Long Distance Relationships

With rapid growth in the fields of science and technology, the world seems to have become a small place to live. Today, nothing is far from the reach of those who want something which they are capable of getting or acquiring. And this may be one of the reasons as to why the concept of long-distance relationships has also witnessed a tremendous boom like never before.

I believe that no one reading this article is unfamiliar with the concept of long-distance relationships but still, to be specifically speaking, I would not forget to mention that by long-distance relationships, I intend to refer to only those relationships which exist between two lovers or partners who live far from each other and mostly, are not in a position to meet each other that frequently because of the long distance that exists between them.

Long-distance relationships get formed mostly under two circumstances. Sometimes people get into a relationship but due to certain reasons, they move to some distant place, away from their partners. Also at times, people come across someone who lives far from them and then, get emotionally involved with them forming a bond. Thanks to fast-speed internet and telephone which also leads to  and support such bonds and relationships.

But these kinds of relationships are constantly questioned as to whether they really work or not, whether it’s feasible to be in one or not, whether they can really lead to a socially acceptable bond or not and the like.

That is why, there are two sets of people who opine absolutely contrast to each other. One set of people supports the idea of having long-distance relationships whereas the other does not.

The people who do not favour this idea think that it is absolutely impractical and unfeasible to be in love with someone whose presence can not always be felt. They believe that, most of the times, people can not be trusted or relied upon too much when they are out of sight especially for a long period of time. They call it a ‘risky-affair’.

According to Dr. Ram Ahuja, the former Professor of Sociology at the University of Rajasthan, “the needs of the children of this generation are catered by their parents and they believe in perfectionism so much that they see no point in taking any sort of risk even while making as important a decision as choosing a life-partner for them. That is why, these days, more and more well-educated and career-oriented people prefer arranged-marriages.”

Even a famous author and columnist like Shobhaa  De, who fiercely used to advocate the concept of love-marriage in the nineties, started believing that the arranged-marriages are the best sort of marriages just a little while before her own daughter- Ipshita got married.

Those who are not in the favour of long-distance relationships also think in the same way . Most of them think that they would never even dream of being in one such relationship since they believe that such relationships do not last for long. Some of them even believe that such relationships do not even exist. Such people call long distance relationships ‘unrealistic’ which never work well. According to them, they probably work for a short period of time ultimately turning out to be disastrous, greatly affecting one’s mental poise.

Actress Emma Watson’s relationship with her ex-beau also ended-up because of some similar sort of reasons- they call it a trans-Atlantic gap. Now-a-days, most of the long-distance relationships witness a tragic end.

Today, a lot of reality shows on television give a lot of visual experiences to the people who form a negative opinion about being in long-distance relationships. Many times, their personal experiences or the incidents which took place with someone they know or are closely associated with form the basis of their opinion.  They think that such relationships are meant for those who lack enough warmth and depth in their lives which they usually do not derive from their near and dear ones.

It’s true to some extent that at times, people prefer coming closer to someone who lives far from them rather than trusting the ones who are easily approachable. The modern-day life of man and urbanization can also be held responsible for it which leave one alienated from his surroundings and make one self-centered.

But there is yet another set of people which believes that being in a long-distance relationship is not at all a bad idea. According to them, what most matters is the faith that one has in the person with whom one’s partnered. One’s honesty while handling such a relationship and trust upon one’s partner can help her or him a long way to build and maintain such long distance relationships.

According to Bollywood actor Rahul Bose, internet love affairs are pretty interesting. He played the lead role in the film, “The Japanese Wife”, in which he gets married to a Japanese woman but is unable to meet her. The only way to maintain his relationship with her was through the letters which both wrote to each other. Bose does not blame internet for alienating people from each other because he thinks that, in a way, it has brought people closer to each other and made them interact more about the things which they otherwise would not. He says, “If you’re a shy person, you can be a funny, warm person and your shyness can be revealed later on, but by then, that person is already half in love with you.”

To analyze the concept of long-distance relationships more deeply, let’s go back to the ancient time of kings and queens, when wars and battles were probably the only possible ways to maintain or restore peace. Thousands of soldiers in the armies of various rulers, conquerors or invaders used to stay months away from their families and experienced homesickness at all points of time in their lives. At that time, the concept of long-distance relationships was not so hyped, may be it was not even thought of. It used to be just another way of living life for the women of those soldiers.

Art in the form of literature, music, etc expressed the pining of lovers. Even in those pieces of art, nothing about disloyalty or infidelity was ever mentioned. In fact, long-distance relationships were the only subject of discussion at times like in Meghadoota  by Kalidasa. Maybe, at that time, love was seen as something more divine and spiritual in its form than as it is seen nowadays. Today , no one questions the loyalty or fidelity of the people of those times. Those people never used to give a second thought to this whole idea of long-distance relationships before taking marriage vows. If such ties could be successful in those times, then I wonder why they can’t be successful now when it’s much easier for people to maintain relationships with those who live far from them.

Even today, the people who serve their motherland or are in professions like merchant navy, etc are bound to live away from their families for a long period of time. Perhaps, as we see today, they seem more successful in maintaining their relationships with their partners much more promisingly than the ones who live with their loved ones under one single roof. If long-distance relationships were ever that big an issue between soldiers and their wives, then all the people serving their country would have been bachelors till their last breath.

So let’s once again question ourselves, whether it is really the distance that is to be blamed for not keeping up the same level of joy and love between two people or the people themselves. Maybe, it depends on the kind of person one really is rather than the relationship which she or he maintains.

To conclude, I would just like to question everyone. If most of us can claim to have an unbreakable bond with God whom none of us has ever seen, then why can’t a physical distance between two lovers be ignored? Only trust upon God helps one to believe Him and confide in Him who is beyond this world of mortals. The same trust can also strengthen one’s bond with someone of the same world who is much more familiar and loved.

Aditi Swami

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