The Anatomy of a Long-Distance Relationship

A long-distance relationship doesn’t just include two partners, it includes an array of doubts, myths and clichéd pieces of advice to deal with the anguish given by friends, family, estranged exes and agony aunts galore. The truth attached to a long-distance relationship is not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s an emotionally taxing rollercoaster replete with the right amount of road bumps and caution signs.

Problems may arise when there’s a fear of replacement and abandonment. Individuals tend to be dependent on their partners for their needs and dump their emotional baggage on their significant other which is problematic. Commitment to a long-distance relationship requires loyalty, trust and good communication skills. Being clingy and seeking constant gratification via call or text throughout the day will only hamper your relationship. The factor of time is paramount with the distance giving an illusion of delayed pace. There might be several occasions when a partner’s insecurities and past trauma might weigh itself on the already burdened relationship. This causes attachment anxiety. Attachment anxiety arises when an individual keeps a close watch and tries to decipher their partner’s intimacy pattern. Any discrepancy observed is taken personally and they develop trust issues and want to withdraw themselves from the relationship to shield themselves from pain and suffering. Avoidance of negative feelings is another complication on its own. It is commonly observed that long-distance couples fail to talk about their issues openly and accurately for a multitude of reasons. Most of the times, there is a fear of confrontation and accountability for one’s mistakes. On other occasions, the scope of misinterpretation is always on the higher side and reading between the lines during an argument can be counterproductive.

A long-distance relationship has the capability of imparting some important life lessons. Time spent together transforms into a privilege and every second becomes precious. It inculcates a sense of gratitude. It teaches you that the time you spend conversing or messaging the person is not directly proportional to how much you love your partner or how much they love you. It’s unhealthy to dedicate all the hours of your day to one entity of your life. Utilizing the distance to your benefit is crucial. Give your partner his/her space and privacy and focus on your individual life. Physical and emotional co-dependency in a relationship is another deterrent to a fulfilling relationship. Support and encouragement in all endeavours from your significant other is satisfactory but, on the contrary, using them as a punching bag for your troubles and downfalls just because they love you is not. As patience is one of the key elements in this kind of a relationship, it’s the mutual responsibility of both the partners to not let their emotions overwhelm them and spill over during a heated argument. Bottled up feelings can be a point of contention between quite a few couples.

The tenure of a romantic relationship determines the comfort level shared, trust and levels of vulnerability. Vulnerability is never a lone ranger, it comes bearing consequences. Vulnerability is like showing your bare, filterless soul to your partner sans any outer façade. Being vulnerable to your partner makes you prone to getting hurt much more than it would otherwise but on the positive side, it strengthens the bond between you and your partner. When two individuals accept each other for their true selves, without the need to hide something, the relationship stops becoming a chore and maintaining it ends being a task.

It is observed that a lot of people find solace in confiding in their partner, sharing day to day dilemmas and issues pertinent to their respective families or peer groups. The fault here is mistaking your partner for a therapist. Your significant other is not equipped or trained to impart advice or to tell you how to go about your problems. They are simply a pillar of support for you, to help you get through everything in the most effective manner.

It is often said that absence makes the heart grow fonder and that holds quite true in a long-distance relationship. It requires high levels of resilience and determination for the survival of the bond. Comparison to other couples leads to a sense of discontent and sadness amongst couples dealing with geographical and time-zone differences. The renouncement of common relationship shenanigans is ineluctable. The courage required for a long-distance relationship is thus truly worthy of applause.

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