Long Distance Relationships: Do They Work

long distance relationships, the indie chicks, dating, relationships, love and sex

Life has a funny way of throwing a shit storm your way  the moment you think you’ve struck gold. You meet someone who kick flips your life upside down, someone who seems absolutely perfect: attractive, intelligent, like-minded and romantic. Then, the bomb drops. He lives across the country or he’s about to move across the country or, better yet, he’s doesn’t even live IN the country. What’s your next move? Do you dive into a long distance relationship, or do you let what seems like a one chance in a lifetime opportunity pass you by?

Love Should Conquer All

Meeting someone you connect with on so many levels is so rare that your first thought is: It HAS to work – it just HAS to. The nights you spent under the stars connecting had to count for something, right? We’ve been trained to think ‘love’, or what we believe to be love, will conquer any obstacles put before us.

It’s an illusion, a false sense of security, introduced to us via rom-coms and old fairytales. And we have no problem absolutely accepting it.

This is why you’ll often go into battle without checking all of your ammo first. You don’t go through a checklist to see whether or not your relationship is even a candidate with the power to survive 3,000 miles between you. You’ll dream of long talks on the phone and romantic embraces at the airport. You’ll have no idea how utterly insane the distance will drive you and how much of a psychopath it’ll probably turn you into.

But true love conquers! And our love is TRUE.

Unfortunately, your love life is not a never ending rom-com. Sorry to be the one to break it to you. 

Why Most Long Distance Relationships Don’t Work

Guys are visual creatures that need sex. Women are emotional creatures that need romance. Or the other way around… whatever, that’s a whole other article. Sure, Skype dates can extend the life of a long distance relationship, but not by much longer. And guys can send flowers, and order other surprises to be left at her doorstep, but she’ll eventually need real cuddles. There don’t have to be outside factors of temptation, it can simply be the lack of everything else necessary to make a relationship work. Relationships are already complicated, without the added hurdle.

There is, of course, the potential for temptation, too. As your lives grow into individual creatures, you’re bound to encounter people who intrigue you. When you’re in a same-location relationship, most people are able to shrug it off and go home to their partners. In a long distance relationship, they go home to their vibrator, hand, and a whole lot of imagination. Skype Sex can only do so much.

Another fun thing that happens in these types of relationships is the unexpected emergence of jealousy. You don’t have to be a psycho to let jealousy get the best of you. At first, you’ll be jealous he’s going out when you’re choosing to stay in. Then, it’ll mutate into Who, exactly, are you going out with? Eventually you’ll just start assuming he’s banging randoms every night just because.

Are you prepared to meet the really ugly, crazy version of yourself?

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Chiara Mazzucco

Chiara Mazzucco

Chiara is the Founder and CEO of Indie Chicks, Inc. She's a published author of The 9 Mirages of Love, and is working on her second book, But First, Me. You can find out more about her by visiting her website, or can email her to get in touch.

  1. I was in a long distance relationship with my (now) husband for almost 3 years, right out of high school, while he was in the military and eventually deployed to Iraq. They work if you want it to work. It was incredibly difficult to carry out, sure, but an incredibly easy decision to make. I wanted to be with him, he wanted to be with me- so we were together. The end.

    1. It definitely works for some couples, but I think saying it works if you want it to work isn’t really fair to those who want it to work but it doesn’t end up working for. It takes an immense amount of work, determination and strength alongside open communication, faith and really, the cards falling into the right place. Not many dive into a long distance not wanting it work and most come out with it not working. That said, I’m very happy it worked for you and your husband and that you were able to make it through the hard times.

  2. It can work, but only for a while. Then somebody’s gotta move. What it did for me was heighten the intensity and I was the one who moved cross country and got engaged to someone I’d only known a few months. Still married after 14 years so I guess it was a good idea, but if you’re not ready for big changes or listen too much to risk averse friends and family it’s not going to last with any real level of commitment.

  3. I’ve never even attempted one. Long distance flirting, sure, but a relationship won’t work for me. If we’re talking an hour or two, sure but across states or continents and that’s not going to cut it for me. In extreme cases, serving in the military, I can see how I’d try to make it work but it would get iffy for me.

    Luckily long distance relationships are made a little (only a little) easier with the introduction of Facetime, Skype, and other video devices that allow you to at least see the other person.

  4. “It’s all the crap that can happen during a regular relationship, just heightened in intensity and probability.” So true.

    I think it’s all about timing. Where you are in life? Where he is in life? My 44-year old self is nothing like my 24-year old self.

    In 2008, I met a man on an online writing forum. He lived in Germany and I lived in Chicago. We started talking because he read something on my blog similar to an experience he went through. This started the relationship. Like you said, all the crap that happens in a regular relationship, was heightened in intensity … but we were both older. We were done finding ourselves or going through life lost and lonely. On February 10, 2013, I married this man. He is everything I thought I didn’t want and everything I need.

    But you’re right, long distance relationships are hard. Both of your hearts and dedication have to be in it for the long run. In my opinion, it’s better to chance and fail than to pass up and regret.

  5. Everyone has really great points! Like Jason said, eventually someone has to move. I think what’s important about that is that there has to be an end game. If both parties know, “we’re going to live on opposite sides of the country for a year, but after that, so and so is moving” you have a much better shot at making it.

    I recently attempted a long distance relationship with someone who was moving to the opposite coast. We did not have a plan in place. Needless to say, that crashed and burned quickly!

    Denise brings up an awesome point too. It depends on where you are in life. Like her, my 40 something self is way different than my 20 something self. I can and I’m willing to do things now I never could have done in my 20’s.

    All of that said, I have three friends, who endured long distances relationships. LA to Toronto, LA to PA and LA to Sydney. Yes, Sydney, Australia. And all of them are married. And yes, Jason, in each circumstance somebody moved.

    You gotta love love. 😉

  6. Great article. I’ve never been in a long distance relationship myself, but a close friend of mine just had one end last June. It’s kind of sad, really; they were together for nearly ten years and managed to make the long distance thing work for about the last four (which was amazing to me). I think they both really wanted it work but in the end, life just got in the way.

  7. This article is infuriating. It amounts people to nothing more than sex crazed, uncontrollable animals. I’ve been in a successful relationships, long distance, for two years. We see each other once a month. The communication it requires has made our relationship stronger and the physical aspects have only flourished. Honestly, it isn’t even hard. We are so invested in each other, talking constantly on the phone is more than enough to get us through the weeks.

    1. I agree. The way that this article is written makes it seem like a girl’s relationship with her SO is all that she has. Being in a healthy relationship is 2 complete people coming together to play on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If a girlfriend doesn’t get to talk to her SO for a couple of days and she’s in tears worrying about ridiculous situations that probably won’t happen, then they’re the ones who are delusional. I’m in a long-distance relationship now, and we see each other around twice very 2 months (give or take a couple of weeks). It’s all about attitude and perspective. a boyfriend’s life shouldn’t be about his girlfriend, and vice versa.

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