Anatomy of a Long-Distance Relationship

I know, I know, I said I’d be back next week.  However, I feel rather naked with just one post on this brand-new blog, so I decided to avoid my responsibilities by writing a somewhat meaty (and non-introductory!) blog post for you.

That being said, what is a long-distance relationship? 

Simply put, a long-distance relationship is a relationship between two (or more) people who are far apart from each other.  Commonly abbreviated as “LDRs,” these relationships are just as serious as relationships between/among people who are geographically close.

Who/what types of people have long-distance relationships?

With the rise of the internet, Skype, online dating, etc., LDRs have cropped up everywhere.  Most people automatically assume romance when someone says “long-distance relationship,” but that’s not always the case.  Though I’ll probably be slanting in that direction most of the time given my experiences, LDRs come in many different flavors.  Do you have a friend or family member you’re close to who is serving in the military?  You’re part of a long-distance relationship–you care for this person and have a bond with them, yet you are separated from them.  Are you still close with a high school or college buddy who has since moved far, far away?  That’s a long-distance relationship.  Do you live far away from your beloved family?  Long-distance relationship, my friend.

How far away do people have to be for their relationship to be “long-distance?”

When I think of LDRs, I automatically think of people from different states or countries.  People don’t have to be that far away to be long-distance, though.  Most LDR couples I’ve met have been either in different countries or in different states, but I have met some couples who live on opposite ends of the same state.  To me, if you have any amount of geographic distance that provides a large and consistent challenge to your relationship, then you can consider your relationship to be long-distance.  Since I’m a broke college student, a trans-atlantic relationship is a very long-distance relationship; scraping together funds for a ticket is a hardship, and I’m essentially limited to only being available to visit during two different seasons.  However, if a pair of people has just 25 miles between them with no cars or public transportation available to either party, would that not still be long-distance?  Those 25 miles, while probably meager to us, are greatly impeding that couple’s ability to be physically close.  Therefore, I would certainly classify that as a long-distance relationship.

…But you guys are far away. That’s not a real relationship.

Sigh.  This one comes up mainly when discussing romantic LDRs.  People sometimes have the tendency to believe that just because you can’t see someone for a long stretch of time automatically makes your relationship less serious.  Not true, but this topic in and of itself deserves a whole other blog post, so I’m just briefly going to touch on it here.  Yes, some people in romantic LDRs are more committed than others, but using distance as the sole criterion for determining how serious a relationship is is idiotic and offensive.  I have seen inter-continental relationships that are far more mature and serious than relationships between university peers who are a five-minute walk away from each other.  Food for thought.

Is a long-distance relationship hard?

You bet your sweet bippy it is.  Some days are harder than others.  Anyone with a deployed loved one, a friend they haven’t been able to see in forever, a family far away, or a honey whose bed is half-empty can tell you that they are always missing a part of them.  Those of us in LDRs have a special spot inside of us that only our loved one(s) can properly fill.  Communicating regularly with our significant others does help, but we don’t always have that ability–and regardless of how often we may talk, we are always still waiting for the next time we get to hold them, hug them, hang out with them.  Again, this is fodder for another blog post, but yes.  Long-distance relationships are hard.

And when done right, they are more than worth it.

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