The day of marrying the boy next door is long gone. With the dawn of FaceTime, romantic options are endless. People are now able to maintain a relationship through technology allowing proximity to be optional—or so we think. The question is: how do you know whether he’s worth the distance or if he's simply geographically undesirable?
While every relationship is different, I have had my fair share of long distance relationships and have picked up on some helpful tips along the way. Here are five times when long distance isn't worth it.
01. When he complains about the commute.
I was briefly dating a guy who lived in lower Manhattan when I lived up in Harlem, and we had to take two trains to get to each other’s neighborhoods. This was about a thirty-minute journey, and he constantly complained about the travel time. In the end, he told me it was just too far. Geographic distance may have been his reason, but mine was that he was a jerk. Side note, he counted all of his calories, so that was a definite “cya never!”
I would travel the world if it meant I could see my beloved, no questions asked. It doesn’t matter if he’s a five-minute walk or an ocean away, he should not be complaining about how much effort it will take to get to your door. As I’ve grown, I’ve learned that we all make time for the people we want to see. Constant complaints about the effort it takes to see you kind of kills the romance.
02. When you don’t have enough there to keep you motivated.
Put all of the excitement aside, and focus on the fact that you can’t easily see one another. Will that put a strain on the relationship once the honeymoon phase is over?
If you two don’t have enough to base your relationship on, it can be very difficult to maintain this routine for very long. With busy schedules, spending precious free time traveling isn’t very fun. It begins to wear on the body and the mind and if your relationship doesn’t really have much potential, you have to ask yourself: is it worth it?
If you’ve both established a really solid connection and deep respect for the other, it can absolutely be worth the travel! However, if you met someone on a vacation in the Bahamas and spent one magical evening together, you may find it difficult to keep that magic alive, so just call him “geographically undesirable” and save yourself the drama.
03. When you don’t know that you can count on him.
My college boyfriend moved away after he graduated. Because he was floundering in his professional next step, and we weren’t in the same place, he ended up cheating on me after just two weeks apart.
This was his way of escaping the reality of our situation and maintaining his pattern of forever taking the easy way out. He knew that if he cheated I would end things. My heart was broken, but after he showed me his lack of strength and respect, I moved on!
Not only do you need that great “connection,” but you also need to know if this person is worth that extra effort. He should be someone that is there for you always, no questions asked. Especially when things get rocky, you need to know that he isn’t going to flee just because you aren't within arm's reach.
04. When you don’t have a middle ground.
I will never forget the time I visited Chicago for a family celebration and my boyfriend, whose family lived there as well, decided last minute to drive up and meet me there. We had the best time seeing each other in a different city, and we got to meet each other’s friends and family, which was important to both of us. Mostly, the change of location was refreshing, fun, and a wonderful addition to my family weekend!
One major roadblock in long distance can be finding a middle ground. Either you are on your turf or his, which can make it tough to find activities that make you both happy. If you live close enough, one possible loophole to this geographic distance is meeting each other in the middle. If you work near one another, or you have some common point of interest, you don’t have to take the long journey from Point A to Point B alone. If you live states away from each other, you could even try meeting in a city that’s midway from both of your homes. Not only is it equal distance for you both to travel, but you can enjoy exploring a new place together, creating new memories.
If you don't have that middle ground? Well, reread #2 and know that this relationship will be a lot more work. But if it's the right guy, the work will be worth it.
05. When you feel like you are going it alone.
Mutual support and effort are what will get you through the difficult moments when you want to pull your hair out because all you want to do is grab a bite to eat after a long day and watch Netflix together—but you can’t. But, if you feel like you are the one putting in all the effort, you are just going to feel run down at the end of the day. The sooner you find out if he is going to really put in his time and energy the better, because it isn’t fun to let months go by feeling like you are carrying the relationship on your back, praying for it’s survival.
There will be moments when one of you is feeling more upset about the distance than the other, and you have to remember that your job is to be there to support each other no matter what. We all have days when everything feels overwhelming. But you can’t be the one who is always giving the support while getting none in return.
As a hopeless romantic, I believe that long distance can work. If you both share a deep connection filled with love and respect for one another, you will be able to tackle anything that gets in your way.
That being said, if you find that the distance is overwhelming and you don’t have the patience, then label him as “geographically undesirable” and move on! Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault; sometimes it isn’t the right fit. It isn’t worth the angst and heartache for somebody that doesn’t have what it takes to go the distance.
Photo Credit: Jordan Voth