Long-Distance Lovers Lament No More!
Nothing pains the heart more than being separated from your honey. You worked really hard to find Mr. Right and build a fulfilling life with him over the years. You've encountered and conquered so many challenges together and relish in the romance and richness of being a committed couple. You view the rewards of your partnership as great and can't wait to share more experiences that will further enrich your relationship. That's the vision that most happy couples report!
But what if you and your partner don't live together and are physically separated, perhaps living on opposite sides of the globe? Maybe a job or a family crisis has forced you apart. Perhaps it's just a temporary departure from each other; for some, the situation is permanent and must be adapted to. Whatever the circumstance, maintaining a long-distance relationship can be very difficult and taxing for couples. But while this scenario can be challenging and put a relationship to the test, it can be done and there are scores of people that are in this predicament and make it work successfully. This article will shed some light and offer some tips for coping with the "long-distance relationship blues" so that you can continue to nourish and strengthen the bond with your man and promote its longevity and satisfaction. Nothing compares to having your partner by your side but there are ways to overcome the obstacle of distance and still keep your relationship alive and well!
Anybody who is or ever has been in a situation where you and your partner are separated by the masses understands the immediate impact of the division. To have invested your heart into someone and then not be able to see him on a daily basis or wake up next to him every morning royally sucks! Not only that, it hurts to the core because it's a loss; similar to a death, but much more difficult because he's within reach yet not accessible. When speaking of their long-distant relationships, most men have a heap of negatives and very little positive feedback to offer on managing this adjustment. The drawbacks are significant.
Many men lament about the loss of companionship when separated from their partners, coupled with the nagging absence of physical affection and sex. Most express difficulty coping with loneliness and boredom, and some report developing insecurities and fears about their partner's seeking solace with other men; others worry of the potential for their relationship to crumble because of the distance itself posing a barrier to solidifying emotional intimacy, usually afforded more easily by face-to-face contact and daily living experience.
It's not uncommon to go through a grieving process repeatedly upon reunions with your boyfriend. This happens because you can begin thinking about and anticipating the impending separation when you or he have to leave once again and you can go through the typical grief feelings of shock/denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before reaching acceptance once again. The recurrent emotional roller-coaster ride can really bring a guy down--if you let it!
10 Ingredients For Successful Relating
Long-distance relationships require the same interpersonal skills as any romantic affiliation. However, these skills need to be even more fine-tuned and ever-present to keep the relationship on track. Lacking face-to-face contact, the inability to read nonverbal cues and body language makes communication more challenging, for example, and will necessitate more sophisticated verbal dialogue to keep the connection strong. The following are some key components of relationship functioning that long-distance lovers will need to ensure is strong to keep centered and grounded:
· Communication and sharing of feelings
· Compromise and flexibility
· Trust and honesty
· Finding ways to keep the chemistry burning
· Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle filled with meaningful activities
· Mutual respect and an active participation in developing and living a relationship vision and goals collaborated together as a team; consistent execution of "caring behaviors" to demonstrate commitment to the relationship
· Ability to manage feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and paranoia and to put them into perspective; emotional wellness and grief resolution resilience
· Achieving a balance between independence and need gratification through the relationship
· Making explicit to one another any emotional and practical needs, as well as expectations for behavioral conduct when together and apart (eg. monogamy vs. open relationship, spending of money, etc.)
· Making time for each other and being as available and accessible to one another as much as possible
Tips For Bridging The Gap and Coping With Separation Pangs
Let's face it--nothing compares to having your partner by your side. The following coping tips for making the most of your long-distance situation are by no means end-all/cure-all quick-fix remedies. At best, they are like Band-Aids to ease the pain because no amount of "how-to's" could ever replace the gift of your partner being in close proximity to you. But these suggestions might make your difficult arrangement more tolerable and could spark your own more creative ideas for boosting your spirit and relationship.
1. Identify your triggers to loneliness and take advantage of this time to pursue purposeful activities that will help you grow as a person.
2. Keep in regular contact with your partner and keep him informed of all the events in your life to help make him feel a part of it and involved in your daily functioning Communicate!
3. Keep your talks with your partner on the positive and upbeat slant. Don't use your precious time together lamenting about the pain and injustice of being apart. This could define all your contacts with a negative aura and make the potential for emotional distancing from each other that much more possible. Give each other lots of positive affirmations and share what you appreciate. Keep the romance alive and realize that you have control over the climate of your relationship.
4. Even though you may be miles apart, do things during your mutual "down time" that is interactive, such as playing Internet games together, having phone sex, going into an online chat room together, volunteering for similar causes in your prospective residences, writing each other sexy stories or fantasies that can be played out when you next meet, etc. (don't let writing replace verbal communication though!)
5. Create arts and crafts projects that can serve as a commemoration of your relationship; make a collage out of photos of memorable moments you and your partner shared and place it in a high-traffic area of your home where you'll see it often to keep him close.
Living apart from your significant other can be quite a downer, but the important thing to remember is to avoid placing too much emphasis on the separation and instead channel that energy toward rejuvenating and feeding your relationship to the best extent you can, limitations and all! Nothing sucks the joy out of a relationship faster than having a negative mindset and swimming in pain and grief. Get creative and initiate romantic gestures, consistently demonstrate your commitment and dedication to your partner despite the added challenges, and build your support system with positive people who will validate what you're going through rather than feed you doom-and-gloom. Long-distance relationships can work as well as any relationship, they just require extra doses of attention and tender-loving-care to avoid taking each other for granted and to keep the connection and intimacy strong. So hang in there, take control of your life and make the most of a difficult situation, and before you know it you'll be in your baby's arms again.
© Brian L Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: "I work with gay men who are ready to create a roadmap that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right." To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, teleclasses, and the self-help book he co-authored, "A Guide to Getting It: Purpose & Passion," please visit http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com Thank you!