One topic that comes up on a semi-regular basis in the various dating and relationship forums on Reddit that I frequent is in regards to Long Distance Relationships. Like the other day a woman submitted this, under the title IS IT WORTH IT?:
Talking to this dude who lives about 10 hours from me. We started talking through a mutual friend who used to live near him and now lives near me. We’ve been chatting and get along well, we have a lot in common, but with such a long distance I don’t know if it is really worth pursuing, he can come visit some due to his job but the long distance thing is hard. Should we just end it now to prevent feelings?
Interestingly, the subject is almost always brought up similar to this. By that I mean it’s someone asking about another person whom they’ve met recently, either online or in real life, whom they would like to begin a relationship with, but is hesitating because of a distance between them.
And I always give the same advice for starting a Long Distance Relationship:
Seriously, just don’t.
Relationships can be tough enough without adding all of the inconvenience and drama of being separated. And that’s even under ideal circumstances, which is when a couple already has a long established relationship and then a separation comes. And the separation is for a pre-determined set length of time, which is hopefully not too long. But when a couple is actually trying to build a new relationship and they’re not physically together? Forget it.
I speak from experience. I tried it once. About 8 years ago, with a woman that I met on Myspace (shut up). She lived in a different part of my state, which required a short plane ride to see her. For about 3 months everything seemed like it was going well, we’d communicate through Myspace a lot, and talk on the phone several times a week. I’m talking about 3-4 hour conversations at a time. But still she ended up getting back with her ex-boyfriend. The way she handled it sucked, but I won’t get into that now. But still I always felt that the biggest strike against me in that situation was that he was there. Physically there. And I wasn’t.
We would have to make plans long in advance to see each other, because that involved buying plane tickets. There was no casual “let’s get together for drinks after work” But he was much easier, she could see him anytime. Don’t underestimate the importance of physical proximity in a relationship.
Maybe if we’d had more history together beforehand, things could have been different. But that’s why I say that the best chance for carrying on a Long Distance Relationship would be if the couple already has an established relationship. It also helps if the separation is for a specific period of time, and not just open-ended. Meaning that it’s understood that either the person who moved away will be returning at a certain time, or the person who stayed will be moving to where the other person has gone at a certain time. And that needs to be worked out in advance, so it’s not an issue later.
LDR’s also require 100% absolute trust. Because you’re not there, so you need to trust that other person or you’ll drive yourself crazy.
But although I’m sure most of you reading this can think of some couple who were long distance, and everything worked out great for them (maybe YOU are or were in one), I would consider those to be exceptions to the rule. I still advise against it.
Just my opinion.