I was at dinner the other night with a group of people, some who I had never met before, and through the course of the conversation we landed on the catastrophic subject of dating in LA. After exchanging horror stories we ended up on the topic of long distance relationships. I thought to myself, this will be interesting. With confidence and a light tone I added to the conversation by saying, “I’m in a long distance relationship!” From the moment those words rolled off my tongue I felt the energy shift and certain eyes look at me as if I had morphed into an alien. This wasn’t the first time I have found myself in this situation so I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as one would expect. Then, like a record player, I began to answer the tables questions of, “Where does he live?” “How do you do that?” “When do you see him?” and just when I thought I was in the clear of interrogation a women sitting across the table from me flipped her brunette beach waves and says in a bitchy tone, “So, you’re basically single.”
After digesting her statement I thought there was a 90% chance my eyeballs were going to fall out of their sockets. Either that or I was going to slap her upside the head. I told myself to take a moment before responding to her comment and I then, oh so gracefully, flashed her a smile that could be translated into “f!ck you.” I proceeded to ask her if she did not hear me say that I was in relationship, a committed relationship. As I drove home that evening I dove straight into the large, sometimes murky, pool of long distance relationships. I navigated through the pros (yes, there are pros) the cons and all the in-between. By the time I pulled into my driveway I had exhausted myself and could not wait to curl up in bed and rid myself of the negative energy that suffocated me at dinner. After an hour of tossing and turning I sat up and shuffled through my nightstand until I found my journal and pen. Like a mad person, I began to scribble down the misconceptions I have personally experienced that people have about long distance relationships and then, I slept like a baby.
To be completely honest I was nervous to publish this but felt inclined to. Maybe because I miss him extra today, maybe because I want to be a voice for others in my shoes, maybe it’s because I want to defend what I hold so close to my heart or maybe it’s a mixture. Regardless of the reason, here is my side of each misconception.
1. It Will Be So Hard
Want to know a deep dark secret? RELATIONSHIPS, near or far, can be hard at times. So to say that only long distance relationships are inevitably hard is not a fair assessment. In my opinion, it is fully about your mindset. If you go into a relationship ready to stick beside your partner through thick and thin then guess what? It won’t be as hard as everyone cracks it out to be. This is not to say that LDR’s don’t require that extra 10% effort because they in fact do but it’s in that moment when you see each other that every ounce of extra effort and endless sacrifices all seems worth while.
2. Express Your Love
Words, that’s all you have. Communication in a long distance relationship is an essential factor that you cannot flourish without. Since physical touch or connection is not an option, being able to communicate your feelings as they are is the golden ticket. There is no make up sex. There is no driving to each other’s apartment to cook dinner. There are no forehead kisses to wash away the stress of a long day. There is no holding hands on a Sunday morning on the way to coffee. All there are are words, choose them wisely and express them with intention. Sacrifices will need to be made to be able to communicate effectively. He will need to stay up late some nights to be able to FaceTime with you and there will be times that you miss out on a happy hour with the girls to ensure that you two carve out time in your day to have a phone call without distractions of the outside world.
The misconception of disloyalty in a long distance relationship drives me straight up the wall. Once upon a time I lived with a boyfriend who didn’t come home one night. Where was he you ask? Another girls bed. Whether you are X amount of a miles away from each other or share the same roof, it can happen. So before you pull the “how do you trust him?” card think twice about your accusations and know that there are men, and ladies, that can in fact keep it in their pants.
4. Meet In The Middle
I find it fair to say that every long distance relationship has some sort of ‘end point.’ If you and your partner are on the same page and are prepared to execute ‘the plan’ when the timing is right then it’s much easier to silence the whispers of “what are they even doing?” “why are they dating?” After many discussions the two of you will be able to formulate a plan that best fits your lifestyle and long term goals. Until then, meet each other in the middle – literally and figuratively.
5. Isn’t Worth It
I’m sorry but who are you to decide the value of someone else’s relationship? Instead of throwing all long distance relationships into a pot and judging them as one, take a second to look at the two people in the relationship not just the means of the relationship. If those two people truly love each other and endure spending countless mornings, days, and nights apart then who’s to say it isn’t worth it?
you’re worth every mile between us,