3.2 Long Distance Relationships
“Distance makes the heart grow fonder”
This was obviously said by someone who has never been in a long distance relationship.
The problem with long distance relationships is that it never gets easier. It doesn’t matter if it has been 2 weeks or 2 years. It just plain hurts. No one wants to hear you talk about that person, and unless they’ve been in a long distance relationship, they can’t even begin to understand.
Being in a long distance relationship is one of the main reasons I started writing again. My heart was full, and I needed to let out everything that was building up inside of me to anyone who would listen, and it turned out that the only place I could talk openly was to Microsoft Word. It had no choice but to sit there and listen while I bled.
Some of my best writing came from being with Mark. It was about 6 months after I left him before I got to see him again. But that is a story for another day. The point here is that being apart isn’t something that hits you suddenly. It pulls at each side of your heart slowly, causing tiny tears bit by bit. And then at some point those tiny tears will amount to something substantial and your heart will simply rip into two. And at that point you realize that this just hurts too much, and you give up.
I used to get this question a lot: “Can long distance relationships work?”
The answer I give is a qualified “yes”. But certain things have to happen for it to last.
First, it has to be temporary. Your heart is fragile, and it relies on your brain for support. If you have no idea how long this will last, it will become overwhelming and seem pointless. If you can’t say that one day this will all be over and we will be together for real, it will hurt a lot more than if you have a goal to look forward to.
Next, you have to trust the other person, and they have to trust you. This is so crucial when you are apart. You don’t get to see the other person every few days to check up on them. If you can’t say that without a doubt, you KNOW they would never cheat on you, then there is a problem in the foundation of your relationship.
And thirdly, like any relationship, you will need communication. You need to be able to tell the other person how you are feeling, even if that means admitting when you’re having a hard time. It isn’t easy, and different people can cope with it better than others. So make sure you are talking. Really talking. And no, I don’t just mean texting. Texting is find for getting small bits of information across, but it doesn’t really get the message across. It’s time to get oldschool. Pick up the phone and call them if you can. There is nothing better than hearing the other person’s voice, and just letting them know they are on your mind. Skype is awesome for free chatting, and has the added bonus of allowing you to see their face.
Hope this is helpful to anyone who is in a long distance relationship. I know it is hard. I’ve been there a few times. Don’t give up.
One day it will all be worth it.
[Or maybe it won’t. But hey at the very least it’s a learning experience! Err…right?]