- Gender and Relationships
Saving a Long Distance Relationship
Learn How To Start Saving a Long Distance Relationship
Hi, I'm Beverley Watts and I've been in a long distance relationship since 2006. I know a lot about saving a long distance relationship because mine very nearly bit the dust about 6 months after we started dating.
I originally met my husband Rob at work but unfortunately, not long after we got together, Rob's job took him to the other end of the country. Now although I'd known pretty much from day 1 that we'd probably have to spend a lot of time apart, the reality was actually very different from how I'd imagined it to be and once Rob left, our relationship gradually went downhill until we very nearly split up for good. We weren't communicating and blamed each other for the situation we were in.
Luckily we realized that the love between us was still there underneath all of the crap that had gotten in the way, and, although it wasn't easy and certainly didn't happen overnight, we managed to halt the slide and pull it back together and now we're married. We're still living apart - and that's a situation that is unlikely to change any time soon, so believe me, I really do know how important it is to get your long distance relationship right - and not only that, but continue to get it right.
So, after that (slightly long winded) introduction, I feel that it's safe for me to say that saving a long distance relationship really is something that I know quite a lot about and I really want all couples who are having problems with their long distance relationship to know that it really CAN work.
The following modules will look at the four stages that a long distance relationship will typically go through before it reaches the point of no return. You might find them a bit depressing, but take heart; we went through all of these stages before we learned how to make our long distance relationship work and reading about them will help you understand what is going on and how to begin to save your long distance relationship.
Saving a Long Distance Relationship: Elation and Determination
When you or your significant other are forced to move away for whatever reason, the chances are that neither will have any real idea how to make your long distance relationship work.
Initially you're both head over heels in love and, while you're sad at the idea of being apart, you are both determined that nothing will stop you from being together. You make all the usual promises to each other and for a while things are great. The problem is that the chances are you never got down to the nitty gritty reality of what it would actually be like to be hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, so you are not prepared for the loneliness that inevitably comes as part of a long distance relationship package.
The initial elation and determination to be together no matter what begins to fade slowly and inevitably, and that's usually when the insecurities start to set in.
Saving a Long Distance Relationship: Loneliness and Insecurity
After the initial elation and determination to be together fades, the loneliness and insecurities start to set in.
You begin wondering what your partner's up to. Perhaps they don't appear to be missing you as much as you're missing them; maybe they're not available to talk when you need to. If you're the one left behind you have the added knowledge that your lover has started a new job and of course you imagine them meeting lots of new people and having a really exciting time. Of course it's not always the person left behind who has the problems. In your relationship, maybe you're the one starting the new job and you don't know anybody. Perhaps you think of your partner back at home surrounded by friends and family and you wonder if they are missing you like you're missing them, or even if they're thinking of you at all. But whatever your situation, that feeling of insecurity is horrible and so soul destroying.
You want to talk to your partner but you're struggling to communicate because you're frightened of the potential fall-out; that if your lover knew how you really felt, then your relationship would end. At this point, actually saving a long distance relationship is not on your mind because the chances are that you are burying your head firmly in the sand, not realizing that by not talking to each other, your relationship is heading inexorably to the rocks.
Saving a Long Distance Relationship: Frustration And Anger
Eventually loneliness gives way to frustration. You're not getting what you want out of the relationship so you start to become resentful. Very often at this point it becomes all about you - what your lover wants doesn't seem to matter.
Slowly frustration begins to turn to anger. Everyone around you seems to be in a relationship in which they're surgically glued to one another's side. Your friends and family thinks you're crazy. They give you all kinds of well meaning advice; unfortunately, it's mostly negative!
Whether you recognize it or not, you are now both firmly at the point of needing to save your long distance relationship and, if neither of you take action, you will begin to lose all sense of actually being in a relationship at all and drift towards what I would consider to be the final stage in any long distance relationship break down - detachment.
One or both of you allow the resentment and frustration to get the better of you and slowly begin to withdraw into yourself. Your communication dwindles to almost non-existent and when you do speak, neither of you have anything to say.
Saving a Long Distance Relationship: Detachment And How To Stop It From Happening
Maybe at this point saving a long distance relationship seems almost impossible with everything seemingly working against you, but before you get on the phone and end it all, I want to say one final thing:
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT! (That's me shouting!)
Ask yourselves this question: Do you and your partner love each other?
If the answer to that question is 'yes' then, believe me your long distance relationship really can be saved if you're prepared to work at it.
But there really is a key secret to saving a long distance relationship and this secret was the single most important step to getting my relationship back on track and it can work for you too.