“I hate the stars because I look at the same ones as you do, without you.” – Anonymous
While all relationships pose their own challenges, long distance relationships seem to take more of a mental toll than the average. I love the quote above because I’ve been in my fair share of relationships where I’ve been separated from my love for long periods of time, and often would look up at the sky to remind myself that we’re both covered by the same canopy of celestial worlds. In a way, it was always comforting to think the world isn’t as large as it seems- both governed by the same scientific laws, both hurting by the nature of our hearts.
Embarking on a journey that places significant physical distance between you and your loved ones requires a dedication to communication, a strong healthy mindset, and a world of trust. These three things together, if executed properly, can not only save your relationship, but also a lot of heartache along the way. I’ll break it down for you further.
A healthy mindset needs to be established before hurling yourselves hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. I consider it the foundation upon which you will build the other two components, making it essential for a healthy and stable transition. Both parties in the relationship need to completely understand each other’s situation, and this part of the process is going to force you to be brutally honest. You’ll both have to outline the type of relationship you will keep, as well as outline your goals and expectations for the future. Don’t move on to the next step until you both fully understand the situation
Trust is what ultimately bonds us together, and the lack there-of can be traced back as possibly the number one culprit in failed relationships. A lack of trust in the person you’re dating can create a long and treturous road for your journey apart, mentally eating away at you and usually resulting in wild accusations and eventually breakup. While some couples have been known to bounce back from trust issues, the majority that I have seen suffer dire consequences. Building a strong bond on trust starts with a healthy mindset and is fueled by adequate communication.
A dedication to adequate communication can strengthen your trust and help reinforce the healthy mindset you spent so much time preparing before your departure. Keeping the communication lines open, by any means necessary, can help expell any doubts you may be feeling about your relationship and aid your significant other in feeling as though you are keeping them involved as a major priority in your life. I highly suggest making a connection at least once per day by either phone, text messages, or e-mail, while focusing on an extensive phone call at least once per week. When you’re apart for so long, sometimes just hearing the person’s voice is enough to put your mind at ease. Keep each other involved in your lives, send pictures of things you think they may like. The idea here is to never skip a beat and to let them know they’ve never left your mind.
While these three things may take some of the strain off your long distance relationship, it’s important to remember that no matter what, this is going to be one of the hardest things you attempt in your life. Stay calm. Stay focused, and relish in the idea of enduring a new, fun, and challenging experience with your love. If you can accomplish this, you can accomplish anything.
(Photo curtesy of http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/anna%20ristuccia)