Note To You Little Sister

Surviving a Long Distance Relationship (for a bit).

Jen
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Q: I really like this guy, but we live in different cities. I'm the only one who's traveling to see him (and not the other way around). How do I make this long distance relationship actually work?

There must be something in the air, because lately we've received TONS of questions about surviving long distance relationships. Let's first start by stating the obvious.....

long distance relationships SUCK!!!

I have yet to understand why people willingly enter into these, but hey sometimes it's just unavoidable - you met in another city, had to move due to an incredible job, finishing college, because of military service or....yep, that's it. No other reasons. Though I have seen long distance liaisons grow into fabulous relationships and solid marriages, I have seen WAY more go down in a blaze of hurt feelings, dysfunctional fighting and paranoid trust issues. So ya, not a good thing unless you absolutely have to.

If you're truly interested in making these sub-par dating scenarios work, you must remember two very  important things: #1 They're Meant to be Temporary and #2 They Can Not Be One-Sided.

Long distance relationships must always have an end, whether it be moving to the same city or breaking up. Make a definitive decision as to the status of your relationship within a reasonable amount of time rather than remaining in dating limbo!  Like all things, the timing of your big "Go/No-Go" decision should be based on the circumstances. If you've only been dating a few months, don't rush into a big commitment such as moving cities or changing jobs. But....if you've been dating for years and nothing is progressing, it's time to really assess your situation.

Long distance relationships tend to live past their prime. They're not constantly front of mind so it's easier to ignore a phone call, then dump your boyfriend who lives three hours away. The security of having a significant other, monogamist sex life (assumingly), and someone to talk to can give you a false sense of something more to come, but remember that the ultimate test of commitment and love is sacrifice. If no one is willing to pack up, well then you've got your answer.

Not one partner is more important than the other in these situations. Not one partner should put in more effort, visit more, call all the time or make all the plans. These relationships MUST BE A TWO WAY STREET to even start to work. Look, odds are against you already and if one person isn't pulling their weight then you're in for some heartache. First ask yourself why isn't he making the effort to visit you? That alone can give you your answer. If he is making the effort in other areas by making you feel loved, respected and happy perhaps there's another reason he can't make the trip? Aside from who comes or who goes, the more important questions are - does he make you a priority, does he make you happy and do you see a future with him? Don't fool yourself,  if he wants to see you he'll drive the hundreds of miles or get on that plane. If not, save your frequent flyer miles and precious time because you deserve a partner that will move mountains for you (and vice versa).

These relationships can and do work, but only when both sides are completely committed to each other, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Good Luck and Cheers!