Friday, March 5, 2010

The Long Distance BLOW OFF

I'm en route to NY as I type this (props to Virgin America for wireless internet!)  and got to reflecting on my old LAX to JFK trips to visit my Brooklyn boyfriend.  It's hard to believe we survived a year of living on two different coasts.  

Chances are most of us have taken the LDR risk at one point or another.  In the beginning, there's something uber romantic about loving someone so much, that you're willing to put up with lengthy airport security lines and limited leg room just to spend a week with them.   That said, there seems to be a sentiment that LDR's don't work and that couples shouldn't bother to attempt them, but according to statistics, couples that live in close proximity with each other are just as likely to break up.   Apparently, the emotional connection in a relationship actually outweighs the physical connection.  

Especially with the growth of technology (email, facebook, Skype, etc) it can be a whole lot easier to stay connected to a person even if they're thousands of miles away.   And it's becoming more common for married couples to suffer through long distance relationships due to career commitments.  So, do long distance relationships get a bad rap for no reason?   Do we brush them off as impossible, purely because it gives us a convenient excuse to blow someone off?  

My theory is LDR's are most successful when the relationship begins with distance and when the couple sets forth a game plan to eventually live in the same city .  My cousin and his girlfriend were long distance from the moment they met--- she lived in Paris, he lived in LA! After a few years of living apart, she left Paris for Dallas and they moved in together, while he attended school at Baylor.  Now, they're married and living in Los Angeles.

Another friend of mine was living in Boston when she met a guy that lived in LA.   They did the long distance thing for a couple years, got engaged, and are now married and living in Belgium.

My BF and I worked together in NY, but barely knew each other.  I moved out to LA and a few months later we crossed paths at a work function at Disney World of all places (where dreams really do come true.)  A series of emails and a couple initial visits evolved into a full blown LDR.   It was actually kind of nice to have a week long getaway and then go back to our normal lives for a few weeks in between.  The hardest part was the last day of the visit and the dreaded good bye.  But luckily, within a year, he got a job in LA, relocated to the west coast, and we've been together ever since.   I give him all the credit.  He was willing to change his whole life just to see if we had a future.  Thanks, boo!

The more complicated LDR is when the relationship starts with proximity, then circumstances force the distance.  When you're used to seeing someone all the time, it can be a shock to the system to wait weeks or months to see each other.  A friend of mine was in a serious relationship for a year, when her boyfriend got into a graduate program in Italy.  They decided to stay together, but eventually the distance took its toll.  The worst thing about those break ups is that you're always left to wonder if things would have turned out differently if circumstances didn't get in the way.  And sadly, there's no way to ever know.

What do you think readers?  Have you ever attempted an LDR?  Was it a success story or a total failure?  Comment below!


  1. As you know, your other cousin and I started in a long distance relationship, me in Seattle, him in the bay area. I eventually moved down to Cali for us to be together a year after we began dating... One year and some odd months after that, we are very happily married =) Long distance puts your relationship in tests and situations local relationships don't I think, and as a result, you get to know each other on a different level and truly see if you can handle many difficult things... I am happy I did it and learned a lot about Neema I may never have if we had been in a local relationship!!

  2. This one hits close to my heart Sara! I guess LA and San Diego is not too bad compared to LA and Paris!