If you are your partner currently live in the same area, you might think that you have dodged the possibility of having to deal with a long distance relationship. While this is probably the case, it’s impossible to know what the future may hold. One of TV’s most enduring couples – Monica and Chandler in Friends – still found themselves at the mercy of a long distance relationship due to circumstance, so it’s fair to say the same can happen to any couple. Kendall and I obviously do not have a long-distance relationship, but he often has to travel for the Mississippi National Guard and now his work at Starship is requiring a little bit of travel too. Sometimes it’s like ahhhhI can watch Housewives judgement freeeeee… and sometimes I come home and watch videos of soldiers returning from deployment and cry myself to sleep. I’d rather him be home with me, clearly, but how I handle it depends on so many factors- how my day has gone, how long he’s been gone, etc.
Usually, it will be work that separates a couple from one another. It’s usually a temporary situation, but that doesn’t make it any easier – especially if you have become accustomed to being around each other all the time. While relocation experts can help find the right property for the person who is moving, visa specialists can help you obtain a partner visa if you decide to ultimately make a move, and various tech innovations can help you stay in touch – ultimately, your relationship’s health is going to depend on the two of you alone. When you suddenly have to live the reality of this kind of arrangement, you’ll soon discover it’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either…
When you’re not seeing one another all the time, you’ll have to become adept at keeping in touch. If you’d been together for awhile before the move, keeping in touch can be a habit you have long fallen out of. After all, when you see one another every day, the need for those cute little texts that were a permanent feature at the beginning of your relationship tends to diminish. We’re actually really good at this anyway- we touch base several times a day to make sure the other one feels loved.
Not only will you have to find new and interesting ways to talk to one another, but there’s also some truth in the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder. You’ll be happier around one another when you do get to catch up, which can be very healthy for your relationship going forward. I’m pretty sure everyone knew Kendall + I would be together forever after last summer. He was away for a month with the army and when we reunited in Alabama in August, we road-tripped back up to DC. Twenty-five hours in the car and we were still lovebirds, having missed each other for so long.
There’s no doubt that the lack of immediate, physical support from your partner can be challenging. There’s no calming hug at the end of a long day, or chance to curl up and watch TV together in the evening. This was particularly awful when I was having a rough time and work when Kendall was in CA for about two months. Sure, you can chat over Skype, but it never manages to quite feel the same… and sometimes you don’t even have that. Sometimes on his missions, Kendall won’t have access to phone service or wifi.
If you don’t learn how to communicate effectively, then problems are going to develop very quickly. Trust is a real issue in long distance relationships, so if you can’t nail this aspect, then things could begin to derail before you even know you have a problem.
The truth is, long distance relationships are not good and they are not bad. The success of such an arrangement depends entirely on you as a couple, and how much effort you’re willing to put into keeping things alive. If you’re willing to work hard to keep the lines of communication open and be willing to make sacrifices in the future to keep things working, then you’ll be fine. Challenged and pushed to the limit perhaps, but there’s a good chance your relationship will actually emerge stronger.
By Caroline Downing
You can find this and more articles written by Caroline at www.thecarolove.com