Home' Nova National : October 2010 Contents © NOVA OCTOBER 2010 39
Relationships are all challenging
-- new ones, permanent ones,
casual ones, all kinds. Among
the most difficult are those
conducted at a distance.
There are many reasons why sometimes
lovers have to be separated for varying
degrees of time. They might meet while
one or both are away from their usual
home; they fall for each other but have
to return to their respective home cities.
If a younger couple, they may need to
study in different schools/colleges. Even
in an established relationship, there may
be reason for time apart, as in a career
relocation, family illness or a job that
requires constant travelling.
So, what are the inherent difficulties?
❤ strain on the relationship
❤ risk of infidelity
❤ difficulties in maintaining contact
❤ eventually, alienation
Many relationships can't take the strain
of separation and end, sooner or later.
Some separations are for long periods,
several months or even years, and they're
the litmus test for the durability of the
feelings between the separated pair. Other
separations are often and intermittent,
such as when one partner has a job
that takes them away constantly -- FIFO
workers in the mining industry are a great
example. When children are involved, it's
even more complicated.
I've often heard from men, in particular,
that they find it very difficult to be absent
so much from their family life. When they
return, they feel like strangers in their
own home and basically redundant. From
the wife and family's point of view, he
becomes more like a visitor than a parent.
It's an artificial situation.
For young couples, regular separations
reduce intimacy, cause tension and create
a lot more work in the relationship to
keep it positive. Time is the worst casualty.
Again, many couples find it easier to
drift into a permanent separation from this
system or simply find new partners.
There's another angle to this subject
that's worth exploring. What does it
mean when some people find themselves
continually attracted to partners or
potential partners at a distance? This
is actually a very common relationship
pattern and is usually related to
commitment phobia. What is this? This
is a reluctance, caused by fear, to truly
commit oneself to love, intimacy,
To begin to understand this
phenomenon, it's necessary to know that
the laws of attraction are based on two
things -- the need to heal a childhood
relationship and the need to learn
something from the intended. What,
you mean it has nothing to do with that
killer smile, those big blue eyes, that
witty personality? Sorry. As unromantic
as it sounds, the answer is more or less
no. The less part is that sure -- physical
beauty and charm are factors, but mainly
as bait, packaging, if you will.
What really creates the chemistry
relationship or you've met someone
else who interests you, be honest
❤ don't distance yourself emotionally
❤ don't spend your time worrying about
what your loved one is doing back
If you're the one left behind--
❤ don't fall into the traps of loneliness
❤ keep yourself positively busy
❤ continue your normal life -- see friends,
enjoy your home, work well, have other
❤ don't obsess about the one who's
❤ don't be resentful about being left
❤ keep the lines of communication
❤ if you no longer want to wait, tell him/
her and move on
Maintaining a long distance relation-
ship takes a special level of courage,
strength, loyalty and depth. To make
it work, self esteem is your best tool,
because when you're confident and happy
in yourself, you can withstand separations
without jealousy, loneliness, anxiety,
paranoia, depression and the temptation
to be unfaithful taking over. But isn't self
belief what all relationships need to keep
them healthy and happy? Work on that
and the rest will take care of itself.
Charmaine is willing to answer your relationship questions
to appear in NOVA Maga zine, both in print and online.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
between two people is energy exchange,
that special "vibe" that draws us to a
certain person, above others.
Okay, so why would someone be
attracted to a person who is unavailable
because of geographical distance? One
could see physical absence as also
emotional. Hence, a commitment-phobe
would find it highly desirable to fall for a
person who lives far away or has to travel
constantly because it offers a ready made
excuse for a lack of permanence and an
escape from too much togetherness.
We are all driven by our primary
relationship pattern. Once identified, it
can be altered or released altogether.
Falling for unavailable people, whether
physically or emotionally, is self defeating
and therefore, to be avoided. As all of
this is subconscious, we aren't aware of
it operating unless we actively choose to
deal with it. In the case of long distance
relationships, the commitment-phobe
might be convinced that they hate the
separations and yet accept them time
Whether long-distance relationships
are actively sought, reluctantly endured
or downright destructive, they can be
improved by attitude adjustment and a
few practical techniques.
How to improve long distance
If you're the one away--
❤ stay in touch regularly even if it's short
❤ show you still care by being con-
siderate, sending the occasional bunch
of flowers, remembering important
❤ stay faithful if that's the agreement
relationships with counsellor
Dr Charmaine Saunders.
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