You must be mad to want to have a long distance relationship. What on earth is wrong with you? Why on earth would you want to pick an evening of talking on Skype or Face Time with someone the other side of the country when you could be having a night down the pub with a couple of drinks instead with someone? It really does beggar belief. People will give you all sorts of reasons why, of course, they’ve chosen this path and I’m sure we all know someone who has taken the plunge and is full of the joys of spring about it all. They’re all loved up and finding it all worth it, and you know what? None of us believe it. We can see the pain and misery mixed with denial and desperation. I know what I’m talking about – I used to be in one a few years back. Then I woke up and took a long hard look at myself and came to some honest realisations. It was rubbish, neither of us was happy and it was dragging us both down into the dirt.
It’s not all bad. Keeping the fire alight over the short term can and does work in many cases but if you are going to be apart for a long period maybe due to work or studies, keeping the relationship going can be hard. Before you take on the challenge you need to know what lies ahead.
As much as you tell yourself it will be OK, love will conquer all and all the other mushy stuff you see and read, the harsh reality is long distance relationships take hard work and commitment on both side to work. If one of you isn’t committed the relationship is doomed from the outset. From the moment those nightly texts or skype calls starts to turn into weekly calls. The anxiety soon starts to build. Why are they too busy to call, are they still interested, where are they going and with who. This can quickly escalate into a untrusting relationship and the cracks will soon start to form.
The amount of time that you have been with someone is no guarantee that you’re going to be with them for the rest of your lives. If you’re super loved up and everything, then that’s great for you but be prepared to face an awful truth. Long distance relationships rarely work out – and inevitably when they end, they end messily. Don’t believe for a minute that you’re somehow going to end up still being friends or occasionally hooking up in a friends with benefits situation when you both happen to end up in the same place at the same time. It never ends well, and at least one of you is going to end up crying.
It’s tempting to stay with someone just because you’re comfortable and bouncing along safely – but resist it. Comfortable very easily becomes bored which is only a short step away from ‘I have to get out of here’. And trust me, there are people who are just as amazing living not very far away from you who will give you far less drama. You’ll just never know it if you don’t get the hell off Skype and try living for a change. I really hope you listen to me and escape the fate of those people who get old and sad, regretting that they stayed too long in a dysfunctional long distance relationship that sapped their will to live – because no one likes listening to them. Take care out there now.