We must all have heard that long-distance relationships are the worst. Being in a long-distance relationship is probably one of the most underrated struggles. Only those with the strongest willpower can battle it out and emerge victorious. Most people in a long-distance relationship probably always feel that breaking up would be the better option instead of going through the bitter process of being in a relationship with someone miles away! No way around the numerous insecurities arise in a long-distance relationship.
Why Don’t Long Distance Relationships Work Out?
The primary reason that LDRs don’t work out is the distance. It’s crazy how body language and face-to-face conversations play major roles in a romantic relationship. No matter how much you text your partner or talk to them over the phone, texts can sometimes be really misleading. In most cases, you would find that the same couple who fell out due to long distance were inseparable before the distance came in.
But here’s the silver lining: distance cannot change the way you feel for someone. If two people diligently and invariably want to be together, there is absolutely no such adversity that could affect them. In the end, all the pain and the loneliness will be worth it.
So when it comes to surviving the distance, here’s what I’ve learned is most important:
1. Set A Date To Meet
It is of utmost importance that you and your partner have a date to meet each other so that you at least have something to look forward to together. You must set a date to meet up. Make time out of your busy schedules, be it once a year, or six months, whenever possible.
That is perhaps the only logical way to keep the flame going. Don’t let the distance be permanent; even if it is, there must be anticipation to meet up with your significant half some way or the other. You’ll be stuck in an emotional limbo when you stop having some milestone to look forward to together.
Communication is insanely vital in this case. Always remember, you lead separate lives in separate cities (in some cases, even separate countries), and there is no possible way for your partner to know what is going on with your life or how you are feeling unless you tell them.
You must communicate very clearly without any qualms whatsoever.
Don’t be discreet about anything. If you want to know something, ask directly, or tell them anything you want them to know, don’t wait for them to ask it. Share everything, even the smallest and the stupidest things. Skype and FaceTime are really helpful because you actually get to see the person. Do as much of it as possible that would suit both of you.
3. Do Not Impose
It is very important for your relationship that you do not impose matters on your partner. Some couples create ground rules or expectations that they should have ‘n’ number of calls every week. I’ve always found that communication should happen unconditionally and without any planning. You talk to each other when you want to, not because you have to. And if that means going 1-2 days without communicating, then so be it.
When you force communication, you will inevitably hit days when you don’t have much to talk about, you might even end up spending time with your partner not because you want to but because you feel obligated to.
When a relationship is cross-continental, communication becomes an even bigger problem due to different time zones. Set a time for the two of you so that you can stock up on things to talk about. This could make you eager to catch up with one another.
4. Do Not Judge
We start to make all sorts of assumptions or judgments that are usually exaggerated or untrue when separated from the ones we love. This can manifest itself in various ways in a long-distance relationship. In some cases, people get insanely jealous or irrationally possessive of their partner and become paranoid about every insignificant thing.
Just because your partner lives in a separate city or in a different country doesn’t mean you or your partner should stop having fun with others. If you aren’t happy with your own life, you could never be happy in your relationship. Hence it is very important that you give your partner their own personal space
5. Keep Faith
When in an LDR, you are afflicted with irrational fantasies which are very unhelpful and fatal to the relationship. You would constantly wonder whether your partner is cheating on you, whether he is seeing someone else, and you start second-guessing the smallest things.
The best thing you can do for your relationship, for both of you, is to eradicate any possibilities of misunderstanding that may arise. For instance, if the power goes out and your partner misses the nightly Skype call, don’t sit there thinking by yourself that this is it; the relationship’s over.
Go ahead and clarify what had happened because these little misunderstandings would turn into bigger misunderstandings, and then you won’t be able to set things right after that. Remind yourself that you really don’t know what’s going on and the best thing you can do at any moment is simply asking your partner.
6. Send Gifts
Send each other gifts from time to time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be very fancy or expensive; even a handwritten note or postcard can do wonders. Sometimes, when you’re feeling very down or missing your partner, a warm hug can lift your mood, which is the biggest drawback in an LDR. It deprives you of the touch from your partner, and physical proximity is minimum. Hence sending little gifts and notes from time to time is the closest substitute for that.
7. Keep Hope
An LDR can never survive without hope. And, to have hope, you must know the possibility that you two will one day be together and achieve your Happily Ever After. You and your partner need to have aligned life visions, shared values and mutual interests. Not only must there be some shared vision of a possible future for you together, but you must also feel you’re working toward that vision.
If he’s in Delhi and you’re in Kolkata, nothing will kill the relationship faster than applying for jobs in London and Hong Kong. All in all, that shared future must inadvertently be there, and achieving that shared dream must be a joint effort from both sides. Long distance relationships can only work if both partners have the life-rearranging commitment and the perseverance to pull through.
Is It Worth the Effort?
All through it, your inner voice would keep imploring you, “is it worth it?” Somedays, your heart will say ‘yes, it is worth it even if the relationship goes down in the long run because you will have learned a lot about intimacy, commitment, and yourself in the process.
On other days you might think, ‘it’s hard to tell.’ Because when you’re stuck in a long-distance relationship, you don’t know what it’s like to date the other person. You only have this halfway, a vague idea of what it’s like. Yet again, that, too, has its own positiveness and shortcomings.
Can it work? Yes, it can. Does it work? Usually, no. But then again, that’s true for the vast majority of relationships. And it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever at least try. Surviving a long-distance relationship is all about creating and maintaining a solid foundation. If two people endeavor to make it work no matter what, it will work, there’s no other way around it!