Let me just say that this post is not going to be sugar coated at all. I remember doing research before my first long distance relationship and nothing was blunt.
Long distance relationships are the definition of awful, but sometimes they cannot be helped. The typical cause for long distance relationships is job related. Someone has to move, someone has to stay. Know that just because a long distance relationship might be in the future, it does not mean that either person is not committed to the relationship. Sometimes obstacles come up that can’t be helped. The most important thing is that each person is supportive and honest.
There are several different types of long distance relationships, we are going to be looking at two types:
1. The Weekender- Short distance, see each other on weekends
2. The Long Time, Longer Distance-Long distance, communication via technology
Each type is awful, and I honestly don’t know which I despise more. They both have their pros and cons, but I would strongly advise that you take a deep look into your relationship before getting into either (or any long distance relationship for that matter).
This might be the case when one person has the ability to come home every weekend. You can count on seeing them when the weekend starts and most likely saying goodbye before it ends. Your time together is short and you can count on the arrivals being wonderful and the departures being terrible…every time.
It never gets easier-for either party, but sometimes the only solution to the problem is a long distance relationship.
- Freedom to do exactly what you want during the week
- The moment when your person arrives home is the best feeling in the world
- Often times there will be surprises exchanged between the two parties
- If you absolutely need to see the other person during the week, it is possible
- Saying goodbye is not easy and that will not change
- Your time together is limited
- You must adjust to living alone and adjust to living with someone in short amounts of time…every week
- Conversations will most likely remain light and not delve into anything of substance
- Loneliness will come often
- Every schedule change and cancellation will take you on an emotional roller coaster
- Technology is great-but it is not the same as face to face interaction
The Long Time, Longer Distance
There is no time for weekend visits with this type of long distance relationship. The distance is too long and/or it isn’t worth the wasted commute time. Technology is your saving grace during this time and when you finally are able to see each other it will be a very planned out type of vacation for you both.
- There are a lot of ways to communicate over technology-FaceTime, text, phone calls, social media…etc
- Your time together will be a vacation of sorts
- Snail mail
- You will have the time and the freedom to make very individualized decisions
- You will be apart for long periods of time
- No weekend visits or quick evening dinners
- Technology is not a substitute for human interaction
Of course, there are also things that vary from person to person. Some people may enjoy living alone while some find the concept absolutely dreadful. This will become a major issue to sort out. If you are the type of person who cannot stand to live alone, you need to make alternative arrangements during your long distance relationship. If this is not an issue-don’t worry about it.
I am not typing this post to tell you to run away from an opportunity or to break off any relationship that might lead to a long distance relationship. I am typing this post to tell you that it is going to be hard and that some relationships don’t make it through these types of obstacles. Make sure your relationship is strong and that the two of your are ready for this major life event.
I have not covered the topic of trust in this post because I have not experienced an issue with that. If you are going to be in a long distance relationship you must trust the other person completely. Any strand of doubt, no matter how small will cause major issues between you and your partner.
Luckily both of my experiences have had some sort of light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t imagine a completely open ended long distance relationship. Make sure you know how long your relationship will be long distance and more importantly, make sure you are ok with that.
If you are thinking about getting into a long distance relationship, sit down with your partner, and talk about it. Whether you are the person leaving or the person staying it is important that you voice your concerns as well as listen to what your partner has to say.
What are some of your experiences with long distance relationships?