting new friends who are strange and threatening to your love. You will be seeing things they’ll wish they were experiencing with you. Communication will be key as you begin to decide on the course of the relationship.
Take time to explore the following important issues with your partner before you hit the road:
-Openly discuss each other’s feelings about being separated.
- -Allow your partner to be a participant in the decision to accept the contract or not.
- -Discuss what you want from the relationship. Will you have an exclusive relationship while apart? Define and outline exactly where you stand with one another before leaving.
- -Define what you expect from your partner on a daily, weekly, and monthly level.
- -Create solid guidelines for the maximum amount of time between visits.
- -Plan the first visit before you leave town.
- -List clearly, side by side, the positive and negative aspects of accepting the job.
- -Discuss a cell phone plan that will allow you to talk, text, email, Skype, or FaceTime all day no matter where you are in the world.
- -Sign up for a credit card that gives frequent flier miles or rewards for every dollar spent. Use your credit card for nearly all of your expenses to earn free travel to be used to visit one another.
- -Send something unexpected that represents the place you are visiting.
- -Send a photo journal of a day in your life on tour.
- -Email a “love playlist .”
- -Write a letter - a true, old-fashioned love letter. #snailmailrules
- -Skype or Facetime something to make your partner laugh.
The time you do get to spend together is often infused with a sense of importance and can be some of the best quality time you will experience. Time spent apart give you each the chance to develop personally and know yourself more deeply. Most importantly, know that everything you both experience while you are away will lead to a more fulfilling relationship when you return home.
Once the decision has been made to accept a job out of town, remember to stay creative about making your partner feel involved and cherished. Set aside time that is dedicated to the growth and trust and appreciation for one another even though you are miles apart. Some ideas could be:
Long distance is challenging, but it can also prove to be very important and educational in a relationship. Being apart can be a great time for both partners to take stock of the relationship. It can teach both of you to be more creative about expressing your love or it can bring problems to the surface that weren’t able to come out when you were living in the same city. Either way, be open to learning about yourself and your partner and discover how to be the truest person possible in your relationship.