Every relationship has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. But a long distance relationship has to bear the additional burden of physical separation over long stretches of time. When two people in love are unable to be around each other physically, it leaves the relationship open to attacks of emotional and physical loneliness. Here are then a few questions which will you come at a decision about your long distance relationship – whether to work at it or move on.
Are you emotionally secure?
If you are insecure about the people your partner is meeting away while living from you, then it is a sign that you are not emotionally mature enough for a long distance relationship. If you keep nagging your partner about the fact that how miserable it is for the two of you and how the other couples have it so well, it is bound to upset him or her that you feel so miserable about the relationship. Taken to an extreme your insecurity might lead to you make allegations of infidelity. Once the seeds of suspicion have been planted in your relationship, it is the beginning of the end. If you are suspicious of your partner’s co-workers, friends, flat mates and other social acquaintances, it means that you do not trust your partner wholeheartedly. Worse still, if you charge your partner with being unfaithful to you without any concrete evidence, it means that the faith in your relationship has gone and every relationship –long distance or not – is bound to collapse without the foundation stone of trust. To take your mind away from your insecurities and potential for jealousy, look at the positive sides to a long distance relationship and take heart that a meeting after period of absence will be that much sweeter.
How well do you communicate?
Communication is key to a successful relationship of any kind – at the workplace, in your family or with a lover – but in one where the partners are separated by physical distance, it is crucial for its very survival. If you and your partner are going to remain a couple across distances, it is imperative that you are able to communicate with each other effectively. This is much more than asking your partner about his/her day or texting him/her a joke. It includes having a meaningful exchange of thoughts, feelings, hopes and anxieties which may or may not be directly related to the relationship but is bound to hold you together despite distances. And these days, technology has made communication far easier than it used be. Keep in touch with each other by phone, email and text messages. Pick up your partner’s phone calls even if it is to say that you’ll be calling back. A good way of bridging the distance just a little is to use a web cam since this offers a way to visually communicate with each other in real time.
Also communicating serves the purpose of keeping each other in the loop. When the two of you are living separately, it is easy to fall into the habit of taking decisions on your own. But take care to involve you partner in matters where you both are concerned. For instance, ask your lover what he or she thinks of a Caribbean cruise the next time you can be together. Or inform your partner before you make any changes to a joint bank or credit card account.
Are you willing to go an extra mile?
It is a fact that every relationship needs to be nurtured in order to blossom, but in a long distance relationship it is especially crucial that you put in that extra bit of effort to keep it going. Be creative in coming up with romantic ideas to spice up your relationship even if it is separated by distance. For instance if a special occasion like a birthday or valentine’s day is coming up when you are going to be apart, plan a Skype ‘date’ when you can see and talk to each other as you cut a cake. A far easier option is to send each other flowers other gifts through online shopping portals or send home-made treats and cookies by special delivery. On the other hand if all seems too much work, you will probably end up going out to a bar – either by yourself or with friends – and perhaps be tempted to hook up with someone else.
Are you willing to give each other space?
While it is important to be involved in your partner’s life, too much intrusion can make your long distance partner defensive and ultimately lose interest in the relationship. It is alright till the point you ask your partner about his plans for Saturday night. But once you start calling them up on the said evening and checking whether they are actually with the people they said they’ll be with, your partner is likely to miffed by your interference and even upset at the implication that you don’t trust them to tell the truth. This kind of intrusion is most usual when you are already in the grip of insecurity and fear losing your partner. But asking them repeatedly where they are and who they are meeting this evening is hardly the right way to go about coping with your fears. Every relationship –requires that two individuals give each other enough space to grow and the same is true for a long distance one too. Unless you respect this, your partner may find it difficult to be in a relationship where you are virtually breathing down his/her neck.
How do you resolve conflicts?
All relationships have their own share of disagreements – and a long distance one is especially vulnerable to issues like trust, jealousy and loneliness. The thing however is to make efforts to resolve what is bothering you instead of sweeping things under the carpet or pretend that it is not there. In fact sometimes it is even better to thrash out issues but here a couple should know how to fight right and according to certain rules. Instead if you and your partner end up taking recourse to personal attacks and emotional blackmails, then a relationship as complex as a long distance one is not for you.
Finally, do you talk about your relationship with your partner?
There is no dearth of pessimists who are ready to write off long distance relationships as impractical and thus impossible to maintain. If you believe all that critics say, you will always feel haunted by its risks – both imagined and real – until it will actually destroy your relationship. On the other hand if you talk about your relationship in a positive way with your partner, it shows that you have faith and indicates greater chances of success. As yet you may not share exactly the same priorities – like how many kids to have - but you probably find yourselves discussing if either of you can travel to the other’s location for the holiday season and what you would like to do when you meet. If both you are your long distance partner are talking about such things and even trying to merge your priorities, it is definitely an indication that you are on your way to making things work out.