In a previous article I shared the truth about what’s needed to build a long-distance relationship and to make it last. My boyfriend and I have been dating across states, and now across continents, since last year. Although it’s been a joy getting to know such a wonderful human being, some parts of our relationship are way less fun.
I reached out to fabulous couple Natasha and Brian, who are also long distance, to see what they thought about love across state lines. Here’s what we thought were the worst things about having your heart hundreds of miles away. For a more optimistic post, Look out for some long-distance date ideas tomorrow on the site.
People talk. sometimes your mind listens.
“Women fall in love with conversation. Men need physical closeness to build a relationship.” – Brian
No matter how you slice it, long-distance dating sucks. In the beginning of our relationship, my boyfriend and I heard a lot of outside noise. People either questioned our methods or praised our bravery. We always smiled and gave the politically correct answers all-the-while not really knowing what the future held. Brian had a better approach: don’t share with people who can’t support what you are trying to do or don’t have the mindset to understand it. But as the relationship grows, the noise becomes internal. You start to question how much longer you can deal with the distance and search desperately for the day that will bring you two together.
My boyfriend says optimism and confidence help quell those thoughts that will drive you crazy. Natasha reminds herself that “once God shows you who is for you, everything else will be taken care of.” I do my best to remember why we are apart and how our life journeys, though separate right now, are leading us to a better place together in the future. I also think about the benefits of putting distance between us. As Natasha puts it, in a long distance relationship you have to rely on communication —there’s no other way to connect. You’re forced to learn so much more about the person outside of your physical bond.
It Can Get “Cray”
But all the pep talks and optimism in the world can’t solve every problem. With distance, your bad day doesn’t melt away in the arms of your boo. Good days seem less exciting when you can only share them over the phone or by FaceTime. As connected as we are these days, there is no substitution for hugs from someone you love. Brian says this takes an especially hard toll on the men in long distance relationships. As a man, nothing compares to his partner physically being there to support him day in and day out. The small things that you once appreciated at the beginning of the relationship become too small. Three days out of the month together feels like you are being robbed of the other 27. The relationship cannot grow in the way a man needs it to grow because it’s missing an essential element — physical touch/presence.
The lack of physical closeness also affects us as women. We rely so heavily on conversation and being able to talk freely with our partner. What happens when you have an argument? Natasha says one of the toughest things is not being able to see how Brian is feeling during or after an argument. It’s impossible to hop over and resolve the situation. It’s easy to end up in limbo or extended disagreement just because you can’t hug the person when they need it most.
You miss out on a lot
“No matter what, if this is the person for you, it will work. If you can make it through a long-distance relationship, you can make it through just about anything.” – Natasha
“A job is temporary — it’s not loyal or guaranteed; at the end of the day, your relationship is the priority.” – Brian
All four of us agreed that we miss out on significant moments in our partner’s lives. If there is an exciting event or restaurant I haven’t tried, I can’t call up my beau and invite him to check it out with me. I can’t take him out for dinner when he earns a new professional certificate. He can’t come to concerts/parks/shows/the store with me. Yet life does not stop. The pictures still end up on social media and all he can do is hit like, instead of being in the pictures with me. As someone who slants toward introversion, I never thought this would be a problem, but it is. I decided long ago that I wanted to share my entire life with this person. Although we support each other through everything, the tally of what we have actually shared together is far outweighed by what we have experienced apart.
It can be an uphill battle trying to maintain a long-distance relationship. It takes a level of commitment and communication that’s hard to prepare for or practice on your own. With both partners invested in seeing it through, it’s worth every ounce of effort.
If you are in the Atlanta area, check out Natasha’s Date Gifting and Grow With Me life-coaching services.
Many thanks to Natasha and Brian for contributing to this piece with their time and honesty.
If you missed part one of this series, check it out! And part three is available now
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