Sure, the Internet has made it much more feasible, but as I’m figuring this thing out with my boyfriend, long distance relationships SUCK! When there’s around 9 hours of travel between you, the romance could start to dwindle.
As it turns out, it’s tough bridging the distance between the both of you, especially when you’re trying to make up for physical and emotional intimacy. LDRs, if I may say so, require emotional growth which, as smooth as the word sounds, is harder than a pop quiz in Calculus.
There’s no physical contact.
Yeah yeah, you’re probably thinking about sex. It’s not. You don’t need to have a PhD in Psychology to understand that hugs are one of the best things EVER!
It’s the first thing you’re going to miss after days of being away from your partner.
Hugs in the morning before you go to work. Hugs before you say goodnight. Stolen hugs when you’re buying large cheese fries at the grocery. Cuddle hugs while watching horrible movies like The Mortal Instruments. Heck, any kind of hug!
It’s not the just the physical intimacy that you’re giving up, it’s any form of physical contact. You can’t hold hands, sit side by side, pat his back, lean up for a cheeky kiss, brush his hair, or even squish his flubbery tummy. None of that.
And I can’t emphasize this enough, but there are variations of human interaction that you’re no longer privy to. You can’t see him smile when you tell a joke. You can’t sit next to him during dinner. You can’t tell if he’s tired or lonely or sick. You no longer have body language clues to understand your partner.
Which puts A LOT of pressure on your verbal communication. As it so happens, there’s not much “communication” to begin with because you’re both working. At the end of the day, you’re somehow too exhausted to bother with a text.
You seek solace in other people.
You’re not living in the same zip code, obviously, so it’s no strange fact that both of you will find your socialization fix elsewhere. Blogs and websites like Thought Catalog will tell you that “spending time together is the key to keeping a relationship alive”. But that kind of bullsh*t goes out the window when all you have is a measly phone call and a couple of text messages.
So you constantly hang out with your friends, seek out long-lost FB friends, tweet often; you essentially spend more time with other people to distract you from missing your partner and reminiscing the good times.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have meaningful moments with your partner though. Like I said, there’s Skype, Google Hangouts, Yahoo Messenger (if you still use this kind of crap), Viber, Twitter, or Facebook.
But they’re hardly substitutes for real “couple moments” like eating dinner at Pizza Hut, watching movies at SM Cinema, eating 20-peso Cornettos on a hot Sunday afternoon, or spooning after a late watch of The Internship.
All the power of the Internet CANNOT replace the simple pleasure of socializing and being with your best friend.
It breeds paranoia and jealousy.
I’m the jealous type, like seriously. It’s one of the things I’m sure about myself but it’s also something I’m not exactly proud of. Nevertheless, if you’re the jealous type, expect the green monster to go batshit crazy during a long distance relationship.
Obviously, it’s hard not to be jealous when you can’t see each other, not know what he’s doing, or if he’s actually doing what he says he’ll do.
Often, you’ll wish you could be there, but you’re not. It causes tension on your relationship and breeds paranoia. What if someone’s flirting with him? What if the office slut sashays in front of him and somehow he can’t resist staring at her watermelons (you know what I mean)? What if her stupid doll-face-but-actually-slutty-face smiles his way and he smiles back?
A lot of what-ifs simmer under your sweet and loving girlfriend façade. You can’t predict the boiling point for your jelly moments. When they do surface, holy shitballs brace yourself!
So what happens to the relationship?
Like I said at the beginning of this piece, I can’t tell you how to have a happy relationship. I know I’m still working on mine. But here are 3 things that might take you closer to a stronger and more loving long distance relationship.
Trust that he’s staying committed to you and what you’ve built. This is the hardest step, because it means risking yourself and being vulnerable. What if he hurts you? But that’s the whole point, you have to trust him enough to know that he won’t hurt you.
Pick up the phone and call dammit! You don’t have to talk every single moment of the day. But you do have to talk at least once a day, you know, to let her know what you had for breakfast or how many mistakes you had with QCs or how frustrated you are with your tummy flabs. It’s highly advisable that you talk, like on the phone.
Every relationship has a goal: in 5 years we’ll get married, in 2 we’ll have twins, in 6 months we’ll go to Surigao.
For long distance relationships, your target is your next “meet-up”. When you’ll see each other again is one of the biggest reasons you’re still hanging on. Because at the end of the day, when you’re hugging your pillow because you miss cuddling, you’re assured of the fact that you’ll soon see each other again in 3 weeks (or years, depending on your reason for being away).
Long distance relationships suck, that’s for sure! But both of you don’t have to suffer the suckiness of your situation. As horribly cheesy as it may seem, if you do love each other, you’ll survive.