A Mental Health Expert Wants You to Know *This* Before Saying Yes to Long Distance Relationships

All you need to know to make a long-distance relationship work...

Let's face it, video calls or even same-day gift delivery from bae does not quite have the same appeal as spending time with them IRL. However, there are many couples who brave the dreaded long-distance relationship (LDR) phase and go on to have their happily-ever-afters.   

Counselling psychologist Dr Hirak Patel at Fortis Hospital, Mulund says, "Is he/she worth waiting for? Is she/he feeling the same way I do? Am I kidding myself thinking a long-distance can work? What if they find someone else? These questions and more are likely to haunt people in a long-distance relationship. Moreover, Skype calls and blinking chat windows sometimes can’t replace physical presence. But this can be dealt with, wisely. A 2018 survey on long-distance couples found that while 27 per cent had never lived near each other, about 50 per cent of couples in the survey had met each other online."

So, if you are thinking of entering an LDR, here's what Dr Patel suggests: 

MUTUAL ACCEPTANCE

Acceptance that in this phase, the person is not going to be around you physically. Accept the reason behind getting into this phase, the variable reasons could be due to a job switch, financial needs, family circumstances or any other. Acceptance would make the couple sail through the phase smoothly and keep the lamp of hope burning.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY 

Communication becomes a key aspect when people are in a long-distance relationship. Truthful communication and giving enough space is important. One needs to understand that there is some leeway that needs to be given. Communicate because you feel like it and do not force yourself into it. Sharing things about each other’s day can help in maintaining a crucial connection even from afar.

BE BALANCED

Make sure your dependence and independence are well-balanced. Ensure your partner knows how much you need him/her, but don't cling, as that can make your partner feel trapped.

USING TECHNOLOGY IN DIFFERENT WAYS 

Video call, writing an E-mail, surprising through letters, online gifting to maintain excitement in the relationship is good way to stay connected and express love.

ENCOURAGE LISTENING

Show immediate appreciation when he/she listens to you properly and show interest when they are talking. You need to stay connected by sharing.

DOING ACTIVITIES TOGETHER

There is a need to explore and experience things together when people are in a relationship, but in a long-distance relationship, it becomes difficult. However, doing some activities together like watching a movie at the same time, virtually cooking together, or exploring one’s day virtually could help the couple sail through. Also, make time for a holiday together as well.

MAINTAINING TRUST

Trust the foundation of all strong relationships. Even if there is a physical distance, attachment and emotional connection can be sustained effectively. Trusting the partner becomes an important aspect for a relationship to sustain and thrive in distance. Giving virtual and personal space to each other, respecting, and accepting the changes and avoid linking all issues and concerns to physical distance is important.

Dr Patel adds, "Remember, distance prevents intimacy from taking significance in a relationship. When two people are apart, it is too easy to idealize and romanticize each other. It is a good feeling though but sometimes it can be delusional. It’s too easy to overlook the mundane, yet important differences and get caught up in the drama of our minds instead of the boring truths of our hearts. Taking initiative to understand these aspects is crucial in a relationship. Relationships can be complicated and difficult but if handled wisely it can go a long way to sustain a healthy and happy life."