How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship

By: Logayna Kadry

When we hear that a couple lives more than 2000 miles apart and can afford to come together only once in a long while, it’s natural to offer sympathy for the pain. We give them pitiful glances and hold on to our partner’s hands a bit more tightly. Our sympathy intensifies when we learn that they’re only college students and have to experience such  hard circumstances at such a young age. What we should actually do however is envy them for their luck. Whatever our longings and aching hearts may indicate, it is simply a lot easier to love someone who isn’t there. I have compiled a list of reasons explaining why living apart should be seen as what it truly is, an advantage :

a) Communication:

The one thing most couples struggle with the most is communication. We tend to assume that our significant other can understand exactly what we’re feeling, when we’re feeling it, with no words having to be spoken. And we blame them when they’re unable to achieve that. On the other hand however, online or over the phone, we never assume that the other person is be able to read our minds without us having explained what is in them. We accept that we will have to describe our days, as well as our desires, in words and pictures, as detailed as they are in our minds. We can’t help but do that thing that holds couples together: communicate.

 

b) Appreciation:

We learn to appreciate what we have. It’s a strange quirk of our minds, but we only ever notice what’s missing: the money we don’t have; the dress we can’t afford; the house we don’t yet own. Yet once we possess any of these things , we lose appreciation for it and move on to yearning for something else. We only notice what isn’t there. The fact that your partner isn’t beside you every night makes you notice your appreciation and longing for them.

 

c) Excitement:

Many couples suffer from boredom or lack of excitement in a relationship. They feel like the initial spark is gone and that their relationship has turned into a routine they can’t escape from. They might even break the whole thing off, because they feel like they have nothing to look forward to anymore, like their love has become a chore like thing. Long distance couples however don’t experience this problem, because excitement is basically integrated in the very dynamic of their relationship. Having to ache and long for your partner for so many long gruesome months and then finally seeing them for a few short fateful days, sparks giddiness and enthusiasm. Alone the anticipation and having something to look forward to every few months keeps the relationship intense and full of exhilaration.

d) Distance/Closeness:

We all need a careful balance of distance and closeness in a relationship. We want, in part a Closeness where we can hug, touch, be cosy, intimate and entirely relaxed and at home with someone. We want them to know our thoughts and have free access to theirs as well. But we also need enough Distance, so as to not feel submerged, consumed or owned by another. A long distance relationship offers enough closeness through daily calls and monthly visits so as to not feel completely isolated from your partner, but also offers enough distance so as to nt feel suffocated by their presence. Not too shabby huh.

e) They Need to Be Alone:

This point relates closely to what was mentioned above. Although humans are social creatures and we crave each other’s company, our own social lives can sometimes overwhelm and exhausts us. It boils down to the fact, that through socializing and being fully engaged and submerged in another person’s life, we give ourselves to others. And that makes us unable to retreat into our own selves and deal with our own problems and sadness. We need to recharge before going out into the world again, to nurse our own wounds and rest our minds. Solitude isn’t always something possible in a relationship, especially if you live together or spend an extensive time in each other’s company daily. Your partner might not understand his or her personal need to be alone and furthermore would not understand your need to be alone either. They might take your wish for solitude as rejection and be offended by it. Luckily in a long distance relationship you both have your own separate lives and your need for space and isolation is fulfilled naturally, without hurting the other person.

 

Despite all of these reason , I know long distance is hard. Having to ache for simply a hug from your partner is never fun, not to mention that sometimes it feels like dating a ghost. It doesn’t always work out, in fact in most cases it doesn’t. However, I truly believe that the only way to survive long distance relationships, during college or any other period in life, is to just have faith that you and your partner will make it work. Don’t let doubt and fear get in the way of a relationship. Love is a rare and beautiful thing, if you think you’ve found it, then you should hold on to it, no matter the obstacles you might find in your way. At the end of the day, there are people 11 time zones apart closer and more intimate than people who live in the same house. Be strong, have faith and trust yourselves, you are going to make it.

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