That’s pretty much the reaction you will get from the people close to you, whether it be family members or close friends, whether it be male or female. And your response to that will most likely be: “don’t worry, I know what I am doing.” Then time passes and you get to understand that one: you didn’t really know what you were getting yourself into, and two: your friends were right. That’s not saying that it is impossible for a long distance relationship to work. The factors and circumstances vary in every situation and thus the outcome. However, it is safe to say that the idea of a long distance relationship doesn’t usually end in happily ever after.
To put it lightly, being in a long distance relationship has many challenges. For starters, you don’t really plan on being in such a relationship, as a matter of fact, you probably swore you would never be in one – ever! Until one day comes and you find yourself in it. The irony of saying the words “never, ever”. And so you are being faced with tough choices. Usually, the reason you have to be apart is due to work opportunities. You may be in a relationship with someone for months or even years and all of a sudden, one of you must leave the country for a job that you would be crazy to pass on. So you convince yourselves that distance will not separate you and it will not ruin what you have built. You promise you will work hard to maintain it because this relationship means everything to you; this person means everything to you. So you go, and you feel you can conquer anything that will come your way. You are determined to keep this relationship alive. You may even set goals and put deadlines on your return, or even the possibility of being together and starting a new life once you get settled in the new country you are moving to. You are very optimistic and you are thinking of all the possible solutions. One thing you will not do, is give up or let this go. No way, No.
However, there are cases where it was just coincidence you met, let’s say on a vacation, and you like each other a lot. The short time you spent together bonded you on a level where you felt there is potential for something more meaningful. Sadly, time is working against you; you will both go back to your countries. You didn’t have enough of each other. You feel you are being pulled away and everything in you, wants you to hold on. How will this ever work? So you decide to visit each other as often as you can, to stay in touch and communicate daily. You promise you will make the effort and you assure each other you have deep feelings and you will make this work somehow.
Time goes on and in the beginning, you are both making the effort to communicate by any means possible. The Internet allows you to hear each other, see each other and message each other. It allows you to send pictures and videos to the other person to see on their own time. So the communication methods are countless. You use all those methods to keep the fire alive. If it’s possible for you to travel to see one another, even better. So you do all that. You have blissful times together and you are more convinced that: “it’s not so bad after all.” Inevitably, things start to change and the honeymoon stage fades away. The calling becomes less and less. Days might pass without even one message. It’s becoming more difficult to have one conversation without arguing about something; important or not. You are becoming more defensive and you are questioning the other person’s loyalty and interest in the relationship all together. You wonder if they are cheating on you? Your mind tells you it’s natural if they do since you are not able to give them what they need. You may excuse them for it or may be furious with the idea. The result; your thoughts and emotions are all over the place. You don’t know what to do anymore. The time it takes to reach that point varies. It could take weeks, months, and possibly years. If your case is the one where you knew each other for a long time and you had a strong relationship before you parted; it will most likely take one plus years for things to go downhill. If your case is the one where you met for short time then tried to build a relation, it will not take more than a couple of months before things go really bad.
The reason why it takes longer for an already established relation to last, versus a new found relationship; is because the couple know each other well. They got to understand each other, know what they need, what makes them happy, what upsets them, what their favorite thing is, etc…. all the things we need to know about our partner really. Their is also a level of commitment between the couple. There has been previous discussions about their future and the potential of marriage. You can’t throw all that away very easily. Even distance cannot erase the love you have. You have a lot of memories together and that alone keeps you going. On the other hand, when you met just for few days, how much could you have learned about each other? No matter how intense your connection was, these things need time for you to know and understand. You cannot know someone fully in a couple of days. As a matter of fact, we never really know someone fully. We learn about our partners everyday; it may take us our whole lifetime.
So how can a relationship get stronger and be built on proper foundation when you are not physically together to experience life, to see how a person behaves and deals with certain situations. To see them in their natural state, to read their body language, to look into their eyes and know how they feel. People don’t behave the same way when they are apart – as when they are together. You take into consideration you don’t get the chance to see them or talk to them often because of your conflicting schedules and job timings. So when you do meet online or chat over the phone, you may hold back from reacting in certain ways not to rock the boat, you may be more affectionate simply because they haven’t been around you for a while. You may come across as very understanding and easy going when meanwhile, it’s eating you alive as you listen to how your partner is going out with her/his colleagues drinking and having fun and sleep overs. Conclusion: you are not being real. You are not portraying who you really are. And that gives a misconception to the other person, allowing them to get deeper feelings, thinking they found the person of their dreams, when in reality, if you were to be together, you would show exactly how you really feel and object more freely to the things you don’t like. This long distance relationship is doomed and an explosion is bound to happen one day or another. Because a person can hide who they are or what they truly feel only for so long.
In contrary to the type of person who held back what he/she felt because they didn’t want to create arguments, the other type may be over dramatic and may find themselves fighting almost over everything. You may find yourself in a long distance relationship where you are doing most of the work to keep it going, you take a lot of shit from them and give them the excuse “it’s my fault because I am the one who left and put us in this position.” Or you might think: “it’s hard on them to handle being away for so long” and many other silly excuses you give them. So hold on a second, it’s hard on them and it’s not hard on you?? It’s your fault for pursuing a better opportunity that might benefit the two of you in the long run?? Give me a break. And why are you taking all this abuse? And why are you the one making the effort to hold on?? What are you holding on to??
The way I see it, if both want to hold on and both love each other equally, the efforts made will be also equal. And there will be no blame game or guilty talk. It’s hard on both. And if there is a will, there is a way. So you have a choice, be in it and work hard it because you believe in your relationship and in each other, or end it. Yes, finish it for God’s sake and stop torturing each other. Stop with the accusations if your trust has been shaken. Stop with your suspicion and jealousy with their every move and every contact with someone if you are unable to believe in what you have together. Don’t take out your insecurities on the other person, that’s your problem; not theirs. Stop with the dreams and get with reality, if it will never be possible for you to be in the same country again to work on your future. Love is not everything for this relationship to grow, you need a lot more than that. So Just stop this long distance relationship if you are not able to deal with it. It’s better to set the other person free if you can’t make them happy while under these tough circumstances. No one can blame you if you were honest and said: “I can’t do this anymore”. If you truly love them, you will do the selfless thing and let them go be happy without you. Let them live their life again, let them find happiness and love with someone else. Someone that might be able to give them what they need.
So is it crazy being in a long distance relationship? Hell yeah. Is it possible it could work? Also Hell yeah. It’s up to the couple involved to make it work, but they must know what they are getting into and what they are about to face. If the long distance situation was a temporary thing, then definitely it can live to tell the tale. However, if it’s an indefinite thing, then good luck keeping it alive. You must be dreaming if you think it will last!!