Did I mention that there is one benefit to having a long distance relationship? It puts money into the pockets of big airline corporations such as Virgin Atlantic, gas stations like Chevron and big phone companies like Verizon. They thank you very much for your business. Unfortunately for couples, there are no benefits for being in a long distance relationship. There is as enormous complexity of factors involved that make it difficult.
Let me tell you about the story of John and Jane. John lives in Los Angeles and Jane lives in New York. They both met at a party when Jane was in town on a business trip. The first problem that the two have is which one is the person that is going to be moving? Is either person willing to sacrifice their job or career for perhaps a lower pay or standard of living? What about leaving friends and family behind? If Jane is not moving to LA and John is not moving to New York, then why are they talking at all?
The second problem is that long distance relationships give a false sense of hope to one another. It may appear to raise each other’s interest level, but in reality, it doesn’t. It is the anticipation of meeting again that causes the interest to rise, creating a false sense of love. Any time your partner calls, you jump at the chance to talk. You never put her on hold or tell her that you’re too busy with something else right now. Everything in your life gets put on hold to give her all of your attention.
The third problem that you have is that you can’t bond if you’re not around. There is a saying that “actions speak louder than words.” You develop trust and comfort with that person when you are spending time together doing things. It allows you to see their personality, how the person reacts and how the person treats you. You can only judge a person’s interest through their actions and body language which you obviously can’t see in a LDR. Romance and love is by and large non-verbal, from the way you look at each other to the simple hugs given at the right moment when you need them. So what is the point of seeing each other every 3 or 6 months?
Problem number four is trying to make up for the distance by talking on the phone way too much. How does talking four or five times on a daily basis allow a relationship to build? Would you believe someone that is thousands of miles away who kept saying “I love you”! It’s all talk and a phone call is definitely a poor substitute for a hug.
How about the 50 emails you send her everyday or the hours you spend instant messaging? What good does that do to building the relationship? But at the end, what do you really find out about that person? Did you go to their house? Did you see how she treats their parents or siblings? Maybe you did go to their place for a weekend. But yeah, you could have gone on a good day where she didn’t treat her parents the way she usually does. Since you never see each other in normal day to day life, you lack the true knowledge of the other person and that is where the big problem lies.
The fifth problem is that it is a waste of money. Depending on where you are flying to and from, you can be spending thousands of dollars per year to see each other (and the false hope also). You may be going over your minutes and end up racking up $400 dollars per month phone bills. What about buying phone cards for international calls on a monthly basis? You may end up spending hundreds of dollars per year purchasing them. All this wasted money can be spent on building a relationship with someone who is close by.
Finally, It is a waste of time waiting for someone that is thousands of miles away. The fact is that no relationship, near of far, is 100% guaranteed. But the mere attempt at a long distance relationship increases the odds close to 100% that it is NOT going to work.
So what makes you think that your long distance love is going to be a hermit once he/she has committed to you? Most likely they won’t be. They still have to go to work, go shopping, stop by the bank and go to the gym. Thus, they will be meeting others too, increasing the likelihood that they will meet someone that is better than you. If you are not there, then they have to fill that void with someone else. It’s just the basic human need to be with others.
For John and Jane, their expectations of each other are skyrocketing even though they haven’t seen each other in months. However, when they do get together as an exclusive couple, they would just end up at the start because they are really strangers to each other. The phone company AT&T almost had it right. Reach out but this time, don’t touch someone.