3 Things No One Told Me About Long Distance Relationships


By Megan Kramer 

From movies to books to magazines, the sentiment is everywhere: long distance relationships don’t work.

But as someone who has been in one for more than a year—and who has watched my still-married parents endure multiple military deployments of various lengths—I’d like to respectfully disagree. As long as you are willing to put in the work, and not shame yourself for making it work in your own way, long distance relationships are possible.

That being said, some inevitable issues are obvious from the start (yes, you will miss your SO, you will need enough money to fund trips to see them, etc.), some are not as apparent. Here are a few things no one told me about being in a long distance relationship, until I was already in one:

You may miss your personal space when your SO is around—and that’s OK.

I consider myself an independent person: I enjoy solitary activities more than group outings; I prefer to live alone rather than with roommates; and there are some days where I never leave my apartment or put on pants, only speaking to other human beings electronically. So when my boyfriend is able to visit for weeks at a time, I have to get used to the fact that he will be around the whole time. My solitary afternoons no longer exist. While I obviously love having him with me, sometimes I take the long way home after work to have a bit of time to myself. I used to feel guilty because I spend so much time missing him, but as an introvert, I remind myself that it’s OK to still need time alone.

The distance affects you even when you’re in the same room.

Even though my boyfriend and I text and call each other as much as possible, our communication develops more slowly than that of couples who see each other all the time. I realized this when we were getting into a lot of fights over small things; once, I made a dramatic gesture at the recycling, because I was annoyed at myself for not taking it out. But he thought I was mad at him for not taking it out, and somehow things escalated from there. By the end of the argument, we discovered we just weren’t used to each other’s forms of nonverbal communication. I am dramatic and purposefully hyperbolic, but never in an intentionally malicious way, and now he knows that.

Intimacy is not always instant the minute you see each other again.

Movies love to show couples throwing themselves at each other as soon as one of them steps through a door, but let’s be real – not everyone will be in the mood that very moment! I pick my boyfriend up from the airport, so there’s a whole drive in Chicago traffic and possibly errands to run before we make it to a bed. Not exactly sexy. I also have a relatively low libido to begin with, and being alone most of the time has done nothing to increase it. I used to worry that something was wrong with me or my relationship when my loins didn’t ache the minute I saw my boyfriend’s face, but now I know it takes me some time to get in the mood, which is perfectly normal.

Megan is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via pexels}