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How to Make Distance Seem Little , When Someone Means So Much

Long distance relationships are the worst. “Is he/she worth waiting for? Are they feeling the same way I do?” “Am I kidding myself thinking this can work?” 

I get it. I’ve been there. Long distance relationships suck. There’s no way around it. In all of my years I’ve never met someone who has said, “Yeah, my boyfriend lives in North Pole  it’s great!” 

On the contrary, everyone I’ve met in a long distance relationship can relate to the slow agonizing feeling that takes place over months or even years — that feeling that your heart is being carved out by a butcher knife and replaced with FaceTime calls.

When it comes to surviving the distance, here’s what I’ve learned is most important:

1. ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO TOGETHER

What kills long distance relationships is the constant underlying uncertainty to everything. “Is this all worth it?” “Does she still feel the same way about me as she did before?” 

The longer you two are apart, the more these uncertainties will fester and grow into legitimate existential crises.

That’s why when making any long distance relationship work it’s necessary to always have some date that you are both waiting for. 

Usually, this will be the next time you are both able to see each other. But it can be other major life moments as well — applying for jobs in the other person’s city, looking at apartments together, a vacation together, and so on.

2. BE SLOW TO JUDGE

A funny thing happens to humans psychologically when we’re separated from one another. We’re not able to see each other as we truly are. 

When we’re apart from one another or have limited exposure to a person or event, we start to make all sorts of assumptions or judgments that are usually exaggerated or untrue.

This can manifest itself in various ways within a long distance relationship. In some cases, people get insanely jealous or irrationally possessive of their partner because they perceive every casual social outing without them as potentially threatening to their relationship. 

Other people become extremely critical and neurotic that every small thing that goes wrong is an end to the relationship. 

Like if the power goes out and their partner misses their nightly FaceTime call, they sit there thinking to themselves that this is it, the relationship’s over, he finally forgot about me.

Other people go the other direction and start idealizing their partner as being perfect in a bunch of ways that they’re actually not. After all, if your partner isn’t in front of you all day every day, it’s easy to forget all of the little obnoxious parts of their personality and just imagine how perfect they must be.

All of these irrational fantasies are unhelpful.

And when stuck in a long distance scenario, it’s important to distrust many of your own judgments and inclinations to a certain degree. 

Remind yourself that you really don’t know what’s going on and the best thing you can do at any moment is simply ask your partner.

3. MAKE SURE THE DISTANCE IS TEMPORARY

A long distance relationship cannot survive without hope. And for there to be hope, there must be some possibility that you two will one day be together and achieve your Happily Ever After.

Without that shared vision of Happily Ever After, everything else will quickly begin to feel meaningless.

Remember, love is not enough. You both need to have life visions that are aligned, shared values and mutual interests. 

Not only must there be some shared vision of a possible future for you together, but you both must also feel as though you’re working toward that vision. 

You don’t get a sense for the actual relationship until you’re there, in person, and in each other’s faces non-stop, whether you want to be or not. 

This is where true intimacy exists. In the constricted personal space between two people who have spent way, way, way too much time around each other. 

This intimacy is sometimes dispassionate. It’s sometimes obnoxious. It’s sometimes unpleasant. But it’s capital-R Real. And it’s what determines if a relationship will last or not.

Distance prevents this constricted intimacy from ever forming in a meaningful way. 

When we’re apart it’s too easy to idealize and romanticize each other. It’s too easy to overlook the mundane, yet important differences. 

It’s too easy to get caught up in the drama of our minds instead of the calm and boring truths of our hearts.

Long distance can work if your heart and mind is both in to it. <3