Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

Being in a relationship has difficulties for everyone, but being in a long distance relationship intensifies those difficulties.  When is the distance worth it and when is it time to kick the would-be, could-have-been relationship to the curb?

I, myself, am in a long distance relationship, and I just want to make this one statement very clear — it SUCKS!!!  There, I said it, the complete and honest truth.  It sucks.  Think about it, how can it not suck?  You don’t get to see the person whenever you want, they can’t be physically there for you during those bad days when you really need them to be, and you wonder whether or not it’s even worth it or just a huge waste of unaccompanied time… and most of the time, it doesn’t work.  That’s the reality of it.  I know, I should never be a suicide counselor!

Here’s the thing about long distance relationships that has to be talked about if there’s any intention for it to work out at all — the intent to reunite.  Now, if you’re reading this, you’re probably on Google search looking for someone to relate to, someone to tell you that it’s all going to be okay and work out, and you guys are going to live happily-ever-after.  I hate those obnoxious people — I really want to be one of those obnoxious people!

The fact of the matter is, one of you is eventually going to have to pack up your life just to be with the other person.  If you’re in love, I’m so happy for you.  If you’re in high school and found some guy on Facebook that you’re just sooo into… stop it!  You probably haven’t even met him yet, don’t get catfish by some pervert who’s probably 45 years old!  I’m talking about adult relationships here.  No one wants to talk about the future (well women do, men usually don’t).  Guys hate having “that talk” — that talk usually means that the woman is expecting something from the man.

Are you comfortable having that awkward talk with your guy — you know, when you’ve said “I love you” like twenty times a day when you had easy access to each other; will you still love him when you guys are miles and miles away?  Will he still love you?  That is why a long distance relationship isn’t meant for the young, the inexperience, or the faint of heart.  It’s meant for the mature couple who has determinations and achievable goals.  I am surrounded by high school teenagers all day.  It’s so irritating to me.  What’s even more irritating is when the girls profess their undying love for some guy after a week of “dating”. (Was I that annoying as a teen?  Yes, probably.)

What is that awkward conversation about anyway?  It’s talking about the future, talking about the relationship.  When one person is relocating that puts an unavoidable barrier in the relationship, that’s the best time to be completely honest because all bets are off at that point — one of you is moving, and if it doesn’t go as you’ve hoped, then the distance will help to move on from the heartache.  Some of the things that should be seriously talked about before the big move are: How long are we going to be apart?  What’s the intent of this relationship?  What’s the time-line here?  Are we going to see other people and still be with each other?  If we are having an open relationship, what’s the boundaries?… and whatever other questions that you’re concerned about, or things that you want answers to.  Now, the part about the time-line is important.  Women have biological clocks.  My ovaries ache every time I watch some romance movie, it ends with my bladder being in my eyes and crying buckets full of tears.  Seriously though, your clock is ticking!

When you’re an adult, if you feel you’re in love, you shouldn’t be stressed to talk about your relationship.  It’s normal to get anxiety as you’re preparing to talk about it and how you should approach the topic, but after you guys both confess your love to one another, then all cards are on the table about the relationship.  You have that security to be honest with each other if you’re in love.  Do you want to spend the next year, two years, three years, five or more years keeping the relationship at a distance? — is that what you seriously see for yourself as happiness and love? If there’s no concrete intent of being together after about a year’s time frame, then it’s time to go back to fishing in the sea… or river, or lake, or pond — heck, even fishing in a puddle is better than missing some guy that’s miles away in a dead-end relationship.

Okay, so maybe you guys have decided to give it a try, see where it goes.  How do you survive a long distance relationship?  Communication is key.  I know that sounds so cliché, but communication really is the backbone of a relationship that is separated by mileage.  When you don’t have readily access to the other person, you are forced to communicate; whether it’s by phone, email, text, messenger services, social media, video calls, etc.  Your conversations are so much more meaningful because there’s only so many times you can say, “What’s new?”, before it gets annoying and boring.  It’s also important to still try to maintain the relationship as if the person was still there.  So if before the person moved, he/she was the first person that you told anything good or bad to, they should still have that role so that they know they’re still important to you even when they’re not physically there.

Be creative — so like for myself, my guy’s in the Army, I pretend he’s deployed.  It helps.  I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it if he actually was on a deployment, so it makes me committed.  It also makes me do little things like send him cards that I’ve made, or sometimes if I’m being lazy just the generic Hallmark greeting cards — but he always gets something in the mail (including a piece of furniture that was delivered via FedEx for his birthday).  It’s so much easier to send an email or a text, but some things just can’t be replaced, like a physical piece of mail.  Ask any guy who is a war veteran, and he’ll tell you there’s nothing like getting a real letter through the mail.  That’s why the military has services like moto-mail, where a typed letter can actually be printed out for the service member who is deployed.

Lastly, don’t let some article or a blog post (including mine) dictate your life to you.  The internet is awesome, and I’m constantly reading articles and posts that I randomly find online, but everything that is written is always the life of someone else, not yours.  Only you can decide what your values are, and what you’re worth giving up or having, and if in the end it was worth it at all.  Even I don’t know what will happen… I’ll update in a few months (or a year, or years) to tell you if it was worth it to me or not.  At this point, I’m already a frequent flyer for Southwest flying back home to NY all the time, so I might as well do it for Texas too.  Good luck!

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