Long distance relationships are challenging but they are also exhilarating. And if you’re a hopeless romantic, they can be easily misinterpreted, overly romanticized, and unfairly judged.
All of the greatest love stories, romantic movies, books, and poems involve distance at some point. And it’s always in that distance that emotional wrongs are righted and necessary realizations are made, so that Happily Ever After can ensue in a more solid, connected, and enviable way than ever before.
I don’t think that The Notebook would have been half as romantic if there wasn’t any distance between Ali and Noah at one point.
“The scariest thing about distance is that you don’t know whether they’ll miss you or forget you.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
Although it is indeed scary, if you suffer from the disease to please and low self-esteem, you’ll start to equate that never-ending fear factor with passion. You then become more invested in making your all-knowing existence known than you are in taking the time to investigate if a mutual connection even exists.
I know many people who are in long distance relationships and they make it work; they’re really happy. I got lunch with a girlfriend over the weekend who was telling me about her relationship and how it’s the best relationship she’s ever been in.
She asked if I had ever been in a long distance relationship. “One,” I replied.
I was so taken back by my answer that I don’t remember much of what was said after that.
At that moment, I realized that although I’ve only been in one relationship where there was a physical distance between us, nearly EVERY relationship that I’ve ever been in has been long distance.
I was a long distance relationship junkie and didn’t even know it.
In my past relationships, the distance wasn’t in physical miles. It was in emotional ones.
You could be sleeping in bed with your partner and be in more of a long distance relationship than if cities, oceans, and countries were in between you.
This got me thinking about long distance relationships – both physical and emotional. Who do they cater to? How do you navigate them? And is there a way to ensure the distance is never emotional?
Here’s what you need to know about long distance relationships…
Sometimes, the reasons for being in a relationship like this are unavoidable. Life happens and we have to do the best we can with the hand we are dealt.
For long distance relationships to work, there needs to be a conscious effort being made on both ends to eventually, close the physical gap.
And until then, both parties need to continue to cultivate nonexistent space as far as emotional distance goes.
Relationships with physical distance are also the ultimate beard for people who want to operate under the guise of someone who is emotionally, empathetically, and relationally competent/connected. They can mask a person’s unavailability, toxicity, and fear of commitment, responsibility, intimacy, etc. quite well.
When it comes to long-distance relationships, the distance will never be a deal-breaker as long as the relationship is mutual and the distance is physical (with the mutual intention of eventually, bridging the physical distance).
What to know about PHYSICAL long distance relationships:
- Understand that long distance relationships are easy and hot. We live in a time where it has never been easier to be in a long distance relationship. Between all of the social media outlets and ways to communicate, it’s easier now than ever before. Long distance relationships also up the hot factor because you’re getting the best of that person. How? It’s much easier to manage their image.
Keep in mind that these relationships are the perfect vehicle for unavailable people to live out the fantasy of temporarily being the partner on the phone that they can’t consistently be in person.
- If you’re with someone who has a pattern of being in long distance relationships, that’s a red flag.
- Long distance relationships are VERY attractive to emotionally unavailable, empathetically bankrupt, and narcissistic people. Think about it – as long as they can say that they’re in a “relationship,” it gives them a license to assume that they don’t have any relational issues to work on.
What to know about EMOTIONAL long distance relationships:
- You’re in an emotional long distance relationship if you don’t feel comfortable to respectfully communicate your truth and concerns for fear of… being broken up with, judged, being made to look/feel crazy, your partner going cold/recoiling, them getting fed up and cheating, etc.
- Emotional long distance relationships can be defined by: never feeling the security and comfort that true love, understanding, and connection provide.
If it’s physical distance that’s between you, make sure that you are both communicating clearly and that there is an end in sight as far as that distance goes.
If it’s emotional distance you’re dealing with, you need to know that no matter how many fancy dog accessories you spend your savings on, cat’s MEOW. They don’t bark just because you provided a fancy dog house. There’s no point in wasting your time trying to be an inverted cat whisperer and then, tying your value to someone being what they’ve always been (and will continue to be): a selfish, disconnected person who will never be capable of intimacy.
Scientists now suggest that distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder…
…but only if there’s heart, to begin with ?
Love to you all – near and far.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.