Long Distance Relationship ; Is it worth it?
In the past few years, I have come across a group of socialites both in the urban and the rural setting. Within these two groups of people, some maintained that long distance relationship #LDR is a menace whereas others contended that they enjoy the benefits that come with it.
This birthed a controversial stance between these people, the arguments were sustained by the premise which had a crossroad of choices; whether to qualify this type of relationship or to disqualify it. Each of them had genuine reasons as to why they either liked or disliked long distance relationship.
For those who didn’t, proposed that long distance relationship is a waste of time and resources. For example, in case you suspect or do not trust your partner, it would be very easy to end the relationship because sometimes you lack the best way to come to a resolution. And whereas this group didn’t approve of it, among them was a lady whom I think was in her early twenties who got my attention. She said that “I prefer a long-distance relationship because I get time to do everything I want.” She went ahead to state that she not only gets to do what she has to but the bond between her and her boyfriend has grown overtime. The latter got me scratching my head on how the bond between her and her boyfriend grew!
After the argument where everyone had their own view of the LDR, I pulled the young lady aside and asked her about the issue of bonding. At this, I saw a spark in her eyes before she replied. “We talked about this with my boyfriend and whenever I/him feels something is not right, we communicate! We do not give room for unnecessary doubt.”
When we look at statistics done in America, the percentage of youth who were 18 and above and were in a long-distance relationship rose from roughly 2.7 million to 3.9 million youths in the year 2000. However, frustratingly the survey did not ask any of those million youths why they were not together or why they preferred long distance relationships. To some extent this could be due to a countless number of reasons.
The long-distance relationships jumped from 19% to 24% from 2005 to 2013, the Pew researcher cautioned for those that used the internet or email to communicate. This researcher further on said that this was a decent increase but how decent was that when almost a quarter of the youth were in long distance relationships?!
However, from all these figures you can see how the youth were involved in LDR’s. This implies that they preferred the option. Moreover, when we talk of long-distance relationship most people take it that one of the partners maybe in Uganda and your significant other maybe say in America. However, to some people, even being districts apart is considered as LDR. This is because the distance between them limits the mutual meeting between them and can affect them in all ways.
In a study by Theresa Mascardo, founder of Exploring Therapy she says that ” if you are not going to be present when you’re on a call together, it is best to avoid it altogether. I agree to this because if you’re not ready for the call don’t just make the call because you have to, just don’t do it because it will save you a lot. Otherwise, if you insist on doing so and your partner feels it, it may end up widening the gap between you two. This is not what you want for them to feel, so make the call count and clear all the doubt. It will not cost you anything to be in the sanest mind to make it through.
Kelsey Borreson said in a study about how to deal with a long-distance relationship in a post she shared with The Huffington post and was later found, re-shared and re-posted by Danny Cruz in July, 2019, she says that there are a lot of ways on how to deal with it. She wrote this in a post she shared with Huffington Post where she works as a Relationship Editor. In this post, she said that what you have to do to keep the spark of a relationship then you have to do the following;
▪️Make sure to discuss with each other about what works for you. You can do video calls, text or talk
▪️Be there even when you can’t.
▪️Remind yourselves frequently about what you love about your relationship
▪️Find a way to hang out together and focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.
Overall, she centred at keeping it sparking and in case of anything that one needed clarity on, then the need to sit and talk about has to rise such that you sort it out.
So, I picked out a few of her many ways to keep the relationship. When you look at number two, you may not but to ask yourself how to make yourself available even when you can’t! All you have to do is to create a virtual image that that you are there with them. Create that link that can bridge the gap between you two. When you do that, am sure you will never regret. However, there are some people that say that communicating always sometimes becomes a burden, well, it does especially if you feel the relationship is nagging or tearing you apart. So, for this cause, many drop out saying they can’t keep it growing.
There are a number of factors that bring a broken relationship and here are some of them;
▪️In case one of you does not trust the other, it can trigger a broken relationship. Any slight mistake one does, can push further away the feeling of the other. And that’s because the ‘trust’ element has gone missing
▪️Poor communication! This is key in maintaining the relationship. No one would want to be in a dull relationship. You have to keep it sparking always but if you fail, then it won’t last.
There are other factors that can lead to a breakup in long distance relationships. So, in case you feel your relationship is breaking apart, find possible ways to sustain. Sit together, it may not be in person but you can do it virtually and solve it. Talk about the problem at hand and then focus on the positive aspects of the long distance between you.
According to Rebecca Leslie, a psychologist, she
says “every couple is different. Some find it helpful to have set times to talk while others may feel this is controlling a bit”. So, what works for you won’t work for the other. Here I give an example, I was in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend and we came to a resolution that whenever one of us wants to put forward something, we either text or call. And we found this appropriate.
In another study by Simone Ferriero, an illustrator, comic book artist who’s also in an LDR he says “keep in touch often but don’t overdo”. I agree with him somehow because some people when you do communicate with them all the time without giving them time to pause and think about what you had discussed in your previous chat. At times one just feels nagged and, in the process, they lose morale to be in the relationship hence a breakup. Here, I would suggest that if one of the couples feels that there’s too much communication as they may refer to it, then he/she should be open about it and tell their significant other, other than keeping quiet about it.
However, some people if left without communicating with them for a while, they may take this as an advantage and develop weird ideas that eventually become a reality. But in case they missed your call or they don’t reply/text back when they can, its best to give them a ‘benefit of doubt’
When you look back in the ancient days, the days where there was no telephone, couples used to communicate through letter writing and some could even go an extra mile to conclude with petty and provocative names like ” my beautiful bunny, my sunshine” So, such names would leave one wanting to hear more of these when they physically meet. This keeps each other in the moods for the relationship and thus keep it sparking. Also, letter writing meant that one would keep such memories as they anticipated to receiving more letters. It’s quite fun knowing that you will be receiving a letter in a couple of days, weeks or even months.
One may ask themselves whether in a long-distance relationship there will be intimacy between them! To this I strongly agree because couples who are miles and miles apart (this could be countries apart) tend to have a strong bond between them because in most cases distance makes the heart grow fonder as said by Kelsey K Peterson in a survey, she did that was produced in the Global Tides; Volume 8, Article 8, in 2014. Therefore, by the time they meet, the relationship works out better than those who are in the same geographical location. They have all the time to focus on the positive side of it and so focus on refreshing or resetting their emotions and this sparks an increase in quality of the relationship.
In a nutshell, I don’t believe in the saying that “out of sight, out of mind” unless if you have no sight of your lover in your mind. Thus, an indicator of a diminishing love. My take on LDR’S is that we should have a positive insight on it. No matter the distance, one can always stay in it and when the time is right, everything will turn out in their favour. No one is perfect but when you believe and trust that you can do it, then it’s possible. In short, I support LDR. It gives room to change and focus.
In general, what’s your take on long distance relationships?
Grace Tendo Katana is a Ugandan born writer and veterinary doctor. You can connect with her here:
Facebook @Grace Tendo
Email: [email protected]
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