Long distance relationships are for the lovers, the dreamers, and believers. And not one of us hasn’t been one of those at one point in our lives. So are we capable then of enduring long distance relationships?
First, let’s define “long distance relationship”. Basically, it is a romantic relationship between two people who live a long distance apart and are unable to see each other often.
If your relationship is strict “friends with benefits,” this conversation will be really easy. Yes, a long distance relationship is completely doable and probably a much better case scenario than having that kind of relationship with a local. Keeping them out of your turf is so much easier, there are fewer complications, fewer chances to make poor decisions just to take care of your carnal needs. No awkward run-ins on your Sunday morning grocery trip.
If, however you’re interested in taking a long distance relationship, the distance, here’s what you should know.
Long Distance Relationship Pros:
1. The space to evolve, to grieve your failed marriage, to be Mom, to be everything you ever wanted in addition to someone’s lover. Being a single Mom is quite challenging and exhausting. Some times you just need to spend time on the couch with your kids and be completely theirs. Maybe you are off chasing a new career dream since your separation? Long distance relationships allow you the space and time to chase without getting distracted by a new relationship.
2. The thrill! “Omg its been too long since I’ve seen you, I’m just going to love you until tomorrow” feeling. Super bonus. Subtle changes about this person since the last time you encountered them create a beautiful new landscape in which you can get lost. It’s like the honeymoon phase. All. The. Time.
3. Deeper appreciation. As a couple in a long distance relationship, you tend to appreciate what you have in your relationship more than worry about what you don’t have. Little things don’t start fights as often. You spend more time appreciating the other person and less time picking at their flaws.
Long Distance Relationship Cons:
1. The distance. Ugh, how obvious, right? Depending on how far away your steed is, quelling sudden drama that is best handled by that special someone is not usually realistic. Say for instance you’ve had a really trying day at work and just want someone there to cook you dinner, play with your kids and love you all night.
Better start practicing those self-soothing skills. Note, if wine is your self-soother and you have a stressful job, you may have just increased your chances of becoming a raging wine-o-holic.
2. Dating isn’t easy. Local dating makes it easy to get to know a person pretty well after a few dates. Which can happen in less than a few weeks. When you are in a long distance relationship, those dates are few and far between and, it may be a year before you figure out that there are some real deal breaker challenges in this person.
3. The loneliness. Haven’t seen your love in three weeks and you’re feeling lonely? A common situation to be in and chances are you will find yourself here increasingly as the time apart increases.
But all relationships have pros and cons right? So could it work for you?
Ask yourself if you possess the following traits.
1. Independent, self-sufficient: Can you wake up without your lover, your children or another soul in your home and see it as a great opportunity? Are you comfortable with being alone?
2. Emotionally stable: Since frequent dating wouldn’t be an option, the more emotionally stable you are, the quicker you will be able to read, understand and trust your intuition when getting to know someone. Substitute one sense for the other. What you can’t see in his face every day you should be able to feel between you when you do connect.
3. Trusting: Can you put all your trust in a person to follow through with their commitments? When you’re in long distance relationship it’s important to talk about the terms of your relationship and actually agree on them. There should be no issue asking each other for and agreeing to certain commitments
4. Shameless: You must be comfortable with your relationship. When your friends pepper you with twenty questions about how you can deal with it, you should be comfortable with your responses. When you are with your long distance lover, you should be 100% you. There is no time or space to try to hide the parts of you that shame you from a long distance lover. It’s not fair to either of you to build this long distance relationship based on false pretenses, is it?
Wondering if your relationship will make it the distance? Here are some warning signs that you might be on a dead-end journey.
1. Clingy- physically or emotionally: This will cause unnecessary stress in the relationship. If you think just because your lover is hundreds of miles away makes them automatically less clingy, you are mistaken. I assure you, you can FEEL their death grip even when they are not in the same town as you.
2. Unwavering expectations: If you can’t be fluid and open to change in your relationship, a long distance relationship will burn-out on you. Better get your armor.
3. Jealousy in other relationships: There will be other relationships in your life, many of which are very close and important to you. You will share more with your long distance lover than short distance couples who come home to each other every night. This can be dangerous for all parties involved. If your other relationships don’t have clear boundaries, you may end up with broken hearts, jealous rage, and confusion.
In the end, if you and your lover can see the “long distance” as an opportunity instead of an obstacle, you may be well on your way to happily ever after.