Why you shouldn’t be afraid of long-distance romance.
It’s weird, but I almost prefer to be in a long distance relationship. I have dated around six guys and four out of six of them lived at least thirty minutes away from me. My last long distant relationship he lived in New York City and I went to school in Atlanta. Needless to say there are definite pros about going to the same school as your partner, but I don’t think people really think about the cons of it either. So, the “doomed” long distance relationship, what are its pros?
A long distance relationship is similar to going on a diet. When you first start, it’s difficult, grueling, and at times even painful, but you know that it in the end it is going to be totally worth it. The hardest part of any diet is right before you fall into the routine of eating healthy and exercising. Yet soon enough, after a few weeks, these new eating and exercising habits begin to integrate themselves into your life. Soon the diet just becomes another part of your life and it gets easier to maintain. Sure, there will be temptations that surround you, attempting to get you to fall off the path of righteousness…. Like that Snickers bar at work that’s been staring at you from the vending machine all day or that red velvet cupcake sitting in the window of the bakery you walk by everyday. But you know that by indulging in these distractions, you would be cheating on your diet and all those months of hard work would be ruined. The same concept can be applied to a long distance relationship. Just like any good diet, there are going to be initial struggles; like any good diets it can be worth it.
During your early adulthood years, you are supposed to learn about yourself. Maybe that means doing some crazy activity you would never have imagined yourself doing or trying new exotic foods, but learning about yourself also means interacting with a wide variety of people. But when people become involved in a “serious relationship,” they sometimes get to a phase where they’re just stuck. The couple always hangs out with each other and soon they begin to isolate themselves so that you will hardly see one without the other. It’s something I’ve considered ridiculous. I believe that the twenties are supposed to be the years of exploration and self-growth. I’m not saying that you can’t do all this with your significant other, but how many “stuck couples” really go out and put themselves out there? The answer? They can’t! Or…they can, but it’s probably a lot harder than they think. When accounting for another person’s emotions, feelings, and opinions, it’s hard to let yourself go of your own reservations.
From my personal observations, I find that most couples tend to stick together and they both become more reserved and homey. While there is nothing wrong with that, I feel that these younger years are the days that are supposed to be full of memorable escapades. You have the rest of your life to be homey and conservative. This is the time to explore you and being in a long distance relationship offers you that opportunity. (Perhaps you were wondering if I was going to get back to the long-distance relationships!) I believe that you can partake and build strong friendships while knowing that you still have someone few hundred miles away. It gives you a chance to focus and do the activities you really want to do and thus really learn about yourself. In a relationship you should be sharing lives, not living one life. Long-distance relationships give you room to breath and grow as a person. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Another great thing is that it takes out all the frivolous drama centered around who hooked up with who and more time to focus on more important matters like career goals. Especially in college, I’ve had friends just put countless hours and cry countless tears about some ridiculous hookup who apparently hooked up with another girl in the same night. I mean, let’s be real, these aren’t real world problems. Yet I’ll still see my girlfriends spend countless days and nights trying to win over some clearly uninterested jerk. Whereas being in a long distant relationship, I never had to deal with such issues, instead when I met a guy I had the sole intent of becoming a good friend of his as opposed to his potential one-night stand. I no longer have to deal with that emotional stress of being stuck in silly boy drama comprised of who kissed who. Instead I am able to spend less time attempting to meet cute guys at bars and more time focusing on things I want to work towards such as my career goals. I’d have to say that my future career path takes precedent to attempting to find the next cute guy to sleep with.
Yet just like any diet, attempting to start a long distance relationship is tough. You have to set boundaries, rules, and really learn to communicate. There has to be trust, honesty, and self-control. Yes, there will be temptation to cheat every once in awhile. I mean if you cheat on your diet just a little bit it won’t be that bad — just one Girl Scout cookie…two…three. See, what you don’t realize is that cheating just a little bit can potentially set your entire diet back. Similarly, cheating on your significant other even just a little can set your entire relationship back. It leads to distrust, paranoia, and overprotectiveness. But make it past these minor issues, and you’ll see that there really is some kind of beauty in a long distance relationship. However, I can guarantee that there will be a number of unforeseen challenges, but now you know there isn’t that much fear either. I mean sometimes, you just have to embrace the diet.