Long-distance relationships have always bewildered me. I’ve had several friends date guys who live in different cities, and I never understood why—especially when some of those relationships were rife with drama, jealousy and other petty, time-wasting nonsense that would suck the fun out of a Friday night.
Y’all know the girl I’m talking about: you’re out having a good time, failing to convince the bouncer that you are, in fact, of age, and she’s 40 feet away in the middle of the sidewalk arguing on the phone with her boyfriend who’s less than thrilled that she left her house after dark.
I always roll my eyes at people like that, wondering when they’ll wake up from their geographically inconvenient monogamous nightmare and instead find someone local to fight with outside of bars.
Whilst comfortably occupying my high horse a few weeks ago, I was skimming a fashion blog when I noticed an oddball article. The blogger, a girl from Lexington, Kentucky, had posted an anecdote about how she met her boyfriend of a year and a half.
While vacationing in Mexico, she literally ran into him on the street one evening. They hit it off immediately, but then flew home the next morning to their respective states: Kentucky and—get this—Utah.
She recalled how they talked on the phone for hours each night for a few weeks, and then began making weekend trips to see one another. Predictably, they ended up falling in love and have been dating ever since. For the record, this girl is a tiny blonde Barbie who’s a solid 11 on a 10-point scale, but still. I was a little surprised.
And although I’m just generally a sucker for an against-all-odds love story, something she wrote in her post really stuck with me:
“Nothing about our relationship was convenient. Sometimes it’s not always going to be a perfect situation.”
As obvious as it is, I had never thought about it that way before. My primary objection to long-distance was always, “Can’t you just find someone here?”
Sure, you can find someone wherever your “here” is. You could have a relationship out of convenience. I dated one of my next-door neighbors for eight months. I practically invented the “convenient relationship.”
I think the stereotypical ‘girl-arguing-with-her-boyfriend-300-miles-away-every-time-she-leaves-her-house’ is responsible for the negative connotation that plagues the reputation of long-distance relationships.
After all, for every controlling, unhappy long-distance couple, there’s one golden pair that somehow outlasts most conventional, convenient relationships.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, in life, you very rarely get the perfect circumstances and the perfect person. In actuality, you’d be lucky to get either.
At the end of the day, I guess I’d rather have the perfect person.
I have a newfound respect for people who go the distance (pun intended) and uphold happy, healthy relationships with hundreds of miles separating them.
An older, much wiser friend of mine (it was my mom) once told me, “If it’s going to work, it just has to be easy. I wasn’t worried all the time when I was dating your dad. That’s how you’ll know: it’ll just work.”
The friends of mine who have committed to the less-than-ideal long-distance thing must have found someone who just “makes it easy,” and that's pretty rad (unless you’re the girl crying into your bedazzled iPhone 6 in the corner of a bar, in which case, please dump him).
The fine print: