Is Distance a Deal Breaker? [Confessions of a Twenty-Something]
Howdy ya’ll! If you’re wondering where that friendly southern greeting came from, I just got back from Nashville, Tennessee! Four of my girlfriends and I packed our bags and drove south for the weekend. I would recommend a road trip with your best friends to any twenty-something. You guys all have to check that off your bucket list! There is nothing better than laughing and talking the whole way to a great city with people you truly love.
Now, I could bore you with how amazing Nashville is, but I don’t even think my words or descriptions could do the city justice. The people, the scenery, the music—the whole city just pulls you in like a magnetic force, and you have absolutely no choice but to fall madly in love. Speaking of, I should probably confess that I had some ulterior motives for this trip other than “roadtripping” with my friends, and that reason is a guy.
There’s always a guy, isn’t there?
I took my first trip to Nashville about a year and a half ago and met someone who has remained quite special to me. Our relationship has never been specifically defined, because we’ve been wary of the distance, but we are both well aware of how much we care for one another. Before this weekend, it had been five months since I’d last seen my manfriend. (Side note: I have decided to use “manfriend” instead of his real name to spare him embarrassment of being written about on a public website. You better appreciate that, Manfriend.)
A big reason why I wanted to take this trip was because I felt it was time to figure out just how I felt and what we should do about “our relationship.” After spending the weekend together and coming back home (which is 485.9 miles away from his but who’s counting?), I have learned many things, but one stands out the most:
Long distance relationships are the worst.
There is really no denying that. I am not saying that they don’t work ever, because I’m sure many of you could prove me wrong if I did claim that (though almost every person I have ever known that was in a LDR is no longer in one, because they suck). I know if you really do work hard, make a firm commitment to your partner, and love each other enough, the distance is just another little mountain to climb and not a deal breaker for the relationship. But I have to believe that it’s different for every couple. Some have what it takes; some don’t.
After spending such a wonderful weekend with my manfriend whom I love and is wonderful in more ways than I can explain, the car ride back was 20 different kinds of sadness and misery (plus I was hungover, so make that 21 kinds of sadness and misery). I got a little taste of the good stuff just to have it ripped away right when I got comfortable and secure with where we stood as an “us.” I could see myself there. I could see us actually being a couple, living in the same city.
With 10 hours in a car to wallow in my self-pity, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what a long distance relationship was like on a daily basis–short weekends with fleeting moments of romance and rushed goodbyes followed by missing your boy/girlfriend so much your heart hurts. I couldn’t help but ask myself what the hell I had gotten myself into.
Is it worth the pangs of loneliness? Or the jealousy that comes from seeing other couples holding hands while you’re waiting on a text or phonecall? Is a “LDR” something worth doing if there is no end in sight to the to the “LD”? Is distance a deal-breaker for me? Is it a deal-breaker for him? Ah to be in your twenties—a time when you have a hundred million questions and zero answers.
As twenty-somethings, all we’re trying to do is figure out who we are and where we belong, and I would be a liar if I said the journey we’re all on is a breezy and straight path to happiness and contentment, especially when it comes to being happy in a relationship. When people come into our lives in the most inconvenient of ways, we have to make a decision as to where they belong (if they belong) in our lives. Though a LDR is daunting and scares the life out of me, this is also the time in life to take risks and be brave. So as a true Nashvillian would say, “Wish me luck, ya’ll!”
Are any of you in LDRs? What do you think it takes to make one work? Let me know in the comments!
Katie is finishing up her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks about Ryan Gosling and hummus a lot here!