July 28, 2020

The only way to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work.


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There are innumerable definitions of marriage around the world.

You may check in the dictionary or google the meaning. There are all shades of colour splashed on this union: happy colors, sad colors, peaceful colors—all signifying different emotions. One is never lost on this word.

Over the years, marriage has evolved in many forms. These days, there is no traditional cast in which a marriage is moulded. And we, as a modern society, accept and applaud every form of marriage.

It is not strange that one of the most known forms of marriage is the long-distance one.

We grew up watching movies and series with couples who go through this situation—more often than not, it is a result of careers, circumstances, or just plain life getting in the way.

I recall watching war movies and often wondering how real life soldiers have the courage to stay away from their wives and children. I wondered how their wives have the patience and perseverance to hold onto their emotions. How do the children lead a life of missing out on some key moments? I frankly found this to be immensely brave and always thought that I could never have the courage to do the same.

Then I experienced real life stories with some family members and friends who were in long-distance marriages and knew how they dealt with it. I also witnessed my own parents at home. My father was a journalist, and his work took him away from us for the larger part of the year. My mother would soldier on and look after the house and my upbringing.

I wonder if I ever noticed her angst, or I was too lost in my own childhood. But I always noticed that even though my parents were apart, they made sure to connect even if for a minute each day. I felt that when my parents talked to each other, even if it was the same old questions every day, it brought some sense of normalcy in their life.

Then time turned to me, with all my observations over the years and my own expectations of how I would lead my life. I saw myself getting into the same groove of a relationship, a courtship, and a marriage that entailed distance.

I am surrounded by a few close friends and families who are dealing with the same situation, and definitely because of reasons that are practical. I often heard some endearing stories of surviving these unusual times. I know people who connect on an hourly basis, who talk around the clock, and who are present with each other through platforms to make up for the physical absence. Then there are a few who are patient and would go about their day productively and then touch base as if they were in front of each other the whole time.

As much as life has evolved, we have also evolved with it. Technology makes life much easier, and we don’t have to wait for a letter to reach us by post in a month. Every couple has always had their own tune, and even an adventurous version of marriage always has its foundation in friendship.

In a world of great love stories, we often forget about the importance of love that looks ordinary, but hardly ever is. The one that encompasses all hurdles of time and distance. When your friendship is stronger than your labels and the demands that come with it. When there is an ugly transparency, a beautiful truth, and so much acceptance that sometimes life can get in the way of grand plans. When you don’t feel the need for validation on a daily basis or proof of your worth.

It is then that the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It is then that just another story is seen as a example.

What had always worked for couples in the past, what has worked for couples I know today, and what I have seen in family and friends is that you need to be absolutely confident in your foundation that you have built.

Foundation of honesty and friendship is what gets you through any situation, which has actually been the foundation of the bond I share with my better half.

We often chase something that is already great, and we devalue the importance of building something greater. The ones who understand this win something priceless.

The key here is to not chase a particular form of marriage. The key is to make any form of marriage worthy and priceless. We live in uncertain times when we don’t even know when we may share the same space again with our better half, and in such times, what keeps us going is the faith in our foundation and hope in a better tomorrow.

Till then, for those of us who are experiencing distance in marriage, we can keep basking in the company of our spouse through any and every medium that we have available to us.

For there is patience in distance, joy in the wait, and acceptance of life in every way.



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