If you've ever been or even considered being in a long-distance relationship, you know the crippling anxiety and loneliness that comes along with it. In an LDR, however, what you say matters way more than what you do. And if you really, truly want your relationship to work then make sure you're not saying these 7 things!
It might seem like the most obvious thing you would say to your partner if you are in a long-distance relationship. If you used to be around each other a lot and suddenly find yourself spending weeks and months on end apart, you are bound to miss your partner. But saying ‘I miss you’ to them all the time will only make the long-distance relationship that much more difficult. If you love each other, your partner knows that you miss them and you need not say it aloud a lot.
You probably mean well. Whether it is you who has moved away to a different place and have a new and exciting life or you are the one left behind while your partner has moved away, you will feel that there is so much about your life that the other half is missing out on – parties, social functions, important events in your life, new friends and so much more. Of course, you would have liked your partner to be around and they would too. But reminding them that they are missing out on all that would only make them feel morose and guilty.
Time is probably the most important thing you can give each other whether you are in a long-distance relationship or not, but more so in the case of the former. Time. In your new lives, it may gradually become difficult to make time to talk to your partner at length. Your relationship may be really tested if you happen to be in different time zones. But it’s always good to remember that it’s up to both of you to make time for each other for the sake of a healthy and happy relationship. On the other hand, remember that it may not always be possible for your partner to make time for you when you want them to. Work out a schedule or talk as much as you can, as and when you can. It doesn’t always have to be an intense, meaningful conversation. Even telling each other about your day can go a long way.
It’s probably the worst thing to say to your partner who decided to move away. If they did, it was for a good reason – studies, a job, to be with an ailing family member. Whatever it was, it was important to them – so important that they chose that over being with you. They also find the long distance difficult, but it’s for a reason that they are doing this. So to telling them ‘It was your decision’ means you blame them for something you had once been supportive of. By saying that, you are making them feel guilty. No matter whose decision it was, it was a difficult one.
This is likely to happen at some point if you are in a long-distance relationship. You won’t have the same social circles, the same places where you hang out, the same things you once did together in your free time. Your interests may diverge, but you don’t need to have the same interests and experiences as your partner to be in a relationship. Try and be comfortable in your own independent lives. Which brings us to the next point…
Your interests will diverge, as you become comfortable in your new, independent life without your better half. And as you have less time for your partner, they then start receding from your consciousness, which makes you question why you are in a relationship. You may think that you’d rather get out of this one and find someone else who is physically around you. But remember that a divergence doesn’t have to be a parting of ways. This is when your relationship is really tested and you may feel like saying…
This is breaking point. The distance has finally got to you. It is unbearable to be without your partner, or to continue to be in a relationship. You may have been really patient and understanding all along but it’s becoming impossible to continue down that road. And it is at this point that it is important to remind yourself why you agreed to do this in the first place. Whatever it is that your partner moved away to pursue, it is helping them grow in their life. And if you truly love them, learn to keep their interest before your own. Love is, after all, a capacity for change. It is a force that can inspire you to make great changes in your life that you may not like but you do them for the sake of your partner. Once you have that figured, you will be able to tackle not just long distance but anything that strains your relationship.
About the author
Siddhesh Inamdar is a writer and editor. He studied English Literature at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and Delhi University, and journalism at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. He worked with The Hindu, DNA and Hindustan Times and is now in publishing. He lives in Delhi with his wife, daughter and three cats. His latest book The Story Of A Long Distance Marriage is out now, buy it here.