1. It’s not a real relationship
Hate me if you must, but LDRs are not real relationships. What they are are fabrications of relationships, because what you two have exists only in the online world, the virtual world. You fool yourselves into thinking that you’re involved in something genuine, something hopeful, something whose future lies in the physical world, the real world. But what you’re actually in is a lie made to look like a relationship. Emails and Skype and letters form a good façade.
2. Words lose their meaning over time
Words are nothing without action, but with the distance between you two, any and almost all action is impossible. So you make up for this impossibility with words, but words only tell and do nothing in showing the person on the other side of the world what and how you feel. You keep sending long messages to each other until you see that words never make up for physical absence. You can only write or say “I love you” so many times until all it becomes is an empty bunch of letters put together into a sentence that will never be enough to mean anything.
3. It demands too much
I’d always get asked, “How do you know he isn’t cheating on you right at this very instant?” I’d always reply, “I just know. I trust him.” Then people would go, “How do you deal with his not being with you physically?” and I’d respond, “It takes a lot of patience, but it’ll be worth it.” Only now do I realize how much my long distance relationship demanded of me. It aged and matured me far beyond what someone my age then should feel. I put all my trust in him, with the highest risk of it being betrayed. Patience is good, but when you’re waiting for nothing, what’s the point in everything else? LDRs ask for too much from you, and personally, I think nothing that hopeless deserves anything from anyone.
4. You lose touch with reality
I left Skype on for 2 days once. My boyfriend and I treated it as if we were living together. We went about our individual tasks and every now and then, we’d stop by our laptops to talk. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We even played UNO. We had pillow talk. We slept beside each other (beside our laptops) and woke up to each others’ faces. Then did that all over again.
If that isn’t crazy, then I don’t what is. Instead of being with my friends and my family who were real and actually there, I spent all my time in the virtual world with my boyfriend because that was the only world where we could be together, and he was all that mattered to me. Everything and everyone else lost value to me. It felt like we were making the best out of our shitty situation, but it was just a mask we put on to continue the act of pretend happiness.
5. You get tired
Long distance is a huge risk, yes, but it’s a risk that many of willingly (and stupidly) take, and we do so with all the hope in the world that it will work out. Well, what can you do? The person you love is half a world away, but you love him (or her), so you stay in the relationship. It’s great at first and you maintain a positive outlook, thinking you’ll be able to get through all the challenges. And most of the time, you actually are able to make it out of the challenges together. But what doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger; in fact, it wears you out. You tire of writing letters and emails. You tire of the alternating Skype schedule, the routine of the “I miss you”s after every conversation. You tire of waking up from your fantasy dream land where you and your significant other fall asleep together, to the reality of the unoccupied space on the other side of your bed.
6. You are miserable
Admit it. There are times when you cry out of nowhere because you feel so fucking lonely. You’re in a relationship, but you are unhappy as fuck. You close your eyes sometimes, count to 10, and before you open them, there’s a tiny bit of hope in you that the person you love will be right in front of you. You sometimes get lost in your video calls and touch your laptop screen thinking you might be able to feel the warmth of his (or her) face. But you can’t. And it makes you feel like shit. Any relationship that makes you feel as miserable, helpless, and eventually hopeless as a LDR does is not a good or healthy relationship.
7. It’s not worth it
It kills to hear this, but I think it kills because you know that it really is not worth it to keep up a relationship that has no hope of being anything real anytime soon. Why do you keep up the relationship? The usual and true reasons—love, security, trust, all that—and those are things that we aren’t so willing to give up once in our possession. It’s difficult to find these things with just anyone, and once you’ve found someone you love enough to keep a relationship with over thousands of miles, you think that sending yourself to your own death in the form of a long distance relationship is worth it. But it isn’t, at least not anymore, not when you’re surrounded by other people that you could be with. Yes, I know, you only want this ONE fish in the sea, but that’s a fish that you sadly can’t have right now. You may as well go for the ones you can have, and maybe you’ll find what you were afraid of losing with someone else.
Look, I really hope that long distance relationships could work out, but the harsh reality is that they most often do not. In the end, you realize it doesn’t matter if you’ve remained patient and faithful the whole time, because nothing in the relationship is in your control. The situation is out of your hands, and when that’s the case, it’s all bound to fail. That’s the harsh reality of long distance relationships.
Again, to all of you in LDRs right now, my condolences to you.