“Long distance relationships never work.” “How are you two doing this?” “I could never be in a long distance relationship.” “Don’t you ever feel lonely?”
These are the sorts of questions and statements that I find are constantly thrown at people who are in long distance relationships. Being in a long-distance relationship personally, I find that many friends and family members seem to wonder why my long-distance relationship is going so well, which sometimes even lead to fretful interrogations. This is understandable. Long distance relationships (abbreviated as LDR) are no easier than a normal long-term relationship and are more often more difficult to maintain. While I may be no love-guru, there are certain unique attributes that I have noticed stand out in long distance relationships and the people engaged in them.
Whether a couple is able to meet up several times a year, is only able to meet after an extended period of time, or have only communicated online due to distance, these couples somehow have a little extra to drive them through the struggles of long distance relationships.
A relationship where the couple trusts each other to always do the right thing is indicative of a strong relationship. Whether it is studying one-on-one with a friend to going out with friends for a drink, both partners should have trust in the other significant other for the relationship to blossom. Constantly texting or calling your lover while socialising would not just impact him or her, but could also potentially create distance between your other half and their friends.
There has been a small stage in my relationship where my significant other would text frequently while I was out to make sure I was fine and not having too much fun. While this started off as being sweet, it quickly made me feel as though I was not trusted enough to handle my own actions and caused a fair few arguments and fights. However, we learnt, as many other long distance relationship couples have, to put down the phone while we were with others and to instead make separate time to talk to each other. I understand that a lot of long distance relationship couples feel the opposite about texting and actually feel as though there isn’t enough communication between the two. However I feel that trust is crucial to an LDR and that space is healthy for a good relationship.
As someone who has been in a long distance relationship for a substantial period of time I can safely say that long distance relationships are just like everything else in life, though perhaps slightly rockier and more challenging. However unlike life where each event is unique to you and you alone, the trials faced in long distance relationships can and should be shared equally between you and your significant other. That being said, regular and healthy communication is key. It should be healthy in a sense that both sides of the couple would talk issues out and clearly state what they think or feel while also being an apt listener to their partner. And yes, Skype is a lifesaver.
Lastly, a long distance relationship definitely helps you build on your ability to be patient with others as well as your other half. Not only does the lengthy time distance make you wait for nearly a day to talk to your partner, but if one were to be in a cranky mood the other would definitely have to be considerably more patient since things cannot be talked out as easily from half way around the world.
While I may be pointing out and connecting these different attributes to long distance relationships, they are equally as important in normal relationships. It would be wise to build up your relationship, long lasting or new, on trust, communication and patience. If long distance has taught me anything, it is to pay attention to these three key things. Sadly, many relationships may end despite trusting one another, having great communication and patience. Nonetheless these three things are important in building healthy and happy relationships.
Pictured: ‘Morning Sun’ by Edward Hopper