How to Sustain a Long

In order to sustain a long-term survival, you need to stockpile resources and have the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary for any scenario. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Long-term sustainability is a difficult thing to achieve. There are many things that you can do to help sustain your long-term goals.

Hand writing Letters Home 1943.

Kyle Schaeffer contributed this guest article as an editor’s note.

In 1942, at the age of 29, my grandpa, Peter Stoppi, enlisted in the army to combat the Nazis during World War II. He, like many other young men his age, left his family and friends behind to serve his nation. But Peter wasn’t only missing his mother and mates as he boarded his military boat to Europe. He was also missing a brand-new girlfriend.

The written letter was, of course, the principal means of communication home for a soldier in the 1940s, and my grandpa penned a 294-page history book’s worth of letters home to the young girl who would ultimately become his wife during the following three years. These letters tell the narrative of a voyage through war-torn Europe, an American soldier’s life, and the love story of two young people from opposite sides of the world. I looked to these letters for help in my own long-distance relationship more than 70 years later. Despite the fact that much has changed over the years, my grandfather’s communication provided me with five timeless advice for every guy who loves from afar:

1. It’s Critical to Communicate Frequently

Helen, Peter’s girlfriend, was a wonderful communicator. He wrote to her on a weekly basis, keeping her up to date on developments back home via her letters, and disclosing as much detail about his life as the military censors would allow. He spoke about the future, his aspirations, and things he intended to accomplish when he returned to the United States in his letters, and he even teased and flirted with his future bride. Communication was free and straightforward for a long-distance relationship in 1942.

Thankfully, technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since our grandparents’ time, and men in long-distance relationships now have a plethora of excellent tools to keep them in touch with their loved ones. Face-to-face communication is possible with tools like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Talk. All you’ll need is a camera and access to the internet. Texting applications like WhatsApp and Viber allow you to send free texts to anybody in the globe. There’s no reason to lose contact now that you have so many options for communication.

Communication, on the other hand, is more than just chatting. You and your partner must have complete trust in one another and address any relationship issues or uncertainties as soon as possible.

2. It’s More Important Than Ever to Maintain Your Integrity

In every relationship, trust is crucial, but when distance is factored in, the value of trust skyrockets. A guy must behave himself in such a way that he commands the respect of others around him, as well as in such a way that his partner can be certain of his fidelity beyond words.

Many of Peter’s friends traveled into town at night while camping behind the lines to drink, watch a performance, and canoodle with the local young girls. Peter, on the other hand, often remained behind to write to Helen, informing her of his choice. This may have been a display of social reclusiveness, but it was also a powerful demonstration of his dedication to her, even from such a distance.


Should you now remain in every night and never see or talk to anybody else while you’re not with your significant other? Obviously not. However, your deeds will speak louder than your words. News of your transgressions travels far quicker and easier now than it did during the Big One, and it will almost certainly reach her. Not only that, but the fact that you’re even considering going out on your girl will automatically seep into your voice when you speak to her, causing distrust, conflicts, and tension in the relationship.

So act with honor and remember that you are devoted to someone, even if they are not physically present with you at the time. If you can’t manage that level of commitment, the relationship should be reconsidered.

3. Keep in Touch With Them Even When They Are Away

Peter took his new love’s class ring before leaving for Europe, promising to return it to her after the war. He wore the ring every day to remind himself of the lovely girl who awaited him at home. When he returned to the United States, the huge jewel, which was typical for every class ring, was missing from the band — a fact Helen never let him forget, sarcastically.

A shared trinket or piece of jewelry may be a wonderful way to feel closer to your partner. My partner and I both wear shark teeth around our necks as a nod to this tale. While shark diving in South Korea, we excavated the teeth for each necklace from the bottom of an aquarium tank. When I wear the necklace, it reminds me of one of our most memorable moments together. When I see my partner wearing her shark tooth, it serves as a constant reminder of her love for me.

4. Make a plan to be physically close to one another.

My grandparents had no clue when the war would come to an end, whether Peter would live to see it, or when he would be released from the service. They prepared for a future they could control, despite their incapacity to influence current conditions. Peter spoke about his lack of want to become a miner, his lack of desire for children, and all of the dances he and Helen would attend together on a regular basis. When Peter eventually returned home, he worked as a bus mechanic, married his girlfriend, and had a beautiful daughter, all of which he had planned and dreamt of with Helen throughout the war.

When there is a clear end in sight, even the most difficult conditions become simpler. Make a schedule for when you will reunite. Naturally, a set date is not always achievable (as with Peter and Helen), but it is critical for all parties to strive toward a permanent reunion.

5. You Must Continue To Live Your Life

Peter exhibited his integrity by avoiding Europe’s bars and wayward girls, but he also understood his responsibility. He shifted his focus to the Pacific after three years of fighting in Europe, writing home that he would gladly go on to assist finish the war with Japan. He could have demanded his release, but he saw that the mission was not yet done.


Although this may seem to be in conflict with number two, keep in mind that you and your spouse have distinct lives. You will have separate friends, different professions, different schools, and various hobbies, regardless of how close you remain or how active you are with your spouse. You may feel compelled to devote your whole time to your lover, but this is unrealistic and unjust to you.

Take an active role in your own life. Make time for your friends, education, professional progress, leisure, and everything else that makes you a great guy. An active lifestyle can assist you in relaxing, feeling good about yourself, and increasing your attractiveness to your spouse. After all, no one loves a clinging man-child whose main purpose in life is to please the person with whom he is in a relationship.

Peter and Helen Stoppi 1947.

Peter and Helen Stoppi married in 1947, purchased a home, had a family, and were married for 53 years. All of this sprang from a love that began during the war, was sustained across an ocean, and developed over the period of three years purely via letters. Long-distance dating is difficult, but a tale like Peter and Helen Stoppi’s may educate every guy who loves someone from afar, whether it’s a mile or an ocean: success is achievable. Simply keep battling.

What advice do you have for keeping a long-distance relationship going? Please share them in the comments!

Kyle Schaeffer is a college admissions consultant and freelance writer at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. He may be reached at [email protected].



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