I think distance can effect relationships in several ways, depending on the situation, the kind of relationship, also how or if the relationship is maintained. Fortunently I haven't had to part from close relationships often, but I can share two examples in which distance had an opposite effect. I grew up in a small town, there was only one school that went from kindergarten thru eighth-grade. So with the exception of the occational "new student" the people in my class had known me since I was 5 years old. Not only did I see them in class, I saw them after school as well.
Because of course Carbonado is essentially one neighborhood, we all shared the same stomping-grounds. I had known my best-friend Kimberly it seemed all my life. We shared everything, sat beside each other in class, were partners in every school project, and were together after school every day until our parents called us home for dinner. Together all the time since Kindergarten. I don't know how it so severely changed seemingly over-night. After eighth-grade Carbonado students had to then ride a bus for twenty minutes to get to High-School in Buckley.
Up to this point it was the biggest change Kim and I were ever faced with, but one thing was the same we were together. For the first time we had classes without each other. No big deal, we just met after and it seemed like nothing was going to change us in the begining. Suddenly being around new people was exciting and soon meeting at passing was just that, passing. But, we still had the bus rides and we sat next to each other sharing every detail of our day like best-friends do. Then came the boys, and their cars, so the bus rides faded away as well.
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Believe it or not this was only six months into our freshman year! Six months, after all those years. I didn't make it through that first year before deciding Alternative-School was a better fit for me. It was 5 miles from Kim's school, but it might as well have been half-way across the world. Years passed, we got cars, other friends, and jobs but we still lived within a square-mile as we had growing up. The actual distance was an illusion, we had grown apart. I still love Kim with all my heart, but when we have our yearly chat on the phone or I run into her at the gas station or the post ffice our conversation feels more like "proper proceedure". I know that we still do have a relationship of sorts, it's just not the intimate bond we once shared. Distance I'm sure harms more relationships than it helps, but I think in some situations it effects can build a stonger bond. This is especially true in the relationship between my dad. My father is the first man I ever loved and I am his first born child. I was born in 1984 with several holes in my heart. I had multiple proceedures including open-heart surgery before my first birthday.
My parents were 19 and 21 years old and the surgeries I had undergone had only been sucessfull a few years prior. It was an emotional roller-coaster for them to endure. I believe coming close to loosing me contributed to the close relationship we shared as I was growing up. I can still remember what his truck sounded like coming up our street when he came home from work, and the smell of the de-grease soap he used to was his hands for dinner. I remember thinking of him during my school day, trying so hard on all my work because he always told me I could do anything.
I couldn't wait to show him art-work, science projects, and report cards. I was always rewarded with kind words and a proud smile as I followed him into his garage where he fondly displayed my achievements. Along the way whenever I had any trouble, he could explain things in a way that made perfect sense. He understood me. Not only did I feel loved by his actions, I knew I was loved by his words. As time went by it became obvious my brothers and dad shared more common interests so, sometimes I was left behind.
Somehow my he always found a way to spend special time with me too, even if that meant taking me to the mall or going to a movie he would rather not see. My teen-years hit our relationship like an earthquake, a shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of my priorities. Suddenly my friends were the most important thing in my world. I became decietful, disrespectful, and I felt my dad just didn't understand me anymore. This constant clash lingered throughout the final years of my adolescence, until I was finally free. My liberation came in the form of a one-bedroom apartment in the "big ity" of Kent. My boyfriend and I living off of minimum wage, having a diet consisting of Top-Ramen and canned soup was only fun for so long. A couple of years later I was missing the home-cooked meals and the home-town feeling I'd known all my life. Above all I missed my family. I got laid-off from my job and I didn't know what to do. The next morning there was a knock at my door, I was barely awake. I rolled out of bed and staggered thru my dark apartment to get the door. It was my mom, "get dressed your dad got you a job, a good one" she said.
When she told me it was at a machine shop my stomach dropped "I can't work there! " i said. Then my mom said I should at least check it out, it was for more money and it was worth a try. I entered into the welcome office and it calmed my nerves some. I shook the managers hand and he offered me what sounded like an office job, I accepted. Then he took me to my work area, through these heavy doors, I was on the shop floor, sparks flying, machines running and grease everywhere. I thought about telling him no but something stopped me.
I saw my dad in his work area and when he saw me he had the happiest look on his face. As we approched him I saw family photos and a card I had made him 15 years prior in the top of his toolbox. I could not let him down. We had lunch and he gave me the same encouraging words he gave me growing up. It gave me the strength I needed. We had lunch together for the next 2 years and got to know each other in a differant way. I truly believe the distance from my family allowed me to grow, and had a very positive effect on my relationship with my father. Our bond is unbreakable and I know now nothing can change that.
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