Long distance relationship problems
We get a lot of questions about long distance relationship problems, let’s try to digest what should a couple do in order to stay together. Proximity to a partner is central to romantic love. It intensifies the emotional closeness, and makes the thought of distance unbearable. However, in view of the autonomy of every lover, a certain distance must be maintained even among the greatest lovers. In this article I will try to examine what is the nature of this distance, and is it really unbearable?
Proximity in time: Do you always want to be with the one you love?
“You miss the sun, only when it starts to snow; you know you love it, only when you let it go.” Passenger band
Many love songs deal with the lover’s wish to be with his beloved “always” and “all the time”. This wish expresses two different desires: the desire to be with the beloved all our lives and the desire to be with the beloved every day, and as much as possible.
However, these two desires are not the same: you can want to spend your whole life with your partner, but prefer to do so only on weekends, because although romantic love involves the desire to be together as much as possible, it also requires a limited distance that allows each partner personal space To thrive on their own.
“A long-distance relationship can make the heart feel closer, in a way that daily life together can not.” Thomas Moore
Love includes the desire to be as close as possible to the person we love, and yet a growing number of romantic couples now live geographically apart. Such is the relationship between two married people who want to stay married but live in separate places, usually because of their workplace, their studies or the desire to have two careers.
Technologies such as phone calls, video calls, WhatsApp, zoom and emails enable direct and instant connection, capable of supporting a continuous romantic relationship, despite the geographical distance.
You will probably be surprised to hear that studies show that relationships where both spouses do not live together most of the time, and are sometimes referred to as “weekend marriages” (because this is essentially the time most of these couples meet), are usually of equal or greater value in cultivating romantic relationships.
Conducted in geographical proximity. Couples in long-distance relationships enjoy greater personal space, which enhances personal and marital prosperity, and not only that – studies indicate that communication between geographically distant couples is more intimate, more positive and less prone to quarrels.
This is due to the understanding that openness and a positive attitude – two strategies that involve intimate self-disclosure – are more common in such communication, and cause more stability and satisfaction from the relationship.
Even skills like commitment and trust, which are necessary for all romantic relationships, become even more important in long-distance relationships due to the many available options that can threaten the commitment. Indeed, the percentage of extramarital affairs in such marriages is similar or even slightly lower than that prevailing in ordinary marriages.
Laura, divorced in her 40s, is an example of a woman who only started cheating when the relationship became daily: “I felt good about my personal space and therefore did not cheat,” she admitted. “But after 11 years of marriage, when we moved in with our three daughters and I stayed home, I felt like my husband was invading my personal space and hurting my choices. I felt like I was in captivity; at that time I also started cheating on him.”
But not everything is rosy, of course: the main difficulty in long-distance relationships is the limited number of interactions between spouses. This can create tension and a sense of loneliness, and make the couple feel that the system is not sufficient.
Of particular importance is the fact that such spouses miss out on the trivial daily encounters, especially when there are small children in the family. And because distance allows for idealization, people in long-distance relationships tend to exhibit relatively high levels of optimism and idealization of their spouses.
This situation may lead to an inaccurate assessment of the relationship on the one hand, but also to a prophecy that fulfills itself and enhances the quality of the marriage on the other.
The need for romantic cartilage
“The closer you are to another person, the unbearable the distance between you.” Tea, Writer
“She says a simple thing, if together then only separately.” Danny Sanderson
Cartilage, the connective tissue found in many places in the body, is very important because it provides support and protects the bones from self-rubbing. We can see in the romantic distance a shock brake similar in function to cartilage function: it protects lovers from the friction of excessive closeness.
Distance can also focus the couple’s attention on the essential aspects of the relationship, and help them ignore the superficial aspects. And yet, significant physical distance over time can damage the relationship, while a more limited distance may be beneficial.
If so, despite the claim “far from the eye, far from the heart”, then there are certainly situations where distance amplifies love, even though love can intensify and weaken with both distance and closeness.
Closeness can prevent us from seeing the virtues of a partner, as happens when putting on blindfolds, but closeness in the sense of many shared activities, often increases the romantic depth. The appropriate balance between distance and intimacy is what will ultimately decide the fate of the marital relationship.