Written by- Rounak Parasnis
Relationships that are often hindered by geographical separations are called long-distance relationships. They lack face to face contact, but nowadays social media and the internet have assisted couples in long-distance relationships a lot. Even though long-distance relationships have been a part of our lives for many years, The COVID-19 crisis has increased the number of people in LDRs by inducing lockdowns the world over. This has given almost every relationship out there a taste of LDRs. People despite living a few kilometers apart are unable to see each other for months on end. This sudden predicament has affected a lot of people. The waiting, wondering and the uncertainty are terrible. However, these form an essential part of our society. People in long-distance relationships are testaments proving that Integrity and sacrifice are indeed present in this day and age as well. But, in no way are LDRs easy, and here’s why.
(a) The Distance
Long-distance relationships mean that you have to be away from your loved ones, with some people limiting their visits to even once a year!
(b) The Unreliability
They bring with it a level of uncertainty that is quite unappealing. For example- You don’t know what the other person is thinking and feeling sometimes, how they may react to a certain topic, or what they’re going through.
Texts are one of technology’s greater advancements, they have however deprived us of the joy of communicating in person. Our human body has the ability to convey countless emotions through our faces. How can we be expected to understand the tone of the conversation in a text then ?.
(d) The expectations
One of the postulates of human nature, we all expect certain things in and from life. These expectations pave the way for feelings of hurt and even betrayal when they are not fulfilled. But unfortunately, life has a fickle nature and is often unpredictable. Hence, we cannot be certain about how and if our partners may live up to our expectations.
(e) Lack of communication
The most common problem we face in LDRs. The legendary Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Man is by nature a social animal”. How then can we afford to not communicate ?. The ability to communicate should be proportional to the distance between the partners. No matter how hard it may be, the dialogue is essential for a relationship to survive.
So, the question remains, what can people in LDRs do to help uphold the sanctity of their relationships? Well, it would be very easy to say do the exact opposite of the things listed above but that would be an oversimplification. Relationships are diverse and complicated and need a nurturing, healthy atmosphere between all those involved in it.
Some of the factors that promote strong relationships are-
- Ensure that the distance is temporary– If you or your partner are unsure that you will be able to reunite in the future, you should think about taking a call on your relationship. If everybody in the relationship is okay with the long duration apart, try to find ways to see each other more often. For example- during a holiday, pick a destination and vacation together !.
- Set some ground rules– LDRs are difficult to manage when people live in different time zones, have busy work lives, etc. This calls for a plan of some sort where everybody can effectively communicate and be there for each other. This may include sending voice notes describing their day, their thoughts and feelings, etc.
- Trust each other– Trust is such a small word it is but it holds great power. The ability to believe in someone and trust them with everything is one of the purest things that humans do.
- Communicate naturally– As communication forms a large part of relationships, it is essential to talk. But, the process should be completely normal and not forced by a timetable. It should be a memorable and livening experience. It not only helps your partner understand you better but also allows them a glimpse into your life and its various aspects.
- Little things matter – The attempts to make you laugh, sending funny memes, the occasional sweet messages, the care packages, and the jolly videocalls. These small gestures are the best way to show you care.
- Don’t be afraid to dive deep– Be there for your partners in times of need, empathize, and focus on their problems. You may not have all the solutions but sometimes just listening can work wonders. The thought of having someone who you can be open with and confide in is peaceful.
- Find something that you both enjoy– A Netflix special, an online game, similar interests, and various activities. Doing things together helps build better bonds and improve conversational quality.
- Try to come up with fun activities together– A candlelight dinner on a video call or a friendly origami competition once a week will uplift moods. The anticipation for some quality time spent together also helps build a better relationship.
- Make plans to look forward to– It may feel intimidating to make plans with no ability to see the future. But we must learn to find solace in the mystery. So, Talk about the future, about what things will be like 10 years from now, where will we be ?. What will we be doing ?. Give each other the motivation to power through this time apart and get closer and closer to each other and your goals.
Long-Distance Relationships may be difficult but they are not impossible to conquer. They, like any other thing in the world, have a weakness. The weaknesses are love and strength. If you believe in yourself and your partner, you can survive LDRs. So Live, Laugh, and most importantly, love.