Here’s How You Can Be In A Healthy Long Distance Relationship

Addressing some simple issues can keep your long distance relationship going strong

Here’s How You Can Be In A Healthy Long Distance Relationship
Image Credit: Unsplash

By Sonal Sonawani

A couple that had been in a relationship for 4 years, was now going to be separated. The girl was going to UK for her higher education. The boy had to stay back in India to be in his job and keep working. It was evident that the two loved each other and were dreading this time apart. She was going to be away for 2 years and that was a long time! They were scared, sad and desperate to make their relationship work. After 2 years, she came back to India, their relationship, untarnished, and they even dated for a year before finally tying the knot. So, what kept them together despite the distance?

Here’s what they followed before, during and after their time apart from each other. May be you can follow this too…

Every relationship has a weak link. While there are several factors that keep two people together, and strengthen their relationship, there are a few aspects which might magnify in the absence of your partner, leading to turbulence in the relationship.

Possessiveness, dependency, different goals in life, are major factors that impact a long distance relationship.

Dealing With Possessiveness

You can never keep your partner emotionally to you
You can never keep your partner emotionally to you

Image Credit: Twitter

A very debilitating fear is that of your partner finding someone else while you are not present. Keeping an eye on them, constantly pestering them, asking about every detail of the day, wanting constant reassurance of their love for you, might be a few examples of how you behave when you are possessive about your partner. When this happens, it questions the basic principle of TRUST in a relationship. Believe me, if your partner had to cheat on you, they would, regardless of your physical presence in their life. Physical cheating is less harmful than emotional cheating. Your partner will only find emotional solace in someone else, especially in your absence, if you fail to provide the same. Your partner needs to trust you to not overreact when they tell you the truth.

For example, when your partner tells you that they are going out for a party with friends, the first fear you can feel is that of them encountering someone and being physically involved with them. Now, due to this fear, you might get angry and fight with your partner. Imagine, your partner still goes out with the mindset and a comprehension that “He/she doesn’t trust me. Am I not trustworthy? I don’t want this.” This leaves your partner confused, failing to understand the fear behind your anger. If they meet someone in that state of mind, they just want to escape the irritation and annoyance, thus looking for solace in someone else.

Therefore, it is you, who made your worst fear come true. Deal with your possessiveness by understanding a simple fact: Your partner is in a different location, away from you. They are dealing with adjustments that come with not being around you. They are seeking familiarity when it comes to connecting with someone. If they seek it and find it with you, there is very little chance they will go out and seek it somewhere else. In case, they seek solace elsewhere, well, you need to decide your own worth and choose to either accept or move on from the relationship. If a little distance can create this desire to be with someone else within your partner, then you can imagine how future difficult life situations would make them react. You can believe me, that this is better concluded now, than later. So why behave possessive? Why invite this negativity in your life?

Dealing With Dependency

When your partner moves away, fears of them not being there to support you start arising
When your partner moves away, fears of them not being there to support you start arising

Image Credit: Pixabay

Your partner no being around you is going to leave you with a vacuum. You were emotionally and physically dependent on him/her. A lot of times, when someone moves away, we automatically think that they are not going to be able to support you emotionally and mentally. You are forgetting, that as long as they are alive, they are still very much there for you. True, they may not come running to you, but you have not lost their support.

If you have a dependent personality, a long distance relationship is the best thing that can happen to you. You will need to learn to be more self sufficient and independent. You bring out the best in you, and offer that to your partner when they return, rather than the same old dependent self, that hasn’t grown or evolved with time.

The important thing to remember is that you and your partner, may be in a relationship, however, you two are still separate individuals who have their own life journeys to fulfill. Let them go, learn to focus on your own capability and to rely on it. Do not forget, you were doing just fine even before your partner entered your life, and you will continue to do fine even in their absence.

Dealing With Different Life Goals

Different life goals need to be met midway by both partners
Different life goals need to be met midway by both partners

Image Credit: thoughtsofawomanrevealed

So your long distance term to end, seems to be taking a bit more time than required. Your life goals are important, just the way your partner’s are. However, if your life goals make one of you stay in a different location for a longer time than anticipated, you always have a choice to figure out how you can achieve your goals at the location your partner is at. Here, you will need to PRIORITIZE the comfort of your location versus your relationship. A lot many couples I know have fulfilled their ambitions while being at their partner’s choice of location. One of you, may have to adjust to the same.

The important point is how you both can make this work, together.

Stay in touch as much as you can, by finding a suitable time where you both can be in different time zones and yet stay connected. Play online games together, that can help you stay connected with each other, even if one is offline. Write mails to each other, regularly, rather than expecting a chat for hours. Send a memento with your partner to feel connected.

Regular fights are normal in a long distance, especially because there is a constant craving of the person’s presence. Them having fun without you, can even make you feel jealous at times. Look at the bigger picture here. These little incidents do not matter as much as your relationship in the long run.

The couple, went through a transformative process to rid themselves of these psychological dependencies and possessiveness. They had to establish a firm trust between themselves, by being transparent with each other, without fearing the negative consequences of telling the truth. They stayed connected despite the distance. Most importantly, they broke down the long duration into small parts. How you can do that is keep short term reunions. A big night date/day date on a weekend, every month, where they did everything they would do on a date, except, on a video call, instead of an actual face to face situation. This every month routine, really helped them minimise the distance and the time duration in their minds, thereby, keeping them more involved with each other throughout. They resolved their fights immediately, without allowing the issues to lurk around for a long period of time.

If you can deal with these inner experiences and bring about a change within you by following these simple steps, your long distance relationship can contribute a lot to the both of you. It is a two way process, ultimately. You and your partner, both need to work on these issues that may arise in a long distance. It is a boon, to grow as two individuals, give each other space and yet feel connected. So, make the most of your distance while it lasts, because clearly, the relationship is going to last longer than the distance.

Sonal Sonawani
Sonal Sonawani is a Psychologist by profession. She is an expert at dealing with depression, anxiety and relationships since over 7 years. She is an International Affiliate with the American Psychological Association (APA). Her vision is to help couples build a strong relationship, along with suicide prevention in young adults. She is the Founder of Cedar, which works relentlessly to achieve this vision.