Let me put it plain and simple: Being in a Long Distance Relationship sucks.
But, sometimes, we travellers just gotta deal with it no matter how much we hate being apart from our loved ones.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my girlfriend and I love our relationship but the long distance part that’s stuck in front of our relationship… I really, really, really hate it. I hate it so much that I’m literally clenching my teeth in anger just thinking about that damned string of words.
AHH!! I’m triggered >=/
Being in a Long Distance Relationship is hard, frustrating, and it can be quite cruel. At least, it’s cruel in the sense that it sometimes feels like pins and needles are falling from my eyes when I miss my girlfriend.
Here’s some of the most common problems we run in to as a long distance couple. Here’s:
9 Long Distance Relationship Problems
(And how I cope with them)
1. Slow internet connections
The number of times I’ve thrown my phone across the room out of anger because of the “Connecting…” sign can no longer be counted using all of my fingers and toes. It’s HELLA annoying!
Worse still is when everything is perfectly fine with your video call until, suddenly, everything goes super pixelated and you’re left seeing nothing but random squares moving around. Minecraft, anyone?
How I cope: When internet connections get to the point of being weaker than a baby against lemons, I just stare at the tons of photos I have of her on my phone. If that doesn’t work, I’ll exercise, read, eat, play with my dog, etc…
Could you imagine being in an LDR (Long Distance Relationship) before the internet and having to actually wait 5 damn months just to get one tiny letter? Oh how barbaric.
2. Time difference
My girlfriend lives in the Philippines while I live in Canada. From where I am, she’s 14 hours ahead. So, in most cases, right as I wake up is when she’s about to head off to bed.
We don’t often get much time to talk to one another except for during weekends/holidays/vacations or when we just couldn’t give any less of a damn about tomorrow’s list of things to do because of how much we miss each other.
What’s the worst part about the time difference?
Well, the “worst” part is that we both enjoy movies but since she lives in Asia, she usually gets to see movies well in advance before I can. (Many movie studios target markets and release the movie in Asia first because of how large the audience is. Sometimes release dates are weeks in advance.)
How I cope: Either I wake up super early or she stays up late so we can chat/talk. It doesn’t really work the other way around though because I tend to sleep and wake up pretty early while she’s usually sleeping late and waking up early. (She’s got quite a hectic schedule.)
3. Neglecting each other
When you’re 14 hours apart, it’s hard to stay on top of communicating enough with each other. A lot of the time, our schedules are at war with each other and it leads to things becoming messy.
On many occasions, we’ve spent days not speaking to each other just because we simply had too many things going on and not enough “control” over time. No matter how hard we try though, some things just can’t be controlled.
How I cope: Nothing much else to do than do anything I can to keep my mind off of missing her (cryptic, isn’t it?). As well, I try to keep sending reaffirmations of how much I love her so she doesn’t feel neglected and because I genuinely feel like it’s a good thing to do.
As a side note, if you don’t already, tell your parents and family you love them too.
4. You can’t reach out for a hug
On days where you feel like the entire world is chasing after you just to give you worst wedgie of your life, a little bit of physical comfort like a hug or a kiss might be all you need to unwind. But, with a Long Distance Relationship there isn’t much a chance to do so… at all.
With us being nearly 12,000km apart, it’s pretty damn hard to give/get a hug when you want to. It would probably be fine if we were rich but we ain’t… so… we often just default to the next best option. Puppies and pillows.
How I cope: We both have a dog around so we can sorta substitute some of the hugging and cuddling with them. As for the pillows, to be honest, I’m often left hugging my pillows so tightly for comfort that a head starts to form at the top from me strangling the hell out of it. That being said, I’m actually pretty surprised my pillows haven’t exploded into a cloud of material yet.
Even fish get jealous so I’m sure it’s no surprise how jealous us monkeys in Long Distance Relationships can become. While nobody tries to be jealous, on many occasions, it kinda just happens.
Sometimes, when I see my girlfriend with guys I don’t know or guys that show up in too many pictures with her, my “crazy boyfriend” mode just starts firing. And, a lot of the time, my crazy boyfriend mode won’t turn off until I’ve made a complete idiot of myself.
How I cope: I place my trust in my girlfriend as much as I can and just think about the future. Specifically, I just remind myself that worrying about something that probably isn’t happening (her cheating on me) is just going to drive me absolutely crazy.
It’s like worrying about a coconut falling on your head and killing you when literally all you’ve got around you are cherry trees. It’s stupid.
6. Missing their scent
Both of us have noses like dogs so we tend to be pretty sensitive when it comes to our sense of smell.
While it may sound a bit odd to miss the way someone smells, fact of the matter is, our sense of smell plays a huge role when it comes to relationships. After all, do you know anyone who likes the smell of stinky armpits? I sure as hell don’t.
My girlfriend’s scent reminds me of the ocean. Strong yet gentle, kind yet steadfast. What kind of scent is that you ask? Well, you’ll probably never know cause she’s all mine to smell. None for you.
Seriously though, she reminds me of the ocean breeze. Like something fresh and soothing.
How I cope: I’ve completely failed in this regard because there isn’t really a way for me to cope with this. Since I don’t have any samples of her perfume around, I’ve completely forgotten how she smells. Opposite to myself, she’s got a bottle of my (baby) cologne (hell yeah, it smells good) so she can just put it on whenever she misses her baby’s scent.
7. Trying too hard
Sometimes, we run out of things to talk about and end up staring at each other during our video calls as if we were watching paint dry. Sometimes, we don’t stop trying to make every single moment an invigorating one that we forget we don’t need to be in every single part of each other’s lives.
After a while, some conversations can get pretty boring and even outright awkward. At that point, it starts to feel like the relationship is straying even when it really isn’t.
How I cope: I’ve tried dragging our chats on longer than they really needed to be just because I wanted to spend more time with her but, ultimately, it’s been pretty unsuccessful. It’s normal to run out of things to say. So, I try to keep our calls to only be during times when we’ve got a lot to say or when just really miss each other too much. For all the other stuff, texting usually suffices.
Don’t try too hard. A relationship should be fluid and not be bound by restrictions like wanting to talk to each other about every single detail because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
8. When you set a date to meet, it feels like an eternity away
I’m set to move to the Philippines in July of 2018 but it feels like I’m still at least a dozen light years away (I’m writing this in May of 2018). Mind you, that’s despite the fact that it’s only been a little over a year and a half since we last held each other.
I often get bouts of anxiety when I think about how slowly the days are passing by. It’s infuriating and worrisome like if your head were set on fire. Sometimes, the anxiety builds up to a point where it even feels like my innards have all turned to glitter and I’ve completely lost all substance. *Poof*
How I cope: I just try to take deep breaths and think about how things will better in the long run if I go through the bit of struggle now instead of abandoning ship and dropping everything immediately. Additionally, I’ll slap myself in the face when I’m really down.
The pain lets me focus on one thing at the point in time and it keeps me centred. (Kinda like a rubber band to hit your wrists with except…it’s my face getting hit by my hand…)
9. Getting lost in emotion
When we have disagreements, it often gets tricky to sort things out efficiently.
We have a rule of talking to each other until an issue has been resolved but, it’s sometimes impossible to implement the rule because of slow internet connection, time difference, obligations, etc…
There have been occasions where our issues have gone unresolved for long periods of time because we just didn’t have a way to fit our talks in. Because of all that, we sometimes get pretty wound up and it adds unnecessary baggage to our relationship.
How I cope: I try my best to remember how small these issues really are and try not to let them get between us. In our Long Distance Relationship, we don’t have the luxury to walk up to the each other and lock ourselves in a room until our issues are sorted out. There isn’t really anything to be done at all except for just giving things time.
While being in a long distance relationship sucks, didn’t Friedrich Nietzsche (and Kelly Clarkson) both say something like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”? I know we’ll get through this, and, ultimately, our relationship will be much stronger because of this ANNOYING part of reality called a Long Distance Relationship.
Have you ever been in an LDR? Let me know what you hate(d) the most about being in a Long Distance Relationship in the comment section below.
If you’re curious:
Here’s my girlfriend (Jade):
This one’s me (Mat):
Here’s us on the way to the airport (I pranked her and made her think I was leaving with my family. I was actually leaving a month later. I sorta-kinda feel bad about it now but it was a pretty hilarious joke):