Q: I met my partner when she was in school. I was her home tutor for Math. We started dating when she completed high school. I was then in my last year of college. Now, a year later, I am doing my MBA. And we live in different cities. We talk less and get to see each other three to four times a year. The distance is growing on us. How do I bridge the gap?
Dear Rajesh, long distance relationships (LDRs) are hard. I understand what anxiety-ridden time we go through, romantically speaking, in arrangements such as these. Emotional, romantic and sexual frustration can make it hard for us to think straight.
Compared to the olden days, long distance relationships might be easier for some of us today, because technology helps us keep in touch, albeit virtually. Do keep a few rules in mind for a long distance relationship to work and to bridge the communication gap.
First ask yourself some really tough questions. How much you really want this relationship? How much do you love the other person? Would you ever resent them if you had to give up your life, in the near future, to go to where they are or a third place altogether, from your current city? What all are at stake; career, family life and social life? Both of you should ask these questions to yourselves, and answer them in the privacy of your own minds. No one else can answer these questions for you.
If the answer to the above question says continue the relationship, then actively discuss the probable and future date of bridging the distance. When will we start living with each other? Working towards it and achieving it gives people the strength and motivation to deal with the tough times that are a part of LDRs.
While the relationship is still long distance, try and develop some rational coping mechanisms to deal with the distance and the lack of real-time communication. For example, learn not to take things personally, set up flexible timings to talk to each other during the week, and on weekends, regularly visit each other. I would suggest the economically stable partner take more initiative in this regard.
I am sure you will find strength in the knowledge of how much you want it. For that you both have to know yourselves better. I wish you all the best.