Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Long-Distance Relationships

24
May
2012
ldr

I'm not the kind of woman who is typically defined by her man. Truth be told, as someone who has been single for most of my adulthood, there hasn't often been a man by which to be defined. But beyond that, as a sex blogger with an ill-understood job and a host of idiosyncrasies, I'm not used to being defined by anything other than who I am.


But ever since my mister came on the scene, that has changed. Whenever the sentence “my boyfriend lives in DC” comes up, he instantly becomes the most interesting thing about me. I don’t know the stats on long-distance relationships, but it seems they’re the most fascinating thing going to pretty much everyone I meet.

I’m normally a pretty open person, but I admit I find the questions a bit unnerving sometimes. As we Trini’s like to say, people are dyam fass sometimes and it’s annoying to be put on the spot and expected to give strangers or acquaintances a clearer picture of how my private life works. If I wasn’t brought up right, I’d probably slap a bitch, but I’m a lady so I just grin and do my best.

The one thing everyone wants to know is “How does that work??”. And the answer is simple. We talk. A lot. We gchat, we text, and we FaceTime. A lot. He knows everything that happens in my day that I choose to tell him. The fact that he lives far away means I talk to him more often than I would otherwise, because I’ve had to reconsider aversion to the phone. Unfortunately for everyone else I know, I use up all my phone tolerance on him and literally can’t stand to be on the phone with anyone else.

Then everyone wants to know “Don’t you miss him?”. And the answer is….kinda. I mean, yes I wish I saw him more often. And yes, I kinda do want to shank someone when I see other couples on the street doing the mundane things he and I never get to do together. If that amounts to missing him then yeah I guess I do. But really the thing is that he doesn’t really exist in my day-to-day life, if that makes sense. It’s not like when you’re used to seeing someone every day and suddenly they’re gone and you keep expecting to see them in all the familiar places. He never was here so the fact that he’s not seems pretty normal to me.  So now I wouldn’t really say that I actively miss him all the time. But I do get overwhelmed by a burning desire to hug him. Or see his face. Or…well, you know.

Speaking of which, you would not believe the number of people who ask me “What do you do about sex?”. People are nosy, man. I tell you. I still haven’t found the right answer to that one. I mean, you guys know me and you know my affinity for sex, both of the real and faux varieties, so I’m sure you can use your imagination. But I’m not about to extoll the virtues of FaceTime sex to virtual strangers.

Although, let me tell you – FaceTime sex gives life. Trust me on that one.

The questions go on and on – how often do you see each other, who visits whom, who is going to move where, aren’t you worried that he’ll cheat on you? And like I said, it’s annoying. But it’s bearable. Which is actually a pretty accurate description of what it’s like to be in a LDR – annoying but bearable.

You know what’s really hard though? The judgement. Case in point: A couple of months ago a friend of mine asked how my “DC dick” was doing. I’m not a fan of that euphemism for my mister and so I had to correct him and I swear I could have knocked him over with a feather, so incredulous was he. He was like “come on Max you can’t really be taking this seriously?” and “you don’t really think this guy is faithful to you, do you?” and “you know that’s not a real relationship, don’t you?” and on and on until I had to leave the table lest our friendship come to an abrupt and grinding halt.

I get that shit a lot.

And the truth is, I can kinda understand it. The LDR ain’t for everyone and to those for whom it’s not meant, it probably seems preposterous. There are people in this world who can’t stand to be alone even for a second. And for those people, I’m sure the idea of a relationship with someone in another country seems like poppycock. So I can dig it. What I can’t get with is why they think it’s necessary to say that shit out loud. the LDR ain’t for everybody. I think I was born to be in one – boo’d up though I may be, I’m still a lone wolf and I relish the space I get. Being far away from your SO makes for a kind of clarity that you don’t always get when you’re in the thick of your relationship. And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make it easier to cheat – if anything it makes it harder.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Either way, my LDR works for me.

Like I said, the LDR ain’t for everybody. I think I was born to be in one – boo’d up though I may be, I’m still a lone wolf and I relish the space I get. Being far away from your SO makes for a kind of clarity that you don’t always get when you’re in the thick of your relationship. And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make it easier to cheat – if anything it makes it harder.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Either way, my LDR works for me.

But what about you guys – are you a believer in love across the miles or do you think they’re unsustainable? Anyone out there in this boat with me? Speak on it in the comments.

 



19 Comments

  • Gem says:

    i hear you max. in my field (biomed research), i meet numerous people who have been or currently are in LDRs. im talking married couples who live in different states. i also know of 2 married couples who werent living under the same roof when they conceived their 1st child. now, this isn’t MY ideal, but they made it work because they had to and WANTED to.

    and i think thats what all LDRs boil down to – you want to make your relationship work so you do what it takes to keep it together. as you mentioned, you up the communication, you make the visits to see each other, you learn to miss them without feeling empty without them. it’s such a great feeling to be with some one who is putting as much into your relationship as you are and is as secure about your LDR as you are.

  • RP1496 says:

    Interesting post!! This is something that has been on my mind, because a friend introduced me to a guy that travels extensively for work, and by that he lives where he works for months at a time.

    For me a LDR seems harder to get going, particularly if they start that way. I don’t think that they are impossible, but the question of who moves where becomes important as the relationship progresses.

    Do you have any suggestions for getting it started?

    • as i mentioned below my last two LDRs started off that way. my suggestions is try to be friends first. see what you have in common. things you can discuss outside of normal relationship things. being in a LDR requires a stronger base than normal because you’re going to need that support to fall back on.

      • RP1496 says:

        Thanks and that is what has been happening, but just not as fast as I would like…of course this person doesn’t have to be the right one

    • max says:

      For me I think the tricky thing about LDR’s is that they require so much commitment in terms of time and money and communication that they start off serious before you even really know each other. So I think MadScientist’s suggestion of starting off as friends is a good one; although I didn’t do it that way.

      Otherwise I’d say that to get it off the ground you have to jump with both feet. Unlike a “normal” relationship, you can’t fit a new and fledgling LDR in around your schedule and it doesn’t run on momentum. You have to be willing to put work in right from the beginning.

  • i used to be so anti-LDRs. i used to be the type of guy who craved physical contact (not just sex) on a consistent basis. i used to say “that would never be me”. key word is used to. my last 2 GFs have been long distance. we didn’t start off together and someone had to move. we started off long distance. being in a LDR you learn a lot about yourself and your partner. you learn different forms of communication which is important. just like you i’m not a phone person but for her i love talking on the phone and don’t mind at all. skype is key and so is gchat/text.

    absence does make the heart grow fonder so you really cherish the amount of time that you do get to spend together. you make LDRs work only if you want to. if you don’t then they won’t. plain and simple.

  • Yaya says:

    I LOVE this post. I can relate because I am in a LDR. Its been almost 6 months now and I miss my man like crazy. Although he has never been a part of my normal day-to-day routine, I am now getting the feeling that I wish he were. I miss being able to see him whenever I want or just hug him anytime I need too. We do a lot of Skype, FaceTime, texting, emailing and phone calls and its true, I talk to him on the phone so much, I don’t want to talk to anyone else.

    I had to laugh when I read this “I kinda do want to shank someone when I see other couples on the street doing the mundane things he and I never get to do together,” because I thought I was the only one. I see other couples out doing things together and I get sad and wish my boo was around to do things with me. Eventually one of us will have to move, so right now we are just trying to work out those details.

  • indieblack says:

    I don’t see a problem with LDRs, but that’s only if you want to be in one, if you are the type of person who wants that type of relationship. There are many different types of relationships, and to each her own. LDRs are not for me. I don’t need my man around me all the time, everyday, but I like knowing that I can text, or pick-up the phone and he can come see me within 90 minutes. I think we live about 70 miles apart, and that is far enough for me.

    Is it a temporary situation? How would you integrate someone into your life once things get to that point? Do you even want things to get to a point where this person is apart of your everyday life?

    I can see your side of things, but I need real face time not iPhone face time…I just couldn’t do a LDR.

  • ncvirgogal says:

    I can’t seem to meet anyone in my area so 90% of my romantic interests have been long distance for the past few years. This post came at the right time.

  • IrieDiva says:

    i used to blame the distance for destroying my relationship but now i know it truly is the person. after the last 3 and a half years i wouldnt choose to do another ldr but if that came along it would be easy to do it again as i’ve become accustomed to what it takes. as long as there is a foreseeable end to the distance that i can work with.

  • Sula says:

    As a person who lived outside of her homeland for 15 years, I was raised to know that LDRs are a part of life. Where I am from, we do travel a lot abroad for school etc… Chances are you will end up in an LDR at some point. I was in an LDR for the past 4 years. I lived in the US and he lived back home (west Africa). We made it work because we wanted it to work. Like the others have said, we discovered new ways of communicating, we discovered a lot about ourselves, we learned each other. This was not a 2hr flight type relationship, it was a 24hour, stopover in Europe kinda relationship. Obviously Skype, bbm, gchat, younameit became our best friends. The times we spent together while apart are forever cherished. The memories of those moments are too precious.

    I moved back home 6 months ago. We are now together, married and seeing each other daily. Sometimes it takes us off guard that we made it, some days (rare) I wish I was still on my own in Houston getting ready for him to come visit. All in all, the 4 years apart strengthened our bond more than anything else could have.

  • Ekute ile says:

    yeah,Max….you are spot-on….i live in Belgium while my girl lives in England but we always seem to be together cos we BBM chat, skype, DM on twitter and we sometimes do the phone call…and we see like once a month, she’s coming over this weekend..physically..lol. i do get all sort of questions from people but i just tend to ignore. yeah, it’s tough but it is what it is.

  • legitimate_soul says:

    This post was great and on-time for me. I have been in LDR’s and the distance was hard and I tend to want to avoid the idea of them now, but this post made me remember and reflect on some things. Thank you!

  • bookhobbit says:

    Honestly, I’m a little shocked at people’s reactions. Can’t believe someone would say it’s not a real relationship just on the basis of the distance. And I don’t see any reason to say “How does that work?”; I mean, isn’t it obvious? Although that may be because I’ve been around a lot of people with LDRs, and have been in many long-distance friendships. -shrug-

    I dunno. Obviously they can be harder to maintain, but it’s definitely possible if you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind being alone sometimes.

  • Ann says:

    Just discovered your blog yesterday and came across this post today. Sorry for being late to the party, but had to comment cuz I too am in an LDR with my high school boyfriend. We were LD then too, but only 80 miles or so. Now it’s 800. It started with a platonic trip to Florida 18 months ago, after not having seen each other in 8 years. It’s not easy, but not as hard as people think. We’re really hoping to build something. And like you and your “mister” we talk A LOT. Love Toronto (I’ve visited from my home in Michigan many times), love your writing.

  • Melissa says:

    I just found your website having Googled something else (sex stuff for the LDR when I see him next!) and found this article right after. Thanks for that, and if you think that ‘my boyfriend lives in DC’ causes lots of questions, try ‘my boyfriend lives in Vegas’ when you’re from small-town Ontario. Nobody gets it, but it’s working, and it hard, and if I had my way, he’d be here with me, but I know I need to exercise a bit of patience. And research sex tips to make our every-other-month visits even more special. :)

  • Mai says:

    LDR are not for anyone. They are for the strong, committed and determined.


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