While the classic interpretation of “survival of the fittest” (only the strongest survive), isn’t entirely true in evolutionary theory (it’s more like “survival of the best survivor”), it is a pretty good description of a long distance relationship and whether it, well, survives.
You really need to be a strong person to be able to deal with the constant heartache, and everyone deals with it differently. You may not know how you do it, but you do.
This kind of relationship isn’t for everyone. Actually, it’s not for anyone, but some people find it easier to cope with. Kylie and I are both introverts, which I think is a big help, but I believe there are at least three essential things that you need in order to survive:
- The first one is kind of self-explanatory. You need patience. And patience sometimes takes a lot of practice. Kylie and I have always been patient people, so we have already have that advantage.
- Second, you need to have a way to cope with the everyday reality of the one you love being so far away. In the case of Kylie and I, we constantly have a Skype call running, even while one of us is sleeping, and when we don’t, we still use the chat. I’m sure many people would find it annoying to do that (and I would lie if I said I never do), but it’s mostly routine for us by now. We have been doing it for two and a half years, and I think we need the reassurance. Just having her there on the screen, ready to interact with, even if we are both working on completely separate things… It is what we need to keep away the crazy feelings that could otherwise come boiling to the surface.
- Third, you need to be best friends. And this doesn’t mean that you should necessarily be friends before you enter into the relationship. It’s a great help, but Kylie and I went from meeting online to changing our relationship statuses on Facebook in a month. We had no time to develop that deep friendship before. We were certainly building up to it, but we hadn’t really gotten there yet. That happened along the way. So what you do need is to be on a foundation of being friends – only friends who are a little more than most other friends. If your relationship is based on surface level feelings, you need to probe deeper. Share the kind of secrets only the best of friends would tell each other.
So work on your patience, figure out what your way of coping is, and probe deeper into yourselves. There is much self discovery in these questions, and the better you know each other, the more prepared you are for what might happen in the future.