I was about to leave for IIM Ahmedabad in a few days.
And my then boyfriend and I were both immersed in oceans of tears.
With young people becoming more ambitious and willing to move cities for work/studies, long distance relationships and associated challenges are becoming increasingly common. Here’s the first instalment of a series on long distance relationships.
Photo by punctuated
The first step to make a long distance relationship work is to really understand and acknowledge the fact that it takes special efforts. If, for example, you and your significant other are college classmates and are meeting each other every day, by default you hardly need any extra efforts to keep the relationship going. The situation changes dramatically as soon as the relationship becomes long distance. Most long distance relationships which fail are the ones where the couple fails to realize that the situation has changed and they need to do something about it.
You have to talk to each other every day, for at least 30 min/1 hour. It might seem too long to some of you. But it’s important to talk for a long time, as people don’t open up until they’ve talked for some time. The initial 5 minutes of a conversation are often spent in hi-hello-‘how’re you’s. If you don’t spend at least 30 minutes you won’t know about what’s really going on in the other person’s mental world, the concerns that they have, what they really feel about you etc. We unknowingly waste a lot of time watching TV, surfing the Net and reading other people’s status messages. If you think you genuinely don’t have 30 minutes per day for your boyfriend/girlfriend then this is probably not the right time for you to have a relationship.
Photo by Foxtongue
It’s essential you visit each other as often as your time and budget permits. Talking over the phone for five hours a day can’t make up for face to face communication. Because communication is not just words. Nothing can make up for actually looking at the eyes and the smile of your loved one. Same for them.
4.Learn to trust
When a relationship becomes long-distance it becomes a testing ground for something essential to the success of the relationship-mutual trust. If you’re the suspicion-obsessed ever-interrogator, a long distance relationship is a great chance for you to learn to let go. Letting go doesn’t mean deciding not to concern yourself with whatever your boyfriend/girlfriend might be doing. It means accepting the fact that they have a life of their own and you can’t always get to know whatever is going on there. Don’t get neurotic if they don’t pick up one call of yours or doesn’t reply to your messages immediately.
You’re in a relationship, right? You’re their support, inspiration, shoulder to cry on. You have to be there for them when they need you. You can’t be too busy for that. If they’re going through difficult times, they should feel completely free to call you first.
In the next instalment we’ll talk about activities you can engage in to liven up your long distance relationship. Till then, share your experiences of handling your long distance relationship with us by leaving a comment.