LDR Tips From Episode 6

Shakira Sison


In Episode 5 (Usapang LDR) I mentioned my article Fanning The Flames Of Your Long-Distance Love where I discussed some tips couples can use to keep their LDR alive:


1) Establish the ground rules

Are you monogamous or is either partner allowed to date while you are apart? If you are dating others, do you discuss them with each other or is there a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy? Is dating just companionship or are partners allowed to have sex outside the relationship? These are difficult questions that need to be asked if you are to establish common ground. If they are not discussed, it doesn’t mean that exclusivity is a given. It’s more likely that one or both parties will assume it’s a free-for-all. Speak up if you’re not okay with that.

2) Have a plan

“Let’s just see how it goes.” is a recipe for disaster if either party is serious about the relationship. Not having a plan for the future makes misunderstandings likely and leads one or both parties to disappointment. What is your plan? Does either party plan to move to be with the other, or do both parties plan to move to a new location to start their life? If so, what is the timetable? If you’re not sure what the plan is, when is the deadline to make a decision? It is unfair to leave your partner hanging about your future unless it’s a clearly stated agreement that this relationship is just for now, in which case one shouldn’t put too much weight on it and treat it as just for fun.

2) Always have the next meeting date defined

For many long-distance couples, having a date when they’ll be together again is always a great reassurance. Having something to look forward to also prevents each interaction from being open-ended and ending with sad goodbyes. Whether the next meeting is next month or next year, a future date makes it known to both that there is a next time for your love, and that your longing for each other will end at some point in time.

3) Have a communication schedule

Relationships that do not have the benefit of physical contact rely heavily on communication. If there is a misunderstanding, one cannot just run to the other for a hug, so this makes all those conversations very important. Set aside at least a few minutes a day to catch up. Schedule online dates. Respect each other’s independence with “alone time” days, but treat scheduled chats as sacred ground, especially since it’s all you have.

4) Be creative

Watch movies together. Tell stories. Eat meals together, read books to each other, have drinks and chat. Involve each other in your lives. Face Time while you’re with your friends to introduce them to your partner and include her virtually in your hangouts. Take your LDR lover on a telephone or webcam tour of your daily commute, a party you’re attending, or your house. Get sexy. Use technology. There are more tools now to keep in touch than there ever was. Take advantage of the fact that you’re not just relying on snail mail like only a few decades past. These days you can pretty much be present 24/7 to each other, except for the senses of smell, taste, and touch.

5) If you have never physically met, you have never met

No matter how intensely you feel about someone you have never physically been with, it’s best to take purely online relationships with a grain of salt until you are able to confirm your connection physically. There is a great deal to be learned compatibility-wise by standing in front of each other and being subject to one’s immediate physical response. Try not to commit to someone you have never met. If a significant amount of time passes and it still only takes the shutdown of a computer or logging out of an email account to end your involvement, unfortunately that may be all your relationship is until proven otherwise.

6) Cut yourself some slack

Relationships are hard work as it is, what more if you can’t console your partner with a hug? Realize that you will have bad days, cranky days, and days where the distance will cause either partner to doubt what you have. Agree to never end a phone call or chat while in the middle of a disagreement. Promise to never use your communication channels to send each other angry messages or to fight. Focus on your goal, your future plan, or the next time you’ll be together. Pretty soon one day will turn to the next and you’ll once more be in each other’s arms.

Read the full article here.


My Selfish Reasons For Starting A Podcast

Shakira Sison



“When are you going to start a podcast?” They asked.

“Never.” I thought. I always thought sounded horrible and didn’t have enough personality, energy, or anything interesting to say to be in a podcast. So I completely dismissed the possibility. Until…



  1.  To conquer my fear.
  2.  To stop beating myself up.
  3.  To stop cringing when I hear my own voice.
  4.  To have a creative outlet in a time of stagnation and complacency.
  5.  To be kind to myself. 


I received an invitation to guest in a podcast series about overseas Filipinos. I had spent years declining pretty much all invitations from the Philippines for virtually anything: speeches, awards, judging contest, guest speakers, special interest resources, and the like. When I received the unsolicited email from a new podcasting company, I thought, let me hear what they had to say. The topic seemed timely and relevant. I’d spent over a year of pandemic lock down in a creative black hole, with lots of ideas but no concrete output. I thought, why not give it a shot?


I was nervous and scared but I ended up having so much fun that I actually entertained the possibility of starting my own podcast.  

Of course the objective of creating a show that is entertaining and educational was there, but my primary goal was entirely selfish. I wanted to get over myself. I wanted to stop beating myself up about my voice, about being shy, about not having anything to say. 

Basically I started this podcast to learn how to be kinder to myself. Now four episodes in, I am convinced it is working. 


The High School “Best Friend” Concept

Shakira Sison


In Episode 2, I discussed the occurrence of possible primordial lesbian relationships in high school, particularly in all-girls high schools in the Philippines. These friendships were often intense, exclusive, and very emotional. There were many jealous rages, fights, and unmistakable affection between two adolescent girls. 

I was in a number of those friendships in high school, though I never even considered myself a lesbian until I was 22. To me then, they were just really close friendships, but they were often obsessive and “best friends” often behaved like romantic partners.

Of course, most of these friendships don’t progress to actual committed relationships or anything physical or sexual (mine didn’t). Most high school best friends later go on to lead heterosexual lives and simply look at that time as one of intense feelings. Or they may maintain those friendships throughout their lives. It’s a widely known fact that teenage girls have intense relationships with one another, and that’s just a part of normal female development.

I’m only speaking for myself who later on developed feelings for women way past the friendship level. Looking back I realize that I had practice lesbian relationships in high school with my best friends, particularly with one who was a little more affectionate than normal, hugging and kissing my face often, holding my hand when we would walk, and cuddling during sleepovers. I definitely didn’t have a relationship with that one, but now as an adult I definitely recognize that attachment and intensity as a little more than regular friendship.

I have an actual best friend from college who is still my friend now. We were close but never physical. In fact, I don’t even think we’ve held hands or shared a bed. That’s how I knew that my high school “best friends” were a little more than just friends.

Anyway, if you’re an all-girls school administrator reading this, don’t go banning best friends in your school. They’re just a part of growing up and are as unavoidable as the actual same-sex relationships that actually go on in your school. So relax.

I’m just an old lesbian reflecting on the past, and being a bit of a late bloomer in my lesbian development, I had to look back to my roots and figure out when I first felt so strongly about another woman. It was for a “best friend.”

Anyway, if you want to hear more about the best friend concept, listen to our second episode: