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The Pros and Cons of Being in a Long Distance Relationship

Honestly, this list will probably be unbalanced. I think we can all agree that LDRs are not the ideal position to be in. But I’m feeling lonely and I feel like ranting, so, tada.

First are the cons, so we can end on a positive note.

 

CONS:

• You can’t see your partner. Bam, list done. Snarkity snark.

• The status of your relationship is often either directly or indirectly influenced by your internet connection. Trying to have a real conversation can be extremely trying when the video for one or both of you constantly freezes. When you’re already having an argument, it can be that much more painful and frustrating. I know for me sometimes too when trying to do even normal things like share screens to watch a movie together, if the internet keeps failing or he can’t hear the audio for some unknown reason, it only serves to drive home how sad it is that we can’t actually just watch it together from the same couch.

• No massages. Or really any physical contact. Unless you’re European. Us Americans, despite our reputation, not so huggy.

• No dates. Okay, so you can have Skype ‘dates,’ but I think we can all agree it’s not quite the same as being able to go on even simple dates, like walking through the park holding hands.

• You begin to forget what a kiss actually feels like.

• You get to hear people complain about not seeing their significant other for TWO WHOLE DAYS OMG. To your face.

• When you politely point out that it’s been over six months for you, you will hear variations of “Yeah, I could never do that,” or “yeah, but you’re used to it.”  As far as my experience goes, you get numb to it, you don’t get used to it. And comments like that make the numbness disappear a bit, thanks.

• Time difference (if you’re more than a state away) means one of you, if not both of you, are never getting enough sleep, or are keeping very odd hours. This can cause tension in your other relationships.

• Unless you have a mutual online hobby (i.e. League of Legends), and even then, conversation can begin to feel stale.

• Going out into the real world means sacrificing time with your significant other.

• Spending time with your significant other means sacrificing time with others or even just going somewhere.

• Going out less so you can talk to your partner often means little sunlight, making you even more sad.

• If your partner is as far away as, oh I don’t know, say Japan, a lot of the other important people in your life have either never met them, or only for a very short amount of time. One of my best friends has never met Yuuki, and that’s pretty sad to me.

• It’s easy to feel like it will never get better. It’s very easy to feel alone.

 

PROS:

Echo, echo, echoooooo…………………………just kidding. Sort of.

• Independence. While your significant other may be able to do a great job of supporting you from afar, they aren’t going to be able to go with you to the doctor, they’re not going to be able to stop that creepy guy from staring at you, they’re not going to be able to hold you when you’re sad. You’ve got to do all that shit for yourself! And it makes you stronger.

• More time to yourself, and to do the things you want to do, rather than compromising.

• You can become a toned sexy beast and surprise them the next time you see them. Changes that are gradual for you are going to be shocking for them, especially the longer it is.

• You know your relationship is stronger than a lot of others if ‘they could never do that.’

• You can get actual, real mail. If you’re un/lucky enough to have a significant other in another country, this can mean access to food that is hard to find in the Middle of Nowhere.

• You can make actual, super cute packages to send.

• When you see each other for the first time in a long time, you get all the sensations of a first date again, no matter how long you’ve been dating. The butterflies don’t stop fluttering about for awhile, there will be awkward laughs, and you’ll remember again when you see that crooked smile how cute they are.

 

It’s easy to focus on the bad, especially when you’re at a stage in your life like mine – i.e. family and friends drifting away too, emotionally and physically for various reasons. But it’s not all horrible. The best thing about long distance relationships (besides when the long distance part ends, ahyuk) is the time and power you have to focus on you, and to better yourself.

So go out there, exercise, take an online class, read a book, climb a mountain, tame a dragon*. You, and probably your relationship as well, will be all the better for it.

 

* If you do tame a dragon, please tell me where and how. I’ve wanted one since I was around four years old, but for some reason I’ve never found one.

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12 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Being in a Long Distance Relationship

  1. Sorry to hear about your struggle–I’m sure Yuuki-kun is going through similar difficulties on the other end.
    Been in two “trans-national” LDRs, one ended, the other (with my now-wife) lasted. The obvious diff. b/w the two were the age and future plans (or lack thereof). For the first, I was young (finishing college) and was unable to wrap my head around how to continue our inter-national relationships in the long run; so I ended it at once (I broke her heart, but I still think it was for the best.). The second one, I was older (late 20s), and we knew the “end game”; I knew when I would return to where she was (though she could not wait for too long, and made–retrospectively speaking–an unwise career/financial decision to join me outside the US) and, without putting into words, we (at least I) sort of knew we will get married in the end.
    Which category do you think your relationship is in? Do you feel that you two have an “end game” (not having to be marriage, of course, but some idea of how & when the LDR stage will end) for the current state?
    p.s. Stillwater/Hudson was our go-to getaway destination when we lived in St. Paul! We miss lakes and rivers ;-( as we currently live in rather dull (and lake-less!) flatland in another part of Midwest.

    • Yeah, I know he definitely struggles with it too!

      Wow, you’ve been through two? If things ever ended with Yuuki, it would take someone *really, really* special to get me to do long distance again. Of course for you, it was someone that special if you ended up marrying her! 🙂 I’m glad it worked at well for you and your wife! There’s hope!

      I’m not sure which category we’re in yet. Both of our lives are in such an unstable setting in pretty much every way they could be. I’m trying to pay off loans and save up enough that getting a ‘real job’ would even be possible, as well as find said ‘real job,’ and Yuuki’s trying to apply to some American colleges to get a second degree. So at least we’re trying to be in the same country…but for all I know I could find a job in D.C. and he could get accepted to a school in California. I’m not sure what we’ll do if that happens. We’re applying in the same general regions of course, but, obviously we can’t control where we get accepted. So TLDR; everything’s up in the air, haha. I do know that whatever happens, I don’t want to say goodbye over Skype. I guess, we’ll know by August.

      Yeah, Stillwater is especially beautiful! My friend and I skipped a day of high school once (rebels that we were, it was when everyone else was going to ValleyFair) and ate sushi by the river. Still one of my best memories of high school. I’m sorry you live so far away from lakes and rivers…I know I would miss it too.

      • Why not Twin Cities?! I vaguely remember you wrote that Yuuki-kun is interested in business school (-> UofM’s Carlson School!) and TC is one of the most robust job markets in the US now. (Full disclosure: my wife and I are both UofM alums, and I thought about pursuing MBT[taxation] at Carlson if my then-aspiring/now-current career hadn’t pan out, mainly because most students in the program could get hired by a local firm by the 2nd year before completing the degree). Can you tell I am missing TC badly? 😛

        I understand that both of you are at the difficult, fluid stage of your lives, especially career-wise. All I can do is wishing the very best for you two–good luck!

        • You know, I’ve actually considered the Twin Cities! I even thought about going there when I was considering colleges myself. Haha I miss college too. What did you and your wife major in?

          But there is a personal problem I have. I was trying to find a concise way to explain it, but I couldn’t, so it ended up becoming a blog post, haha. You don’t have to read it though (I’m pretty long winded when it comes to writing).

          But for now he’s probably going to go to two year college for a university prep degree and to get better at English (plus save money). So, after he gets that degree if by that time we’re still together and I’ve managed to work past my issue, there’s definitely a chance. 🙂

          Thank you for you kind words!!

          • I read the other entry, and I (sort of) understand what you meant here.
            I’m no relationship expert, but I do believe what you need is to build and nurture a new relationship, whether a romantic one with Yuuki-kun or friendship with new colleagues and friends. The location may matter less than your new relationships.

            BTW, not sure 2 yr college/assoc. degree is a good way to go for him, though. Many are not up to properly preparing students (intl or domestic) to learn well in 4 yr programs, and a lot of money may end up being not well spent. If he already has Bachelor from Jpn school, he should definitely go for a grad program. I don’t know how fluent he is in Eng., but many programs don’t require THAT much Eng. proficiency, esp. in vocational-oriented fields.

            My wife and I were both in SocSci fields. When we met, though, she was done with her BA and working, and I was still in grad program. When we got married, I was a dirt-poor grad student–it is a wonder she decided that we could make our lives together!

            • You have some good advice! I think you’re right in that the relationships themselves matter more than the area. But the people I mention in that post live in the Twin Cities. I’m afraid I’d always be nervous I’d bump into them and avoid going to events or places that they might go to, or if mutual friends came into town they’d want to all go out together.

              Yeah, you make some good points. I’ve been thinking about that too, but to be honest I don’t think his TOEFL scores are good enough to get in the door for a master’s program. So, there is a chance that after a semester or a year at a community college, his English and confidence (which I think is more of the issue) will be boosted enough that he can apply for a grad program.

              Unfortunately I’m not much help – we usually speak in Japanese. I try to speak in English sometimes, but since our levels are different, it’s hard to. It makes me feel like I’m his tutor, not girlfriend. I need to get better at it though, for him and for me. It’s frustrating for me that I can’t really share movies or music I like with him, since he doesn’t understand them unless we discuss them in detail. Especially since I tend to like comedies, when you take the time to explain them, they tend to become less funny.

              Well it sounds like your wife took a gamble based on her faith and love in you, and I’m glad it worked out! That’s such a sweet story. 🙂

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