We may not always know what we have until we don’t have it anymore. The Distance phenomenon.

Do you ever have regrets over something that happened in the past? These could be regrets about places, relationships, people, events and other certain things.

To me it is not even about regrets, but rather about getting a full understanding and realization of what happened.

What I have realized is that in order to fully comprehend what a certain place, a person, or an event means to us, we either have to lose it or to take a prolonged break from it.

We act on autopilot most of the time and rarely slow down to take a look at what is happening around us and think critically: “What does it mean to me? How is it going to play out in the long term? If I do this and that will I have regrets later on? Will it cause irreversible damage? Is this the point of no return? Is this the best thing I can do at this time?”

I have to admit that when we are in it fully, it may not be that easy to figure out things or to get a clear perspective. So, as a result, when facing a decision point, we make mistakes.

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With this being said, however, no one wakes up in the morning and decides to make a mistake that day. No one wakes up in the morning with a thought of hurting someone intentionally or doing something irreversibly damaging or stupid.

However, despite good intentions, undesirable things happen.

Why is that?

I think that a perceived lack of time, the desire to act quickly, chronic impatience and strong emotions at that particular moment force us to make a choice.

People dump each other on the whim, go to bed after 1 hour of meeting, jump into bad affairs, buy poorly made stuff and sign one-sided contracts.

So, when something important or someone special disappears in our life as a result of poor choices, that’s when we finally reflect.

How unfortunate for anyone to face this scenario. Sadly, it happens all the time!

Has it ever happened to you? Have you ever realized the importance of something or someone after they were permanently lost?

Now, I am not saying that everything we lose is meaningful to the point of wanting it back. Of course not.

It is that there are occasional times when we acutely realize the meaning and importance of that one particular something or someone only after they are gone.

Perhaps, at that time when they were around we were not fully realizing their impact on us? Perhaps it was too big to see it from up-close? Perhaps the distance was needed to see and appreciate it fully??

I call it the ‘distance effect’ – the strange phenomenon that rules our lives. The phenomenon that is supposed to teach us something. But does it?

Even though I am aware of it now, it may still be difficult to utilize. How, for example, are we supposed to ‘fully appreciate’ our current relationships, friends, jobs, living arrangements etc. with zero opportunity present to fully disconnect?

We cannot just dump all this one day, go for one year without it and then think ‘Oh, I want this and that back, and maybe this one too, but the rest of it was ‘meh’ and I can do without”

My understanding is that whatever works for you now, something that is conflict and discomfort free, is worth appreciating today. If you were to lose it one day, the sense of the loss would be massive! Trust me on this.

That understanding girlfriend of yours you love to confide to from time to time, that comfortable job, that devoted but slightly boring boyfriend, the homey place you rent or own – all of it is worth appreciating now.

Replacements are not always better. The grass is not always greener on the other side!

The Distance phenomenon is not always about regrets, however. Quite often, it is a big eye opener too.

Remember that jerk you dated xx years ago? Remember the stupidity, disrespect, and rudeness you had to put up with in the name of love?

What would you say to that naïve poor little girl now?

“I was so stupid, I know! How could I have done it and what was I thinking??!? Where was my head? Unbelievable!”

Many women are worried about men being distant. As long as it does not happen on a regular basis I think it is a good thing.

I say, let them be distant. Use this time to re-assess your relationship. You may discover you do not need them as much, that they are not that important and therefore not worth holding on to. Or you may discover that they mean the world to you.

People are also worried about breakups… Let me ask you this: think of all your exes for a moment (exclude the last one you are still mourning). With how many of them would you like to actually get back together with? Ewww! I would expect none!

Let the breakup take its course and I guarantee you that 99.99 times out of 100 you won’t want them back.

You may not believe it now, but with time and distance it will become crystal clear.

To sum it up: good or bad, if we cannot recognize it from up-close, then having some distance will eventually reveal it. Recognize the good and do your best to keep it. Recognize the bad and use the distance to let it go.

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