Saturday, February 28, 2009

is my long distance partner worth it?

You do not know me, and you may think it a very personal question, coming from a complete stranger. But sometimes, a complete stranger can get the most honest and direct answers, exactly because he’s a stranger.

So I’m going to repeat the question, but slightly differently: Why would you go through all the pain, frustration and suffering of a long distance relationship if you don’t really see a future together for you and your partner?

Define worth it?

Now this is where it gets difficult. What is worth it for one person isn’t worth it for another. For that matter, what is it? It, in this case, refers to a long distance relationship and everything that goes with it. A long distance relationship isn’t just between you and your partner; it involves your friends, family, co-workers and everybody that you have regular contact with. Most of them will unfortunately think you’re wasting your time. This is coming both from personal experience, and from reading my fair share of forum entries where people are discouraged from being in a long distance relationship.

A long distance relationship is a way of life. We don’t like it, but for those of us that are in it, it obviously has to be worth it to go through all the trouble.

What are your long term goals?

Not just for yourself. What are your long term goals for your relationship? Where do you see this relationship going within the next few years? If it will help, consider it as if you were together permanently, and the distance wasn’t there at all. Do you see yourself getting married to this person eventually? Or should you choose not to believe in marriage, do you see this person as your life partner, with whom you want to settle down and raise a family?

If you’ve answered yes to that question, then you have your answer. This person is your life partner, and you would be silly to let this relationship die. What if I’m uncertain or answered no?

Should we break up?

What if your answer was a clear and definite NO? I’ll discuss that in a moment. But what if your answer was that you’re uncertain, or maybe your answer was an unconvincing no. Well then, the next question would be: Why? Why are you not convinced of your relationship with this person? Maybe you have trust issues? Maybe you feel uncertain about yourself? Maybe you don’t have problems like that, but you’re just worried about your relationship as a whole.

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but always ask yourself why. If you’re ever in doubt, ask yourself why you are in doubt. Even for a definite no, you should still ask yourself why. Maybe you are right to have trust issues. Maybe your partner has broken your trust. Or maybe, when you carefully think about it, and maybe even discuss it with your partner, you find that your doubts are unfounded

Never underestimate the power of suggestion. Every day, we are bombarded by images and stories of unfaithful people in movies, on TV and in magazines. Deep down, we may know it’s not really like that, but unfortunately, our logical thoughts are just overwhelmed.

Go and post a question about long distance relationships on any open forum. Maybe half the people will tell you it can never work. Well they’ve been proven wrong so many times over it’s not even worth going into that argument. Still, when you hear that negative message, there’s some part of you that for some or other reason, throws logical reasoning out of the window and takes someone else’s distorted opinion as fact.

So what should you actually do when you’re uncertain, or if you answered no? I’d say the fact that you are in a relationship with this person, only goes to show that there must be something about him or her that attracted you in the first place. And the fact that you’re in a long distance relationship, probably one of the most difficult things a relationship can be in, shows me even more that you have something that you feel is worth preserving.

First take a critical look at your own situation, and then you can get to the question you’ve wanted to ask all along: Should we break up?

Don’t break up – yet

I’m not going to tell you whether or not you should break up, because honestly, only you can answer that question for yourself. But what if the answer was no? Then we should break up, shouldn’t we?

No, you should first work on your relationship. I’ve already shown you that there must be something there; otherwise you wouldn’t be going through all the trouble in the first place. If necessary, call an emergency get-together with your partner and really have a heart-to-heart discussion about your relationship.

Nothing good in life ever came for free, and that includes relationships. You have to work on your relationship in order for it to be worthwhile. After you’ve worked on your relationship, and done everything that you can, you can take another critical look at where you are going with it.

What I want you to do is this: Call up your partner and discuss your future together. Don’t spring the question out of nowhere. Rather lead up to it over a few days. Only once you’ve really worked on your relationship, can you be trusted to make a smart decision.

About the authors:

Leon and Mari Louw are the authors of Long Distance Relationship Secrets. It is the most effective hands-on practical book available on the internet – or anywhere else for that matter – dealing with the day to day struggles of a long distance relationship.

If you are involved in a painful long distance relationship, then dont miss this super guide to Saving Your Long Distance Relationship - Long Distance Relationship Secrets

Long Distance Relationships