Why Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder, But Not Always

Here’s the truth about long distance relationships: no one can tell you whether or not it’s right for you. There are no definite answers to any of your questions. There is no amount of horoscope analyses or tarot card readings that can tell you to pursue a relationship or not. When it comes to discussing the dreaded LDR, there is no general consensus. Two polarized groups of people form: your heart either melts at the thought of lovers braving the distance, or you cringe in disgust and mutter some made up statistic like, “75% of long distance relationships don’t even work out.” Surprisingly enough, I have roots in both ends of the spectrum.

If you had come to me two years ago and asked me if I would ever try an LDR again, I would probably laugh in your face. During my freshman year of high school, I met a guy who lived about two and a half hours away from me. We exchanged numbers, and soon we were texting 24/7. At the beginning of our fling, we hardly fought – there was no one that I trusted more than him. We saw each other for a weekend once every few months, but we made up for the time lost with copious amounts of pictures and phone calls.

This relationship continued on-again, off-again until my junior year, when everything we’d previously loved about each other began to disappear. The relationship soon ended, and I couldn’t have been more shocked. We had both grown to be two very different people. The long distance relationship, coupled with my issues with depression and a difficult home-life made the breakup messy – but I got through it. With the assumption that I would never pursue a long distance relationship again.

But, here I am now, a freshman in college regularly scheduling Skype dates with my boyfriend who goes to school about six hours away from me. We met during our last semester of high school. After spending the entire week of our last high school spring break driving around town in his car listening to obscure electronic music, he asked me to be his prom date. For the rest of the summer, we spent as much time as possible avoiding the end of August – we’d both be leaving for school on the same day.

After about three months of dating, my boyfriend and I decided to break the relationship off. We didn’t see any other option. We let our fear of the unknown control us. Though our relationship had been short, we both felt a deep connection rooted between us. Which is why our break only lasted a week. We got back together under the oath that we would be completely honest with each other about our feelings: we wanted to try and make it work.

Until the very moment we decided to continue the relationship, I never thought that I would find myself in another long distance relationship. It wasn’t just high school drama that deterred me: it was the fact that I knew I wasn’t done growing.

This might not be the route for everyone, but hear me out. There’s no reason not to at least try. In college, we’re all still growing as people. Your personality and maturity level is not stagnant. Do not let those who are opposed change your mind if this is something you want: let their horror stories roll right off of you. Let your own horror stories collect dust in the corner, don’t listen to the voices of past mistakes. Swat their lousy statistics away like flies. This is your life, and if the person you want to build a life with is on another continent, I urge you to try.

All experience in which you learn something is good experience. Unfortunately, some relationships just aren’t meant to be. A relationship, whether it be an LDR or not, is a balancing act. There will be arguments, some petty and some large. There will be moments of pure magic. There will be growth, together and apart. I’ve had many relationships collapse in on themselves, but I’ve learned something new about myself with each heated argument and burned bridge.

So, if you’re thinking of pursuing an LDR, try it. It’s worth a shot.

Featured image via Leo Hidalgo

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