by: Fiona Cheong
Long distance relationships aren’t for everyone. Having walked this path myself, I have come to realize that it definitely takes a fair amount of effort for both parties to keep the spark alive.
If you are someone who values physical closeness over emotional connection, and feel the need to spend copious amounts of time engaging in activities with your partner as opposed to having intense, meaningful conversations, then this route would likely be a challenging one to take.
However, if you welcome the opportunity of having more space to pursue your dreams and passions, whilst having the knowledge that someone (on the other side of the world) is probably ‘the one’ for you, then this might very well bear fruit in the long term.
Undoubtedly there are many pros and cons of pursuing such ventures, as you would probably have heard from some of your friends who have walked this path less traveled. Here’s a snapshot of some of the more common revelations:
Space to pursue your individual passions and develop your career
Gone are the days where you feel obliged to keep to a schedule of meeting your boyfriend thrice a week. You now have the liberty (and space) to fully utilize your time to pursue your interests and develop your career. No more guilt trips for working those overtime hours and being late for dates!
Intensify the emotional bond
Because of the time you spend apart, the primary form of interaction that the both of you will engage in is likely to be phone, video, or text conversations. As time passes and you learn more about one another, the chances of confusing infatuation with love are significantly lower. As such, you have a higher assurance that the attraction is true and sustainable.
You learn to appreciate the precious moments you have together and not take things for granted
Quality over quantity. Remember those times where you feel obliged to meet your boyfriend even though you’d rather be doing something else?
These moments of togetherness will seem all the more precious and intense now that you both know there is a time limit placed on the moments that you two have together.
Conflicts or misunderstandings are much harder to resolve
Nothing beats face-to-face communication. Even with modern technology, can you imagine if your love simply refuses to take your calls or answer your text messages? Bearing in mind that you both are continents/hours apart, what are you to do then?
The I-miss-you-so-much syndrome
There will be (many) times where bouts of loneliness hit you and send you reeling into an emotional frenzy. More often than not, this is more prevalent during the night after you begin to unwind from the day’s activities. It is then that thoughts of ‘if only s/he was here’, and/or a horrible sense of emptiness will creep into the very essence of your soul.
You can’t be there for one another in times of adversity and needs
While it is possible to plan trips in advance, it is simply not the same as being able to arrive within a lead time of minutes. In this case, proper organizational skills will definitely come in handy, not to mention the ability to be understanding and patient.
Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
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