28 March 2011

Long Distance Relationship ?

Teneneow HANA QASRINA HANIM at 13:47
As if it was not difficult enough to have a happy and successful relationship, some of us have to manage with long distances as well. The one we love is apart from us by miles, states and sometimes oceans. Whoever said that Absence makes the heart grow fonder surely hasn’t shared the entire version. Otherwise there would have been a mention of – Absence makes heart ache for the loved the one, it makes heart cry.

Do Long Distance Relationships Work?

Yes, they do. They work as well or as poorly as any other relationship. Being physically separated seems to have very little or no impact in one way or other on the relationship. Perhaps. -.-
The key is to stay positive, stay optimistic. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that long distance relationships don’t work. The assumption that long distance relationships don’t work is enough to sabotage it. Moreover, the question to ask is not whether long distance relationships work, but whether you want to make it work. Are you willing to put in the effort required to make it work? Yes, of course, absolutely.
A long distance relationship is different from a close proximity relationship because your partner is not physically present with you. This changes how you communicate and stay in touch with each other. This provides with a challenge to be a part of each other’s life inspite of the distance.
You will be required to put in effort to re-learn some of the ways of communicating and staying in touch with each other, to re-learn how to be intimate with each other. There are a lot of non-verbal cues which we take for granted such as body language, facial expressions etc which work like a window to the heart of our loved ones. These cues will be present in a different form since your mode of communication will change. You will have to learn these new cues and learn to be more expressive verbally to make up for the cues lost.

A Happy And Successful Long Distance Relationship

From my findings, there are only two factors that contribute to have a happy and successful long distance relationship. While these seem very simple, don’t under-estimate either of them. The two factors are:
1. Be Happy
A “happy you” can bring a lot of happiness in lives of your loved ones. A “unhappy you” cannot do so. So focus on your happiness. As you begin to stay happy, this happiness will automatically reflect in each and everything that you touch. ;)
A lot of us think that we “should not” or “can not” be happy. After all, our partner is away from us, what right do we have to be happy. What would people think if we are equally happy with and without our partner? Wouldn’t that then be proof that I don’t love my partner a lot?
Nothing could be further from truth. Of course you can be happy. Being happy is your right; and no event, no person, nothing in this world can take this right away from you. Yes, separation does cause pain and longing for the loved one but there is no need to be sad and look unhappy just to prove your love. Love simply is, there is no need for you to prove your love to anyone, let alone people.
The more you stay happy, the more your partner will be happy. For wherever your partner is, he/she would want you to be happy. And if you are not, it would be on top of his/her mind always. Your unhappiness equates to your partner being unhappy and consistently worried about you. Learn to be happy and set your partner free of a lot of heart aches and worries.

2. Connect & Communicate
Converse, communicate, connect, share … There is nothing I would like to put more emphasis on that this. If communicating isn’t your domain, if you are not a very verbal, expressive person, if your partner used to listen and understand your silence till now, this is the time to update your skills. As I have shared, being a part of each others life is now going to become one of your high priorities. And leave no stone unturned to do so. This will determine how much connected you feel with each other, this will determine how much satisfied you feel with your relationship, your conversations and life in general. This is what is going to keep you sane in times of separation.
Whatever you do, it’s important to Create a Routine. If we chatted in morning, then every morning without fail that will be the case. If it’s evening, then evening. Having some routine, a kind of consistency helped. It gave a sense of security, it showed that we can still rely on each other. Having a consistent time also helps in planning for the rest of the day. Know what? I did this with him! We give morning wishes everyday, so that our day will start with a loud smile. ;)
No matter what routine you create, remember to Be Flexible Always. There are times when because of work deadlines, or other life events we cannot give even one hour to our partner. It’s difficult to promise when would we chat or for how much time or whether we would chat at all. At those times, we decide to live life as if there were no plans to chat. If, we both are free and get the opportunity to chat, we treat it as bonus. This frees both of us to do whatever we want with our time and helps in not building any resentments or unnecessary time bindings.

The Times When We Fight

There are some really simple rules to fighting:
  • It is okay to fight
    It is all right to fight and argue. Supressing feelings is not healthy. We might think of trying to save our partner from a bad day or some difficult times. But often, suppressing feelings can become long term and totally unhealthy. Whenever these feelings blow up, things will be more unpleasant than one can imagine.
  • Fight fair
    To fight fair simply means to fight about what is currently bothering you. Not to bring up past, not to bring up other issues at the same time. Not to make generalisations, not to play the blame game. Focus on the issue and resolve it. Always remember it is not you against your partner. It is you both together as a team against some problem. If one of you tends to bring up past or issues other than the current one, allow the other person to correct you. You can simply list down other issues to solve “after” this one gets solved.
  • Fight over phone with webcam on
    It is very easy to misunderstand when we are fighting with each other. Often what is said and what is understood is quite different leading to additional problems. Do yourself a favour, fight on phone with webcam on. Voice and face both give cues to what you are trying to say. They help connect with each other. Use them to your advantage.
  • Use your sensibility and maturity at all times while fighting
    No one gets to bang the phone down. No one gets to avoid communication. Stay sensible and matured. Fighting itself is painful for both. Do not make it more painful by trying to avoid or punish your partner. This is one of the drawbacks or advantages of long distance relationship. You don’t get to do any of these. Your partner cannot come running to you to make things all right.
  • Improvise your fights
    While fighting, there will come a time when you are not sure of what to do exactly. Should you argue back, should you simply listen, should you take the practical stand and solve the problem or should you be emphatic and understand your partner’s feelings, should you give space to your partner and give some time to sulk or converse till things get sorted. These options are really confusing. Hence, after the fight is over, pick up these moments and choices you made and ask your partner, that the next time something like this happens, what should you do. Remember what your partner says and apply next time – things will be easier than last time because of this.

The Dos And Don’ts

  • Enjoy your life. Have fun. Make new friends, form new hobbies, spend time with friends and family. Make best of the time available
  • Share your feelings.
  • Create a strong support system.
  • Trust your partner unconditionally, don’t be suspicious.
  • Respect each others time. If either wishes to spend time with friends or family, honour the wish. Family and friends form as much a part of your partner’s life as you do.
  • Do not sweat the small stuff. Learn to let go.
  • No matter how frustrated you are, remember that this too shall pass away; this is not how it is going to stay forever.
  • Do get all mushy and romantic.
  • Don’t forget to have fun together.
  • Have a common hobby/passion.
  • Plan for the times together. Spend a day or two exclusively with each other when both are in same town.

Staying apart from loved one is always difficult. Nothing can replace complete presence of a loved one in our life. Even if you apply everything mentioned above or anywhere else, you will still miss your partner very much, you will still remember your partner everytime you go out, everytime you see something great. Everytime you see something which brings out a ‘wow’ from you, you will terribly miss your partner and wish there were here to share this. And missing is good. Missing your partner simply means you want him/her to be with you. Staying away from loved one will always be very very difficult.
But the point is, your relationship doesn't have to be difficult. Inspite of all the distance that comes in between both of you, you can still be an important part of each others life, you can still love each other like crazy, you can still share all your small titbits with your partner, you can still have a happy, loving, fulfilling, successful relationship. You can still have a fantastic relationship – just the way you want.
Again and again, it is difficult to survive in a long distance relationship even short distance. But sometimes it teaches us to miss and to appreciate every meeting with our partner. Bangi and Alor Setar are quite far for me. So, good luck to everyone! ^_^


Shades of Grey on August 21, 2011 at 9:43 PM said...

So true ! mine is a long distance and i just wrote a soppy post on my blog. thanks this helps.

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