Long Distance Love – Is It Perhaps Not Such A Bad Thing?

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As you all know, I’m no stranger to falling in love with men/unicorns located in the most inconvenient of places.  I’ve successfully navigated the long-distance part of a relationship in the past but only because there was a clear plan in place and end in sight. The long-distance element was nothing more the temporary glitch until we could get our sh*t together (admin in such a biatch) so we could be in the same place at the same time in order to attempt to conduct what I would deem a ‘normal’ relationship. But the thing is my story isn’t all that unique, according to research increasing numbers of people are conducting long-term long-distance relationships – about 4 million in the USA alone. However, it seems not everyone sees long-distance as something temporary the way I do. As I discussed in my previous post if love (and possibly more importantly for the purposes of this argument regular sex) isn’t the priority in a relationship then maybe distance isn’t a major concern, perhaps it can actually become an advantage. Let’s look at the things in more detail.

Long Distance Dating

I often find myself bitching and moaning about the men of Cape Town. To be fair, with the experiences I’ve had you can’t really blame me. The Mother City has handed me everything from sociopaths with limited education to the douches on wheels looking for a sympathy seeing to and then there are the regular religious nuts. Add to that, the fact that Cape Town is not much more than a large village and it’s only a matter of time before you end up dating a friend’s sloppy seconds.

Having had a taste of what it’s like to date in a slightly more cosmopolitan place has forced me to level up my dating game and I’m now less inclined to date the usual suspects Cape Town throws at me. Furthermore, having upgraded to TINDER gold allows me to swipe wherever in the world I please. But to be fair, I have no realistic intention of dating anyone based in New York or Paris (after all I can deal with the prospect of anything more than a textationship with someone that lives 20km away), but it’s nice to window shop and see what the rest of the world has to offer.

But maybe I’m an odd ball, with my desire for instant gratification with minimal effort. For instance,  I had a friend who started chatting with chicks based all over the US of A and had first dates which required FLIGHTS (screw his carbon footprint). He even managed to hold something down for about a year where they ended up being introduced to each others families while only being able to meet up a handful of times themselves. Props to those that are willing to invest that much time, effort and money  (flights never come cheap!) but I just don’t have the patience for long-distance anything with someone I have yet to meet.

Long Distance Relationships

Been there, done that. They are inconvenient, sure but it’s not everyday you MEET (by this I mean IRL not just virtual chit chat) someone who rocks your world, and so sometimes you need to overcome certain obstacles if you think there is some potential there for #happilyeverafter. But as I said, I do believe that long-distance should only ever be a temporary inconvenience, and the two parties need to be willing to make some sacrifices in order to be together.

Even in established relationships (not just those that develop out of some sort of holiday romance), there are times when job opportunities and the like, might require that you are apart for some time (and by sometime I don’t mean an indefinite period). Periods of long-distance aren’t necessarily a bad thing though. A stint apart could in fact make the relationship stronger – absence makes the heart grow fonder and all. On the flip, it could also cause the relationship to fall apart – and if that is the case isn’t it better you found out sooner rather than later. Just saying. Finally, if you survive long distance with all its logistical nightmares (bear in mind that thanks to tech we have it pretty easy these days) and come out the other side, your relationship will most likely be stronger for it.

Long Distance Marriages – A Step Too Far?

Anyone who is been in a standard(ish) type of long-distance relationship has probably had aspirations to finally be together at some point, (possibly) get married (or at least live in glorious sin together) and find their #happilyeverafter. But did you know there are actually plenty of long-distance married couples? Yep, people who actually spend more of their married life apart than in the same place! If you need some examples you can take a look at this article from the Guardian.

Obviously, if you’re in the army fighting for your country (or more likely sorting out their mess) it is somewhat understandable. But honestly, is there really any point in being married if you are spending the best part of decade away from each other? I am sure I’ll be called immature because of my need for constant attention and obsession with ‘moves’ (yup, I basically ghosted a guy who didn’t have the guts to make a move after 5 dates. And before you ask, if I hadn’t been so indifferent about the whole thing I would have jumped him). As I was told over the weekend, people apparently approach relationships differently as they become geriatrics – months and months of getting to know each other. Sigh. I must say the future of single life as a geriatric doesn’t look all that appealing but then again is it that much worse than a long distance marriage. You tell me.

So, it seems that the transient nature of the world makes in increasingly likely that we will fall in love with inconveniently located people. Thankfully, if we do happen to find our soulmate on the other side of the universe technology gives us the means to give the whole long-distance thing a shot. But I think one needs to ask themselves if they are doing long-distance for the right reasons? Or is it sometimes just another way to keep up a facade of a relationship when you are pretty much halfhearted about the whole thing.  Who the hell knows.

Alright Rinsers. What are your thoughts on long distance love? Have you ever been in a long distance relationship/marriage? Would you ever go looking for such an inconvenience? Do you think it is a viable option in the long-term? Is there really much point signing on the dotted line, if you are quite happy spending years apart from one another? Or is long term long-distance just a step up from being a geriatric singleton? Or am I looking at it all wrong, with my head in the clouds, and could long-distance actually be a good thing? SOOOOOOOOO many questions. Enlighten my mind.

 

 

 

 

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7 comments

  1. I’m with you on this. From my own experience when I was craving a long-distance relationship I was actually scared of intimacy of a normal one. Perhaps people enjoy the perks of being away more than they’re willing to say? Also, there’s such a thing as LAT (living apart but together) when people are in a longterm committed relationship but keep their separate apartments, which is a thought for those needing more independence.

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    • I’d never heard of LAT before but it seems like a good option, especially for people getting together later in life. It reminds of SATC when Carrie wanted to move in with Big but also keep her apartment because she was so attached to it and in the end kept it as like an open place where all her friends could go when they needed a break from their relationships/kids. Obviously, you have to be pretty wealthy to keep an apartment ‘open’. But it is wise not to totally lose your independence especially if its something you’ve worked hard for. Still, I also think that doing ‘sleepovers’ at each others places must get old with all the logistics involved. Its enough effort packing a gym bag everyday!

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      • Yeah, I think it’d be just tiring but then it depends how involved the relationship is in general and how often you see the person. The people I read about usually would be spending maybe 50-60% of night together weekly. No cuddles for that much of a week when you’re in a committed relationship seems like a nightmare to me but maybe if you’re doing it for the first time in your 40-50s it’s much more difficult to get used to having someone around constantly.

        I guess if you’re really wealthy you could afford a room for each spouse so they can do their stuff there when they need some alone time.

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  2. I loved my long distance relationship, I loved the freedom of it all, the excitement when we met. It was magic because we made the most of our limited time together. However, with age, you realise you want more out a relationship, more attention, more intimacy. My grandparents were married 50+ years and they slept in the same bed until my grandfather’s death, call me old fashion but that was the kind of relationship I wanted.

    Like everything, to each his own. For me, I decided that I wanted that side blanket on those cold winter nights. Think my patience just worn out for long distance relationships so I decided to settle and never looked back!

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    • Hey! Long time no hear.

      Of course, with long distance the moments when you see each other are super great but then balling your eyes out everytime you have to part ways at the airport is pretty rough. I also felt that because you try to make the most of the time you have together when you don’t see much of each other (e.g. we were pretty much holidaying everytime we were together) it becomes a bit of a false reality. As in you don’t get to do as much of the mundane, everyday stuff that you would in a conventional relationship.

      Also when you say ‘settle’ – how did the story end? Did you settle down with your long distance relationship? Or someone closer to home?

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      • I settled with ONE of my long distance love! I’ve had about three over years. As for the balling at the airport, don’t think I did much of a balling because saying goodbye meant starting over our mysterious online relationship, I also liked my freedom. I love the fact that he was always concerned whenever I was late coming online. As well as the excitement building up for our next meet. I guess everyone handles long distance relationships differently.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow so you had many long-distance relationships! That’s impressive. I would never say never. I was willing to try long-distance a second time with someone new too because I knew it was something I could cope with from past experience. That said, I’m not willing to go searching for it either.

    When people talk about ‘freedom’ in relationships, it raises alarms for me. The way I see it – if I don’t fee ‘free’ in a relationship or suffocated in some way then I don’t really feel like I should be there. I know there are these people that do open relationships and polyamory, etc but that’s not the type of freedom I’m looking for. Although relationships do change your life, I think changes should be for the better and you should never really feel less free.

    I agree that long-distance does make you appreciate your time together though.

    Where did you decide to settle? His country? Yours? Or somewhere new?

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