1.) Life seems to become a timeline of Hellos’ and Goodbyes’
Soon enough, even the idea of seeing them again is tainted by the thought of the goodbye that will inevitably follow. Every encounter will include an inescapable hello and a daunting goodbye. As easy as you can imagine yourself embracing them for the first time in months, you can just as easily picture yourself on a plane heading back in the opposite direction. Sometimes it seems that the relationship is just a long series of exciting hellos followed by heart breaking goodbyes.
2.) Movie depictions of intimacy in a LDR are not reality
I’m sorry but phone sex… really? Maybe there are people out there that this works for but let’s be realistic… especially if the relationship is past it’s new and exciting “honeymoon” phase. It’s scientific fact that humans have a sexual biological need and I’m not going to sit behind this computer and make everyone feel like it’s easy to overcome, because it’s not. You will suffer in some way. There will be a lack of intimacy in your life and at points, it will be wearing on you. Intimacy in this type of relationship is not like what you see in movies. I’m not calling him on his way to work where his car starts to project the kind of sexy underwear I’m wearing to his coworkers in the car. The extent of intimacy goes as far as photos and being told how beautiful you are to them while you lay there in your old T-shirt and messy bun.
3.) They are highly likely to fail
I used to scoff at articles with this point. I used to believe that this one was dependent on the two people in the relationship. The truth is though, having a long distance relationship creates this immense space to lose touch with each other and it happens much easier than one would think. Things like time zones are difficult to schedule around and if you start to let communication slip, you are not going to be able to keep up with the growth your partner is going through. I believe we are constantly changing and if you don’t have that communication it can quickly feel like you’ve lost touch with who you both are to each other. When you hear that long distance relationships don’t last… you’ve probably heard right. These relationships require an immense amount of work and may still fail even though you feel you did everything right.
4.) The relationship exists only through technology
We are fortunate in this day in age to have technology far more advanced than the famous “love letters” of the past. But this is both a blessing and a curse. Instant messaging and FaceTime calls (although an exceptional alternative to letters), will never be the same as seeing your partner in person. Both touch and body language are extremely important parts of human social interaction. And what if your partner doesn’t like to use their phone on top of this? What if they almost refuse to have a relationship through technology and in replacement, just insist everything is fine and nothing has changed? Well to me, the reality is, things do change everyday and using technology as a means to communicate is a sacrifice you sometimes have to make to maintain a healthy long distance relationship. It sucks to be tied to this little annoying device, but options are limited to keep in touch.
On a separate note, thanks to social media you can now see things like photos your partner has recently liked and when they were last online. It can be mildly upsetting to see that your text has gone unnoticed when your partner was online 2 minutes ago. When you are in a long distance relationship, these are the absurd details you start paying attention to. These type of visible interactions are all you have to go by when you are in a long distance relationship and therefore become so very important. This can obviously have a negative effect on both the relationship and the individuals if checking these interactions becomes an obsession or antagonizes feelings of jealousy and solidarity.
5.) They won’t last forever
Long distance relationships need a timeline because realistically, they won’t last forever. Over time I have realized how important it is to know the next time you will see each other again. What’s worked best for us is monthly scheduled visits and knowing that the long distance is only to last for x amount of months. The more you endure a long distance relationship, the more you will realize it’s no way to live as per point #7.
6.) They are Costly
To maintain a healthy relationship, it’s important to see each other regularly… but this comes with a cost. Every visit there is transportation involved, whether it be planes, busses or trains. This can quickly become very costly especially when there are flights involved. A second point to this is work. Each day you take off work to see this person is an added cost. I’m not saying that it’s not worth it, but for some people these costs are just simply not feasible. Not working for an entire week will make a dent in your income that month.. if you even have a job that allows for that time away in the first place. Aside from financial cost… LDR’s have an emotional and psychological cost. I found going to school to be nearly impossible. The phone calls at the different time zones threw my whole schedule off and my focus was directed more to the status of my relationship than anything. If there’s a miscommunication that you cannot clear up right away due to timing you will find that it will affect your day. It can be very taxing and seem uncontrollable.
7.) You do miss out on each other
This one seems obvious but it’s not the big things, it’s the little ones. All the small things that you do when you are together is what you miss the most. Even though they are small, they are significant. It’s the Sunday afternoons when you decide to go get some take out or Thursday evenings when you both decide to catch a movie. It’s greeting each other every morning when you wake up and it’s kissing goodnight before each sleep. The fact is, that even though you aren’t missing much, you still are missing some, and that “some” matters. It’s not something to just play off as no big deal because at the end of the day, it is. All of those memories create an overall feeling with this person that will be noticed when absent. It’s a sacrifice you make… and this one feels big.