Long-distance relationships are not easy or fun. My partner and I have been communicating somewhat virtually for over half of our entire romance. When we had to separate, we knew it was going to be different, and our relationship may not survive. However, not only did we make it through the tough times, we grew together immensely and formed a unique bond.
COVID-19 has forced many people into long-distance relationships with partners, families and friends. The distance makes normal interactions more difficult, but it can make a virtuous bond.
Being separated from a person can strengthen the relationship. Interpersonal communication tactics we rely on to create intimacy like touch are not available. Communicating solely over virtual or written platforms forces the connection to rely heavily on the verbal.
Talking to each other is an art that is practically lost in today’s generation. Both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication are vital for a successful relationship. Strengthening these skills while apart makes the time together more beneficial.
With the numerous platforms offered by technology, long-distance communication is easier than ever. Distance and a lack of in-person communication does not mean the end is near.
Being farther away also allows room for creativity in the relationship. I have done almost every long-distance date possible, so my partner and I have to create new ways to bond. We have made collaborative Spotify playlists, had Netflix parties and have even electronically sent each other one penny back and forth for one of our dates.
Being creative forces partners to put in more effort while also making more memories.
The struggles a person experiences with long-distance relationships will not last forever. The feeling you get when you see your loved one in person is overpowering. My mom laughs whenever my boyfriend comes home because I go back to the mindset of a teenager on her first date. I get butterflies, I buy a new outfit and I will not sleep on the nights leading up to the big day we reunite.
I would recommend reducing ambiguity. The unknown of when a couple can reunite creates anxiety and more loneliness. Having something to look forward to generates excitement. Counting down the days until seeing each other is much more bearable than an unknown timetable.
Participating in a long-distance relationship is a hard time for many, but it’s important to keep in mind the reasons why the relationship is worth fighting for. It will be worth it when we get to see each other again and celebrate with a we-did-it hug.