An ingredient for thriving in long-distance relationships
My boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship since we started dating four years back.
We have never been together in the same city. My friends often ask me how we are working it out which only makes me wonder how we have actually survived it till now.
This is the longest relationship that I have ever been in. He is undoubtedly a good guy with abundance of patience and emotional intelligence, which I lack a bit. We are different personalities but we are constantly learning to accept each other for who we are with our unique strengths and limitations. I am saying learning because our personalities are constantly changing, hopefully evolving and growing. Probably I will write another blog about what a gem of a partner he is.
Coming back to managing long distance relationships, they are hard and difficult to maintain. Apart from the day to day problems of relationship, it has an additional vital problem of long distance.
I feel that the main ingredient in our four years of long-distance relationship is our communication. We make it a point to talk to each other at least twice a day. Apart from the lovey-dovey conversations, we fight, scream, shout and yell at each other frequently. We don’t repress our emotions be it positive or negative, we let everything out over the phone call. The conversation is not just about ‘how was your day, what did you do the whole day’, it’s also, ‘I hate you for not meeting me…, I am mad at you for not prioritising me…., am pissed with you for not being understanding….’ We don’t avoid confrontations and arguments but we also ensure that we resolve them. We discuss and try to understand each other’s point of view which is not an easy task and can sometimes take a day to a week but eventually we do acknowledge and respect each other’s perspectives. We may not agree with one another but we strive to put ourselves in each others shoes. I think empathy comes with effective communication.
My learnings are: Talk through your problems and issues. Don’t repress them. Share it with your partner. Let them know how you are feeling and what you expect from them. Don’t be scared of being judged, if you can’t be yourself with your partner, then the relationship is not worth it. Express yourself, be yourself and when your partner will love and accept you for who you are, your relationship will be your biggest strength. It worked for me, I am hoping it will work for you.
Physical presence is definitely important but emotional presence is also vitally important in relationships which is achievable over a phone call or text.
It will be difficult for me to imagine our relationship without the age of mobiles and phones. I wonder how couples in previous generations maintained their relationships over letters and postcards. I am sure that also had it’s pros and cons.
There must be many other ingredients of handling a long distance relationship but from my personal experience, I cannot overemphasise the need for effective communication.
If I have found a good partner, then why let him go away just because of long distance, which is definitely surmountable.