‘Distance means so little when someone means so much’.
Long distance relationships are certainly different from those relationships where couples are living together.
These relationships can also leave you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Unlike a regular relationship, there’s a lack of opportunity to make up after a fight with just a hug or find solace in other things which are comfortable to you and your partner. There are fewer ways to express emotions that one may feel towards a partner, most of the time limited to virtual.
It is then safe to say that long distance relationships come with a set of completely different problems.
Some of the common long distance relationship issues are:
1. Feeling Insecure
We all feel insecure about our relationships and it is quite normal to feel this way. There are also times when we might feel threatened or inadequate, wondering what your loved one might be doing in your absence.
However, when insecurity starts staying for a long period of time and becomes chronic it can pose a serious problem for your relationship and take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being. The actions that result from insecurity such as constantly checking up on your partner, constantly asking for reassurance, etc can make you less respectful of your partner’s boundaries.
Hence, here are some ways to fix insecurity in a long-distance relationship.:
- Tell your partner how you’re feeling and what it is that you’re worried about. This is an authentic and good communication, and gives your partner a chance to respond and reassure you, and get to know you better.
- However, if deep insecurity is something you suffer from, you can try the following small steps to eliminate this feeling.
- Build your self esteem
- Develop trust in yourself
- Keep your independence
Misunderstandings and miscommunications happen ever so frequently when you are sharing your life with someone over the phone or Whatsapp.
When you’re in a long-distance relationship it is much harder to interpret nonverbal cues like gestures, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, and even voice tone. It’s very easy to misjudge when someone is being sarcastic, or joking. This makes effective communication that much harder.
How to fix this?
A simple solution to resolve this issue would be to ask your partner what they meant by the thing they said. Often, a simple explanation from them can go a very long way in clearing any doubts or misunderstandings that might have occurred in communication. Even if it doesn’t, taking time to pause, ask for clarification and reflect will help you respond thoughtfully rather than just react.
Feeling a little jealous is not unusual especially when you are in a long-distance relationship separated from your loved one. A normal amount of jealousy can spark appreciation for your partner and help build a new level of attraction for them.
However, it should be noted that uncontrolled jealousy can lead to a destructive combination of suspicion, guilt, possessiveness, insecurity, anger, and shame.
Following few steps might prove to be helpful and eliminate your feelings of jealousy –
- Ask yourself why you are feeling jealous (What sorts of situations or moments are arousing your jealousy? Are there specific things that your partner is doing or not doing that is feeding your jealousy? Is your jealousy a general problem, or are your jealous feelings focused on specific situations or one particular person?
- Talk with your partner (Don’t start with accusations, Own your feelings, Tell your partner how they could help you, Ask for their help)
- Put a leash on your imagination (Remind yourself of all the ways your partner has proven trustworthy in the past, Stop comparing, Shift your focus)
4. Growing Apart
If your partner is far away, you might feel like some aspects of your relationship have slowed down. However, your life should still continue. You mustn’t stop learning and growing and changing. You are both accumulating experiences and some of these experiences might even change you.
If you somehow feel you are drifting away from your partner, here are some simple solutions to follow:
- Both agreeing that you want the distance to be temporary, and having a close-the-gap goal in mind.
- Regular visits in both directions
- Maintain good, regular communication and find a way to continue to learn new things and grow closer together even while you’re far apart.
- Having regular couple time and doing activities that you like together.
5. Needing them to respond to you immediately
Very often when you are in a long-distance relationship you expect your partner to reply to you immediately. For some of us this becomes a pattern, a habit, or a need. We start to expect and need them to pick up the phone every time we call, and answer every text or email straight away.
If you often feel this way, you might want to ask yourself the following questions for reflection –
- Do you get the sense that your partner is not responding to you as quickly as you’d like sometimes because they’re genuinely busy or they need some time alone?
- Or are they routinely blowing you off and leaving you in limbo for long periods of time?
- Are your hopes and expectations about response time reasonable? And are they coming mostly from your genuine excitement to connect with your loved one, or are they often coming from a place of needing the contact and reassurance that they are interested in you to feel happy?
In the end, every relationship has challenges–whether long distance or not. Long-distance relationships can be completely worth it and not impossible to maintain. It is subjective to the two people in the relationship and how much effort they are willing to invest into their relationship.