Distance makes the heart grow fonder. That’s what they say. How do “they” know that? Does it not just make you forget instead? After all, there are other “they” who say out of sight means out of mind.
If time is distance then yes, it can make you appear to forget. The reality though is that you don’t actually forget. What it does is give you time to let things go so only the best parts are left. It gives you perspective. It makes you see the important things, the good things, the happy times, and let the rest go.
When it comes to actual distance, as in miles rather than time, things can be difficult. We want to be with the person we love. We want to share stories about our days over dinner, snuggle up next to them at night, wake up with them in the morning. We can’t do those things when we aren’t together. Sure there are many ways to connect when apart in today’s world of technology but it isn’t the same. You can see each other and talk over Skype, you could do more if you wanted, but you can’t touch each other, kiss each other, or just enjoy each other’s company while doing nothing at all.
The thing with distance though is that how much of an issue it is, as a couple or as two people wanting to be a couple, depends on something. It depends on whether the distance has always been there or if it is something new. If you meet someone who doesn’t live locally you have to deal with distance right from the start so it just becomes a part of that relationship, whereas if the person who has always lived close to or with you is now half way across the country or the globe it becomes a new challenge in that relationship. It is much easier to have a long distance relationship with someone who you’ve not had a local relationship with. It still isn’t easy, but it is easier.
When distance isn’t an issue you would think that you would be more connected than ever but sadly that isn’t always the case. When you are together every day you tend to go about your daily routines and neglect to put effort into communicating with each other to stay connected. Work gets in the way. Kids get I the way. Life gets in the way. This is where long distance relationships are often better. People do a better job of communicating when they start out apart. They have to. They spend hours chatting online or on the phone. They ask each other anything and everything.
If you meet someone online and start a relationship with them, by the time you’ve met in person you already know more about them than you would some random person you meet at a bar while you were getting drunk celebrating a friend’s birthday. Why people still think more caution is required when meeting someone you’ve “met” online I’ll never understand.
A friend did that exact thing, met some random guy at a bar when she was drunk celebrating another friend’s birthday. This guy drove her home and went into her house. The next morning when she woke up and found the note with his phone number that he had left on the fridge she had no idea who had left the note or that it was meant for her. She didn’t remember anything about him, not even what he looked like. She, being rather foolish, called him and met him a few days later for a drink. She was lucky that nothing bad happened to her that first night. It took a while for her to find out what he was really like and by then he had done way too much damage to her life.
I drove over four hours to meet someone in person I had met online. I drove to another country to meet him. I already knew what he looked like, his full name and birthdate, his phone number and various online handles, his family member’s names and where some of them lived, what he drove and the license plate on that vehicle, as well as a lot of other personal information. I wasn’t concerned about meeting him at all. I wasn’t stupid about it though, friends knew where I was going. They had his pertinent contact information and we had various check in points over the time I was with him. I always felt safe. Not just in knowing somebody was aware of where I was and who I was with, but also because I felt safe with him.
There are times when I wish distance, both in miles and in time, would make me forget certain things. I wished it would make me forget the sound of his voice, his laugh. I wished it would make me forget his eyes and the feel of his hands on me. I wished it would make me forget that I loved him. However, I haven’t forgotten any of those things.
People’s proximity to each other does not automatically make them a better fit for a relationship, nor does it mean they will know each other better. Whether you share a bed every night or you live more than a thousand of miles apart, you still have to communicate and make an effort. Distance can go away in time, people can find ways to be together if that is what they want, but unless you keep communicating and making an effort with one another it will not continue to work.