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I’ve been dating this guy for a few months now, and I’m really crazy about him. We’re really close, his family loves me, and even better, my family likes him too. We’re total opposites, but somehow that only brings us closer together. He’s also the first serious boyfriend I’ve ever had.
Here’s the situation. He’s leaving for the Navy this fall. We haven’t really talked about how things are going to be once he leaves, but I get the impression that he wants to continue this relationship even after he’s left for the Navy. And while the hopeless romantic side of me would love to continue our relationship, the realistic part of me is aware that if we do keep this going, it isn’t going to be easy. He’ll be gone for six years, and a I’m well aware that lot can happen in between. I don’t want to jump into this with my hopes too high, only to get them crushed if things don’t work out. I just want to know what guys think about the whole long distance relationship situation, and whether or not you think it’s worth it.
Running the Distance
Dear Running the Distance,
Does absence make the heart grow fonder or the penis wander?
Long distance relationships can be mine fields. If relationships work best when two people are growing together then how can they when separated by oceans and thirteen hour time differences? Answer: with a lot of effort!
Or they can’t.
Long distance relationships can be an emotional marathon. Some guys are all for it and some believe it’s love’s death sentence. You have to e-mail, call, Skype, or, god forbid, write a letter, but whatever you do will require scheduling, dedication, and some inconvenience. Sometimes we take for granted that the person is always around. We know we’re going to see them. We know they’ll come running if we need them. And if something’s wrong, we can deal with it right away. When they’re across the country or overseas those certainties, we learn, aren’t possible. Well, not in the same way at least.
More often than not, the ones I’ve known friends to be involved in, have crashed and burned. You’re not going to have his shoulder to cry on the moment you feel the tears coming. You won’t have him there to comfort you the second he walks through the door. Bouts of loneliness will be inevitable. Absolute trust will be mandatory. Love conquering all is not a guarantee. Scared?
Of course you are! Who wouldn’t have a few trepidations before making the commitment? Here’s the thing though: You haven’t failed until you tried. So, is what you have worth the attempt?
People want to avoid getting hurt. It’s self-protection. The question is, what are you protecting yourself from, loss or love? Sure, you can avoid the possibility of it not working out but you’re also giving up on the chance that it will. How much do you care about him? How much do you believe he cares about you? If the answers are a lot and a lot, then give it a chance.
The key to a long distance relationship is being secure in your feelings for him, his feelings for you, and being able to have your own lives. Codependents can’t keep up a long distance relationship. If you can’t handle being alone then this will be the ultimate test and you’ll have to learn how to be alone without being lonely. It’s not easy. The majority of people probably can’t do it. For those who can, their love has no limits to be stretched, geographically speaking.
In the digital age of instant communication like Skype, Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail, it’s easier than ever to keep the flame alive. But it’s no Lindsay Lohan jail stint. If you don’t think you can do the work then tell him bon voyage. If you don’t want the relationship to be lost at sea then make a plan and take it day by day.
USS Pacific Princess
[Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]