Sunday, December 16The Voice of London

Divided by distance, connected by love

Finding a partner who shares the same values, hobbies and interests as you might make you feel like you are on cloud nine. But what happens when that special someone lives hundreds of miles away?

Image: Andreea Dragomir

“Long distance relationships are extremely relaxing and do not require much attention,” said no one ever. Everyone who is committed to an “LDR” (Urban Dictionary abbreviation) knows that feeling of emptiness whenever you notice a couple knotted around each other like there is no tomorrow. A lot of people probably ask themselves why love is so complicated and why we can’t fall for someone who lives around the corner, but love is not that untangled.

Often labelled as “doomed to fail,” long distance relationships truly test your feelings, patience and limits. Conducting separate lives while trying to build one together in the remaining time can be challenging. In every long-term relationship, the partners build their connection by planning elaborate date nights or by simply watching Netflix together on a rainy day. But what can be done when the lack of physical proximity is inevitably damaging the couples?  

A study conducted by Cornell University has revealed that long-distance couples sometimes have a better relationship than couples who live near each other. LD couples actively converse and keep in touch with each other more than those in close proximity. The research also claims that LD partners are eager to work on their communication in order to compensate for the physical absence.

However, the real question is how a normal partnership can suddenly turn into a LDR. For instance, London is one of few places in the world where you don’t need dating apps to find that special someone. Home to 8.3 million individuals, it can be said that the capital has plenty of fish in the sea, so it’s almost impossible to be single for long. Acknowledged for its cultural diversity, London can transform itself into a minefield when it comes to dating. A lot of individuals move to the British capital for either work opportunities, networking or education, and sadly they can leave as fast as they came.

Image: Courtesy of Jeshoots.com via Unsplash.

In order to under the concept of “long-distance relationship” and investigate its advantages and disadvantages, Voice of London interviewed Antonia, 20, who studies in London and knows well what the lack of physical absence means.

Even though a long-distance relationship is not about Cinderella meeting her Prince Charming, it has its perks. As you learn to trust more and doubt less, you realise that you treasure your partnership even more. When you barely see your loved one, you value the time you are together differently and you cherish every date. Every minute is meaningful and has to be savoured since you know you won’t see someone you care about for weeks or maybe even months. Moreover, both of you get to focus on your own interests and activities without the other getting in the way. You grow separately, which means that you don’t desperately depend on each other.

Another study, conducted by Queen’s University has found out that that LD couples have more time for themselves, work, hobbies or friends. Individuals have a tendency to focus more on their personal growth if their partnerships lack physical proximity. Because of the distance, not only do the partners have more appreciation towards the relationship, but they are also given a sense of autonomy.

Image: Courtesy of Kristina Litvjak via Unsplash.

Being in a LDR may sound terrifying, but most of the time, it’s not. In our increasingly mobile and connected world, we have the opportunity to communicate with each other whenever, from any part of the globe. Technology taught us that nobody is too far away, so texting regularly and having “Skype dates” really cope with the distance. Bear in mind that LDRs need constant nourishment because they are not always self-sustaining. Communication is the biggest make or break factor of any sort of relationship, so if you don’t have conversations in which you both participate, that might be a dead end. Telling your partner about your day, problems, worries or just simply laughing together about how you spilled your coffee on your new pair of shoes- these are the little intimate things making your relationship more resilient to challenges.

It takes two to tango, so commitment from both parties is one of the key ingredients for a healthy relationship. Perhaps if Adam and Eve ate the snake instead of the forbidden fruit, we would believe that we live in a world where temptation doesn’t exist. Being in a long-distance relationship implies working twice as hard as you would normally do. Relationship commitment ultimately means trusting your partner while avoiding any potential pitfalls such as paranoia, suspicion, jealousy and doubt.

Embarking yourself in a LDR can be discouraging at first, but finding the balance between quality time with your partner and personal growth can feel really rewarding. Long distance partnerships have their ups and downs, but if you really find that special someone, it might be worth the shot.

 

 

Featured Image: Courtesy of Kristina Litvjak via Unsplash

Words: Ioana Oblu | Subbing: Shruti Tangirala

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