Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

The LDR Conundrum

I can’t think of single girlie mag or dating/sex/romance focused website that hasn’t done a piece on long-distance relationships in the past few months.  They’ve ranged from, Strategies to Make Your LDR Work, to Why LDRs Never Work.  It makes sense. It’s a timeless topic, especially for single women (some of whom may have to move for work or school or meet men online etc).

Personally, I have a long and checkered past with long-distance relationships. Some I’ve told you about in detail and others I’ve just hinted at.  Last week I wrote about one of my shorter LDR disaster stories, after which there were many comments of the, “I don’t date long-distance either” variety, and a few (mostly private) “I’m in a very successful LDR, you should keep an open mind” messages.

Here’s my thing with long-distance distance relationships: I know they can work.  I’m certain of it.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  But I also know that it requires extra effort and care and communication.  Above and beyond what a regular relationship requires.  Which is a lot.  And I know that most couples just aren’t up to the task.

And I also know that, gulp, I have (several times) allowed the distance to play tricks with my mind.  When I’m not actually which a person on a regular basis I start to fill in details.  Start to imagine things that aren’t real.  Start to fantasize and idealize in a very unhealthy way.  I know I’m not alone in this.  One of my recent guest authors wrote about this quite eloquently.

I’d like to avoid ever having that happen again.

Anyway, I’d like to know where you stand.  Some of my readers are in healthy relationships (imagine that) so this is a theoretical question.

Would you be open to a long-distance relationship?  Do you think you could make one work?

  • Yes. I know it could be hard but if I really liked a person it would be worth the effort. (23 votes)
  • No. I just don’t see that working for me. (30 votes)
  • Maybe, it would depend on the situation. (27 votes)
  • Other. Please explain in the comments. (3 votes)

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14 to “The LDR Conundrum”

  1. Veka says:

    I’m in the middle of trying to make one work currently… It’s not the best/ideal situation, but if the two people are on the same page, then it can certainly work. For how long is the question, I guess…

  2. Hammer86 says:

    I did a long distance relationship once and swore them off. Then I accidentally fell into a long distance relationship when my ex got stranded in LA for an extended period of time due to family crises. Having had those two experiences, I’ve now sworn LDR off, no matter how much I love the girl. Any trip longer than 2 weeks constitutes grounds for hooking up with other women in my book.

  3. drumdance says:

    I’ve been in a few of them and am done with that. It’s especially bad if it starts as a LDR (as opposed to meeting in the same place, then one of you moves). The reason is that it’s really hard to get a feel for each other’s daily rhythm, and when you do meet up there’s so much pressure to make it perfect that it’s easy to see only the good things and resist talking about potential problem areas.

  4. @icounsel4food says:

    Like so many things related to love, LDR’s are not for everyone. They ABSOLUTELY can work for some but others just can’t handle the extra effort needed to keep them going. I’m not talking about not being able to drop by your love’s house any time (although I wouldn’t be too fond of that even if my GF lived nearby), I’m talking about the questions of trust and emotional security that get asked when your mate is far away. I know that they’re not for me (even though I LOVE my personal space) but I know that they CAN work. For some people, it’s the ONLY way they can keep a “good” relationship going (I’ve seen this happen with some people I’ve worked with in my clinical practice).

  5. starangel82 says:

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Not going to do it again. I just don’t have the stamina for it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My BF and I were long distance the first 3 months we dated, and then again for most of year 2. It can work (though not indefinitely) – I did a LOT of driving to ensure that it would!

  7. Momma Sunshine says:

    I’m currently in a long distance relationship. We met online, we’ve never been in the same city together, and from the looks of things, we’re not going to be any time in the near future, either.

    If I were using my head about it, there’s no way I would have gotten myself involved in an LDR. The thing is, my heart’s the one in control….and the man that I’m in love with is too special and amazing to give up because of a 3 hour car drive.

    I’m not going to lie – it is difficult – and I can certainly understand why it’s not for everyone. But I do think that people shouldn’t close themselves off to a relationship because of distance – because otherwise, you could be missing out on something great.

    I do think that some relationships can work in spite of the distance. Hell, I think some of them work BECAUSE of the distance.

    Trust and communication are the keys to making it work. If you’re not particularly good at either, then LDRs aren’t for you. But if you’re in a place where you enjoy your freedom, are completely in love with and trusting of your partner, then I say you should give it a try. You just never know what you might end up with.

  8. URwingman says:

    As someone who is going through his first LDR, I can say that it requires much more effort than normal and like someone said before, both people have to be willing to do it. It can be tough and play with your emotions sometimes but if you are secure in yourself and have really good communication with your significant other, there’s no reason why it can’t work.

    I care about my girlfriend a lot and I know she feels the same. We both want to put in the effort, work out the kinks in our communication skills and see what will happen. Right now, we’re very happy.

    Although, a friend of mine did make an interesting point. “If one isn’t willing to eventually close the distance, the chances of success deteriorate over time.”

    Like, I said, only time will tell.

  9. DentalBabe says:

    Well, sometimes if you live in a small town (as I do), ya gotta venture outside your area if you ever wanna meet anyone worth anything. But….really, who wants that scheduled dating, sex, etc? Kinda hard to do things on a whim if they live hours away. Although, doesn’t distance make the heart grow fonder?

  10. Jennifer-from-NY says:

    Ah I hate seeing topics on this, but of course since it’s you Simone I wanted to read it. I’m in what could have turned into a long distance relationship now. What I mean by that is I’m doing study abroad in the UK, one of my casual dates turned into a relationship and I’m to go home in three weeks. Now we’re both 20 and neither would be able to move to the others country for the next few years. So it’s effectivly dead soon. Um, which is freaking me out. Which is leading to my dislike of this topic and rambly-ness.
    I answered ‘maybe’ because if I had known him longer (we’ve been going out less than two months) or it was a shorter definite amount of time apart with a specif time set to be together again I would. At this stage I can’t though.
    And knowing I’m leaving amplified the things I don’t like about him. But also the things I do. But that’s me in relationships I guess :)

  11. lostplum says:

    I have to totally re quote starangel82 “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.” In fact, I have the t-shirt in every colour! (and about 3 sizes!)

  12. babydoe says:

    i’ve been living in los angeles, and my boyfriend lives in london. we’ve been part of…a very strange and unique thing for six years. ( mmm, i write about it a lot on my blog as well.) i wrote recently that ldrs don’t exist in the present, and that’s why they’re difficult. they’re for the future, and therefore a lot more committed than a…cpr, as we call it, (close proximity relationship.)

    what i know is this: this man is the man i’m made to love. and any other relationship i’ve been in has never stood a chance, even with him 5,400 miles away, there’s never been anyone else who could come close.

    i’m moving to germany next week to be closer to him. that’s still two different countries and a one hour time difference, but it is worth it.

    i figure if the two of us have forever together, and we do, then it’s not so bad to spend a few years apart.

  13. Simone Grant says:

    Like so many things related to dating/relationships – there is no one size fits all solution. Heck, the same person might respond differently to this challenge at two different points in their life (I know I did).

    Which is why I find so many of the advice columns and list that others post so funny.

  14. HeartJuneBug says:

    i know this website is for girls…but idk where else to go so i guess just please help me?…ive been seeing (figuratively speaking) this girl for just under 3 months and she plans to come to where i live in late december and stay for a bit…i honestly dont know if shes lying to me about anything…if she is who she says she is i fell in love with her (honestly) but if not i would be devestated … here is the story…yes its tragic… when she was 12 she got raped and impregnated by her mothers boyfriend. she does not believe in abortion so now she has a four year old daughter…now some more minute details….she told me she wasnt going to homecoming with her friends and that she was gonna talk to me on the phone that night…she didnt talk to me on the phone but she told me that she didnt go to homecoming later that week…however, she put up pictures of her friends and her with dresses on…i dont know what to think i mean honestly what could that mean…its not that i wouldve minded her going to homecoming but i just dont want her to lie to me…and recently we havent been talkin much she doesnt have good internet and her phone never has minutes so…this is the longes we’ve gone without talking 12 days…we used to talk on the phone for hours at a time but now she says that her daughter is her priority…and as you may have guessed her daughter has medical issues considering her parents were 12 and 50 something….but i just dont understand whats going on please id appreciate anyones input