Technology may have shrunk the world but spending one-on-one time with bae hits differently rather than seeing them on a Facetime call. But, do not let the distance dissuade you from plunging into a long-distance relationship. There are many couples who brave the dreaded long-distance relationship (LDR) phase and go on to have their happily-ever-after (or break up without the drama of doing it face to face!).
Counselling psychologist Dr Hirak Patel at Fortis Hospital, Mulund says, "Is he/she worth waiting for? Can a long-distance relationship ever work? What if they find someone else? These questions and more are likely to haunt people in a long-distance relationship. Video calls and blinking chat windows sometimes can’t replace the physical presence of a loved one. 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:
Accept the distance
It is important to make peace with the fact that during this phase of your relationship, your partner is not going to be around you physically. For this, you need to fully understand the various reasons that caused this phase such as 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.
Communicate but give space too
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.
Do not overdo the communication
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.
Video call, writing an E-mail, surprising through letters, online gifting to maintain excitement in the relationship are some good ways to stay connected and express love.
Talk but listen too
Show immediate appreciation when he/she listens to you properly and show interest when they are talking. You need to stay connected by sharing.
Create new memories
You can continue to explore and experience things together when in a long-distance relationship. Try indulging in some activities together such as watching a movie at the same time, virtually cooking together, or exploring one’s day virtually. You can also plan for a holiday together.
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."