1 | You are wasting the time that you could use to date other people.
True that, instead of dreaming about someone far away, or Skype-ing with them and wishing they were there close to you – wouldn’t it be better to just date and fall in love with someone else close to you?
Of course it would!
The problem, however, is that unfortunately we don’t really chose who to love. And if circumstances made it so that you have fallen in love with someone who has to live far away for a period of time, or if you met them online and there are many miles separating you – so be it!
Is dating and loving them a waste of your time? Not really.
And that’s because we have our need to love and be loved met, and so we can be happy. (and often feel much closer and more intimate with our partner than classic couples do).
2 | Missing out on each other’s lives.
It’s a pity to be separated of your loved one and miss out on their daily joys and hardships, smiles and sad moments, and be there for them – enjoying the good moments and supporting them in the bad ones.
It often feels like you’re not really a part of their life.
But what if I told you that, even though miles away, you can still be part of your partner’s life?!
Even more now in the smartphone and internet era – you can take your partner with you everywhere, even though digitally. And if that doesn’t work, then taking pictures and being transparent about each other lives is the best way to make one another a part of your lives.
Plus, all those dinners, movie nights and sexy moments – can be easily simulated in a long distance relationship over video chat. Not as real, but good enough!
And let’s not disregard the advantages of maintaining a separate life as well, as this allows us to be more social, be more independent and work on evolving in our personal and professional lives.
3 | We have to give away some liberties.
Long distance dating comes with a few restrictions. In my experience you can’t be a party animal and have a successful long distance relationship (especially if you are a student). Also hanging out often with opposite sex friends who may be interested in you romantically is not a good idea.
But here’s the thing: these “restrictions” apply to most classic healthy relationships as well, even though they may cause a lot more insecurity in long distance relationships. That’s why when afar from each other we have to be a bit more compassionate about each other’s jealousy and do our best to avoid giving too many reasons for jealousy to our partners.
For the sake of their and our mental health!
And now you might say: “Of course you can party a lot and hang out with your opposite sex friends! And if you partner doesn’t trust you – then it’s their problem because they are insecure!”
And while that may be true, it isn’t a very realistic approach because we are ALL jealous – and the more reasons for jealousy we give to each other, the more jealousy we feel, the more stress and suffering we have to endure, and the higher are the chances of losing the one we love.
4 | Feeling insecure about your partner’s feelings.
I can’t tell you how many times I felt like my girlfriend didn’t love me anymore because she was too busy to talk to me sometimes, or because she wasn’t answering my text messages quickly enough, or because she was cold or in a bad mood. So I agree, distance can make you quite insecure about your partner’s feelings.
However, what I learned is that a little insecurity is normal, it’s human, and it’s even necessary for us to be continuously attracted to our partners, because it makes us value and invest more in the relationship. When we are too certain about our girlfriend’s unshakable love for us – we become too relaxed and end up taking them for granted. So a little insecurity is good because it makes the relationship more challenging and lively.
The problem however arises when we’re too insecure too often. If our girlfriend behaves in a cold and ignorant way too often, or if we have a very low self esteem and need way too much reassurance of love, then it’s not the distance that’s the problem, but our partner’s lack of attraction for us, or our low self-esteem.
5 | Missing out on the new and interesting people that come our way.
Here’s one of the sad truths about long distance relationships – we often feel like being both single and unavailable at the same time. Which means that when we meet other interesting people of the opposite sex who make the blood in our veins rush like crazy – we’ve got to pass on them, because we’ve supposedly got a relationship already! But where is OUR partner? Well they’re not here – so we feel lonely and kind of single too. So it’s quite troublesome and confusing, I do agree.
So what’s my smart counter argument here?
Well, here it is: You are a free person who can CHOOSE who is RIGHT for you.
The fact that you are in a long distance relationship now means that you already have a great person in your life who you love dearly and care about. But this doesn’t mean that you are bound to this person and this person only. If you end up meeting a better person who feels more right for you, then you can end the LDR and have a classic relationship.
It all comes down to finding and being with the right person for you – if that right person is far away, so be it, you’ll wait for her, and no other woman will make you change your mind. But if someone else who lives close to you steals your hearth, that’s okay too.
“Let the right one win my hearth” rule applies here, just like it applies to all romantic relationships.
6 | Constant fights and arguments.
For the past year of working with long distance lovers I’ve gotten a lot of complains about constant and never-ending fights and arguments. In my 7 years of long distance dating I’ve had my own share of fights and arguments too – so the truth is, long distance dating can easily turn into a field of battle due to so many reasons like jealousy, insecurities, discouragement, boredom, fading attraction and so many other reasons.
But here’s the thing: In my experience with both long distance and close distance dating I’ve noticed that even though in a long distance relationship couples have certain reasons for fighting; classic relationship have their own set of reasons for fights and arguments too.
Therefore the solution is obviously not “having a classic relationship for conflicts to be gone”, but LEARNING to deal with fights and arguments the RIGHT way – the way that helps the relationship grow and doesn’t lead to repeated arguments about the same issues over and over again.
7 | Loneliness and helplessness.
Long distance dating can get really lonely sometimes, especially when most of your friends and the people we know are in a classic relationship and you’re the only one who’s “neither single nor physically with someone”.
This can be even more painful when the feeling of helplessness rears it’s ugly head and we feel like there is nothing that we can do to chance our situation – other than waiting or falling asleep and hoping to wake up 3 months later close to our girlfriends.
So feeling lonely, and not being able to anything about it – can prove to be very difficult. But let’s be reasonable here – it’s not the end of the world and it’s DOABLE, especially when we feel like the person we’re waiting for is WORTH the waiting.
Lisa McKay recommends frequently reminding yourself of all the reasons you were drawn to your partner in the first place.
Stephen Blake recommends to know that people like you everywhere are going through the same thing and loving/hating every minute of it.
And I recommend that you find ways to make time feel like passing faster and plan for the medium term future together.
But that’s not all, if you manage to balance your long distance relationship with your personal life, meaning that you both involve yourselves in each other lives doing things together on the webcam and keeping in touch throughout the day.
And also having a private life where you find joy hanging out with your family and friends and doing the things that you love doing – I am very confident that you’ll conquer these overwhelming feelings of loneliness and helplessness.
8 | Communication Issues
How can such a list, not include issues like moments of “Can you hear me? Do you see me? Can you hear me now? What about now? Ohh my God! I hate this internet connection!” or moments when our partner is not answering their phone, or not replying to our texts quickly enough, or our thoughtful snail mail letters not arriving to their destination…all of these sometimes having the potential to turn us into a bag of nerves.
But just like the “bag of nerves” expression suggests – we become too tense and stressed for small and uncontrollable reasons, thus all we have to do is to take things easy and not get angry at the wind for blowing or at the sky for raining – or in our case at Skype for malfunctioning because of our internet, or at our partner for not hearing their phone ring. As a rule of thumb – long distance or not, we’ve GOT TO relax when things are simply outside of our control.
Remember: Next time when the connection is bad, or she’s not answering her phone… just take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that it’s outside of your control, so there’s no point for being stressed.
And if she doesn’t answer right now, don’t become all obsessed and paranoid, but ask yourself, “What does she need right now?”
And the answer might often be “some understanding from my part, because she might be busy. NOT 20 missed calls from me”.
9 | Sadness and painful missing.
At one of my recent events, a student told me something that took me by surprise a little. He said that he feels guilty when his girlfriend feels sad because of the distance – and I was surprised because I didn’t understand why would he feel guilty for something like that. But then when a few other people raised their hands with the same issue – I realized that something was wrong here.
So, what happens in a long distance relationship is not only that we feel sad for being far away from our partners, but some of us also feel guilty for our partner’s sadness too. Which as you can see DOUBLES our own suffering, and makes long distance dating much harder than it should be.
Luckily, this wasn’t such a big of a deal for me, because as I later realized, I had a different way of looking at this problem. I tell you how I do it in this article, but briefly put, the way to overcome the feeling of guilt is to replace it with compassion, and try to understand and have empathy for your girlfriend instead of trying to fix her suffering, because you guys are on the same boat and you both chose it.
And in order to help yourself and also her to stop being sad about the distance, you’ve both got to ACCEPT the reality of you being in a LDR right now, and (very importantly) STOP RESSISTING this idea – because we suffer only when we resist something. When we accept it, there is no more room for suffering. Read more about this here.
10 | Possibility of being manipulated.
Another common issue with long distance dating is the risk of being scammed or manipulated for other people’s selfish satisfaction.
Not knowing the person very well, or not being close to them leaves us quite vulnerable to manipulation. It could be money scamming, it could be emotional manipulation or just legal manipulation. It’s a wild world out there and some people made it their job to scam us – that’s why we’ve got to be cautious.
But as long as we keep our eyes wide open, and pair our intuition with being well informed about such scams…we’ll be as safe if not more, as classic relationships couples are.
So, we got to the end if this depressing inspiring list! What do you say about long distance relationships now? Are they doomed to suck, or can they actually be fun and enjoyable?
Let me know in a comment below.
P.S. If what you’re struggling with is your fear of your partner losing attraction for you, or even worse cheating on you, you might wanna check out our resource page.
P.P.S If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this article, with 10 even worse reasons why LDRs can suck, read it here.