Why Long Distance Works (And Why It’s Super Easy)
I’ve read way too many blog posts and articles about why long distance is so hard, and why they can’t wait to “close the gap.” There are endless stories about waiting up all night to talk to each other, sending each other thoughtful, romantic packages, and saving up for months to buy a plane ticket just to see each other for a few days. All I can say is, LMAO WTF DO YOU THINK YOU’RE IN A FUCKING ROM COM? I can tell you with full confidence that long distance is very possible and really not as daunting as you might think it is.
“OK, well what makes you so qualified?”
I’ve been in a healthy, happy long distance relationship for FIVE YEARS. I physically see my boyfriend 2-3 times a year and have never even lived in the same city as him. And honestly, it makes me laugh when people ask, “OMG, isn’t long distance hard?” Truthfully, my answer is no. It’s actually really fucking easy. Obviously I miss my boo sometimes (because, you know, I have a heart), but I don’t feel like distance has put a strain on our relationship. Actually, it’s made us much closer than some other couples I know who are living just a few blocks from each other.
So here it is, why I think that long distance works for me.
There is no need to argue about dumb shit
When I hear about couples arguing about petty shit like where the loofah should be placed in the shower, I fucking laugh. I laugh because I don’t have the LUXURY for passive aggressive behavior, petty blame games, the silent treatment, pride, and phrases like, “You need to figure it out on your own.” I don’t get to enjoy simple things like sitting quietly on the couch together while he plays video games while I’m reading a book. When you don’t have the ability to go on dates, watch movies, or have nasty sex, you really only have verbal communication to keep the fire alive. It takes a lot of honesty with yourself and with your partner to look him in the eye and talk about the important stuff that’s upsetting you or pissing you off, and learning to let the little things go. We talk about necessary things that bother us because the little time we do spend together is precious. If I get 30 minutes of face time with my man, then I sure as hell would rather be catching up or having phone sex. Not arguing about dumbass things like why he left my message on read for 10 minutes before answering.
We don’t even have arguments anymore because we already talked about the ground rules of arguing. Straight up. We actually had a conversation ABOUT having conversations. Things like:
- Don’t bring up irrelevant shit from the past
- Keep statements to “I feel” rather than an accusatory, attacking tone
- It’s all right to say, “That was my bad” or “I’m sorry”
- Don’t name call. It’s rude and childish
- If you’re not adding to the solution, you’re wasting time
- Raising your voice doesn’t make your point clearer, it just implies you have a hearing problem
I can’t remember the last time we had an argument longer than 20 minutes because we’re just THAT fucking efficient and good at conflict resolution. We should consider work as hostage negotiators because we are that good. One time, we actually stopped mid-argument and said, “This is dumb. Why are we even fighting?” and then kept it moving. When you realize what’s important or worth fighting about, you become extremely economical when it comes to communicating. You learn to get really good at it.
Give a shit about things that matter
This one time, I went to go visit my boyfriend for a couple weeks and during a long drive we BOTH forgot that it was our anniversary. My boyfriend was the first one to say, “OH SHIT. Our anniversary was 2 days ago.” We just laughed and agreed we both didn’t really give a fuck about making a huge deal out of celebrating it because when you’re having a good time, birthdays, holidays, and other milestones like anniversaries are not noticed or feel necessary. Instead of anticipating the next time we’ll see each other, we choose to be present and enjoy what we have now without stressing so much about how far the next time we see each other will be.
As mentioned before, we don’t feel like picking fights because we’d rather fill our time with fun quality time. With the time zone difference and our hectic schedules working against us, we always make room for the other person because spending quality time together is so limited and precious. That makes the time we spend together even more so special because we both went out of our ways to make sure we could make room in our lives for each other. It forces you to be an active member in your relationship instead of a passive one.
Have a fucking life
Not sure about the rest of you folks in a LDR, but for me, long distance doesn’t mean you’re always waiting by the phone for the person to call. I have my own life, and so does my man. We encourage each other to live life as it’s meant to be lived -- balanced. Sometimes that means telling him to go have fun grabbing a beer with the guys while I stay in and pluck my eyebrows (and actually meaning it). Or he stays in and plays Paragon while I go out clubbing. Life doesn’t stop just because he’s not there. We both led perfectly happy lives before dating each other, so why deprive yourself of enjoying and experiencing life now? A balanced life includes family, friends, a job, AND your relationship. Waiting hours by the phone, or constantly thinking about how much it hurts when he’s not there is a waste of time -- and you miss out on a lot of fun stuff. Plus it’s fun to snap pics and send to your S.O. so they can live vicariously through your Snapchat story. My boyfriend and I have a balanced relationship because WE are balanced and independent. Yes, we fill our lives with tons of fun things, but at the end of the day, we always want to share it with each other. Usually it’s when we drunk FaceTime each other at really inappropriate hours.
That magic though
Yeah, it sucks when we don’t see each other for 6 months at a time, but when we do see each other, we’re both always super stoked and each time we reunite is like the first time we ever met. It keeps the excitement going! We flirt like a new couple and have amazing sex. And for that, I feel freaking lucky that I get to relive that experience every single time we see each other. We feel the adrenaline rush and that nervous, weird, twisty-stomach feeling on a first date every time we see each other -- even after 5 years of dating. He shaves his face, I shave (other things) and we clean up really nicely for each other. That magic never dies and the chemistry is explosive. We never take physical presence for granted, and it makes being together all the more a happy occasion.
Keep yourself in check, and be open, honest, and chill
If you’re the resentful type to bottle stuff in and hold onto grudges, you will never have a successful LDR let alone a healthy "normal" relationship. Remember, emotions are temporary. Commitment is constant. Some days, I’m in a good mood. Some days, I’m not. Some days we get along. Some days we don’t. We both understand that sometimes we’re grumpy or need some breathing space, but we never doubt that we have an awesome relationship. We keep ourselves in check. How? Simple:
- We don’t take out our anger or frustrations on each other
- If the other person needs space, we don’t pry or ask questions. We just give it when needed
- We don’t mind if the other person has their own life. In fact, it’s encouraged
- We say exactly what we mean. We don’t walk on eggshells or beat around the bush, because no one has time for that shit
It really does take a certain type of personality, dynamic, and above all, LOTS of communication. But for all you naysayers who oppose LDR and claim it “never works” before you’ve ever actually done it yourselves, y’all can suck this dick because that just means you didn’t do it right.
So guys, what have we learned?
- Communicate economically
- Give a shit about things that matter
- Have a fucking life
- Enjoy that magic though
- Be chill