Long distance relationships are not a new concept in India. Increased globalisation and rapid development across the country, has increased its prevalence, and has made it important to sustain such relationships as every couple at some point of time will have to face distance. With increased education, cultural maturity and the permeation of digital technologies in our lives, the value and significance of protecting relationships has grown.
A 2018 survey on long-distance couples found that while 27 per cent had never lived near each other, about 50 per cent of couples in the survey had met each other online.
IANSlife speaks to an expert, Hirak Patel, Counselling Psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, who shares a few coping mechanisms that couples follow to nurture a long-distance relationship:
Acceptance that in this phase, the person is not going to be around you physically. Accept the reason behind getting into this phase, the variable reasons could be due to a job switch, financial needs, family circumstances or any other. Acceptance helps the couple sail through the phase smoothly and keep the lamp of hope burning.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communication is a key aspect when people are in a long-distance relationship. Truthful communication and giving enough space is important. One needs to understand that there is some leeway that needs to be given. Communicate because you feel like it and do not force yourself into it. Sharing things about each other's day can help in maintaining a crucial connection even from afar.
Make sure your dependence and independence are well-balanced. Ensure your partner knows how much you need him/her, but don't cling, as that can make your partner feel trapped.
USING TECHNOLOGY IN DIFFERENT WAYS
Video call, writing an E-mail, surprising through letters, online gifting to maintain excitement in the relationship is good way to stay connected and express love.
Show immediate appreciation when he/she listens to you properly and show interest when they are talking. You need to stay connected by sharing.
DOING ACTIVITIES TOGETHER
There is a need to explore and experience things together when people are in a relationship, but in a long distance relationship, it becomes difficult. However, doing some activities together like watching a movie at the same time, virtually cooking together, or exploring one's day virtually could help the couple sail through. Also, make time for a holiday together as well.
Trust the foundation of all strong relationships. Even if there is a physical distance, attachment and emotional connection can be sustained effectively. Trusting the partner becomes an important aspect for a relationship to sustain and thrive in distance. Giving the virtual and personal space to each other, respecting, and accepting the changes and avoid linking all issues and concerns to physical distance is important.
Distance prevents intimacy from taking significance in a relationship. When two people are apart, it is too easy to idealise and romanticise each other. It is a good feeling though but sometimes it can be delusional. It's too easy to overlook the mundane, yet important differences and get caught up in the drama of our minds instead of the boring truths of our hearts.
Taking initiative to understand these aspects is crucial in a relationship. Relationships can be complicated and difficult but if handled wisely it can go a long way to sustain a healthy and happy life.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)