- Gender and Relationships
Common Long Distance Struggles
Long distance relationships can seem like actual hell at times, and it's a feeling only the few who have put themselves through such torture can comprehend. They aren't completely horrible, though. You must really be in love if you're willing to put your current romantic life on hold for someone you spend more time away from than with. Here are a few struggles that seem to be a common thread among long distance relationships I've witnessed and the one I am currently experiencing.
The Lack of Physical Contact
This seems like the most obvious issue in any long distance relationship and what seems to cause a lot of the stress in them. As a girl who has been with her long distance partner for more than two years now I can say that the most common comment I received from friends just as my relationship was blossoming was, "WOW! You go that long without sex?!" Answer: yes, obviously. But that is at the bottom of the list of things I worry about while I'm on the other side of the pond from 'The BF.'
What I genuinely miss more than anything is holding hands while grocery shopping. I miss coming home from work and just sitting next to him on the couch, not even talking, just being near someone you love is more than enough to make me happy. It's easy to take those insignificant situations for granted when you experience them on a regular basis. But yeah, it is difficult to explain how empty my arms feel sometimes.
The Jealousy is Real
Seeing a cute couple in pubic and thinking to yourself, "Could be us, but you're a million miles away," happens on a weekly basis. Not only do you experience the odd mixture of rage and jealousy, with a pinch of desperation, when confronted with a cute, lovey-dovey couple in person, television couple cuteness can also trigger these feelings. Even when you know they aren't reality. They tend to leave you with a strange sense of longing and loneliness.
In conjunction with the jealousy bug that occasionally bites you in first person, you also get hit by secondary jealousy. You get incredibly envious of those who are around your significant other routinely. The fact that they most certainly do not care about your partner even a fraction of a percent as much as you do really eats you up if you dwell on it. So you try not to. When your better half brings up the coworkers they eat lunch with every day, or the neighbor they talk about current events with, though, you get jealous.
You try to reassure yourself that jealousy is a normal emotion, but that doesn't make you feel any better for being as bitter about the distance and about not being able to do cute couple things that everyone else is doing as you are.
Is it even logical to argue about the price of a plane ticket? Blood pressures will rise but nothing will, or can, change about the fact that they are entirely too expensive. With the money I've spent, personally, on plane tickets and travel accommodations in the past two years I could easily put a down payment on a modest sized house or a sizable amount on a nice car. You find yourself constantly wondering if food is really that vital to survival and how difficult you'd find it to cope with selling your bed and sleeping on the floor instead. Yes and very, are the two answers you're looking for there.
Does this fact keep me awake at night? Yes, but no one ever said love was cheap, folks. So it's a bullet I am willing to bite. At the end of the day I wouldn't change much about my relationship if presented with the opportunity, but the expense that is travel is a very negative aspect and leads to the demise of many an LDR. A silver lining to this is the fact that I love travel and my relationship has allowed me to travel, and travel with someone I love. It is in no way a bad thing, just an expensive thing.
Another bullet we have no option but to bite is the cost of shipping mail. This is a shout out to the international long distance couples out there. There is a real problem when you spend more money on the cost of shipping a gift than you spent on the actual gift.
In the end, the money saved by not going on dates needs to be spent somehow. Otherwise, we would all have piles of money lying around and no one wants that problem!
I am thankful that this bullet does not apply to me in any regard. I have friends in relationships who see their partner almost on a daily basis and they have less trust in their relationship than I have in mine. My s/o has given me no reason in the 5 years I've known him for me to doubt his credibility. I count myself lucky in that respect.
This aspect can obviously destroy any relationship, especially a long distance one, and it is probably the most common source of stress I hear from others with long distance partners. A relationship with no trust isn't a relationship at all, it's cruel and unusual punishment. One where you are unable to hash out your issues with your partner face to face is even worse. If all channels of communication are not open between both parties you are fighting a losing battle, unfortunately. When you aren't near each other on a regular basis it is vital to be open and honest about everything, this is how every relationship should be. Otherwise, just quit while you're ahead.
All LDRs are unique and face their own set of challenges, like any relationship. Regardless of how perfect two people may appear, they all have their shortcomings and struggles, so experiencing some of the aforementioned issues is really just normal. It comes with the territory.
I didn't even come close to covering all the bases here, but writing about what I've noticed during my run so far is all I can do!
What are some of the struggles you face in your long distance relationship or in your "regular distance" relationship?