Lately, I’ve been the ear for lots of friends who are in long distance relationships. They seem to be more common these days than ever before, probably because of the way technology affords us the luxury of finding jobs in various areas of the country – and in some cases, in other countries. I am currently in a LDR and, admittedly, do not have it as bad as others. I do not have to worry about timezones and he is merely a 4 hour drive away.
But don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that it isn’t hard, despite that. Although we’ve had to deal with timezones before, what with his family living in Seattle, no matter what, long distance is hard. Right now, he’s in Boston and I’m in NYC.
Here are a few things I tell my friends to get through similar distances/struggles. These are, by NO means, answers. Everyone is different. But this is what I’m dealing with:
- You’re close enough to visit every weekend – but you don’t have to visit every weekend. Keep in mind that you both need have your own lives. You are still two people, bonded by one thing: each other. But the fact remains that you are still two people.
- That being said, see each other as often as you can. Right now, for me, that means every other weekend, I have to tell my friends and family here that I can’t see them because I’m going to Boston. Am I missing out on things? Yes. But do I regret it? No. Because he’s worth it. Spending time with him is absolutely worth a million weekend activities that I miss out on.
- I think he’s worth it. Is your significant other worth it to you? That is a question only you can answer.
- When you are apart, text/call/gchat/video chat often. But don’t forget to have fun. Alex said to me recently that he hopes I’m having the time of my life here in NYC because I’m paying an arm and a leg to live here. And you know what? I am. Having fun, that is. Well. And paying an arm and a leg to live here.
- Support each other. Enough said.
- Talk to each other. We tell each other mundane details of our everyday lives. They’re not mundane to us.
- Dream together. We make lists of things we want to do when we’re together, in both cities. It gives us something to look forward to.
- Set a realistic timeline. He’s moving down here in April 2013. I know this isn’t always possible and, in our case, we’re lucky that we know when this is happening. But approximate works too. For example: In September 2012, xyz will look for a job in this city so we can be together.
- That being siad, can you come to a compromise on where that city is? Think about your relationship and your life. This goes back to #3. Is your significant other worth it? For me, the answer is absolutely yes.
- Be honest – with each other and with yourself. Is this relationship, this person, what you ultimately want? As of this moment in time, that is. I’m not dumb. We’re young. Things could change. But at this moment in time, this is all I want in terms of my love life. He is all I want.
These are just some things I’ve kept in mind, and have shared with Alex. The distance is tough. This won’t make it easy – just easier. Every time I just want to turn to him to tell him something when I’m watching TV, he’s not there. And that sucks. When I’m upset about something that happened at work, I can’t go home and run into his arms and cry about it. That sucks too. When I’m drunk and need someone to help me get home, I have to figure it ou on my own. Not only does that suck, but it’s probably not the best idea I’ve ever had. I can think of a million more scenarios that suck about this situation.
But I choose to think about the good things. On the flip side, we’re much more honest with each other than we were before. We’re learning how to really communicate with each other, which is something I think our generation has lost touch with. And we’re stronger together already – and it’s only been 4 months. We’ve got a long way to go – 10 more months – but we also have a lot to look forward to. Together.