Why A Long Distance Relationship Might (Not) Work
Richard Marx’s rendition of Right Here Waiting speaks volumes for a long distance relationship:
“Oceans apart, day after day and I slowly go insane, I hear your voice on the line but it doesn’t stop the pain. I see you next to never, how can we say forever”
A Long Distance Relationship Is NOT for Everyone
People who had experienced a long distance relationship would most likely mention about the tears, the loneliness, the heartaches, and the sleepless nights. Nevertheless, a successful long distance relationship ending up in rewarding, satisfying partnerships and marriages do exist in reality.
If you are someone who ranks physical intimacy over emotional connection, distance may be extremely challenging to you. Perhaps you are someone who treasures spending quality time and engaging in fun activities with your lover more so than having deep, meaningful conversations, exchanging thoughts and ideas, and sharing life experiences together. In that case, you might want to think twice before entering into a long distance relationship.
If you believe he/she is “The-One” you have been waiting for all your life and you couldn’t possibly imagine finding someone else who touches your heart like he/she does, then be brave and go for it. Don’t let the distance be an obstacle. After all, it’s better to find out the answer yourself than to wonder about what-ifs or regret later in your life.
The Pros of a Long Distance Relationship
1. The passion is more manageable. Since you don’t see each other often, you are more likely be able to keep the fire under control. The symptoms of infatuation in the early stage are less severe than an average relationship. You are also less likely to confuse lust with love.
2. You really get to know someone at a deep, meaningful level and the emotional bonding is strong. Many couples in a common relationship setting are merely “activity partners” during the courting stage. They might see each other all the time but that doesn’t mean they really know and understand each other deeply. In a long distance relationship, you spend hours doing nothing but communicating, which then leads to a deeper, more fulfilling relationship.
3. The precious moments you spend together will be something you cherish and not take things for granted.
4. You learn to be self content but also, at the same time, receive emotional support from the one you love.
5. One of the valuable lessons you will learn in a long distance relationship is building a strong trust foundation for the relationship, learning how to control your jealousy and not let your imagination run wild. If you realize you can’t trust that person, no matter how hard you try – that is a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
The Cons of A Long Distance Relationship
1. Loneliness/emptiness. Yes, there will be tons of moments when you feel lonely and wish he/she was there with you, especially during those cold lonely nights.
2. Emotional stress – Face the truth, keeping a relationship alive across the miles is HARD WORK. Whoever tells you otherwise is a liar – don’t ever talk to him/her again.
3. No physical intimacy, hugs, kisses or holding hands. Can you really survive?
4. Misunderstandings and conflicts are often very challenging when they do happen. Or in some cases, they cannot be resolved for days, weeks, or even months. Why? Imagine if he or she is upset with you and refuse to talk to you (won’t answer your calls, text messages or emails). Serious communication breakdown. What would you do? What could you do? You are miles away… Frustrating, is it not?
5. You won’t be able to be there for each other during unpredictable events or crises, no matter how much you want to or wish to.
A long distance relationship can work. However, it takes an enormous amount of effort, commitment, trust, and love to succeed, not to mention mental maturity, emotional stability, and courage.
In most cases, when a long distance relationship breaks down or ends in failure, the couple puts the blame on the “distance.” However, I believe that the “distance” merely intensifies the core problem of the relationship – it itself is not the problem.
It (the distance) allows you to see the true problem of your relationship clearly and forces you to face it … for better, or for worse.