Most of the time I write about relationships I discuss connecting with your partner or ways to get closer. One of the elements of a relationship that I haven’t touched on as much is distance.

In a relationship we all want that sense of comfort and belonging to someone, and we want to feel the same way in return. However in a relationship we also need our own time and space to just be alone in our thoughts, pursuing a personal dream, or simply hanging out with our own friends.

In the case of Salama and I when we first got married she was highly dependent on me and I would be the one spending time with friends, she used to say I wasn’t spending enough time with her when I thought I was, she felt I grew distant.

When we got back from the United States she had become very independent, started her own business, enrolled back in University, and started building her own little world beyond our relationship. I felt she grew distant.

Having that distance is not something bad, on the contrary I believe it’s healthy and brings a sense of balance to the relationship, just because we have committed to someone else doesn’t mean all our personal dreams and interests should disappear.

I feel distance only starts gets bad when feelings are not communicated and that distance becomes something greater in your head that it is in real life. We all have our own unique needs for closeness and distance, the problems happen when they are both completely different.

A weekend apart might be normal for one partner, but might seem like an eternity to the other partner, the only way to find understanding is to talk about it. Ask what are your needs to feel loved and how do they not make the other person feel locked down and unable to do anything else? It’s an awkward conversation I know but it’s worth every second spent talking about it.

Personally I would say being comfortable with distance is one of the hardest parts of marriage, but once you take the time to understand what it means to both of you the love will grow stronger no matter how far apart you are.