It's been two years since 'he' shifted base and we began this phase of being in a long distance relationship. Two years since 'he' became a voice, a photograph. Having seen and heard of long distance relationships collapsing within the first few months, I take it as a big moral booster that 'we' are going stronger than ever before. There have been the ups and downs, innumerable debates and lots of tears, but each time I feel it adds to the relationship, to our understanding of each other, to the trust and love that binds us.
And yet now that the judai is nearing its end, I find myself scared of the entire prospect of meeting 'him' in person. The seven seas do not restrict or dampen our daily communications. If we are to meet tomorrow the conversation would be a continuation from where we left off yesterday. But then I am mighty scared of meeting 'him' in person.
I fear I have fallen for the distance. The fact that an email or phone call though capable of conveying everything also gives me a chance to veil and shield uncomfortable and disturbing facts, feelings and thoughts is very comforting. The feeling of being in a relationship and yet having your own space (lots of it!) is enticing. Two years is a long time for anyone to fall in love with that feeling.
And most importantly the fact that after two years each one of us must have changed in ways that cannot be conveyed through phone calls and emails. Things that might not have been anticipated, that the other could never have even dreamt of, matters of habit, changes in thought processes due to cultural differences…. lots of things that could surprise and shock. In such a situation when you meet the person with the old image in mind, and also the understanding that things might have changed, how do you react? A restrained reaction could be interpreted for lack of love? A fear, some awkwardness due to years of distance... how does one count for it? How does one assure oneself that such differences are minor and would not harm the relationship? How does one stop worrying and wondering about various scenarios that might arise, that one might rather avoid?
I fear all this and so I communicate. 'We' talk ceaselessly about all our fears, apprehensions and plans. Nothing is left unsaid. But we know it's humanly impossible to communicate everything one thinks of. The probability of things a human mind can conceive out of things left unsaid is immense. It could be subconscious, but it's there. It impacts our behaviour, our interpretations. It impacts the relationship.
Add to it leaving behind your family, your city, everything you have grown up with and shifting base to a completely new country, a new culture; what are the repercussions of it on the relationship? Do you channelise your energies towards adjusting and adapting to the new environment or do you worry about your relationship more? Do you try to overcome the homesickness, the loneliness, the unprotectedness or do you worry about what you are saying to your partner, your choice of words, your choice of actions? Do you try and be pleasing to him/her because he/she's been away for so long, away from you and family and friends and so has naturally suffered a lot emotionally; or do you concentrate on the apprehensions of your parents about sending you so far off, their concerns for your safety, their expectations about your conduct there? What do you do when you suddenly find yourself in a new country with your parents', your partner's and your own expectations piling up on all sides? Who do you turn to? Yourself? Do you expect your parents to understand? Do you expect your partner to stand by you, guide you because he/she has been through some of it and so could give you time to sort out things for yourself? Do you be a bystander and let things take their own course? Who takes the onus for anything that goes wrong? What do you do?!!
7 years ago