Keeping The Distance: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux

Love apart

Posted Feb 20, 2018

Many people have a long-distance relationship, either by choice or necessity, and are able to make it work with a great deal of effort and flexibility. That usually entails a strong desire to be together and a willingness on both people’s part to make room for each of their respective needs.

However, the recent announcement that actors Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux decided to call it quits after two years of marriage is testimony to the fact that love does not conquer all. The couple said it was a mutual decision to part ways. While Jennifer and Justin love and respect each other, they said they simply couldn’t agree on a lifestyle that worked for both of them. This is a common issue couples may face. You can love someone and still want to live in a different style or location from the one your partner chooses.

It often comes down to sorting out the trials and struggles that go into discovering that middle ground which will allow you to successfully make a home in the same place. Finding a compromise is hard enough for two people who live under the same roof, but when you are separated either because of work schedules or actual office placement, it can be more of a challenge. The key is being able to commit to a place together without one person feeling they have sacrificed something crucial to their happiness and well-being.

So if you find yourself in a long distance relationship right now, what are the things to consider before you decide to move to be with your significant other so that you can best guarantee a successful outcome? How can you be sure you or your partner won’t be giving up so much that it could negatively impact your staying together?

The most important box to check is that you are truly in love. This will give you the tolerance to be open to changes and letting go of things that matter to you because you will be heading to the destination where your loved one is. While this is a place to start, it might not be enough, as we saw with Jennifer and Justin.

When deciding to take the plunge, ask yourself if you actually like the town or city you will be moving to, and all that goes along with that, or will it take away from your daily happiness? For example, if one of you lives in a sunny place, but the other one simply hates the sun, or if one of you lives in a rural community and the other thrives on city life, the choice might not be so easy to make. What if all your friends live in your current town, and you would resent moving away from them to be with your love? Think about how all of this might affect your day-to-day life, which will then affect your mood and eventually your relationship.

If, on the other hand, your partner lives in New York City and that is a place you have always wanted to reside in despite the fact that it might mean leaving some people behind, great! If it is a location you like and would even consider going to alone, it could be well worth taking the risk. If not, at the very least talk about how long your partner plans to be there. If it is a year, that might be okay. If it is a permanent move, then that might not be something you want to take on no matter how in love you are at the moment.

If you fall into the taking-the-chance category, think about what it means for you in terms of where you can find happiness and friends in your new home, as well as what it means for your relationship. First of all, is this decision mutual? In other words, do you each want it as much as the other? Also, does this mean it is time to take the next step and consider getting engaged, and, if so, are you both on the same page about that?

In addition, consider if your connection is strong enough to begin to see each other in less than perfect shape. Up until now most of the time you have spent together was special and almost like being on vacation. Because of that you have probably made sure you looked great at all times and were on your best behavior. Once you move to be together that will be much more difficult to keep up. Along those same lines, can you depend on your partner to help you settle in? The hope would be that you could, and the answer could be telling when you decide how much you want to commit to being together.

Ultimately it comes down to the question of whether you are moving for the right reasons, which include love and being open to an adventure, without feeling you are losing too much of yourself. Because of that, it helps to connect with a partner who has similar aspirations, wants, likes, and needs so that in the end it doesn’t feel like either of you is sacrificing your “me” to be a “we.” This wasn’t possible for Jennifer and Justin, but hopefully they can both move forward and find happiness apart.