Opinion: Long distance relationships are hard work that don’t have a reasonable end game.
That is the conclusion that I came to about two months ago when my most recent long distance relationship (LDR) came to a very emotional and dramatic end. I’m still not fully recovered, so maybe this is an opinion that might seem jarring to some, but it’s how I feel at the moment when it comes to dating someone who is great, except for being geographically undesirable.
I got into my first LDR five years ago with a guy who initially lived in my city but had to move somewhere else due to unforeseen circumstances in his life. This was a much younger version of me, the one who was still magically hopeful about stuff. So I went into it all Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde where I was upbeat and excited to see how we could work this out but also slightly delusional about the logistics and stuff.
It ended about a month and a half after he moved away. There were other circumstances that also caused the breakup, but us only seeing each other once a month really didn’t help what we were trying to achieve. I swore off doing LDR’s after we split as it caused me way too much emotional damage for something that only lasted three or four months.
Four years later and a guy hits me up that has been quietly DM’ing me on Instagram for a while. We exchange pleasantries and whatnot, but he lived 3,000 miles away and I did my best to not let it go any further than what we were doing. He gave me his number which I did not use for a little while as there was this part of me that was determined to not get sucked into what could potentially be another LDR.
The minute I texted him I felt happy. Exuberant. Jubilant. All of those words as we started to develop a liking for one another very quickly with each phone call, text and FaceTime conversation that we had. Still, in the back of my mind I was like “The 5 G’s: Good God Girl Get a Grip” (Thanks Latrice).
I ignored what would eventually turn out to be the smart part of my brain and focused in on seeing what could happen with us. The connection was there virtually, but I at least wanted to see if it would be there physically. I booked a flight to California right before the holidays in hopes that something good would transpire out of us talking for over two months.
The trip itself was spectacular. He was even more amazing in person, and to have that kind of built up energy release itself (hehe) in the physical, emotional and spiritual sense was nothing short of extraordinary. Yet, the hourglass was turned upside down and I knew I would have to leave in a couple of days to go back to reality. F**k.
We both had an IDGAF attitude about it at that point and continued on in our relationship. He flew to me the next month, where I introduced him to my family and friends as the delusional parts of my brain were starting to strengthen. I knew he was it for me, and the plan at that point was to possibly move cross-country to really be with him.
When you are in love with someone from a physical distance, it can cloud your judgment for the worse. You are determined to make this work, so your brain goes in all different directions in order to ensure that you are both coming up with the best case scenario. For me, it meant dropping my entire life that I worked so hard for to be with a guy that I thought was it for me.
Things continued swimmingly and I visited him the month after. That’s when the dynamic of our relationship started to change. Insecurities flared, primarily because we weren’t there to talk to one another in person about problems that were happening. Doing this via text and on the phone is good somewhat, but it can only go so far when you both are trying to build a relationship.
I had a feeling things were kind of over during that trip, and that became solidified the day after I left. It was done. He ended things, and did it for the right reason. That reason was that he didn’t want me to give up my life for him. And you know what… he’s right, as I would’ve said the same thing if the roles were reversed.
I’m still left in a ton of pain about this, although I can see a lot more clearly now that the love cloud is dead and gone. This wouldn’t have worked, which brings me back to my original conclusion about LDR’s and how truly tough they are.
The life lesson for me in this is that I have to be able to see you in person in order to make something really work as a couple. Doing that once or even twice a month for a short period of time isn’t a relationship to me, it’s a vacation filled with sex, food and false hope.
So to those out there who are currently in an LDR, I commend you. But this is something I never want to experience again as the agony it causes is more than anyone should have to tolerate.
Have you had a similar experience? Have you given up on LDRs?
Or how did you or do you make your LDR work?
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and may not be that of Instinct Magazine or other Contributing Writers.