Opinion: Is A Long Distance Relationship Worth Pursuing Amid A Pandemic?
The pandemic has kept us locked in our homes, unable to meet the people we care about at any given time as we used to. For some, this merely counts as a small sacrifice for a short period of time. It's easy to drive by and wave behind a window. But for others, it's a disheartening situation to be in—especially those who would need to sail across the ocean to see their loved one.
The pandemic has taken its toll on relationships—and, unfortunately, did not exempt marriages. Regardless of the distance, relationships have been falling apart during the pandemic. But does that mean couples in long-distance relationships should be twice as worried?
What's considered long-distance
Even before the pandemic, long-distance relationships have already been prevalent especially at a time when online dating has given individuals a chance to interact with people from further away. Aside from this, there are also different circumstances that drive couples apart. Some have a business to tend to, a few are deployed by the military, and others are sent to work in a different city.
Living apart for two to four days is also considered a long-distance relationship. To put it in perspective—if a couple finds it impossible to meet up every day, then they are in a long-distance relationship.
There will always be fear
Perhaps the fear of having to live apart is brought about the idea of not knowing what your partner is doing and drifting apart—which can be appeased with trust. Long-distance dating requires both people to trust each other enough.
This fear is followed by something equally challenging: uncertainty. This is what frightened me the most when my plan of visiting my partner by plane was cancelled. Our next meeting hinged entirely on how the world would manage the pandemic. Like everyone else, I feared what was to come in the next few months.
But soon, we learned that we have no control over these things. But while it's understandably difficult for some to refrain from playing negative situations in their head, it does not mean it's impossible to continue building trust. It's not achievable overnight, but it's definitely possible.
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It will work if you want it to work
The first thing people ask me when I tell them that I'm in a three-year long-distance relationship is "how do you do it?" and little do they know, my answer is comparable to everyone else's advice about relationships, long-distance or not. You practically have to do the exact same things: communicate, understand, do fun things, be patient, and sacrifice a little to make it work. The single thing lacking is physical interaction.
Sure, some people find physical interaction essential to a relationship but it barely affects the end game. "Just being co-located doesn’t guarantee success, just like being at a distance isn’t a guarantee that it dies," Jeff Hancock, a Stanford professor shared.
Room for growth
There is a lot of learning to be picked up especially during these unprecedented times. With everyone working home, it's highly likely that we'll have enough time to spend in front of the screen. We're all practically living online which provides more opportunity to talk to partners. This also gives way to improve communication between two people—and all that effort to communicate better, have fun, and nurture the relationship helps create stronger bonds.
So is it worth it? Absolutely. Perhaps the question you should be asking now is how much you really want it.
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