While watching Drew Barrymore’s quite recent movie Going the distance (yip, about long-distance relationships) on a flight to Europe to see someone special, I realised I was in the same dilemma… As much as you like or love the person, it really is excruciating to know they’re on the other side of the world.
No hugs on a bad day. No telling you “You’re beautiful” with your new dress. No morning kiss. No making love spontaneously on a lunch-break.
And yet, it was the happiest I’d ever been. Those physical things didn’t matter that much anymore. In past relationships, I would quickly get bored of holding hands, going to the movies and the dreaded fighting (inevitable when you’re around each other 24/7). Here, I had the ability to grow and heal as an individual and yet feel attractive, as someone incredible felt (hopefully) the same way about me.
I had friends who from the start against it: “Long distance doesn’t work!” “Guys can’t be faithful!” “Don’t get attached…You’ll get burnt.” “How the hell do you keep each other satisfied?” “You can’t trust someone if you can’t see them.”
It was hard. But, trust was the most important factor. Not necessarily trusting the other person, but trusting myself not to become paranoid or disillusioned. There may be dozens of people close to you that think you’re nuts, but in the long-run you’ve got to ask yourself: Where is this going? Does he/ she want the same things?
In the end, as a wise friend told me, it is ONLY between you and him/ her.
There are over 6 billion people on Earth and, yet, out of the 5000 I had maybe met, this particular person stood out. I wasn’t looking for anyone at the time. I was just enjoying my family and friends.
Modern technology has ensured that millions of people meet online and find the right one through cyber-dating. Some keep it alive through sexting. Others keep the spontaneity going through romantic letters, poems or photos.
When someone means a lot to you, you’ll be surprised what gifts you suddenly possess. I realised I loved writing to him… Beautiful letters. I would write him a poem or something in his mother-tongue and decorate it diligently. Each page (and there were sometimes six of them) took at least two hours to make. He was worth it… And to see his smile on the webcam weeks later with the letter in hand reminded me what it was all for.
Yes, I miss him a lot… If I see something he’d like (like a beautiful sunset), I take a picture and send it via MMS. Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, for Facebook chat and Skype for making it almost real. I remember him blowing out a candle I was holding on his birthday.
Some tips for those in long-distance:
- Use your imagination! Write him/ her a letter or song. Order flowers through an online site. Go see him/ her.
- Share! Like any ordinary couple, share your favourite movies/ TV series/ YouTube clip. It helps you to bond…
- Communicate! If you’re feeling down, rather tell him/ her before you feel worse. Don’t focus on the separation. Focus on the individual (what makes them special).
- Respect! If you’re Facebook friends, try to avoid cyberstalking. Often, people misinterpret things online. Online jealousy (not necessarily online/ cyber cheating) is one of the most common reasons to divorce.
- Believe! If you believe this is the right person, then you need to have enough internal magic (spontaneity/ passion/ humour) to keep it going.
- Compromise! One of you will one day have to make a life-changing decision to move closer. After all, some memories are too special not to share in person.
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