Love is such a powerful thing, it can convince you that there’s a way to “be” with someone without actually being in the same place as them. If you’re considering such a relationship, take a long, hard look at the good and bad aspects of long-distance love.
Good: Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Bad: Absence makes the libido wander
It’s the oldest cliché in the book: the more time you spend apart, the more you’ll miss and appreciate each other. To a certain extent it’s true. Being separated from the person you love really does make you realize how much you like being around him.
But the dark side of that is the loneliness that comes with it. As strange as it may seem, a lot of people use missing their partners as an excuse to find physical comfort in the arms of someone else.
If you want to make a go of long-distance love, you have to honestly evaluate whether it’s a reasonable expectation for you and your partner to stay faithful. If you both want to stay monogamous, you must both really commit to it. That also means you’ll promise to communicate the need for other sexual relationships if things change over the long-distance period.
Good: Your life is all your own
Bad: Your life is all alone
In some ways, being in a long-distance relationship is perfect for the independent spirit. You get the security of being in love without having to really share your life. You’re on your own to make decisions about everything from what to eat for dinner to where to live.
But in some ways, being in a long-distance relationship is the worst of both worlds. You don’t enjoy the benefits of being single, yet you don’t get any of the perks of being coupled. You can’t experience the excitement of going out and flirting with new people, yet you don’t have the comfort of cuddling up with the same person every night.
In order to make your long-distance relationship work, you’ve got carve out separate lives. Just because your honey’s not around doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Don’t just wait by the phone — go out with friends or treat yourself to a solo date. Long-distance love will work only if it’s one element of an otherwise full, happy life.
Good: You want a future together
Bad: You want a present together
If you decide you’re up for the challenge of long-distance love, it’s only because you care for your partner and don’t want to risk losing him. You’re clearly committed to making the relationship work for the long-term because you want a future together.
But if you love your partner that much, you probably want more than a future — you want a present together! Love is about big things like feelings and commitment, but it’s also about little things, like sharing meals and cuddling on the couch.
If you decide to try a long-distance relationship, know you’ll be giving those things up. But if the possibility of a future together is enough to make you happy, long-distance love just might be worth the sacrifice… only you can tell.
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