I was never the type of gal to call myself a romantic, but let’s be real everyone says that until they’ve fallen in love. Young love is supposed to be fun, and easy and dumb and everything you imagined and everything you didn’t. Right? Well, after realizing my two-month summer romance had turned into the object of my affection, I was faced with the decision that most eighteen year old’s are not. I was moving five hours away to Toronto in a few weeks, and here I was, with my first potential serious boyfriend. Long story short, we decided to test the scary waters of what is known as a long-distance relationship (or an LDR).
It may have just been because I was living on campus residence and was thus surrounded by tons of students from other cities, but it soon dawned on me that I wasn’t the only one in an LDR. In fact, there were tons of other people doing the same thing I was (two of my roommates happened to be in them, too). Having been in my LDR for nearly a year now (let’s just round up three months), I practically feel like an expert oozing with wisdom.
So for those of you braving the challenges of an LDR, or those simply wanting to understand more about it, I’ve come up with a highly reliable and extremely intellectual way to distill this information upon you all (I’m not being sarcastic, I swear): A list of pro’s and con’s.
You Learn How to Be Independent
Young love, especially when it’s the first one, can be ever consuming, but by being separated from your loved one you get the chance to keep yourself grounded. You get to stay focused on school and work, take all the me time you want, and generally just learn how not to have someone attached to your hip-especially if you’ve got a ‘clinger’ of a partner.
When you haven’t seen him or her in a month, the moment when you finally lock eyes is magical. You pretty much always have something to look forward to, so the honeymoon stage lasts a long time (trust me, it’s great). Even something as mundane as watching Netflix in bed is fantastic when you finally have someone to cuddle up next to.
You Learn More About Each Other
Surprisingly, LDR’s can produce great communication between couples, and after all, talking is what keeps relationships together. Without the option of expressing physical affection, outlets such as Skype, phone calls, texting and Snapchat help you not only stay connected but get creative too. You learn to value every little message and bit of time your partner carves out for you.
It Really Means Somethin’
Chances are, if you and your lover have managed to stay together in an LDR for a long time, you know it’s special. Who wants to work hard for something they don’t care about? All the extra effort just goes to show your dedication to one another.
You Get Pretty Damn Lonely
Unfortunately, in an LDR you don’t just get to pop on over and see each other whenever you want. There’s night’s when you’ll literally hug onto that extra pillow, or wake up wondering where you’re boo thang is before realizing you’re actually alone. There’ll always be something you wished you could’ve done together, and just the thought of how little visits per year you have can be saddening.
Depending on how far away you and your lover live from each other, transportation can get pricey. Bus tickets, gas money and dinner dates can really add up, and as a student you really can’t afford all the extra costs.
You Question Yourself
Is it worth it? Am I doing this right? What if we were dating under different circumstances? Am I missing out on things normal couples don’t? With all the time apart, you’re bound to overthink a bit, even when you shouldn’t.
Everyone Doubts You
When you tell someone you’re in an LDR, they always say, “Aw, that must suck.” No one, including adults, takes the relationship seriously because at such a young age, what could you really know about commitment and love?? It gets tiring explaining the relationship dynamic to people, but your family and friends hardly ever get the chance to bond with your lover and understand it for themselves.
Are you in a LDR? Let us know what you do to make it work!