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Common Long Distance Struggles

Updated on August 3, 2016
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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

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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.

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The Expense

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!

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Trust

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.

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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?

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 13 months ago

      Very true!

    • sarahbw profile image
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      Sarah W 13 months ago from Raleigh, NC

      I completely agree with you! So many people get into LDRs thinking it'll be a piece of cake and the distance between them will strengthen their bond, because absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all. But usually the exact opposite happens. When there is no light at the end of the tunnel, like you mentioned, long distance relationships seem unbearable and basically impossible. They're pointless unless one of the parties plans on relocating.

      I was going to mention the "obstacle factor," but I didn't know where to introduce it in this piece. A lot of people do tend to romanticize LDRs and how strong the connection between two people must be to successfully last through the distance, and I think a lot of people just desire that level of love in their life, obviously they don't want the distance aspect. The distance is what puts that commitment on display, though. Otherwise it is just a regular old relationship, and what is special about that?!

      A lot of the younger people in LDRs I've conversed with talk about how perfect their partner is and how similar they are and how they never thought they would find someone so perfect! Distance has a funny way of hiding the negative aspects of someone'e life, I think. Some people, especially those who have never been in any sort of relationship before, probably don't know what to look for in a partner. You can't really know someone when only spending a handful of days every year with them, as much as you want to believe you can. Until you're able to spend extended amounts of time with your s/o, establish a routine with them, and truly get a feel for how they operate, I don't think you really know them at all.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 13 months ago

      One other reason why some people are attracted to LDRs is they find "obstacles" and challenges to be "romantic".

      Every movie or novel utilizes contrived devices that keep couples from being together. He/she is married, living on the other side of the world, there is a war taking place, parents/friends are against the relationship, they're of different races/nationalities/faiths...etc

      (There's always "something" to overcome to make it a "special love".)

      Anytime there is an "us against the world" obstacle for a relationship to exist that seems to intensify the romantic angle for lots of people.

      LDRs must guard against counting "calendar time" as actual time together. A couple that sees each other for two days each quarter will have spent 8 days of (actual time together) at the end of the year and yet they would tell the world they've been "together" for a year and may in fact become engaged.

      Trust me very few couples would get engaged to someone they've only spent 8 days with if they lived locally. (No matter how many phone calls, emails, and texts they sent to one another.)

      To get to (know them well) you have to spend time together.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 13 months ago

      "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."

      That's the way it should be with all LDRs.

      Unfortunately the reality is many couples just "fell into a LDR".

      Maybe someone was visiting while on vacation. They met or even "hooked up" and decided to stay in contact upon separation.

      Another example might be high school sweethearts who graduate and go off to different colleges believing they'll stay in a LDR for the next 4-6 years while getting their degrees. Odds are both scenarios will fail!

      Long distance relationships were meant to be temporary!

      The goal is to be with the person you love!

      Whenever there is no clear "light at the end of tunnel" where someone is going to be relocating in the near future odds are they'll drift apart.

      It's the counting down of the months, weeks, and days until one is done with the inconvenience of being in a LDR that keeps it strong!

      The only reason for being in a LDR is the belief that he/she is "the one"! Otherwise if you're just "dating" you might as well do that locally.

      One man's opinion!:)