If there was any mantra I kept close to my heart this past year, it would probably be: no more long distance. With the history of two long distance relationships, long distance family calls & nearly all of my friends being elsewhere plus one long distance relationship with my cat, I’ve had enough. Well, little did I expect to start a long distance relationship… with myself, on the top of it all.
While I’m undoubtedly writing from a privileged position rn, I believe that the isolation of our current situation affects us all, don’t you think? In these funny jolly days of COVID19-induced quarantines, we’re all becoming ghosts of our former selves. There’s a sense of longing for the ordinary; the nostalgia for the little moments, for the everyday. What’s more, these are also the days of tension, doubts and anxiety.
Based on my experience, I am convinced that a long distance relationship cannot survive without a deadline. This current situation however doesn’t offer us one: instead, we urge each other to be patient while biting our nails off. The vague underlying feeling that your place is the wrong place, that you should forward the time and go elsewhere, is a natural actor and one of the aspects, which make long distance relationships so unbearably hard sometimes. You irrationally seek to delete the distance, to cut the time and meet halfway.
What is the opposite of long distance then? Closeness? Shouldn’t we now – now, that isolation forces us to spend time with ourselves – experience quite the opposite of a long distance, something like a peaceful reunion maybe?
When time seems to stand still, it’s easy to find shelter in reminiscence or in daydreaming. Escapism and virtual realities are however rarely the answer, and in terms of long distance relationship, they become dangerous. If there is one place where you lose yourself (and your other half), it’s utopia. While fantasizing about how things will be, you forget who you are now. Some long distance relationships seem to survive on the mere promise of the potential, but the clash with reality is then very painful. Been there, done that.
Why did I start talking about all of this? Certainly not to coach anyone: if you’re looking for a romantic expertise, you better look elsewhere:D As usual, I didn’t bring any answers to the table. Perhaps, this can be a gentle and friendly reminder that lot of long distance relationships in your life already work without you noticing. With that friend who lives abroad. With your grandpa in a nursing home. With you, your normal life, in a normal, ordinary, wonderfully boring world.
It never hurts to free the long distance relationship from the utopian promises (“Once this is over….”) and talk now. Refuel. Say something like: “I know that we are far away for the time being, but I believe in us,” even when you don’t. Even when you’re just talking to yourself.