I was in halfway between Hawaii and Australia when all I wanted to do was jump out of the plane to ease the restlessness in my legs. The walking down the aisle every few hours wasn’t enough. I wanted to be there already. I scrolled through the movies and found countless romantic comedies about couples living oceans apart. I chuckled silently, while thinking, Hollywood doesn’t have a clue when it comes to what long distance couples go through.
Long distance relationships are romanticised much like everything else in Hollywood. Hollywood does know about the excitement and beauty of long distance relationships. Many people fall for someone with a different culture and accent thinking it will be easy like it is in the movies. And long distance relationships can in fact be blessings, the couple just needs to equip themselves.
Communication is the key
It’s extremely important for those in long distance relationships to keep their communication line open. Technology has made it easier for people in long distance relationships. Technology shortens the distance. Whether a person is across the country from their lover or across the world communication will hold them together. Whether that be through text messages, snail mail, Skype, or pictures of each other throughout the day.
Movies are unrealistic
In the movies, you don’t see the character struggling to come up with money, tickets, or visas. They just have them. If those parts were included in the movies, the audience would be groaning by the second hour. You usually only see the characters flying out or landing. There are also decisions the couples will make concerning where they are going to live. Hollywood makes it seem a lot easier than it is, like at the end of Letters to Juliet, where Charlie tells Sophia that he would leave London, “as long as you are waiting for me on the other side”. It just makes a person swoon. Realistically, there is a lot more conversation that leads to that conclusion.
Trust and patience
Relationships in movies never have depth. They move so fast and many are not built around trust. Couples in long distance relationships have to trust – if they don’t it will end. Patience is important in many different levels. Sometimes couples will be on different time zones, different sleep, and work schedules. Patience isn’t easy, because sometimes a person just needs a hug, but they have to wait a month for that hug.
Remember to have fun
The movies barely show when the couples are apart. It’s all off the screen. If they ever do show it, it’s usually about a minute long segment filled with sad music where the characters are glancing off into the distance. After that, they are together again. So easy. It doesn’t go that fast. In reality, long distance relationships have to come up with exciting new ways to keep it fresh.
• Find games to play; there are many fun apps.
• Online scavenger hunts where they give clues toward some surprise.
• Read a book together or watch a movie.
Many young long distance relationships end after they’ve run out of things to talk about, which is sad. I think people have forgotten something – when couples are together in the same place, do they talk nonstop? No. A person in any relationship shouldn’t have to talk nonstop. In the movies, everyone is usually extremely supportive of the couple, but sadly it isn’t like that it real life. I wish it was. Some people will be encouraging, but there are those who discourage or try talking the couple out of it. It’s hard to ignore, but the couple must – because the stress is unneeded.
Even though reality doesn’t measure up to Hollywood’s glitz and glam, a couple that survives the distance will experience their own Hollywood moments. With trust, patience, a good sense of humor, and love a couple will be able to go the distance.
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