BEING IN A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP, THE GOOD AND THE BAD
I was in a long-distance relationship with M for over a year and a half after I graduated from college. He and I began dating, even though we knew he would be moving away a few months later. We did not want to stop seeing one another and (of course) had heard the horror stories that couples go through being far apart. We had also both given it a shot in the past.
WE GAVE IT A GO ANYWAY.
DOWNSIDES OF BEING IN A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP
- He/she misses the smaller events in between your visits. You likely won’t be together for each others’ birthdays, and you can’t hug when something huge happens to one of you.
- Most people just don’t get it, or find it hard to sympathize with how hard it can be. You’ll hear comments like “just date someone closer” or “it’s not worth the effort” more often than you might like.
- Jealousy and miscommunications.
- Feeling like things are “on hold” and resenting your current situation. The reason (family, work, school, etc.) you two are long-distance in the first place is also likely the reason you feel bogged down, and stuck where you are.
- Invitations as a couple to events are great but one half usually can’t make it, so you end up being in this quasi-5th wheel situation.
- Depending on how far apart you two are in distance, it can get ridiculously expensive to see each other regularly. With having to pay for travel arrangements and work around schedules, the time you can spend together is rare.
We had lots and lots and lots of reasons not to continue as a long-distance couple. They are the same reasons so many couples opt out when the situation presents itself.
We agreed to remain far apart after he moved for multiple reasons. Our relationship was in its early stages, in both our opinions. I had just gotten a new job, which also meant I wouldn’t have much time to travel. He would be doing all of the things people do when they have just moved, and on top of that, still might need to leave town sometimes. We knew there would be a literal ocean between us, and still we agreed to “take it one day at a time” because we both wanted to be together.
Now that we’ve finally moved in together, M still has to travel for work often times. About two weeks after we got engaged he found out he would be out of the country for over seven months. He will be leaving again for another eight weeks, circling us back into the same cycle all over again: packing and preparing for a long haul apart. It’s brought up all the old feelings again, too.
Long-distance relationships are hard, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the work in spite of all the struggle. Too often we give up before we even get up and running. Like any other relationship, long-distance relationships have their bonus points and let downs.
UPSIDES OF BEING IN A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP
- He/she can’t tell if you’ve shaved your legs this morning via video chats…
- The connection is deeper since you two must learn to communicate well. You have no choice but to share with one another, so the good and the bad are all out in the open.
- Other relationships (between you and your friends or family) never feel neglected. You are never accused of being the girl who disappears after getting in a relationship.
- Creative juices are infinitely flowing. You’re both fantasizing about the next time you see each other so there’s all these ideas swirling all the time. You’ve come up with great plans and date nights are that much more thoughtfully mapped out.
- Celebrations that you two are able to share are cherished, and that much more special, because you are together.
- It is easier to stay focused on work/school. You have more space and time to develop and focus on yourself.
- When you do finally get time together, you are both free, so you end up on these mini-vacations that allow you to just enjoy one another. You can give each other your undivided attention, so even making breakfast together is something you hold on to. You don’t take your time together for granted.
- They’re romantic!
THE OUTCOME IS UP TO YOU TWO. . .
Time and space are what you make of them. The never-ending countdowns between the two of you can either be something you savor or dread, and it’s a conscious decision you make over and over again.
Ours is sort of a non-stop long-distance relationship for the next couple of years, and each time we split and come back together it feels like we’re getting better at it. We gear up, push through it, and then re-adjust to living in the same city again. The wheels are always turning with us because we want this, regardless of how annoying it gets at times.