Long distance relationships are so wrong, but so right. Especially, when we are young. We’re developing in character, going through transitions in our careers, broadening our experiences, growing, living – – or at least we should be. Committing “half” of ourselves to someone who isn’t even present sounds like the emotional equivalent of True Blood.
I’ve always thought long-distance relationships to be so impractical, so illogical, so irrelevant – – especially in our twenties.
But what do you if the person you care about is sent to work abroad, studies abroad, goes into the military, or has a career that pulls them away quite often?
I’m a travel writer; I think about this. I may not be seeking anything now – – but what if I did want to date?
There’s four options to dealing with an inconvenient crush:
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Don’t talk to (insert name). This includes social media stalking, talking about said person, keeping pictures or gifts in view, etc. Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Chat, SnapChat, FaceTime… forget it!
Cutting off contact doesn’t have to be as harsh as it sounds. Essentially, it’s appreciating and preserving a relationship for the wonderful experience it was – – without over-complicating it, or compromising a pleasurable memory. It was an awesome time you’ll never forget, but you’re both on different chapters now and that’s okay!
2. Make Real Life Changes
Re-locating for said love interest. Not a casual choice. If this is something you’re considering, be sure to make your own friends, position yourself where you can still work, and I hate to say the obvious – – but make sure he or she wants the same thing.
3. Keep It Dangling
We’re young, and who knows where we will be, what we will want, and quite literally, geographically where we will be in the near and far future. This scenario is staying loosely in contact as friends, maybe flirty friends.
Why should it be different than any other friends who move? Sometimes our closest friends are the ones that live farthest away. This friend might be special, but he or she can continue to be a presence in your life even if you’re not dating.
This route comes with the responsibility of controlling your emotions and the limitations of your relationship. Either of you could end up in a relationship with someone local, or like die or something.
4. Long-Distance Warriors
(I Mean Lovers – Fighting the Frustrations)
Paranoia with cheating. Doubt that time was wasted if it turns out it wasn’t the “real thing” after all. Fear and frustration unmet by the warmth of a body. Lack of support from family and friends. There’s dozens of reasons that long- distance relationships are hated.
The modern day Romeo and Juliette aren’t exactly coveted roles. But, there’s something to envy about long distances couples: despite the agony, the odds, the obstacles – – at the end of the day, they’re still together.
Long distance relationships are reassurance that we can choose to prioritize our careers, our passions, our dreams without sacrificing love. The thought that we don’t have to factor in a relationship into whether or not we are going to do something in a different city or country.
A unique balance between being selfish and selfless. Committing to what we are willing to suffer to have what we want: including each other.
Maybe, what is so impractical, so illogical, so irrelevant, is not doing things for yourself because of the people you love. And if you find someone in this world that lets you put yourself first, that wants the best for you, that wants you to be the best that you can be, maybe a long distance relationship is what is right. It’s what’s worth it.
I don’t mean to romanticize long distance relationships. I think I would choose any of the other three options over option four. But with our millennial obsession with wanderLUST, it comes down to one thing: whether said person has the potential to become someone we love, or whether they were just an inconvenient crush.