GOING BEYOND THE DISTANCE – A CLOSE LOOK AT LONG DISTANCE AND CROSS-CULTURAL LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS

PART ONE

We have all heard about how love knows no boundaries and we have been witness to relationships either growing stronger or falling apart. If we look closely and set aside the other important things that affect a lesbian relationship, we may find that there is one thing that a lot of people are worried about: working things out from a partner who has a different cultural background and has been living oceans away.

But how does a relationship between two women survive the distance that separates them and the culture that sets them apart? If you’re going to search the Internet for tips in making a relationship like this work, you’ll probably be confused with how much people have got to say about it.

If you’re pretty new to this kind of relationship, you’ll most likely not know where to even begin with. Well, everything really depends on how you talked about things with your partner and how big the picture you are seeing when it comes to making the relationship grow.

If you have met your girlfriend online and have only been virtually in a relationship (having not really gone out on a real date), it isn’t much harder when you’ve dated and suddenly had to be away for a long time. How does it work? We’ve known women who would set a date via Skype. Each would prepare a meal on their end, get online, talk while sharing the food they made. It seems pretty much interesting when you both agreed to cooking the same meal – gives that feeling that you’re sharing a dinner table, minus the holding hands and physical display of affection. Well, you can still look at each other’s eyes all the time.

That’s one way to look at it. Long distance relationships really require a huge amount of effort to sustain that romantic spark – or maybe even add fuel to the fire. After all, since you and your girlfriend could not really go out on a date and be physically with each other, you’d have to make do with what you have – bless technology for virtual dates and then some.

What about having grown up in different cultures and being away from each other at the same time? One word – RESPECT. You may need to adjust to each other’s upbringing through careful observations of the other’s behaviour and language. To be honest, it’s actually more fun to be in a relationship with a woman who has a different culture. As your relationship grown, you’ll grow accustomed to her place of origin, the history, way of living and other stuff you may not have paid attention to in history classes at school. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. You get to learn more while you’re both growing in the relationship.

It may be an overused cliché but still, COMMUNICATION is always the key to making things work. In a relationship, an open line of communication and honesty between women have never failed to make things better. There are things you could be honest about and may upset your partner but finding a way to resolve it should never be difficult. All is well that ends well if each of you are always willing to listen to the other.

If you’re just in the first stages of the relationship, meaning you’ve just been together for a few weeks, try to limit your questions to the “getting to know you” kind. As much as possible, reserve your too intimate and very private questions until such time that you’ve grown familiar and closer to each other. You don’t want to sound too upfront with the things that you want to know from and about your girlfriend too soon.

Remember that a long distance and cross-cultural relationship has twice the challenge than the usual partnerships we see where couples have everything alike and are physically together. It is an intense journey that each of you has to participate in to grow more. And while you’re making things work, getting the love to grow bigger do not lose yourself in exerting efforts. It is just as important that each of you grows as individuals and share them with each other.

In a nutshell, just like any other relationships, yours will have to be filled with as much respect, communication, honesty, willingness to listen, and best of all… LOVE. If you find yourself in this kind of set-up or you’re lost somewhere in working things out, these factors should affect you positively.

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