General Question

Kelly27's avatar

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship?

Asked by Kelly27 (1501points) March 26th, 2009

Besides the obvious challenge of being apart from each other, what other major challenges did you face?
What was the hardest part for you, what really worked for you in getting past all the hard aspects of a long distance relationship?
Did one of you end up moving so you could be together?

I realize I added a whole ton of questions in the details here, I just want to hear your stories and how you made it work or why it failed.

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29 Answers

aviona's avatar

My only experience with this is when I left for a year abroad in Costa Rica (I would come home for winter break). My boyfriend and I at the time left the terms very uncertain, which essentially made it an open relationship.

Such a bad idea.

I know it’s not really the same thing. But I guess my advice would be to make sure the terms of the relationship are clear so that each of you know what the other is thinking/doing.

kenmc's avatar

I’m in one now. We love each other enough to realize that moving toward one another would be pointless, since we would both like to move asap. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be long-distance anymore.

kevbo's avatar

I’ve been in a few. The one that really worked is my current relationship. We were 190 miles apart, so we could do weekends back and forth. This made it awesome, because we got to really miss each other, anticipate our time together and really focus on having fun together when we were together. Eventually, she moved up here, which changed the dynamic, but it’s still going so not too bad.

Really, the only bad parts were the times that we had misunderstandings or arguments when we were apart. Communicating by phone and e-mail rarely helped, and I had a pit in my stomach from the unresolved conflict.

Since then, she’s gone back to working in her old hometown for periods of time (M-F). It works out fine, because she likes her job and we both are the types that can use a little space. Plus, the fires have cooled a little, so… well, you get the idea.

I think weekend commuting distance is ideal. Any further on a normal budget, and you’re in for some heartache.

Kelly27's avatar

@boots I am happy for you guys :) Do you really plan to be together sometime soon? :)

FGS and I will be together sometime very soon, you reach a point that being apart is just not an option anymore :)

essieness's avatar

I’m in one now. We’ve been together off and on for a year now. We live about 2 1/2 hours apart and the reason we don’t see each other more often than every couple months is because we’re both pretty broke lately and our schedules are completely different. We definitely plan to make a move to be in the same city at some point, hopefully sooner than later. Technically, we’re in an open relationship (we could date other people if we wanted), but we don’t bother. We’re just not interested in anyone else. We don’t talk every day. We sometimes go a few days without talking, but luckily we both have mad trust in each other and are ok with that. It sucks not seeing each other and not talking every day, but I know he’s there and he knows I’m here and we just have and understanding that it is what it is and there’s nothing we can do right now to change it.

One day… one day, we’ll be normal people in a normal relationship… LOL.

Kelly27's avatar

@aviona I have never been one to leave a relationship “open” I know I am not the type of person that could handle it.
You do have some great advice there, with a long distance relationships clearly laying things out is definitely the way to go or it will cause a lot of trouble down the road.

kenmc's avatar

@Kelly27 It’s not that we necessarily plan on being together soon (which may or may not be the case) but it’s that neither one of us wants to stay where we are now. Jeanna and I both want to leave our respective locations.

exitnirvana's avatar

I’ve been in a long distance relationship officially for over 5 years, over 7 years if you consider the time before we started dating (with a spattering of short-distance here and there). We’re 10 hours apart (at one point it was 16). It is a lot of work, I’m not going to lie, but really its worth every second. You establish a bond that goes way beyond just physical attraction.

I think the hardest part sometimes is dealing with the time between visits. Thanks to balancing work, school, and money the time spent apart can fluctuate. It can get frustrating sometimes and you feel as if you are developing not only a relationship with another person, but also a rather intimate relationship with your phone…haha.

But like I said, its awesome and once you establish an effective course of action and stay positive, things can definitely work :D

hug_of_war's avatar

Hopefully he’ll move here when he graduates this school year. Of course, that’s dependant on this crappy economy. But I really hope sometime this summer he’s here. I won’t graduate for two years and Monday I start at a new university after almost 2 years at my community college where I took classess specifically for my new college, so transferring somewhere near him isn’t really an option.

When I start freaking out about being far away, he’s the one to calm me down and remind me he’s working hard to be near me. I’m the kind who if I have a plan I can be calm but I don’t think I’d be good at that indeterminate length thing. I need to know it’s not going to always be this way. But I truly do love what we have, I think it’s amazing.

I wonder if he’ll read this hehe.

kenmc's avatar

@hug_of_war Corey’s from MI, right?

You can trust me in that here, in MI, we have the crappiest economy in the country, so he’d be better off moving to where you are no matter what. :)

hug_of_war's avatar

@boots: Yeah but I live in an area saturated with computer science majors, so we’ll see how things go in some weeks. My fear is that the graduating students from the very, very large computer science department here will secure the remaining jobs before he has a chance.

IBERnineD's avatar

I am currently in a long-distance relationship. I think the biggest challenge (of course besides being apart) is that I don’t have a car. He lives about 5 hours away, but I just fly in when the tickets are cheap. ( Kayak is my best friend!) I believe my boyfriend and I are able to have a strong long-distance relationship because it took us 5 1/2 years to get where we are to this day. We really have nothing left to fight about considering every other 6 months over that 5 year span we hated each other. (weird I know but it’s a long story) I think there is a fine line between love and hate and because we have jumped that line so many times, it’s easy to stay on one side. Most of all I miss waking up to him in the mornings and going to bed with him at night. We text and call as much as we can, but I think something we have a good understanding of is that we have lives and aren’t going to be able to talk every waking moment of the day. We don’t take it personally if one says “hey can I call you back my favorite show is on?” And of course we have a disturbing level of honesty between us, we used to be on the same sports team, so he has seen me sweaty and smelly and vise versa. So we aren’t afraid to tell each other things the other might not want to hear.
I hope that all helps! Sorry that was so long!

kenmc's avatar

@hug_of_war With that idea, you have too much faith in humanity.

People screw up! I’m trying to be positive, though.

Maybe you should both get the fuck out of Whereveryouare.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

you really have to have trust. if you dont trust your bf, your life is going to suck.
you cant worry all the time either, its a waste. its going to last if its ment to.
just stay busy and make the best out of the time you have together.
thats whats most important.

hug_of_war's avatar

@boots: I just try not to get my hopes up. That just leads to disappointment.

kenmc's avatar

@hug_of_war Fair enough, just do me a favor and don’t get too negative!

Dr_C's avatar

My fiancee and i live 3 hours apart… this is because of my current emplyment (for the next 4 months anyway) and it has been so for over a year…. we are still very much in love.. skype every night… and see eachother every second weekend…
We miss eachother terribly… but we manage. it’s made us stronger.

VzzBzz's avatar

Nope. A long distance infatuation that ended in a meet up, yes but nothing more.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It failed in the end.
I don’t think it would have worked out even if we lived together.

If two people are meant to be together then it’ll happen but even then only if both people are completely committed to each other and even then it requires a lot of luck

Good luck to you

ubersiren's avatar

Yeah, but it wasn’t long distance enough that we didn’t get to see each other. We drove 4 hours to see each other twice a month. It worked for a while… until I realized he was a psycho hose beast. It wasn’t the distance, it was him.

If you love a person enough for long enough one of you will move so you can be together. I don’t see anything wrong with long distances.

Jack79's avatar

I am in one now. I generally avoid such relationships, and either just don’t start dating someone who lives too far, or try to move closer. But this time I can’t.

Not being together is the obvious challenge. You become alienated because you don’t share the same routine, you don’t talk about the everyday issues that affect you, and you can’t know how the other person is feeling. So communication usually breaks down (especially since phonecalls in our case are very expensive) and sooner or later you just end up finding someone else close by. Which is what both of us have been trying to do.

The problem is not that big if there is hope for the future. If one of you is in the army for example, or at university, and will be able to move in a few months, or even a year. But in our case I’ve had to move because of my daughter, and it could be up to 14 more years before I can move back. And my girlfriend doesn’t want to come where I am. And cannot even leave the country for now anyway.

all in all, I don’t think it’s worth it. there are many people we are compatible with, and it is so much simpler to just find someone closer to you and make your life easier.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

I think 500+ miles counts as long-distance, right? :P

It worked well in itself, we would see each other every 3–4 weeks and generally sort to take turns as to who visited whom. We used to talk, one way or another, basically every day.

The relationship didn’t last long, but the distance wasn’t relevant to that. We had personal problems with ourselves and each other, that probably would have surfaced even sooner had we been living in the same place.

Now things are over, I’m glad of the distance – it means I can never run into him around town! :)

cwilbur's avatar

Yes. It ended when we realized that neither one of us was really willing to move, and it sucked that I put so much energy into something that I should have realized was doomed from the start.

My take on it now is that someone has to move, and it’s not gonna be me, so it’s better if he gets the moving over with right away and moves to the Boston area. And it’s even better if he’s already moved, because that way there’s no pressure to make this work because he gave up his old life where he was to move to be with me. In other words: no long distance relationships, so if you think we’ll have a spark look me up after you’ve moved to Boston.

Poser's avatar

When I met my girlfriend, she lived an hour and a half away from me. We started talking on the phone for several weeks before we saw each other for a second time. A few months after that, I had to move about six hours away from her. By this time, we were pretty serious, and decided that there was potential for a future together. We decided to keep it going. A year after I moved, she went overseas to medical school. Now she’s 24 hours and a couple thousand dollars away from me, and we’re still together. In the more than two years we’ve been together, we’ve only lived in the same city for two weeks. It’s the strongest relationship I’ve been in.

Several reasons it works for us:

First, since our relationship started out long-distance, we were forced to really get to know each other before we had to worry about all that relationship stuff. By the time we decided to be exclusive, we both knew what we had was special.

Second, we both knew she was leaving in a year. That forced us to honestly evaluate whether we would be willing to deal with a really long distance relationship for more than four years. I had to compare pros and cons, and decide whether she was worth waiting for. I suppose she did the same.

I also helped that we met each other at really good times in both our lives. I had just graduated college and received a big promotion at work. My divorce was almost finalized, and I was finally at a point where I was emotionally ready to meet Ms. Right. She was just about to graduate college and head off to medical school—a dream she’d had since she was 12.

And I think that’s another thing that helps us. We’re both beginning very demanding careers, and each of us supports the other in following our dreams.

The hardest part for me is simply that I don’t have her next to me. We Skype regularly, and I know her better than I know most people on a psychological and emotional level. I’m independent enough that I don’t have to have her around me constantly, but not having any sort of physical relationship with her is very tough. Knowing that we’re only about two years into at least a five-year separation is tough. It kind of worries me that I’ve only known her from a distance. What if we get on each other’s nerves when we’re close to each other for long periods of time?

Even with all this, I wouldn’t dream of ending it just because we’re so far apart. The way I see it, if I’m not willing to put up with the distance, I don’t deserve to be with her at all.

jeanna's avatar

I’ve been in a few and it’s been hard both times. The first time we ended up moving to a new state together, living together and I found out that he was not the person I thought he was. I had known him a year before we moved in together and we had been 9 hours apart before that. I promised myself I wouldn’t do the long distance thing again, and hadn’t really for 4 years. Now I am in another one and look at it rather differently. I’m in no hurry to uproot my life for someone else…it has to be for me. As mentioned, it’s great that he and I both want to move to a new location and hate where we currently are. While compromise is important, I will be less likely to move to a location just based on his opinion/desire; burned once on that was enough. I see him about once a month, which is decent considering the distance (much further than my first long distance relationship). I’m old enough, and experienced enough, to recognize when something is actually going to last. I’ve based decisions upon this knowledge and will continue to do so. There were a few possible long distance relationships before but I knew they would never amount to anything, so decisions where not made. This time my eyes were wide open and I didn’t have to jump.

resmc's avatar

Yeah, for periods of the relationship, at least.

Didn’t work, even though i was fine with the arranegment – despite not preferring it. None of my past partners were able to handle the distance. One broke up with me knowing beforehand he wouldn’t be able to maintain our relationship, which was disappointing, but i respected. Another told me ahead of time, us living in different states, that a ldr wasn’t an option – even tho he very much regretted that. I really respected both for that, despite the obvious let down. For a while after each, we remained in contact, and it was a possibility that i’d transfer to his school eventually… but have since decided against that in both cases, being both over the relationships (despite still liking each of them), and not having any motivation to go to their schools other than them.

The other lived a county or so away. Handled the distance well for most of the relationship. Then i went on vacation. He was a bit distant when i got back, and then his immaturity blew up – painfully – in my face.

Regular contact, sharing interests and a common group of online friends helped. With the last relationship mentioned, being able to meet on weekends was nice, at least at the time (hard to imagine liking being in this guy’s company, the circumstances & all).

Even with more friendship-type relationships, i can feel really close to a friend when we share what’s going on in our lives, and discuss what interests us, what we care about – especially if some of those are in common. Even moreso in the rare cases when you have a frightening amount of common interests.

What really causes the distance to be more than geographic, in my experience, is when your lives pull you in separate directions. Even if that just means being ‘distracted’ by experiences that they’re not a part of, and for whatever reason aren’t worth explaining to them (enough for them to ‘get’ your reactions to daily life, at least the more important ones).

That happens to some degree in all long-distance relationships, fades in and out… but a certain degree of it is detrimental. Having a commitment, or even just an enduring interest in the relationship can minimize this… am sure it takes effort, tho, and even discussing those dynamics as they exist in your relationship.

resmc's avatar

@jeanna Is there any way you can articulate the signs that something is apt to last (or what’s prone to be less enduring)?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have been in one for a little over three years!

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