Long distance seems so romantic doesn’t it? Falling asleep on the phone, the heartwarming airport greeting, the love letters. But what about the flip side? The unanswered texts, the tearful airport goodbyes, the questions about what is to come this time apart.
Out of sight out of mind is not a common phrase for no reason. When you aren’t around a person or a thing, you don’t focus on it as much. That does not mean you forget them; it means you have more around to distract you in the moment.
The advice I had heard the most in regards to a long distance relationship, is to make time for one another that is only yours. Setting aside an hour each night for a phone call and weekly video chats doesn’t seem like a daunting task but what about when something comes up? If your friends decide to go to trivia during that designated hour, what do you say? Or if it’s a nice night out, you stop to play pickup soccer on the way home, and you lose track of time? How many nights will turn into lost conversations? No matter how much your other half says “go have fun; we can talk later”, you feel that pang of guilt. You know they are sitting at home visualizing what you must be doing that has been dubbed more important than your daily conference call. And you know that’s just what is. A recap of what has happened, what you plan to do next, your analyzation of the details.
Your discussions become scripted; you go through the motions to try to make it seem like they were there too. But when push comes to shove, they weren’t and you forgot important details. Some stories are funnier when you’re in the moment instead of when they’re retold.
Sharing memories isn’t the only thing that makes a relationship strong. Sharing space and learning the other habits is what can build two individuals into one set of people. There are friends you have, routines you do, attitudes that exist in you when you aren’t so excited to be seeing the other after days apart. Two people must discover each other over time and learn what makes them tick. Getting a recap of a work day while you eat a box of pasta doesn’t quite count as bonding.
We live in such a physical world. Even a town over can seem like a world away when you don’t share any similarities between the two. You could live an entire life in one location and when your partner comes to visit, they will only see a fraction of it. It will be the most beautiful places and my favorite spots to hang tour. They will meet your friends that you have jokes with and spend more time with
this is where their jealousy comes in.
You feel that pang of jealousy too, when the tables are turned. You think you won’t be that type of person, the jealous type, but you will be. You will hear a name repeated over and over; that is the person your partner uses when they are in need of a shoulder when you’re gone.
Paradise every other weekend is what a long distance relationship is. Will the butterflies fade once you get to see them every day? I can’t say. But I can say that when you aren’t in butterfly ridden paradise, it is hard. It is staring at your phone every few minutes; it is seeing a day off as an opportunity to travel instead of relax,
it is wondering if they’re thinking of you too.
And maybe I do have trust issues because I was burned but can you really know someone if you don’t see them regularly? You literally have no idea what they are doing each day. They could be really good liars. You could be using valuable days of your life, not to mention so much phone data, for something that will not add up to anything in the end. Life is for living and are you living in the moment if you’re constantly planning ahead?
Featured image via Anne D Roberts.