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Hot to Maintain a Long Distance Relationship: A process analysis paper.

By stinadancer Oct 10, 2006 1107 Words
Long distance relationships - Do they work? Many people will shudder and cringe at the mere thought of a relationship, such as this, where other people may openly laugh and scoff at such an idea. Your parents, your friends and even the clerk at the whole foods store has probably warned you about pursuing a long distance relationship. Long Distance relationships are certainly not for everyone but for some, they are a valuable method of keeping their love alive.

These types of relationships can be extremely hard. Not only is it difficult because you can't see or talk to your partner as frequently as usual, but practically everyone you meet will have a horror story about how an LDR failed for them. If you havent yet committed to a long distance relationship and are contemplating it, know that it is a huge commitment. Make sure that you really love the other person and that it's worth it for you to make it work. If you aren't completely committed to the relationship, things will fall apart surprisingly fast, which in turn will cause more heartache than it is worth.

Fortunately, there are ways to make the long distance relationship work. Whether your partner is deployed to a country many time zones away, or you are in your final years of medical school a couple states away, you CAN keep your relationship healthy. There are many things each of you can do to better manage the distance between you.

Depending on how far you live from your beloved, regular contact is feasible, and absence does make the heart grow fonder. Spending time away from your partner can grant you the knowledge of what your life would be without that other person, and teach you how to make the most of your time together. Obviously, long distance relationships are much easier when you have known the other person for a while. A couple that is suddenly parted after months or years of commitment will do better in the long distance setting than a new couple because there is more of a foundation from which to proceed. A new couple requires more physical proximity in the first few months of the relationship in order to establish boundaries and rhythm.

Regardless of the age of your relationship, before you are separated spend time together just talking over your expectations ( i.e., when you will talk, how often you will email each other, when you expect to be back together, etc.) This will keep you both on the same page, and not wondering about the essentials. An important part of this step is to not make promises you can't keep. When you are first parting, it is easy to make promises that aren't feasible because the rush of emotions is so strong. "I'll write every day" and "I'll fly up there twice a month" may not be realistic goals, and will eventually crumble the relationship. Instead, consider your schedule and that of your partners and work out how often you will be able to see one another. Focus on the future, a long distance relationship wont work forever. Make plans to live in the same city as soon as possible. Ambiguity about the future will add tension and doubt.

When dealing with a long distance relationship, you must have complete trust in yourself, trust in your partner, trust in the love that the two of you share, and trust that your partner is filled with the same feelings. Lacking trust will cause a breakdown of communication, suspicion, jealousy, and could very well spell disaster for your relationship. Trust is essential in any relationship, but all the more important in one such as this. Wikipedia suggests the following example:

Either party may be engaging in social activities which, under usual circumstances, could lead to the forming of a relationship. For example, one party may go out with friends or colleagues from work. These colleagues may very well include single persons interested in relationship. For them it may appear that the long-distance relationship is 'weak' and not substantially important. Hence the distance. It requires each partner to learn to trust the other to project the correct image and not be easily seduced by the behaviour that may be exhibited by 'interested' parties (Long).

In order to have trust you must also have honesty and respect. Being up front with your partner and not keeping secrets is very important; secrets have a bad habit of just slipping out and causing havoc at the worst of times. It's far better to just tell the truth, rather than having a lie, no matter how insignificant it may seem, come bite you in the butt. Ensure that your partner understands the need for complete honest and respect as well.

Communication is essential. In long distance relationship's it can be very difficult. Avoid fighting over small issues-with the communication barriers, these small things can turn into bigger fights. Agree to disagree when it looks like you aren't making any progress. In these types of relationships, you are bound to have feelings of uncertainty and doubt. Don't make any drastic changes unless you are absolutely positive that things aren't working. Threatening to break up every times you're going through a rough patch won't help the situation at all, particularly is you aren't serious about ending it. Do communicate honestly about problems that you are having with the long distance situation, but do it in a manner that is constructive and problem-solving.

There are many different ways available to communicate with each other, while being apart. The following list names the most common today:

Letters

Telephone Calls

E-Mail

Text messaging

Instant messaging

Sending gifts (e.g., flowers, scented clothes, chocolates)

Shared online activities

Shared offline activities (e.g., watching the same movie while talking on the phone) (Long).

For many, long distance relationships are a no-go but, sometimes, they prove to be the perfect answer. There are many more people than you think that are involved in long distance relationships. "Estimates suggest between 700,000 and one million people are in geographically separated marriages and an additional one to one-and-a-half million in long distane dating relationships. And these numbers don't include the hundreds of thousands in the Armed Forces"(Guldner 1). Long distance relationships can take their toll on everyone, but by planning for, and following through, you can make the relationship more manageable. You can easily keep your love alive and thriving, no matter what the distance. If you wish to retain your relationship across the miles, you may meet with a great deal of controversy but stick fast to your guns. If you can maintain a long distance relationship until the two of you are rejoined, it will be well worth the effort.

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