Living apart from loved ones can present challenges but can also create opportunities to connect deeper. When apart, differences in time zones, expenditure on travel, limited time spent physically present all become considerable nuances when developing or maintaining a connection. In being apart, it becomes harder to tap into physical closeness and intimacy - taking away a fundamental essence of human connection.
While it has become almost effortless to engage via digital and IoT communication, some research suggests that social capital is impacted by geographical distance. The intensity of social relationships increases and decreases depending on how far away from each other people are. Despite this, it is possible to harness the distance in creating meaningful bonds with others.
To think on the upside, maintaining a connection at a distance can bring about increased independence, an intentionalism approach to relationship building, and meaningful gift-giving. Even more so, once reconnected, distance serves as a reminder to savour each moment of being physically present. When apart, the perception of ‘connection’ changes; it is no longer meaningful because both parties are physically present, but because emotional effort and will are equally put into the relationship to keep it going. It is the intention to continue a relationship that solidifies it at a distance. The process of tapping into emotional connection hence becomes crucial. Regardless of what that looks like for different people, it is sure to develop feelings of reassurance, support, and presence.
“Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them.”