Monday, May 23, 2011
Due to the nature of my childhood in which I moved semi-frequently, I learned the importance of maintaining relationships regardless of geographical location. The fact of the matter lies in that friendships possess a conditional nature of sorts, a threshold for the necessary effort. When miles, states, and sometimes oceans fill the physical gap previously occupied by maybe a few streets, some “friends” pull the “this is my stop” cord and conveniently opt out of a friendship that requires additional energy. The same holds true in the ever-controversial construct that is… (cue dramatic music “dun dun dun”)— the long distance relationship. (*collective gasp!*)
The masses speak poorly of this type of relationship because long distance relationships embody the polar opposite of convenience, the direct contrast of simplicity. Relationships within the same city or state provide difficulties within themselves – commitment, compromise, and communication, not to mention trust. When couples add complication with differing area codes, reevaluation must take place. “How valuable is this? How much effort are we willing to expend to make this work? Would we be better off just maintaining contact until we can be in the same place together?” These are only a few examples of the posed questions that need to be asked in order to properly evaluate the situation.
Now, I could paint a clean, pretty picture of flowers, clouds, and hearts with Crayola™ watercolors to depict long distance relationships, however that would NOT be Just GQ, would it? Personally, I have taken part in a number of long distance relationships, dating back to my high school years. Some of them have been positive experiences, from which lifelong friendships were born, and others crashed in flaming messes nose-diving into a sea of resentment and ruined opportunity. This unpredictable imbalance exhibits the risk potential participants in the long distance sweepstakes assume.
While I am not an expert, I have, through my experiences, acquired a bit of knowledge, and from that knowledge, I feel that I am able to identify points of emphasis to make the distance less of a factor.
Communication: As the cornerstone of general human interaction, open and honest communication situates itself in the premier position within long distance relationships. Since physical encounters may very well be limited to a few times a month, conversation serves as the new manner of regular interaction. Beyond the daily conversation, open, honest communication holds a high degree of significance because through that avenue, potential conflicts, blowups, and arguments can be mitigated to normal, calm discussion. If something bothers you, voice it, so the gripe can be addressed, resolved, and from there, progression may occur.
Quid Pro Quo: Simply said “this for that”. Concessions are not meant to be one-sided; if they are then a problem most likely exists. Identify issues MOST critical to the overall happiness of the involved parties, and resolve them through MUTUAL concessions. Remaining hung up on trivial matters and/or complaining about everything gets annoying and will not bode well for the continuation of the relationship down the road.
Maintenance/Planning: As humans, we are weak and need reminders of why we do the things we do. With that said, KEEP YOURSELF TOGETHER!
Nothing Almost nothing is worse than waiting 5 weeks to see someone, and they look like trash on a stick! Ladies, MAKE SURE that hair, those nails, those clothes (or lack there of) are impeccable. Fellas, keep that facial hair trimmed, the lines tight, and everything smooth. AND everyone PLEEEEASE keep those bodies together è click here to ‘get right’ (PLUG)! Make plans prior to the visit to do something fun and unique, so the visits will be memorable. These memories serve as reminders of why the involved parties got involved in the first place.
All jokes aside, relationships are difficult enough without adding unpredictable factors such as distance, but if the participants work together to make it work, there is no reason why it should not. Care, communication, and chemistry propel relationships, and regardless of location, the pillars remain the constant and viable.
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Posted by GQ50 at 9:13 AM