longdistance

Long Distance Relationships: Do They Work

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Chiara Mazzucco

CEO, Editor-in-Chief at The Indie Chicks, Inc
Chiara got her start in the blogosphere by dishing out reality slaps on her dating and relationship blog. The brutal honesty that became her signature tone earned her the badass reputation she needed to get The Indie Chicks magazine up and running. She is also a web designer and author of The 9 Mirages of Love. Driven, stubborn, and wildly ambitious, she won’t stop until she is the perfect, self-empowered role model for all of her readers.

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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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  • http://www.delightfullyawkwardbrit.com Delightfully Awkward Brittany

    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.

    • http://www.theindiechicks.com Chiara Mazzucco

      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.

  • Jason

    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.

  • http://www.accordingtojewels.com Jewels

    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.

  • Denise Haschka (Baer)

    “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.

    • Denise Haschka (Baer)

      (edit) * Where you are in life and where he is in life.

  • http://www.fantasydatinggame.com/ Suzanne Casamento

    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. ;)

  • http://letterstocinderella.wordpress.com Elle

    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.