Sailing the Distance on Relation-Ship
By Aleena Naghman
, a word that strikes like an adrenaline rush, brings back so many memories, future plans; evokes emotions, eternal pleasure for some while eternal sadness for others. We all have relationships of some sort or the other. This impulsive ship sails smooth sometimes, at times goes tipsy-turvy cutting through the rough high tide and occasionally upturns even before we realize ‘What just happened here?” But then what’s done can’t be undone. Right? When the ship is sunk into the depths of the ocean, what do we do? Simply deny it, feel guilty, get angry, let the blues take over, turn on sad tunes and eventually when we’re tired of all the moaning and groaning upon losing our once loved ones, we say we let them go. But do we really let go? Don’t we all sometimes obsess over our ex-es; sleepless nights, searching them over social networks, reading old conversations and the list goes on depending how creative one can get. During this stage some stalkers are born, some make anti depressants their best friends and some visit therapists to pour their hearts out for catharsis. Some of us survive and
reach the shore thinking we deserve better and some come to the shore with the heavy emotional ex-es baggage.
Most of us fall into the latter category. Yes you all might start denying and raising your eyebrows but dive down into the ocean of your memories and decide whether you come back dry or with a heavy-emotional burden hunching your back like the entire ocean water drenching you.
There is an endless list for why don’t relationships work out. But lets just investigate why did the famous ship sink on its way? Was the distance too long for it to handle that it hit a glacier broke down into two? One relationship that is doomed from its inception is long-distance relationship. I don’t know how we are hauled into this spinning whirlpool but the truth is; it sucks. The suicide rate for this relationship is pretty high and it perishes as easily as it begins. Its life span is short with a tall list of shipping and telephone bills and constant use of latest social apps and online connections. Usually it starts off with a simple plot; people meet online, talk, laugh, amuse each other and decide they are in love. That sounds good enough to be with someone. But the fine print utters a much complex plot. When it night in Lahore, the sun rises in New York. Initially, waking up in the middle of the night for your loved one feels worthwhile but then it starts taking its toll. A stressed out face at work with sleepy eyes, a nonexistent social life, friends get ignored and complain, most of all you fall victim to carpal tunnel syndrome by typing emails and messages on various chatting apps available. Sorry to burst your bubble, but have you actually met the person on the other side? You might have seen the best of pictures uploaded on social networking websites or even have had a video conversation with bright light and tons of makeup.
The point is not how we look but how we augment the other person’s expectations based on false reality. We start living in delusions about the ideal person that we have just met not realizing that they haven’t descended from utopia. The world of online people is only a place where the other part of the split personality comes to forefront. No one tells how abusive when they lose temper or they are on drugs or have committed some crime or even played around with someone else’s emotions before.
These realities matter in the long term when you plan future with a certain person because you start investing more in a relationship which could only be an illusion of reality with low returns. We cannot perceive whether he or she can stand beside you in times of happiness and crisis, whether they are capable of returning the love that we all need at times with an embrace and affectionate companionship. The relationship starts dwindling when reality begins to sink in. Your family wants to meet you partner, you wish to meet you partner and this is when excuses originate. The communication barrier starts building up, the person on the other end can’t talk much and communication lessens. This is when heartaches and pain set into your fairytale. The presence of the significant other shrinks and eventually they are gone.
Long distance relationships mostly develop between people who already know each other. They are either committed, engaged, married and then one of them goes abroad to chase their dreams or take up their responsibility. The person abroad, experiences difference of cultures, religion, social life and moral values. Ultimately the person left behind finds it hard to relate to the newly adapted lifestyle of the significant other. The couple becomes strangers and the relationship, like the sixth finger it becomes unwanted still hanging in there and the couple wishes to chop it off.
There are cases of long distance relationships that have survived too, but then most of them end in domestic abuse and violence or cheating upon the faithful spouse. However, on the flip side distance also becomes the bonding element between the couple as the saying goes ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder.’
At the end of the day, all a relationship need is a thriving environment and a healthy space to blossom and to sustain. To some this reality might appear cynical but research statistics show that only 1 out of 10 long distance relationships survive. With an outcome so weak and dreadful and the cost priceless wouldn’t we be better off with these virtual romances and surprised endings? It is up to you to decide. This ship needs a wise captain.

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