I’m in a long-distance relationship of sorts, and lately it’s been getting really difficult to maintain. Do you have any advice for people trying to make it work from very far away?
Dear Longing Laura,
First of all, long distance relationships can be extremely challenging and, not to mention, heartbreaking. You say that you’re in a relationship “of sorts” which confuses me. If you’re in a long distance relationship, I don’t think you can be in that blurry middle ground of, are we together, are we not? In my mind, you’re either together and you’re in it for the long term, or you’re sexy pen pals who keep in touch when you can with no exclusivity or label. Anything in between those two can be confusing, stressful, and frustrating.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, you both have to put in the effort to maintain it. It cannot be one-sided, or it simply will not work. As I have mentioned in my past entries, technology can be so wonderful when it comes to dating, especially with long-distance relationships. You can essentially be in touch with your beau all the time through texting, phone calls, and video chatting. However, you both have to set time in your schedules for these phone calls or Skype dates, or it’ll cause you unnecessary stress and heart-ache.
If you’re in a long distance “dating” or blurry middle ground period, then you’re really going to have a evaluate how important this “relationship” is to you. Timing can be so awful sometimes. You could meet the person of your dreams, but if the timing is off, sometimes it just fizzles out. Jumping into a full-blown relationship starting long distance can be tough, but if you both want it, and you both have a “YOLO” attitude, it could work and be a lot of fun. Taking turns visiting each other’s cities could be an excuse for some needed vacation time. That said, you both have to want it and definitely have a discussion about how you feel about being exclusive or not and setting up boundaries.
Also, you’re totally allowed to be crushing on someone in a different city, state, country, etc., and have a fun quasi-relationship and keep it casual. You can see each other and talk when you feel like it, but not necessarily be exclusive. My only advice with that is make sure you’re both on the page, and use protection (as always!).
My next question for you is, how is it difficult to maintain? Is it only one-sided? Are you both too busy to stay connected? I can’t stress enough that if you both want it to work, you both have to put in a huge effort. If you’re starting to feel drained or stressed out by this connection, then I’d say it’s probably not in the cards right now. Long distance relationships work best when there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, such as you know at some point you’ll both be living in the same city and the long distance is only temporary. If you’re not sure if that’s in the cards, and you’re not technically together, then I’d say move on. Wish him well, stay in touch casually, then open your eyes to men closer to your proximity.
Hope this was helpful! As always, readers, feel free to comment if you agree, disagree, or want to elaborate with your own experiences in this department. You can all message me more questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.