SO your significant other has decided to head for the hills – zooming off to some far flung land where bogies are still on the menu. You’re going to stay behind. To top it off, the relationship is going to continue. It will be a long distance relationship.
I won’t pretend to be a great authority on the subject. Every relationship is different, and different things work for different relationships. Here I attempt to gloss over the main problems that I encountered during a long distance relationship. My own experience is based on a student romance, where one of us went on a year abroad and the other stayed behind.
Right, that’s the disclaimer out the way.
After waving your darling off at the airport, hopefully brandishing a handkerchief with tears streaming down your face, the first problem you will encounter is the physical separation. You were probably used to hanging out together every day.
This can no longer happen.
You are living completely separate lives. You will make friends that the other will never meet, and you will start to do things that the other doesn’t know about.
Your lover is reduced to the ping on your phone, indicating the arrival of a new message.
The best way to get through is to book to see them. That doesn’t mean every few days – some space is advisable – but having a meet-up date is helpful. As separation sadness kicks in, having something to look forward to is very important.
The meets will also tell you if the relationship is worth pursuing.
During my own time significant-other-less (exciting new word there), I did wonder whether staying in the relationship was a good idea. It was causing me nothing but pain, either through missing the other, or having to hear about activities I couldn’t support them in.
What kept me going was knowing how happy we were when we were together. This realisation meant that however hard things got I didn’t want to end it.
Secondly, having an end date to the separation is important. It gives a definitive ‘end-of-pain’ date, a time when you know that you’ll be back with them. You might even make plans with them for after the separation.
For me, I found the end date very helpful. It meant that we had a common goal, surviving to this date, and we could start planning time together afterwards.
If you’re trying both of these and are still unhappy – send a present!
Who doesn’t love flowers?
They’re more effective than a pleading Facebook message and also speak volumes about how much you care.
Going through a long distance relationship is hard, I won’t lie to you, and there is no magic formula to get through it. Long distance has a habit of temporarily obscuring everything good about the relationship. It is the occasional meet-ups and expressions of affection that get you through.
At the end of the day, the overriding emotion is one of love.
As before, this is NOT A GUIDE of THIS WILL HAPPEN. This is an indication of what could potentially occur. I hope that it proves helpful.
Remember, every relationship is different.