How many of us have fallen in love with someone across the world? Lost a girlfriend, or a boyfriend to a degree abroad, or a job opportunity that couldn’t be missed? The heart wants what it wants, after all and it isn’t always the most practical thing. So for those of you who are ready to step into a long distance relationship, be warned, here’s what mine taught me.
Communication is the key to any relationship and technically it should flow naturally, without either of you making too much of an effort. That good morning text that brings a smile on your face shouldn’t become a chore. But here’s the bad news, it eventually does! Texting each other all day turns into work and you can’t bring yourself to make conversation on a busy day. Which is alright, if you’re a couple that meets every other day. However, in a long distance relationship the ‘meeting’ aspect is almost non-existent and hence, over-communication is the only way to go. At least that’s how it was in mine.
Part two, the finances. Most of us can’t afford going back and forth to see the person we love, especially if he, or she, is in a different country altogether. Flight tickets are expensive, and the wait gets frustrating. Skype and FaceTime is not even close, when compared to human contact. The physical aspect of your relationship takes a backseat, and nothing can make up for the fact that you don’t get to kiss, hold hands or have sex. Your sex life is non-existent - sexting and phone sex are basically just filling a hollow hole.
And no amount of ice cream can fix the pain of watching happy couples who take midnight drives together. Yes, the occasional surprise visits are amazing, but, those barely happen. In my case, we began taking each other for granted. Phone calls that were scheduled every night, start going to voicemails when our social lives got exciting.
Have you ever been jealous of the person you love the most? It’s wrong; you are conditioned to be happy for their happiness. But they are out there, in New York watching Broadway and you’re working late nights (overtime to get those tickets to visit them).
As a generation that thrives off technology, we depend on our phones to sustain an entire relationship. Yes, people did it before us and others might still survive successful long distance relationships. But, they are the exceptions to the rule, and not the rule (to rightly quote He’s Just Not That Into You) itself. We, the failed LDRs, are the rule.
Need help with your relationship? Here are a few books that might offer some sympathetic advice I couldn’t. The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide by Chris Bell and Kate Brauer-Bell (Rs 655) and Long Distance Relationships: The Complete Guide by Gregory Guldner (Rs 8,255).