Long distance relationships can be a double-edged sword.
Not everyone can handle the hardships. Despite the many challenges associated with long distant relationships, I am living proof that they can work.
Above all else, one thing is needed. Without this element, a long distance romance is doomed. It may sound obvious, and it is a simple word, but it holds a multitude of meanings and interpretations.
This is a key element for any relationship—when miles separate us from the one we love, trust can strengthen our bond and serve as the glue that holds us together.
Recently, I began a relationship with a woman who resides in Florida. I currently live in Northern Virginia. When we were children, we lived two houses down from each other. She was literally the girl next door until we both moved away from the area.
I was her protector, even as children. Our families were close and went on vacations together. We developed a bond, which went dormant for a number of years until it was rediscovered 20 years later.
One day out of the blue, she sent me pictures of us as kids and some home video clips. As we began to chat and relive our childhood, we discovered as adults that we still carried that youthful connection. Fate brought us back in to each other’s lives.
Conversations eventually turned from friendly hellos to daily, intimate conversations. Quickly, our bond grew into a meaningful relationship, even with a thousand miles separating us.
We soon made plans to meet. We needed to see once and for all if our words matched our feelings in person. They not only matched our feelings, they superseded out expectations. This was love, and this was truly fate.
All the time and effort put in to talking on the phone and texting (including sending pictures back and forth daily) led us to a deeper connection and the development of deeper feelings for each other. Upon meeting each other and spending a weekend together, we knew our search was over. We knew who we wanted to be with.
In order for our relationship to thrive, we have had to trust each other. We’ve made plans for our future together and we both want and trust that these plans will come to fruition.
It has not always been easy, but having a deep trust for each other has made our relationship thrive. We trust that we are the only ones who we want to speak to and spend time with. When given a chance to spend time with someone else, we always choose each other instead.
This is where I believe many long distant relationships begin to head south. One or both partners might consistently choose to to pursue the lives in front of them at the moment instead of focusing on the big picture: the future together.
A proper balance is essential. We need to be pursuing our goals, but in a manner that leads us toward each other, not away from each other—if we truly want our relationship to blossom. Both partners must trust that the feelings shared are mutual.
Sacrifices must be made. We sacrifice because we trust each other. We sacrifice because we love each other. We sacrifice a part of our present for the part of the future we yearn to experience. We sacrifice potential encounters with new partners and new experiences because we trust in our love for each other and the future we have planned together.
My partner is in nursing school, finishing up her last semester and a half. We spend occasional weekends together but we both deeply feel it when one of us leaves the other at the end of the weekend. We want more.
We have already talked about how we want to physically be together upon her graduation. I trust that this plan will work. I trust it because we talk about it every day. We talk about where we want to live and how we want to live. We talk about how we want to take care of each other and grow emotionally together.
We are open with each other; our trust is so deep that no topic is off limits. We have both acknowledged that this temporary distance has helped develop a stronger trust in each other, so that when we are together—those beautiful moments when no distance exists between us—our relationship grows and blossoms at an exponential level.
We do things to keep our bond strong and we try to make the best use of the distance. We play games with each other and we make it fun by assigning “homework” for each other that we both are excited to do. This also helps pass the time when we are not together and gives us a chance to express our emotions and feelings toward each other in a creative manner.
Having this high level of trust has allowed us to be open and experiment with new ways of pleasuring and pleasing each other’s senses from a distance. We are human, and we both have natural human desires. To fulfill these desires, we must be creative.
We have mastered the art of phone sex in many different fashions. As normal healthy functioning young adults, we have sexual appetites that must be fulfilled in some manner. Since we can’t physically be around each other when the mood arises, we have developed many ways to practice this intimacy in a private and trusting setting.
For some, this may not be easy to do. Without a full trust and confidence in each other, some partners may worry that details about their acts may be shared with others, making this type of intimacy impossible. If this kind of intimacy can’t be expressed, one or both may seek intimacy elsewhere. Trust in this area is paramount, perhaps above all else.
Having trust has helped us grow stronger every day, despite the distance that lay between us.
Having trust and a long-term plan for our future, that we can both see and feel, has helped us develop stronger feelings for each other. We’re excitedly anticipating that day when there are no longer any borders between us. Our trust has made us eager to begin to living our lives together. We have so much missed time to make up for, that the excitement of finally being together is overwhelming.
If it weren’t for the deep trust we have for each other, our relationship would have ended months ago. Instead, it grows daily and our hearts have never felt more safe and secure.
Author: Adam Wilkinson
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Dvorty girl/Flickr