Being in a Long-Distance Relationship

It is what it is, says love.*

Is it perfect?

It’s a long-distance relationship (ldr). It’s not fab because you’d rather it be different. It’s wonderful because the relationship is so good that you’re willing to go the distance.

That’s what it looked like on my last evening in England as my boyfriend and I strolled along the cobbled riverwalk after our last date together. It’s not ideal but, gosh, it’s awesome.

“Can we make this work?” he asked me.

So far, being in a long-distance relationship has been a lot of missteps on my part. I’ve struggled to strike the balance between having a social life and prioritizing my Skype time with the bf. I’ve had to navigate the murky waters of platonic friendships with guys. I’ve kept myself up at night brainstorming ways to keep up the romance so that my bf doesn’t turn into just a face on my computer.

If I’m honest, this blog post feels premature as I’m still figuring out this stuff. I’m still acting naïvely. I’m still picking through different ways to build on the relationship in a seemingly endless game of trial and error.

However, the process has left me with some insight.

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, you have to protect it. When people raise their eyebrows at you, when your single friend tells you that your twenties are the ‘most fun years of your life’ and should be spent meeting different guys, when your guy friend comments on how rarely you Skype your bf (even though you actually Skype all the time), you need to guard your heart from the what-ifs and maybes.

But most importantly, you need to guard your heart from your own negativity.

ldr
February 2015 (Photo Credit: Yury Kim)

One time, I told someone that I was in a ldr but it was on a day when I felt particularly gloomy.

“Yeah…long-distance is great,” I had said, heavy on the sarcasm.

The person laughed nervously and quickly changed the subject.

It’s okay to be honest about how difficult long-distance is but only talking about that element tightens your focus on it. Believe me, I know.

Stay positive. Remind yourself why you’re going the distance.

What I have learned from traveling and moving from one home to the next (or maybe I stole this from The Italian Job) is that, when you find something you love and makes you happy, hold onto it for as long as you can.

That’s what keeps me faithful. If I may say, my bf is, well, um, wicked awesome. I found something great and I’m going to hold on it until the earth splits us apart.

Of course, my insight isn’t foolproof. But this is what I have learned and, I don’t know about you, but experiential insight is pretty legit. Just saying.

Long-Distance is

having the comfort of someone who loves you deeply and also having a bit of the autonomy that a single person might have

a good sign

a choice, not something you had to do

harder than you think

requires just as much, if not more, effort

part of being intentional

not being close-minded or unable to let go of the past

could work or could not work, depends on the couple

so worth it, you have no idea.

not what it is

because it’s what you make it.

ldr2
January 2017

What can I say? Two years and counting.

-Rachel

Read more of my absolutely stellar relationship advice here!

*Was es ist poem by Erich Fried

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