Scholars have long observed that the most powerful feelings of love seem to require distance. Their obvservations stem from the fact that love feels most poignant, has a more exquisite intensity, when someone longs for another. Which, when you think about it, you can see its evidence. You see people in solid, settled relationships, who once had complete adoration for the other, now sinking and sulking through their daily routine, their love fading, their feelings turning more torward resentment and regret.
As the resentment and regret grows, the wunderlust starts. This is not just about the desire to be with another person, but rather the desire to be somewhere else. So many people seem to think all of their dreams will come true and they will find life on easy street if only they lived in Dallas or perhaps on a beach near the gulf. They “long” for the beautiful life they’ve often dreamed of – the one they were somehow cheated of by unwittingly, being trapped in their now-loveless relationship.
Stories, songs, poetry and long talks with your closest friend are full of these thoughts. Love is always troubled and painful. Desireous to be free, people in relationships long for something more. Desireous to be partnered up, people not in relationships also long for something more. Where are the songs and poems and stories about a quiet understanding, a stress-free contentment about your place in life? Is love that hard to get right? Or is there something about our psyche that wants love to be challenging – difficult? Do we unknowingly want and need and create distance between ourselves and love? Is that part of why we always think, ” if only I could live in California….?”
Freud believed our brains contain repressed urges and needs, which cause us to act in harmful, self-defeating ways. With this in mind and thinking of the choices people make in love and the painful relationships they often endure, it seems as though Freud had a point. As Freudian as our behavior may seem, there are some underlying logics in relationships, including the distance that we put in them. When there is distance in a relationship, it’s probably serving some purpose. Whether that purpose is good or bad can depend upon your perception of it. Consider the following:
•Distance allows room for fantasy.
•Distance protects privacy.
•Distance makes it possible to indulge, at least temporarily, in a mismatched or otherwise futureless relationship.
•Distance feels safer; perhaps an attempt at love without risking too much.
•Distance may feel familiar; it may simply be what someone is used to.
With that said, many people still dream of starting their lives over in a different city, state or country. “Tulsa is not a good place for singles.” “Tulsa is too small.” “Tulsa is too big.” “I want a fresh start .” These are things we’ve heard over and over. (and truth be told, they are things I’ve even muttered out loud once in a while.) But heck, Tulsa is a great place. Your life, your love, your situation can be as good or as bad here as it can be anywhere else. Tulsa offers activities for the loneliest of souls to the busiest of socialites.
So while you may be thinking that putting some distance between yourself from your current situation will improve your relationship, improve your life, think again. You can have as great of a life or as great of a love, right here in good ol’ Tulsa, Oklahoma. The distance you seek to increase or decrease is within yourself.