It’s funny how life works sometimes, and how often we find ourselves doing things we swore we’d never do.
Blinded by our past experiences and current prospects, we settle for adopting a limited point of view, tainted with prejudice.
Too often are we quick to judge others according to our standards, at the same time ignoring the possibility of things taking a complete 180º turn.
There are some situations in life when none of your previous experiences will be of any use, and that is especially the case with long distance relationships.
“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.”
Long distance relationships are more common than you think. Ever had a friend who was at some point involved in such a relationship? Do you remember thinking how foolish they were? At the time, you surely did not believe that, ironically, you would one day find yourself in their shoes.
Long distance dating is, indubitably, of the most damning situations you can find yourself in. Despite the popular belief that such relationships are convenient and easy to maintain, the truth is that prolonged separation, lack of communication, and the inability to share the details of your everyday life with your loved one are extremely difficult to cope with.
“Was it love, or was it the idea of being in love?”
Even if your relationship started on an idyllic note, the initial excitement soon wears off, giving place to doubt, uncertainty, and feeling of rejection. You might get depressed to the point of neglecting or completely abandoning your hobbies, work, and social relationships, which can have a devastating impact on your physical and mental health.
The cost of long distance dating is high: instead of feeling the elation of being in love, you experience the crippling fear of potential failure, augmented by the stress of having your life put on hold. You suffer, and you suffer hard.
Since obstacles are real and difficult to overcome, maintaining such a relationship requires a lot of strength. At some point, you’ll be forced to ask yourself the dreaded question – is it worth it?
“I suspect the reason I am loved is because of how tight I’m holding on.”
Even if you and your partner share mutual goals, you inevitably start questioning yourself about the possible outcome. Whether your relationship was already established, or, worse, you started dating someone from another city, country, or even continent, you’re likely to become deeply uncertain about your future together, and even to start doubting your partner’s feelings.
New partners often worry about things progressing too quickly or too slowly, afraid that they might appear too obsessive or too disinterested. Worse, they might feel that they’re more committed than the partner. Worse yet, their obligations or finances might not allow them to meet as frequently as they’d like.
“A thing I can’t control no matter how I try.”
Inability to meet, no sex life, and the fact that your partner is spending more time with other people than with you slowly leads to feeling frustrated and insecure about your place in their life. You might become envious, even uncontrollably jealous of their friends and colleagues, which can create a lot of tension in your long distance relationship.
If one of the parties is too possessive or resorts to silent treatment in order to avoid discussing unpleasant topics, things are bound to progress from bad to worse. Fear of being lied to, cheated on, or being cast away can quickly turn into paranoia, and in the best case, you’ll end up being deeply hurt.
“In a manner of speaking, semantics won’t do.”
Despite being convenient, online communication is a poor replacement for the real thing, because nonverbal cues are difficult to convey and pick up. Some things are lost in translation, leading to misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions which may or may not reflect the truth.
When the partners are too busy, too lazy, or too hurt to talk, they enter dry periods with no communication at all, provoking them to build improbable scenarios in their heads in lack of real information. Sometimes, insignificant things such as not receiving an instant reply to a message can make them nervous or angry. As the time passes and the frustration builds up, they’re likely to become overly sensitive and anxious.
“It might not be the right time; I might not be the right one.”
Fear and anger are powerful, but transient emotions that eventually give way to more profound feelings of loneliness and rejection. Being apart also means growing apart, sometimes being left without things to say. You feel that the gap between you and your partner grows with each day, and the sense of powerlessness is difficult to bear.
This may cause you to further distance yourself from your friends and become withdrawn, lacking energy to engage in your usual activities. You may even feel as if your life revolves around waiting for the next call, with everything else put on hold. Impossibility to further progress with your relationship can lead you to severe apathy.
“Do I wanna know if this feeling flows both ways?”
Few opportunities to meet, lack of trust, and long absences in communication are not only frustrating, but also mentally draining, leaving you dejected, confused, and depressed. To prevent coming to that, you will have to demonstrate a lot of patience and understanding.
Never hesitate to show your partner that you care, and keep them up to date with your activities. Find the time to talk, and when you do, talk openly and honestly about your feelings; it will strengthen your emotional bond.
Try looking at this as a good way to test the strength of your feelings and improve your ability to communicate and resolve conflict. You will also learn to appreciate the time spent with your partner, and become a more resilient person.
“Keep smiling through, just like you always do.”
Love is a risky business, and every relationship demands investment. Long distance relationships are no exception: yes, the cost may be high, but the rewards can be greater than you imagine. For that, you will have to stay strong, and stay positive.
A lot will depend on your attitude, because if you don’t believe that your relationship will work, then it probably won’t.
It is said that “absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” If your love manages to thrive and to survive, you will know the answer to your question – it was worth it.