relationships, opinions, and other ramblings…
People these days find themselves in long-distance relationships for a variety of reasons. Some couples start off in the same area and have to migrate to different parts of the country or world for work, school, or family. Other folks are long-distance from the jump. Maybe you met someone while vacationing, or traveling for work, or perhaps you’ve met someone online. Is there any possibility that your long-distance romance will last? The short answer is this, no relationship can survive forever as “long-distance” but that being said, there’s got to be some truth to the old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Here are a few things you need to consider.
One the main concerns for people in long-distance relationships is trust. How do you know that you can trust your partner when you’re apart most of the time? For couples who migrate apart, this may be a little easier. After dating someone locally for a while you may have a build-up of trust that can carry the relationship through periods of separation. For new couples, or folks who are apart to start, a healthy dose of skepticism is in order. Does this mean you give the person the third degree every time they miss your call? Of course not. It means that trust will develop a little more slowly. It means you should pay attention to the their behaviors and verify what you can. You really shouldn’t let your guard down until you can verify at least the basics such as their identity and martial status. Beyond that you need to evaluate their character. Even at a distant certain things about a person’s character will become apparent. Do they keep their word? Are they consistent on key facts? How supportive and responsive are they to your needs? By all means follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel or seem right, it probably isn’t.
Opportunities to Connect
In the high tech world that we live in accessing the people we love is easier than ever. We have literally hundreds of avenues for communication at our fingertips. You’ll need to evaluate your partner’s willingness to keep communication regular. Establish expectations about the frequency. Don’t be afraid to be vocal about what your needs. Mind-reading is difficult enough in person, much less across state lines. Make visiting a priority and plan for it financially where possible. Traveling frequently can get expensive. Discuss well in advance the times you feel are the “must sees” like birthdays and holidays. This will help you avoid eleventh-hour-let-downs over your partner’s inability to make a special event.
When dating long distance, things that would otherwise be small beans can become monumental. One missed called can turn into feelings of abandonment, and a short reply to text can be hastily interpreted as disinterest. You have to be extra careful not to “read to much into things.” When the majority of your communication with your significant other is via an electronic means a lot can be lost in translation, so be patient with each other and give one another the benefit of the doubt.
Set an Expiration Date
A solid relationship should be able to weather periods of separation, but if it seems like the distance between you will continue into the indefinite future, then it may be time to plan your exist strategy. Ask your partner if they are open to relocating? What conditions would have to be met before they would consider moving? Are you open to relocating? I would strongly discourage anyone from staying in a long-distance relationship where there’s no time limit on the distance. If the person you’re with isn’t hurrying to get closer to you, then you have to wonder why. Don’t waste your life on someone who’s not willing to change theirs for you.
LSU Mass Communications junior. Passionate Black Feminist. Political Junkie. Netflix Enthusiast. Follow on Twitter @LeauxganA
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