Gifts and roses and diamonds… the options can drive you crazy when it comes to celebrating or expressing love today. What about those lovers who can’t be together and are miles apart? On Valentine’s Day, NT BUZZ finds out the formula that couples in long distance relationships use to keep the love alive and thriving
Sure the world has become a global village, but for love to thrive in a long distance relationship is challenging. Unlike previously when letters and telegrams would be the only means to be in touch with your loved one, today, technology at your fingertips and lower costs of communication have bridged the gap of communication; an important factor in any relationship.
Nevertheless, nothing can compare to having your loved one by your side. So, while commercial outlets try to make the most of Valentine’s Day, for many lovers who don’t have their better half or partner in town the day will just pass like any other day.
Making it work, at all costs
Far or near, lovers and couples are bound to have disagreements, but when a commitment is made, distance and time shouldn’t make a difference if there is true love. Music teacher from Margao, Heather Fernandes who is in a long distance relationship believes that love across borders can surely be strengthened.
Fernandes says that there is this constant commitment to make the relationship work. She does say that there are times when several feelings take over that results in anxiousness, fear and curiosity and you tend to keep calling or texting all the time. “For the relationship to work, you first need to make a conscious decision to stay together with the person, and you need to be committed 100 per cent to the person,” Fernandes says.
Danika Naik has been in a long distance relationship for over two and a half years. Her partner is not from Goa and is based up north due to work commitments. He also travels overseas frequently and that means change in time zones too. “What has worked for us is that we adjust to each other and understand the importance of our careers too. There is maturity between us, though sometimes when emotions fly high and with mood swings there are times we turn cranky. But there’s no giving up on each other,” she says.
The importance of conveying feelings
The true importance of love involves honesty and being open. Fernandes says that when two people love each other and are committed, there shouldn’t be any apprehensions when it comes to sharing one’s doubts or issues. However, a tip she gives to people who are in long distance relationships is to not confide your relationship struggles with anyone, as that could complicate things.
Fernandes does agree that there are trying times, where doubts arise due to various reasons, including some things that are silly, but it is imperative to remind yourself about the things you love about your partner, so that doubt doesn’t lead to a bigger problem.
Anisha Dsouza from Margao who has been married for over five years tells us that her husband works overseas and it’s difficult to manage and handle things at times, especially emotions. “We feel each other’s presence and express our emotions and feelings through video chat. It is as if there is no distance between us and thus we keep our emotions alive,” says Anisha.
Danika tells us that while her partner is very quick to gauge that something isn’t right in the manner she speaks to him on some days, she tells us that her partner, who is otherwise not used to sharing things has become the opposite and likes talking about problems and issues, and topics related to relationships which are helpful to the two of them. “It’s very easy for him to talk about love, physical proximity, sharing memories of meeting each other and those intricate details, which can be embarrassing. But I’ve begun to realise after being in two previous relationships, that opening up to each other brings in great comfort,” she says.
Love and fun
Gifts and surprises are good to keep that spark in a long distance relationship alive, and today with the internet and home delivery options, you can send love packed in a box as a gift, or through flowers, and what not.
Anisha tells us that even though they have been married for over five long years, they still surprise each other with gifts and flowers and thus don’t let the notion of ‘after marriage the spark dies off’ get to them.
Heather tells us that when Whatsapp, and video calls connects you instantly with your loved one, sending an email, or physical letters or cards is also a kind gesture of love and can make the other persons day.
Danika never liked plants but her partner loves plants and animals, which she’s not just getting used to, she has also begun contemplating having a kitchen garden. While her valentine has moved out of the country, she couriered two plants this time for him. “Last year, I searched online for a home baker who could get something customised and sent him a box of customised cupcakes. He doesn’t bother about Valentine’s Day, but I like sending things once in a while that he likes or to simply surprise him,” she says before adding that she’s also sent dry fish, coconuts, and jaggery in the past.
Don’t count the days apart
Who doesn’t want to be physically close to the love of your life? But, work and responsibilities do not allow it to happen as much as you may want to. People working away from home usually come just once or twice a year and for many it can be a dilemma of whether their relationship will work out or not.
Heather tells us that during the time of being apart from each other, one should not count the days and months the person is away from you, but it should be measured as a time for growth in love and it should be looked at positively as an opportunity to know each other better.
Danika says, “It does get very difficult at times to live without the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. When we started dating we had planned to meet at least once in three months, which eventually became once in two months. And this has continued. But sometimes time just doesn’t fly,” she says.
(Complied by Venita Gomes and Danuska Da Gama)