Long distance relationships: 8 ups and downs to consider

  • Simran Mangharam, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Dec 22, 2014 15:50 IST

A dark cloud of gloom automatically descends when one considers the idea of a long distant relationship. Most people gawk at the idea of staying in one because they see no point in pursuing a relationship across continents and time zones, and its little wonder that long distance relationships get a bad rap.

Kiran, an interior designer, who’s managed to weather the storm over a year recommends it. “If you are genuinely committed to each other, and are willing to invest the time and effort, you will find a way to work out. It’s not going to be smooth sailing always, but once you manage to find that balance, it will be worth it.”

However, Nisha, a business development manager, disagrees. She says, “You don’t get to share quality time, and get to know what makes that person tick when you’re new to the relationship. Also, the dynamics in the relationship change because many nuances in communication tend to get lost as opposed to when it’s face to face.”

Contemplating a long distance relationship? Here are some factors to keep in mind.

The Ups
1 You cherish your moments together: When you’ll make travel plans together, you tend not to take your time and your significant other for granted. Instead, you’ll make a conscious effort to live in the present when you’ll are together, and make the most of it in that short period of time.

2 Yay for Technology: Thanks to Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and other social media, technology has been a virtual miracle healer of connection and communication. And if you want to go old-school, rev up the romance with a handwritten letter, postcard or even a note.

3 I, me and myself: When your significant other is miles away, this me-time you get is an incredible opportunity to learn something new about yourself. What better way to explore your interests or pursue an activity that you’ve been meaning to do, but never really got around to doing so earlier.

4 Goodie Bags: Like they say, it’s the little things that matter. Send your beloved a few of his or her favourite things for no particular reason. “Since I’m not there in person, I send gifts to make up for the absence,” adds Nisha.

The Downs
1 Expensive: Be prepared for a significant dent in your wallet. Your phone and internet bills will be astronomical, not to mention your travel and courier expenses’. Says Nisha, “I had an inkling that it would be an expensive proposition, but the enormity of it hit me when I received my first bill.”

2 Nay for Technology: You are only as good as your internet connection. From dodgy Skype connections to unsuspecting viruses, technology can and will make your life miserable at the most inopportune time.

3 Green-eyed monster: When you’ll are apart, insecurity and jealousy will rear its head at some given point coupled with self-doubt and suspicion. This means more fights and accusations, and less conversation. Not a fun combination at all.

4 Vulnerability: Both big and small moments are lost when you are unable to share it with the person you love, and as a result you end up substituting with the people that are currently present. These people can become a liability in the long run, and makes matter worse.

Ultimately, it takes two to tango to make a long-distance work. The question remains: Are you willing?

Simran Mangharam - The writer is an expert on relationships and co-founder of Floh.in, a curated network that connects singles in real life

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