Pros and cons being in an LDR
It's certainly not the doom and gloom many people assured me it would be, but it also has its fair share of difficulties too. Let's see the pros and cons:
- It allows you to value the time you spend with them more. Over a distance, the two of you will settle into different routines (perhaps over different time zones!) and therefore you have to schedule time to talk. Because it becomes something to look forward to as opposed to getting to see them regularly in person, it becomes more valuable and you learn to cherish the little moments you can spend together.
- Because your partner isn't physically there, it makes it a little easier to concentrate on work because you don't have dates to get excited over and distract you with. (Sorry, honey.)
- Communication becomes a little easier. Seeing as there's so many 'difficult' things in an LDR, you have to be able to talk frankly with your partner if something bothers you, and so on, meaning the two of you develop much more emotional maturity.
- Again, because your partner is not physically with you, it gives you an opportunity to experience a great deal of things without having to sacrifice your relationship. You can make time for you and your partner while also pursuing your personal interests: maybe you wanted to try bookbinding, or you wanted to visit a cool park and take photos, or a whole range of other stuff. (NB: This doesn't mean if you're not in an LDR that you can't do any of these things either, simply that it may be a little easier because seeing as you'll have a scheduled moment(s) to talk to them, it makes it easier to stop worrying about the time constraints of activities that might otherwise 'take time away from them.')
- Because you might be living in different countries (or time zones), it might be harder to talk to them because you have to make sure it's a decent time for both of you to talk to each other. Although you can try to resolve this with scheduling conversations, it might get a little lonely waiting for your partner to respond to texts if you forget they're asleep while you're happily going about your day.
- Depending on the distance between you, it may be hard to arrange to physically meet. For example, if it's an 8 hour plane journey, it's likely the two of you will only be able to meet at really important moments like Christmas.
- You might get jealous of all the things they do by themselves, or even resent their friends/family for getting to see them more regularly than you do. This is a perfectly understandable emotion, but when those little green horns start emerging, it's best to sit down and talk about it with them.
- You might worry how loyal they'll be to you over a distance, particularly if the pair of you aren't in an open relationship, and so on. The very possibility that your partner might be cheating on you will drive you mad once you start thinking about it, even if you know how unlikely it is. Again, it's best to (gently) talk to your partner about how you feel. Likely your fears come from a lack of self-confidence over any actual possibility over your partner's behalf (such as thinking they may find a 'better' person, etc.), but if you think this is a genuine, serious possibility, it's also best to confront this with your partner.
- You miss them. Of course you do. Especially if you've physically been with them before starting an LDR, in which case it might feel worse: you miss holding their hand, the scent of their perfume or cologne, the little smiles they give you, a shy kiss and so on. (It's amazing what 'little things' the brain picks up on once you miss somebody.) A comforting thought is that it's only natural that you miss them, and also remember that your partner will be equally missing you as much.
- People will tell you an LDR won't last. This may be their personal experience with friends or family of theirs, or maybe they just believe the gossip. Prove them wrong. Take pride in your relationship and partner. Don't think about 'what if it all goes wrong,' because that will just start you worrying needlessly. You can cross that bridge if it happens, not when.
You'll notice here that I put down more cons than pros. That's not because an LDR is inherently 'bad' or 'difficult' or so on, and I can speak from experience on that; I'm merely pointing out that the reality of being in an LDR comes with a few difficult areas, but they're all ones that you can easily work through with your partner. Communication is key, and you will probably only have a poor experience with an LDR if you're not fully communicating issues with your partner.
I love my boyfriend very, very much and I was initially very scared about being in an LDR with him because of university, but I was also far too scared of losing him to not at least try it because I knew I wanted this to be long-term. Why would I let something like distance stop me from pursuing that goal?
We've been together for just over 2 years now, and in an LDR for 1. I'll have another year of uni after this one before my year abroad as part of my degree, and thankfully thanks to my course I'll be in Germany with him before I move back to finish my final year. Perhaps then my LDR experience is luckier than most, but there are difficult things for everyone.
I certainly missed him a lot after he moved. I still miss him a lot. Sometimes it's hard for me to sleep, knowing I won't see him for months at a time. But seeing his face light up on my webcam each time I call him just makes up for it all, and knowing how happy I make him and how excited he is to see me every time is all the justification I need that hey, maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all. (The fact I'll be seeing him soon for Christmas helps too.)
An LDR requires a lot of communication and trust. For some people, that comes easier than others, and so an LDR might not be suitable for all couples. If you're thinking about it, you definitely need to sit down with your partner first. It's a very serious commitment for however long you'll be physically seperated from each other, and it's certainly not something you can just 'start.'
Then again, it's not something I'd want to discourage anyone from. If it's what you and your partner want, then don't let anyone else hold you back from it. Ignore all their naysaying, because this relationship is ultimately only the business of you and your partner. If they have any advice, you can listen, but ultimately the most important thing I could ever tell you is have faith in each other. Talk as often as you can. Trust them. Don't worry about anything else, and everything else will be much better for it.