I’m no stranger to long distance relationships. My first dabble in the whole LDR thing was with a soldier. He was in the Army, and we had a thing for a few months while he was away doing whatever dudes in the Army do while on base in Virginia. After that relationship crashed and burned (badly), I started talking to a lovely woman I met online. She was great, but the distance was weird, and we never actually met. I think we would both agree that the distance made getting to know each other and working out minor conflicts super difficult. So that was the end of that. Needless to say, I put LDRs to rest for a little while after they failed me twice.
But, the third time was a bit of a charm, IMHO. I met my now girlfriend of three-and-a-half years while at college my sophomore year. As luck would have it, she is from Oklahoma, and I am from Massacuhsetts. But she was beautiful and amazing. And I was lovestruck. So we gave it a go, despite the impending LDR situation.
For chunks out of each year, we went long distance out of necessity. School breaks will do that to you. But it (somehow) worked! Now, we happily live together in NYC and don’t have to deal with skyrocketing phone bills and horrible Internet connections to keep our relationship alive.
So when I say I know, believe me I do. LDRs are a whole lot of work. And they come with a whole set of unique problems. But they can definitely be worth the trouble! As an ode to my LDR past (and your possible LDR present), I wanted to answer all of your burning questions about the long distance thing. Here’s 5 of your best questions on LDRs, with simple solutions!
Okay, So How Do I Tell My ‘Rents?
“I’ve been avoiding telling my parents that I’m in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend and I live 11 hours away by car. But I love this boy, and he loves me. I do feel that I could have a future with him, but he’s so far away! I think my parents will flip if they find out about our relationship. Please HELP!” — Anonymous
If you really love this guy, I think it’s important you have a mature conversation with your parents about the situation. Sit them down with the intent to explain, not to fight. Tell them you are in a relationship with this boy and you are committed to making it work. And, most importantly, that you would really value their support! Then, ask them if they have questions and listen. Really listen! As with any tough convo, effective communication is really important!
If your parents flip out, chances are they are just really concerned about you and don’t want you to be hurt by a long distance love affair. Or they are hesitant to accept you dating someone who is not a tangible part of their life (or yours). It’s understandable, if you really think about it! They are in parent protection mode, which means they really, truly care about you. Obviously. But don’t let their possible negative reaction force you to keep this relationship a secret. It isn’t fair to you, your partner, or your parents. Ultimately, if you can all work together, your relationship with your parents and Sig O will be better for it. So talk it out!
Is It Doomed Due To Distance?
“I’m in a long distance relationship and it’s great. I’m going away to college in the fall and my boyfriend is going to another university. I know people always say to end your high school relationship before going to college. But what if you are already in a great long distance relationship? I mean, I get missing out, but my boyfriend and I don’t hold each other back now…” — Madeline
If you are already in an LDR that is happy and healthy for both you and your partner, there’s no harm in keeping it going while starting college. Sure, people may disagree. But it’s your call — and it sounds like what you want to do is stay with your boo! What’s important is to be sure to balance your new university life with your long term LDR. If you feel like your relationship is leaving you with major FOMO or that it’s impacting your grades, maybe it’s time to pump the brakes.
Ultimately, if your honey is super important to you, distance really doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s hard. But you know that already. If you have a relationship built on commitment, trust, and respect, it’s okay to keep that going despite what the haters say. Just make sure you and your boo are on the same page and letting each other enjoy university life, too. If things don’t work out, they don’t work out. But never let anyone tell you a happy, healthy relationship can’t exist due to distance. Sure, it takes mature, aware, and dedicated people to work it out. But if you and your partner are all of those things, university life can coexist with a strong LDR. Good luck!
We Want To Get Physical…But How?
“I’m in a long distance relationship with a guy I haven’t met. We just talk via the Internet and on the phone. But lately my BF has been wanting to get more sexual. What should I do?” — Sienna
Getting ~sexual~ in an LDR is really delicate territory…especially if you haven’t met in person! I understand your BF (and probably you) are both wanting to get more intimate. But getting sexy via technology can be pretty risky. Technology isn’t as personal as we’d all like to believe. Sure, flirting via text is fun. And sending a sex-coded text message isn’t the worst thing you can do in life. But let’s be careful with this situation!
If one or both of you are underage, exchanging sexy pictures or video or gettin’ busy via video chat could be considered child pornography! Yikes. My rule of thumb? If I wouldn’t want my dad seeing it, I don’t send it! Seriously. Technological “privacy” is a myth. So good ol’ dad would probably expect you to flirt with a long distance cutie. Maybe he would even be chill with a little light sexting. But sending a photo in your Victoria Secret panties…and nothing else? Let’s hold off. This sexual sacrifice that could save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Plus, relationships are a lot more than the physical! Save that part for when you and your bae are ready…and together in person. Good luck!
Our Dull Discussions Have Me Snoozin’
“I am currently in a long distance relationship. I love my boyfriend, but our conversations are getting dull. I need some interesting things to talk about with him. I want the relationship to still have that “spark” like when we first started dating. What should I do to get it back?” — Anonymous
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! This is something that is super common in LDRs. My main advice? Talk about this! Seriously. You and your partner need to be open when something isn’t working in your relationship. If you need to work on getting more things to talk about, talking about this problem honestly is a great place to start. It’s obvious you want to stay with this cutie if you are reluctant to let the “spark” fade. So work together to keep it alive by addressing this issue!
Some tips to spark conversations? Start keeping a note in your phone of all the things that happen to you during the day that you want to tell someone about. Then tell your boo! Have long distance dates where you watch the same show or movie on Netflix. Then chat about it after the credits roll. Let each other in when it comes to tough situations you’re dealing with. But, most importantly, know this: sometimes relationships take work, but they shouldn’t feel like work! If every conversation is a labor, then maybe you need to reevaluate your relationship status. It’s great to work together to fix these conversation lulls. But don’t be afraid to find another cutie who you can communicate with effectively if this is more than a temporary problem. Chat away!
Will He Stray? Or Is Our Relationship A-OK?
“I am in a long distance relationship with a guy who lives a few states away. He said he would wait, but I doubt it because he is a guy. I believe another girl will catch his eye and he will go after her. He says he loves me, but I’m just scared he thinks he’s wasting his time. Do guys really wait for girls who live far away?” — Ceirra
A really important part of any LDR (or, like, any relationship) is trust. Without trust, you are basically no where. The problem here seems to be a lack of trust between you and your guy. What you need to do is figure out if this lack of trust is warranted or is sprung out of irrational insecurities. Is your BF dropping clues that he may be unfaithful? Well, then you have reason to be concerned. Yet, from what you are telling me, it seems like he’s doing everything in his power to assure you he’s 100% committed.
If you are having a hard time believing his eyes are only on you , you need to talk to him. And you need to figure out why you are feeling this way. Working through these feelings of insecurity is the only way to be super successful partners. LDRs take a lot of honesty, a lot of commitment, and even more trust. Without all of those ingredients, the relationship isn’t going to work. You and your boo need to be totally confident that each of you is committed in order to be long distance, long term lovers. So work on building up confidence in your relationship! Best of luck!
Are you in an LDR? What problems have you run into because of the distance? Tell me all about your troubles (and LDR triumphs!) in the comments below!