What is a long distance relationship?
I’m often asked about how to best manage long distance relationships.
Firstly let me try to define what a long distance relationship is. In this article/blog I’m going to define it as any relationship wherein the couple are not living together.
So by this definition it could be any relationship where one person resides elsewhere other than in the same house as the other person in the relationship. These separate residences could be across town or even across the world.
It could be as a consequence of one party having work commitments that means they need to live elsewhere, such as in the armed services or just by being a shift worker. This could even be as a consequence of one of the parties having been imprisoned. Or it could be that the situation they are in doesn’t allow the couple to live together; one party may already be in a relationship, or the relationship is not accepted culturally because of church or possible criticism from the rest of the community such as might be the case with same-sex couples.
There is also the possibility that the marriage has been arranged and due to cultural practices the couple are not able to meet until they have married.
And of course there are relationships that exist only across the internet – cyber relationships. These relationships can be just as intense as any relationship conducted face-to-face and even have the capacity to become sexual in their own way.
So how do couples manage these relationships?
Well firstly there is no doubt that these relationships can be more difficult to manage as each of the couple go about living their own lives. Having to make time to be with each other, however that happens, can be a difficult and challenging task.
There are also the challenges associated with sharing these relationships with other people in the life of the couple such as family, friends and work colleagues.
I’m also drawn here to think of situations where one party is in a totally foreign environment such as a prison or a war zone. The reality here is that the person who is living in a more “normal” environment really is not able to know exactly what the experience of the other’s life actually feels like for them and can only rely on their communication to even get any glimpse at all.
And yet with all of these things against them, couples still find a way to have and to maintain these long distance relationships. And the answer as to how they do it is not as difficult as it might seem.
The success of these relationships comes from an absolute and unparalleled commitment to each other and a total trust in the commitment of the other as well.
And just as with any relationship that makes the distance, if you’ll pardon the pun, it still requires lots and lots of ongoing conversations about how it’s going for you as well as an ongoing interest and curiosity in the day by day happenings in each others lives.
I would love to hear back from any of you in these kinds of relationships to speak about how it is for you and how you keep the love alive.
So until next time – Relate with Love