Fears About Long Distance Relationships
It makes so much sense that long-distance relationships can produce a variety of fears. We are social creatures meant to have connections to a positive support network, and even closer connections with a few others. When you and your partner are in a long-distance relationship, your physical body starts to miss the cue from your significant other’s presence– the cue that causes you to feel safe and at peace when you’re with them.
Fears can ramp up to be even stronger in a long-distance relationship if you’ve ever experienced relationships that ended in betrayal of trust or abandonment (physical or emotional). You’ve been through “the worst-case scenario” before, and it caused a lot of pain. Now, your body is being resourceful in giving you danger warnings about potential pain that could come from being in a long-distance relationship. If left unaddressed, however, these fears
can be erosive to the relationship.
Expectations Versus Reality
It’s important to have a conversation with your partner about the expectations of a long-distance relationship. What are some ways you can offer reassurance to each other once you are long-distance? What do you both plan to do if feelings change and expectations need to be adjusted? If it is feasible, this might be a good opportunity to start therapy together and have a space to unpack fears and concerns about the relationship becoming long-distance.
Prioritizing and time management can be difficult tasks already. Adding different time zones, work schedules, and privacy concerns into the mix makes the whole process even more challenging. As time grows between each chance to talk and connect intimately with your partner, it can feel more like you’re single rather than in a relationship.
How To Make It Work
You may spend time talking with your long-distance partner, but still, be desiring a more intimate connection. You may also want a space for talking about the expectations of a long-distance relationship. Now that we have all been forced to adjust our ways of connecting due to the global pandemic, therapy via telehealth has become a new norm. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy could be a useful resource for you and your partner if you are in a long-distance relationship, or considering it. The EFT therapist recognizes that vulnerability is the essence of connection. Therapy can be a space where you and your partner discuss your emotional experiences in the relationship, and receive guidance on communicating openly and compassionately, helping your long-distance relationship to thrive.