Long-distance relationships (should I stay or should I go?)

"Together or separately?"
“Together or separately?”

Long-distance relationship is a classic and timeless kind of relationship, which always causes “special” conditions between the members of the relationship. First of all, long-distance relationships could be separated in several kinds: sexual, friendly, relative or professional. We will mainly focus in sexual long-distance relationships, which usually are the most easily worn or “tested” instead of the other kinds of relationships.

Either we like it or not, long-distance relationships cannot be considered as ideal relationships, especially for couples who desire keenly and consciously to be together. However, there are several times that conditions of life lead couples to long-distance relationships without another option, so the couple should be patient with the distance and should hold on their initial decision to be “together” and at the same time to be separated.

At the beginning of the long-distance relationship the one and big question that is set is “And now what is the situation between us?”. It is a natural question since the distance which starts to exist between the couple and the unknown and unpredictable future are the first factors that will lead the two persons to think really seriously what their next moves are and decisions that they should make. There are many and various “scenarios” that a couple could follow and that is because they could never be sure about the future. If a relationship is qualitative and “built” correctly, it could stay steadily good or it could be improved, but even it could get worse. No one can be sure how a story ends, but this is not necessarily negative. When somebody stays focused to his/her relationship, the wrong moves would be rarer e.g. a relationship is neglected. Thus, the only things that somebody should know if he/she desires to be in a long-distance relationship, defying the kilometers between himself/herself and the other person, are the possible “dangers” that could break the relationship, but also all the positive data which could be created from this unusual situation.

Negative elements of a long distance relationship

–          A sense of emotional distance: The first and the main fear of a couple who is obliged to stay separated for a long period is the possibility that the emotions of the one or the other partner or both of them could be changed in a negative way. “Will my mate continue to love me?” wonder both of the partners. The truth is that this “danger” always exists and it is absolutely normal if we think that huge change that the couple experiences regarding to their relationship. Moreover, it is demanded of them to try to keep the “fire” into their relationship strong.

–          Lack of communication and possible misunderstandings: Mainly, it is because of the distance between the couple (if we take it for granted that there was not a communication problem before). The lack of the frequent communication which is imposed from the whole situation and the pause of the everyday cohabitation and sharing of common activities could bring a distortion into the conversations and the way that the couple speaks/communicates/shares their experiences. If the couple does not figure out that this problem happens due to the distance and because the one partner is not able to “watch” the continuing changes to the other partner’s everyday life, then the irritation and the sense that there is a “loss of episodes” from the other partner’s life would be facts.

–          Fights that should be immediately solved: Really important factor for the continuation of a relationship. Probably, all of us have left a fight or a misunderstanding without solution or further explanation, while we were having the thought that the fact could be ignored, at least for a while. However, in a long-distance relationship facts like that are more complicated and a fight should be stopped normally and immediately. The couple, who probably fights through a mean of telecommunication (telephone, computer etc), should not leave the solution of the disagreement e.g. for the next day or for the next week, because the fact is that they will not meet face to face really soon to discuss it. Kilometers are a constant fact in this relationship and the lack of the real personal touch could make things dramatically worse and so the result could be a fight or a bad comprehension. So, in order to avoid the huge sense of estrangement after their fight, due to the distance, the couple should recon ciliate as soon as possible.

–          Jealousy and insecurity about the relationship: One other common fear (related to the first one that was mentioned) of the two partners that there is a distance between them. Doubt for the continuation of the good quality of the emotions of the two partners is related and also leads to jealousy and to constant insecurity regarding the future of the relationship and other partner’s behavior now that he/she is away. Both partners could think that there is not real control or the possibility to “watch” other’s behavior in the distant place that he/she lives. This thought could bring trouble to the relationship, especially if the trust is not strongly existed between the couple.

–          Cheating and greater possibility to break-up: (fear related with everything that was mentioned above). The fear of cheating is not irrational but we should not take it for granted either. There is a bigger possibility of cheating between a couple who leaves separated, because emotions (as we mentioned previously) can stop or change due to the appearance of another person. In these cases the partner, who thinks to cheat or has already cheated, believes that the previous relationship should end because of the new erotic interest. Sometimes this is a wise decision, but some other times it is impulsive and unfair for the old partner. An honest conversation could solve many problems regarding to this situation.

–          Excessive sexual desire or lack of sexual desire: One more possibility in a long-distance relationship. The sexual desire often is related with impulsive emotions of the moment and not so much with the pure physical need and that is why it could be mislead us. In the first case (excessive sexual desire) the lack of the physical appearance of our partner could cause the sense of immediate need to have sexual activity (which need could exist but in other cases is absolutely under control), while in the second case the lack of the sexual activity for a long time could lead somebody to feel or to think that making love is not something really important or necessary as probably it was in the past for him/her. This fact is not true too and the two partners will figure it out when they will meet.

 Positive elements of a long-distance relationship

–          Confirmation that the relationship is strong: In other words if a relationship is strong and qualitative, it will last. Many times the distance is a good test, which could prove to the two partners that despite the rational difficulties and the expected inconvenient situation, if something is good and worthy, could not be lost and destroyed, only changed a bit.

–          Relationship could get better: (related with the information above). A relationship that will last could get stronger and considered better and more important than ever. This is obvious from the fact that sometimes many people keep themselves distant from something or someone (distant in an emotional or literal way) in order to find out what they really want. That is why many times somebody could realize that his/her relationship is really important and strong for his/her life and then he/she will return to this relationship with much more enthusiasm and mature, conscious thought.

–          Increase of the pride and more intense expectation: We should not forget that the conservation of a good and strong relationship could create huge feelings of pride and confidence to the couple. The two partners would feel really satisfied and strong to continue fighting for their relationship if they have in their minds that they can succeed everything together and that a good relationship is something rare and difficult that many people have not succeeded  in that. Except of the positive reinforcement regarding to their relationship, they increase their expectation to meet again really soon and this pleasant stress will keep them “alive” until their next meeting.

–          Feeling of refreshment: Maybe the most important reason why a couple should stay together no matter how much distance there is between them. The feeling that every time they meet they feel something new and different and this feeling has nothing to do with their routine and their everyday obligations, can keep them easily together.

Instead of an epilogue

Long distance relationship is an important and complicated personal choice, one of the many choices that we should make. To be honest, there is not a good or a bad decision, only right and wrong criteria. If we know the real difficulties but also the true happiness of a long distance relationship we would be more ready to decide in a good and rational way (no matter how much strong emotions play an important role in these cases) if we should or not continue a long distance relationship. We should always remember that every decision that we make is risky, but the risks that are not worthy are rare. Of course, in the end, nobody knows better than us if we should have tried or not. So, the final decision should always be clearly ours.

2 thoughts on “Long-distance relationships (should I stay or should I go?)

  1. I wish I had read this two years ago. While my long-distance relationship did work out well, it was such a difficult time then. It is nice to have a little something to refer to in order to work with, or around, the negatives and embrace the positives.

    Great post.

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