At this moment in time the Internet is huge. People are constantly sharing and connecting and interacting in ways that were not even imaginable years ago. The Internet has given people the opportunity to meet and talk to others who live nowhere near them and to continue to stay in touch with those who have moved away. That’s where long distance relationships come in. When I say long distance relationships I don’t solely mean romantic relationships, I mean long distance friendships too.
Distance can be seen as a barrier to relationships and friendships because differing time zones and busy schedules sometimes make it difficult to keep in touch with another person despite having the means of communicating. Sometimes people don’t see any form of long distance relationships as valid relationships because of the circumstances. They think that if you can’t physically spend time with a person, your connection to them can’t possibly be real.
All you hear about any type of long distance relationship is how hard it is and admittedly that is true sometimes, don’t get me wrong, but the validity of a long distance relationship and the lessons learned from that relationship are extremely valuable.
When you’re in any sort of long distance relationship whether it is romantic or not, you learn about how well you can commit to someone. You learn about how much time and effort you are willing to put into maintaining contact and devotion to this person and to always being there for them in spirit when you can’t be there physically.
You also learn how to work around life to maintain the sort of connection that you want with that person. People have busy schedules. Maybe getting a text back will be difficult or take a while. Maybe you won’t get to have that much needed Skype date until the end of the week. Maybe you’ll constantly be playing phone tag. Maybe that’s all true but you work around life and around any major changes in schedule just to maintain a form of communication with that person. Say, my best friend, I haven’t been able to have a proper conversation with her since the beginning of this month. That doesn’t mean she isn’t still my best friend. That doesn’t mean we aren’t trying to reach out to each other. We’re busy. It happens.
Finally, when you’re maintaining any sort of long distance relationship or friendship, you learn to develop a stronger connection not only with the other person but with yourself as well. People will constantly form some sort of opinion on your relationship. They will tell you that it won’t be worth it or that ditching the whole long distance thing in replacement for a short distance relationship would be so much easier. When you learn to connect to yourself, you learn what your limitations are and what you want to work for. You learn to tell those people that you didn’t form the friendship or get into the relationship because you thought it would be EASY, no, you did it because you knew it would be worth it. You did it because there is no one else on this Earth that you would rather call your boy/girlfriend or your best friend.
In this day and age with so much technology and so much possibility for everyone, don’t think of long distance relationships or friendships as connections that are destined to fail; don’t think of them as connections that aren’t real just because the people in them are far apart. Enjoy every moment that you have of existing at the same time as that person and getting to know them. The distance is not the problem. The problem is that sometimes we forget that we do not love or care about another person with more than just our physical touch.