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So Far Away From Me

Let's face it. Long-distance relationships (LDR) are tough. Any relationship can be difficult, but the LDR poses problems and obstacles that other relationships do not. As a result, the majority don't survive.

A LDR is generally characterized by a couple who is committed to their relationship, but whose participants are living a substantial distance from one another. Therefore, they seldom (if ever) are able to physically spend time together. Reasons may include a move for one (or both) partners' jobs or careers, going away to school or service in the military.

So Far AwayComplaints of LDR's not only include missing your partner, but very often a loss of connection. "I feel like he's changed," or "She doesn't act the way she used to," are common comments made when couples reunite after, or during, a LDR. This is usually the catalyst that starts the downward spiral to the end of the relationship.

People change. Opinions shift. Tastes evolve. Looks become altered. It's natural. We are a species in constant transition, every day, every hour, little modifications are taking place.

When we are in a normal relationship where distance is not a factor, we tend to spend a lot of time together. We'll see each other multiple times during a week, if not daily. During this time daily changes don't often affect our relationships. Why? Because the changes tend to be so minor that we rarely notice them. Also, because we are together during these changes, we often change and adapt as our partners are doing the same. We grow together, often in the same direction.

But, when we have to be away from one another for a long period of time (especially if we haven't already solidified a strong and secure relationship with many shared experiences) we continue to grow and change, but without the benefit of doing it together, on the same path. So, the little changes that we don't usually notice, pile up, and when we do get together again, not only are the changes in our partners pronounced, but also, since we've changed too (which we rarely realize) we find ourselves more than likely moving in different directions.

How do we combat this dreaded LDR curse? The best way is to stay as connected as possible. Write, IM, text, email, call, and visit as much as possible. And, when you communicate, make it meaningful. Think about what you would talk about if you were still living closer, and bring up these subjects: work, a TV show you saw, a joke you heard, what Carl said to Victoria. Basically, you want to share your lives so that your partner is aware of the little changes taking place in your life. In doing so, when you meet again, those little changes won't have piled up so much and you'll be less likely to feel, "I don't know him anymore." And, you'll be able to survive the LDR.