Long distance relationships carry a bad rep for multiple reasons: the longing, the pain of being apart, the effort, the tests of trust and bonds, the investment, and essentially the lack of all physical, existential interaction.
Ever thought of long-distance being purely beneficial though? Ever thought it being Better than an in-distance relationship? It’s possible and probable. There’s a loophole if you find it. Here’s how to see it:
There’s a formula to distance. Speed and time are direct factors of distance whereas time and speed are inversely related.
In other words, if you increase distance, automatically, your sense of time with a loved one is completely different. Unfortunately, you can’t easily tamper with distance… F**k with the speed though or f**k with the time, and you’ll get somewhere.
In the prism of your love life, the loophole to long-distance dating is taking advantage of the other factors. Let me explain-
The rate of which your relationship escalates matters. If your relationship had 8 years of foundation of being within the same city, then a year apart could spark it up. It would loosen your long-term and stiffly safe relationship. On the other hand, if you met him while you were a summer exchange student and your chemistry was off the charts, it could still be the best thing. Distance would “slow” down the passion and let a fundamental friendship grow.
WHEN you decide to go long distance matters. I’m at a time of life where life is hectic as h*ll. That could be job responsibilities, grad school, family obligations, and other deeply personal life goals. If you both have a lot on your plate at the same time, a long distance relationship could just be the type of low-maintenance relationship you both need now.
Think about it: less calls, less dates, less texts, less face-to-face interaction. Less obligation, less urgency. Instead, you have more space to do you so that when you do reunite, you dedicate your full attention to that person. Your relationship is more Staccato and Legato, rather than traditional Crescendo and Decrescendo.
You can control the time you choose to take on a long distance relationship (time) and you can also choose who you do it with (speed). But usually, you sure as heck can’t control distance. Unless of course you have a jet sweetly tucked in your garage, distance is nothing. But, if not, yes. It’s hard- whether you’re 2 hours away by car, 2 hours away by flight, or 2000 miles away from each other.
But there’s so much more beauty to it than you can imagine. There WILL be desire, automatically, always. There WILL be variety and spontaneity. You can travel and venture out of your comfort zone and experience things both as a couple and as individuals.
I think, also, all that extra effort that one has to take to plan, to invest, and commit to meet someone far away already conveys a ton. Even if the relationship doesn’t take a serious tone, you still have a travel buddy you can make unforgettable memories with. Like in-distance relationships, long-distance relationships have the same spectrum of diversity. Whether it’s a closed or open relationship, whether you are romantic lovers, innocent friends, or “lay-overs,” whether it’s serious or casual, long-distance brings the relationship onto a completely different exploratory plane.
Long-distance doesn’t have to have the whole dreariness of longing for someone; it can be light-hearted. It can strengthen you. It can brighten you. A light heart that’s having fun, unbound by miles and boundaries. That’s open yet purposeful. And a relationship like that travels far.
Sarah Suhaimi practices 명음 by day and the art of dark chocolate bar swindling by night. She is currently working closely with a local Pittsburgh non-profit that serves sex-trafficked victims, Living in Liberty, as a volunteer and grant proposal writer. She founded the Southeast Asian Student Alliance (SEASA) at her university, and, as well, the "Offer Islam Campaign." Her works vary from prose to poetry to articles. Her published works include, ‘The Home of an Immigrant’s Daughter’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2012 Dublin Biennial, Dublin, Ireland and ‘Hidden Beauty Reveals Itself (Intellect Vs Instinct)’ in the Art Catalogue for the 2011 Florence Biennale VIII, Florence, Italy.