Already it is a tricky thing being in a relationship, there are endless tips and advice on how to get the girl, how to attract the guy and no limit to the help and guidance on how to recover from a broken heart but what happens soon after you ride off into the sunset? Where is all the folklore on that part right in the middle? That is after all what really matters, and is by far the hardest part, the staying together. That being said, the subject of a long-distance relationship is possibly even much harder to break down.
So, you’ve finally found your prince, the man of your dreams (hopefully) and you’re over the moon, he is sweet, kind, funny and cute, everything is practically perfect. Except he’s castle is in another kingdom. Usually, the idea of long-distance does not hold much appeal to anybody, and reasonably so. Imagine being with someone and rarely, if ever, getting to touch, feel, study every waking moment you’re with him. Yes, it does sound rather agonizing, doesn’t it? But part of life is finding that special one to share it with and when you think you’ve come across who you think may be The One, a little thing like a long way isn’t an obstacle. Until it is.
You are here and he is there and everything sucks. You’ve both agreed that the distance is minor, with technology today, there is Skype, Email, Instant Messaging, Video Calls and the list goes on. Distance? Pah! We got this. Blissfully ignorant in the newness of things, in your little bubble of pleasure. But as all good things do, this comes to an end and the needle of reality comes and rudely bursts this bubble so that you’re forced to put your feet back on the ground.
Suddenly the realization that this relationship will have to have twice as much effort put into it than a regular one hits you. Time differences, busy schedules, different friends and different social commitments. He’s never available when you are, you always miss he’s calls, awful things happen and you want the love and comfort of your partner, and instantly, not in an hour or five. Then there’s the paranoia, the jealousy, the suspicions basically the usual feels that occur in a relationship, but worse because your man is 5000 miles away and how are you supposed to gauge whether he’s still in love with you/ wants to leave you for another woman/thinks you’re fat from all the way over here?
Of course, long-distance relationships aren’t all-round horrible. An upside to long distance is that people open up in a way when they’re far away that they just can’t do in person and in a way you really do get to know somebody a lot better when you have time to think things through before you share. It’s a kind of intellectual intimacy because you’re so far from each other it allows you to get to know the other person’s mind, how they think, how they feel about certain things, what they know, their opinions. These deep discussions are not as likely to happen as easily and openly when you’re face to face. But is that enough?
Of course not! There is nothing that really helps to soothe the unwanted feels of paranoia, other than when you’re talking to your partner or if you actually truly trust him, something very hard to do in any relationship. So how to make it work, you ask? Good question.
Basically, in my opinion, you both need to:
- RESPECT. Respect that you both have different lives, commitments, responsibilities.
- UNDERSTAND. That even though you’re both head over heels it is impossible to be available at the drop of a hat.
- SECURE. Reassure your partner by sending at least three messages a day, even if it’s just to say hello. This will also help with any feels of mistrust, how can you have time to worry about the faithfulness of your partner when you’re too busy smiling at cute little messages? 😉
- TRY. Trust is a fragile little thing, it should be earned, but sometimes there isn’t always time for that and you give it grudgingly. To say trust is much easier said than done, so maybe, maybe just try.
- PLAN. Arrange days and times to ‘see’ each other so you don’t feel as though you are intruding and also to eliminate the possibility of being disappointed because this time has been allotted, in advance, for just the two of you.
- MAKE IT INTERESTING. When you do text/speak/Skype you should spice it up a bit. This point is mainly for Skype, once in a while make your surroundings as well as yourself look appealing. Light a few candles, play a nice tune, maybe style your hair. It will surely be a nice change from the view of old soapie re-runs on the television and you in your sweats.
- INCLUDE. Make your partner feel like part of your life. Keep him updated. Mention your day to day activities and routines. This should please your partner and make him feel like he matters and of course,
- LOVE. Would have to be my last point because otherwise there’d really be no point, would there? Don’t forget to tell him you love him, say it when you feel you want to, say it when you feel he needs to hear it, say it even when you’re exasperated, eyes rolled heavenwards. Because as cheese filled as it is, all anybody wants is the guarantee that they’re loved.
And with those possibly helpful tips in mind, I reckon you are all set to live happily right in the middle.