|Long-Distance Relationships Made Easy|
by Yesenia Garibay
As if relationships weren't complicated enough, having them across a long distance is extremely challenging. Long-distance relationships are not for everyone. However, throughout time couples have had to be miles apart, yet they have been able to maintain a solid, happy, successful relationship until they could be together again. In order to prosper in a long-distance relationship, some key elements are necessary: solid trust, demonstrated commitment, and effective communication.
Solid trust is the basis of any relationship, but even more in long distance relationships. Trust involves risk and also forms the foundation of any great relationship. Trust not only means learning to trust others, but its also learning how to trust oneself-especially if there have been difficult relationships in the past. Trust is formed by telling the truth and by being honest, no matter how painful it might be to tell the truth. Dwelling on the past or fearing the future will not heal the pain of a long-distance relationship.
My boyfriend and I have been together for thirteen months now, three of which have been long-distance ones. Every couple must look at where they are at the present time and learn to take advantage of the days that they are together. Worrying about past relationships or questioning where the current relationship is going in the future will cost the opportunity to be in the moment with oneself and one's partner.
Demonstrated commitment is the basis of all relationships, but especially long-distance ones. In any relationship, both need to make a commitment. What kind of commitment, and how serious or frivolous it is, will be different for different couples. However, both people should show that they are committed to the relationship by discussing their future plans together.
Another way of showing commitment is by staying monogamous. To be committed to the act of loving means that either one or the other could get hurt by getting into a potentially risky situation. Then again, committing to another person also brings another kind of risk: getting stuck in a relationship that might be regretted later. For that reason, any relationship also needs communication.
In order for a long-distance relationship to even exist, the couple should be able to communicate. Effective communication involves not only seeing each other, but also using the phone, e-mailing, chatting, or writing. Both parties need to be able to feel that if they need to talk or write to the other person, communication will be welcomed and met from the other. Connecting through such communication is the "glue" to any relationship. Without communication, any relationship will deteriorate. The relationship with my boyfriend has lasted through these last thirteen months because of our communication. I went to Atlanta for my summer vacation, yet I managed to maintain my relationship with my boyfriend. We e-mailed and phoned each other every day, even if it was just to say "hi." Little things like a short e-mail or a voicemail make a big difference.
Established commitment, useful communication, and genuine trust are the key elements to any successful long-distance relationship. Using these different elements in a relationship should make dealing with a long-distance relationship easier for both people. Without these key elements, relationships might endure, but they may not be healthy or fulfilling ones.