Long Distance Relationships 101
Psychologists say that it is human nature to want what wecan't have. Throw a little sexual desire into that mix andyou have the kind of romantic and sexual angst that is thestuff of great romance and ...
Psychologists say that it is human nature to want what wecan't have. Throw a little sexual desire into that mix andyou have the kind of romantic and sexual angst that is thestuff of great romance and literature.
Suddenly, unlike the banality of every day relationships,you can find yourself in an epic personal drama filled withthe anticipation of seeing your long lost partner onceagain. This sounds good, but is it actually a healthy,practical way to conduct a relationship?
Of course, aside from being tantalized by the promise oflove that shines so distantly on the horizon, there are manyother very pragmatic reasons why you could find yourselfsuddenly in a long distance relationship.
A very common scenario are the young lovers who are forcedto call it quits because they end up attending differentcolleges in different cities, states, or even continents.
Debt, fame, ailing spouses, war, disease, responsibilitiestowards an ex spouse or children, career obligations, canseparate people.
There are a million reasons why you can be forced to saygood-bye, but does it have to be forever?
The first thing to understand is that a relationshipconducted across great distances does not necessarilyqualify as a ‘relationship’ in the ordinary sense.
For instance, if a girl has been dating a guy for four yearsand he suddenly decides to travel across Europe with nothingbut a backpack and pocket change to find himself, where doesthis leave her?
Rather than ever be left wondering, it is crucial for thetwo of you to establish some rules and boundaries around therelationship long before anyone starts packing.
It is not going to work if you are still trying to figureout "where you stand" in the relationship as your loved oneis boarding the plane.
First of all there must be some kind of mutual agreementthat you are in a long-distance relationship and that thereshould be no infidelity.
Many long-distance relationships fail because of mixedmessages from one partner or the other. Usually one personbelieves that the "out of sight, out of mind" rule appliesand that while there is distance between you "anythinggoes!"
The other party in the relationship might believe theopposite (that absence makes the heart grow fonder) and thenget a rude shock when they don't receive emails or phonecalls or do receive one that describes a budding newromance.
The rule of thumb is to establish the ground rules beforethis type of scenario is allowed to blossom.
You need to agree on how much you are going to communicatewith each other and which rule applies best "out of sight,out of mind" or "absence makes the heart grow fonder."
Establishing Ground Rules
Before you are separated by distance you have three basicthings you need to ask each other so that you can figure outwell in advance what actually constitutes a betrayalaccording to the rules of your long distance relationship.
1. Are we going to be faithful to each other?
2. Are we allowed to have sex with other people, butremain in faithful in our hearts?
3. Does this separation allow us to explore otherrelationship options?
One option is to keep everything the way it is -- whetheryou are five miles or 5,000 miles away from each other.
This way of thinking is very popular among young lovebirds,who have difficulty believing that their relationship couldever end.
They tend to believe that physical space between them willnot affect the solidity of the relationship because their"undying" love for each other can surpass the seeminglysmall obstacle of distance.
Unfortunately, this is not an option that often allows theother person their essential humanity and it is a point ofview that is considered immature by counselors orpsychiatrists.
The "nothing has changed" approach is often a position ofdenial. Lots has changed, you are not physically togetheranymore!
Usually this type of denial applies to high schoolsweethearts who are separated because of the necessity ofattending different colleges.
If one or the other partner slips up due to temptation (allit takes is a boozy night and a one-night stand) it is waytoo easy for the other partner to take it personally.
The above example tells us that one of the keys to keeping along distance relationship is to keep your expectationsrealistic.
Know your partner by clearly communicating with him or her,but also, make sure that you know thyself! Know what you cantolerate and what is acceptable to you.
Long distance relationships based on humoring the otherperson or making promises that you can't keep simply don'twork. This will spare you the feelings of betrayal,suspicion and jealousy that often set in after a couple ofmonths of being apart.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Debbie Anderson is author of: "Love At A Distance - 47 Ways to Improve Your Long-Distance Relationship Today!" You can get it free for a limited time at: