A long-distance relationship is easily one of the most difficult experiences I have encountered. It may leave you agonizing over love and slowly chip out fragments of your heart. There are uncertainties looming in thin air that occasionally develop into full-blown existential crises in no time. But as someone who has seen the good, bad, and the ugly of such a relationship, I think I’m perfectly qualified to say that it is definitely not as difficult as many people make it out to be. No doubt, it is hard. But in all honesty, it is not impossible.
The likelihood of success and failure are honestly well-adjusted out in a long-distance relationship. They come with their own set of unique and trying challenges. In this article, we have enlisted some of the plausible psychological effects of a long-distance relationship.
Fear of Missing Out
Fear of missing out is a powerful psychological effect that is commonly associated with long-distance relationships. It is defined as the anxiety stemming from the feeling of missing out on a pleasurable experience. This feeling is especially strong in the age of social media where people tend to project their best lives although this may not likely be a realistic picture of actual life itself.
This is amplified in long-distance relationships as there may be instances where the partner misses out on important events of the other’s life. This leads to anxiety and a feeling of being disconnected from one’s partner. According to mental health experts, FOMO is already a prevalent mental health disorder with a worrying frequency of occurrence in young adults.
While there may not be many ways to effectively combat FOMO, good communication between partners can be extremely helpful in making sure that both parties in the relationship do not feel left out of the loop.
Possessiveness and Insecurity
Insecurity/possessiveness in a relationship is often an inherent feeling. But this can escalate to a crippling intensity in long-distance relationships. This is often due to the distance creating trust issues between the partners leading to a desire to know the whereabouts of the partner at all times. This may not always be practical or even possible which would then lead to even deeper chasms of distrust between the two individuals. Trust is an important aspect of any relationship, but it is more important in a long-distance relationship. Feelings of distrust can be very destructive to the happiness of both partners.
There are various methods to overcome insecurity and gaining confidence and trust in your partner. Trying to control the actions of your partner is not one of them and this can quickly spiral into a toxic relationship. In long-distance relationships, it is often helpful for partners to remind each other that they value the other person and that they consider them special. Complimenting your partner and making sure they know their value can also serve a similar purpose. This can be effective in building confidence in your partner and make sure that they are not insecure about the relationship.
Jealousy is an extreme variation of relationship insecurity. It stems from the anxiety that the relationship is not as valuable to your partner as it is to you. Jealousy can be a very destructive psychological phenomenon. Your partner may be cool with it, but they may also interpret it as a sign that you do not fully trust them to hold up their end of the deal. This can eventually lead to feelings of distrust among partners and we all know how that ends. Jealousy is often a result of a feeling that your partner may either choose someone else over you or be unfaithful to you behind your back. This serves no positive purpose in a relationship. In fact, it will likely lead to very unpleasant arguments with your partner and will usually result in either of the individuals being hurt over it.
This can be one of the most difficult emotions you will encounter when you are in a long-distance relationship. It is no easy ride to sustain a good and healthy relationship when you have bouts of anxiety. You will mostly resort to overthinking and will find yourself on the edge of your mind. The plausibility of the many hypothetical situations about your partner that you fabricate in your mind will make you feel unsettled and wedges you into a loop of what-ifs. The fear and anxiety that results out of it are unprecedented. To effectively tackle anxiety, you can try maintaining a journal, listening to music, practicing yoga, breathing exercises and visualizations.
A sense of loneliness is heightened when you are in a long-distance relationship. When you are away from your partner, it is only usual to feel that way. It is normal to feel a sense of emptiness and loss of connection with your significant other. No matter how much you try, this is a feeling that will pervade your relationship. So it is impractical to avoid the feeling of loneliness altogether. Know that you are not alone in this feeling. If you ever feel that way, we advise you to hold on. Fight those feelings and just let it be. Learn to communicate your emotions with your partner. Before you know it, those negative feelings will go away. When you are feeling lonely, remembering the happy times and the memories that you dotingly cherish will help you get over your blues. When you feel low, you can indulge in some self-care and do anything at all that makes you happy.
Research and studies put forward that one of the many aspects which lead to the closure of long distance relationships is negativity. It becomes practically impossible to maintain a relationship when there is toxic negativity. It is easy to get lost in the negative space when in an LRD, particularly in the initial stages. You may end up feeling alone, and you may miss your partner all the time. All this coupled with jealousy and insecurities can be a tough cookie.
This negativity can have a serious impact on your everyday life. You may have trouble concentrating and enjoying the things that you love. Graver impacts of prolonged negativity include a weakened immune system that makes you prone to illnesses. It may also hamper your ability to think straight and make rational decisions. A good way to handle the negativity is by focusing on yourself. You can try and surround yourself with positive people who reinforce positivity and love. You can use this time to focus on your goals and bettering yourself as a person.
A long-distance relationship can be really tough to survive. If you do not communicate openly, there is a good chance that the stress from the relationship can make you depressed. It will in no time become an underlying emotion for many couples. It can put you in a murky mood and leave you in a dark space with thoughts and feelings. Depressive episodes of a partner will unfortunately lead your partner to be helpless and confused. To fight the same, you need to be acutely conscious of emotions. Keep your communication open and talk to your friends and family. Provide reassurance to your partner whenever needed. Eat healthy, practice mindful meditation, and exercise regularly. If you still feel stuck into it for long, you may think of consulting a psychologist.
It is very natural for partners to be fearful when they are in a long-distance relationship. There are a lot of uncertainties involved. Given that such a relationship gets a lot of flak for not working out, it is only natural to develop fear. There are always so many things that could go wrong—your partner finding someone else, infidelity, lack of communication leading to misunderstanding.
The only way to effectively manage fear in an LDR is to be open about it and confront it as it comes. We highly recommend talking it out and keeping the door open for communication. Don’t curb your fear since that will only intensify them and in the end, overwhelm you. It can blow up into some serious issues in no time. Keeping your fears to yourself will force you to overthink and lose your peace of mind. It may ultimately lead to other psychological symptoms like stress and anxiety. Activities such as journaling and mindful meditation can be used effectively to curb your fear and anxieties.