When a LDR isn’t A-OK (repost)

I guest posted over at Girl With the Red Hair yesterday. This was the first time I didn’t have to scramble for a topic to write about – Amber prefaced her request for guest bloggers by stating that she wantd them to talk about their experiences in long distance relationships. I sent in my post, and I was extremely interested in the comments it received, when I spoke about (one of) my long distance relationships. And so I’m posting it again here, so you can all read it, and so I can read your experiences as well. 🙂

Originally posted 8/25/09

Hello Girl With the Red Hair readers!! Amber asked around the Twitterverse for people to guest blog about their experiences with long distance relationships, or the LDR, as I like to call it. I have had plenty of experience with those. Trust me, when I started dating my now fiance, my family was shocked that he lived in the same area as us, not in a different state or hours away. The last LDR that I was in involved me being in NY, and the guy being in California. For over a year. (We went 6 months without seeing each other one time – FUN!) And while I’ll admit that some couples can make the LDR work, some can’t. And I’ll tell you some reasons why mine didn’t work out. BTW – I’m Lacey Bean, from Perks of Being a JAP.

Like I said, he was in Cali, and I was in NY. We had actually met years before we started dating, when we were both going to school in NY. We did the whole “I don’t want a girlfriend, but let’s hook up anyway” thing, until he got kicked out of school and moved home. Then we lost touch for a few years, and the summer after I graduated from college, we found each other again. He was coming home to visit (he had joined the Marines since I last saw him) and wanted to see me. Well that’s all it took, one reunion and we were together. And this time we were together how I’d always wanted it to be. He was my boyfriend, I was his girlfriend. I’d receive random sweet text messages and phone calls throughout the day. Visits were arranged as often as possible. I would even go visit his younger sister in CT, since I was so close and she was a great kid. And it was great… for about 6 months.

I didn’t really realize it until after we had broken up, but in the time we had been together, I had slowly become what I call a “convenience girlfriend”. A girl that he could call his own, but after awhile felt that he didn’t have to give me the attention I needed, because I wasn’t physically there. No need to send me sweet text messages anymore. Or even wish me a happy anniversary until I pried it out of him on our one year anniversary. (And no, no gifts). A man who saw me two weeks after my birthday, and got me a key chain of a singing frog, and a Red Sox shot glass (I’m a Yankees fan – he thought it was funny.) A man who when he came home from not seeing his girlfriend for 6 months, didn’t want to be intimate with her. I’m sorry, but what man in his right mind doesn’t want to have sex with his girlfriend that he hasn’t seen or touched in half a year??

The final straw came when he deployed for Iraq, and didn’t have time to give me his mailing address. And when weeks later, I finally got it, and sent it to his best friend (who was an ex-girlfriend), she said, “Oh, I got it from him last week”. That was the end. He got a “Dear John” letter, and I got a quick reply (quicker than any other reply to an email I had sent him). He said he understood and wanted to be friends, and I said fine. Have I heard from him? Barely. Do I care? Not really. I know that the life I have now is the one I was meant to have, and the love that I have in my non LDR is more than I could ever ask for. And I get to see him every day.

So how about all of you? I know many of my West Point/military girlfriends/fiances/wives are living the LDR, because well, that’s what the military does to you. (And I give you all SO much credit… you have no idea.) What are your experiences with long distance relationships?? If you’re in one, how do you both work to make it… work?

Comments

  1. Happily Married Lesbian says

    Hi, Lacey! First comment on your blog and something I love to talk about, haha.

    Six years ago I met a great girl, who I talked to maybe once or twice. We were both on an online forum for a shared interest. I was on said forum during my sister's birthday party, when we got a call that my grandma (who lived in Florida, I lived in the midwest) had died.

    I felt horrible and was crying, at the time my family was just trying to make my sister's birthday special, my "friends" only said "sorry" and moved on to talk about their hard day at school, etc. and I still felt horrible. I was on the forum when Jennie came on and she asked how I was doing. I told her just how I had felt… And, she actually cared.

    And not only did she care, she gave me the best, most comforting words, that got me smiling and giggling. Her strong kindness and our shared beliefs made me see her as my instant best friend and we shared messenger names.

    Five months later, we were truly the best of friends. We talked all the time, were there for each other, cared for each other, laughed together. It was great! And one day before Valentine's Day, Jennie asked me out. And… I said yes!!!

    I knew (okay, so I knew even before we became friends, I just knew) we were meant to be together and so did she. I still lived in the midwest and Jennie lived in the west. We didn't miss a day of talking and we literally talked all day. We sent boxes every holiday and just because, and letters and cards.

    And… We got engaged! It was my Christmas gift. A beautiful star shaped box, with smaller star shaped boxes inside and the smallest held my ring box. And inside, was my beautiful white gold engagement ring, with three gorgeous tanzanite (which is a very rare gem) gemstones (representing Past, Present and Future) and tiny diamonds surrounding them. Of course, I said yes!

    And, in 2007 I turned 18. One month after my birthday, I flew out to the west to meet my best friend, my fiancee and my soul mate. One month later, we got married and then had a wonderful Honeymoon. And now… Two years later, this September, she and I will celebrate our two year wedding anniversary.

    And she is still my best friend, my soul mate and now, my beautiful wife and she always will be.

  2. Boston Bride says

    I was one of those girls that couldn't let go of her HS sweetheart. We started dating when I was 16 and continued ( on and off, mostly on) up till my senior year of college!!!!

    When we first started dating we both lived in same town on Long Island, but after graduation he went to school in Boston and I in CT. At the time it didn't seem too hard- we visited, called, text etc. We even lasted while he studied abroad in London.

    However the relationship wasn't meant to be- it was distance that kept us from realizing how much we have changed since HS and that we are not the same people/ couple.

    Bottom line, we grew up. As kids it was fun, but as "adults" we just weren't compatible.

    Since then we have happily moved on- got jobs, apartments, and found someone that makes us happy!!

  3. Future Mrs. H says

    My fiance and I dated for almost two years with 900 miles between us. We would visit one another once every month for a long weekend (at the most) and during the summer we'd get a week or two together. I am not going to lie – it was awful. We were both in college and the constant worry and stress that I felt was unreal. Not that he was with someone else, but that he would meet someone else and forget about me. There was a certain ex-gf who found out my phone number and screen name and she tried to ruin us. There were some girls who would hug him and flirt with him whenever I came to visit. They knew they couldn't have him but it never stopped them from trying to make me miserable.

    Everytime we had to say goodbye it was filled with tears…I spent many plane rides trying to hide my puffy eyes and practicing yoga breathing to calm myself down.

    I decided to venture off to his college on a student exchange program for a semester – and it was the best thing I ever did. I transferred and we graduated together 2 years later. I have to say that the tough times we had are what made our relationship so strong. We were forced to talk about EVERYTHING whenever we argued and we hold no secret feelings or skeletons in the closet.

    Now I can't wait to marry the boy I met on a cruse ship 6.5 years ago. =0)

  4. The Maiden Metallurgist says

    I think the LDR has a shelf life, and when it comes due, you either break up or move. I've done both, but I moved to Chicago to be with my now husband, and aside from occasional moments of deeply missing my friends and family and life at home, I couldn't be happier that I made that sacrifice.

  5. wow.. interesting story!!! I love reading more about ya 🙂 xxxooo

  6. I've had a few LDR's but none of them worked. I'm sure for some people it can/does work but for me I can't handle not seeing the one I love on a regular basis.

    Thanks for the story.

  7. I've been in one truly LDR. I was in Louisiana and he was in Arizona. It worked well but we were both at very different point of our lives and we split amicably after a year. We still keep in touch time to time and are FB friends so no hard feelings on that one.

    Currently, I am in what I call a Medium Distance Relationship that is complicated by Medical School. We have been a couple for over two years now but even being an hour and 45 mins apart puts strain on a relationship. It's like constantly being teased. You feel like its not that far but planning a weekend with him takes time and it never feels long enough. We also have to do alot of phone and video chats when we go weeks without being able to see each other. I've been trying to find a job where he is, just because it would make life SO much easier and it would bring a new ease to our relationship that we haven't had yet.

    I think LDR's depend on the couple and each persons expectations. If you aren't on the same page or in the same place in life it's just not going to work.

  8. As you know two of my most recent relationships were LD. I'm not a fan of them anymore. As much faith as you can have, its just HARD. Its not impossible but you really have to be on the same page. And most of the time people aren't on the same page in the same town let alone hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

    I'm glad you were able to find love close, with Dave!

  9. matt and i were LDR in our first yearish of dating, except he was in arizona and i was in california so it wasn't all that bad but man it was definitely difficult. you can only talk online or on the phone for so long. thank goodness i don't have to do it ever ever again.

  10. It is sooooooo hard. I think the key is that you have to be pretty independent people. It seems to me that the clingy and insecure girls seem to struggle the most? But, that being said, you have to be able to trust each other completely and have to both be putting in 100%. It can't be one sided, at all!

  11. Hi Lacey,

    I'm currently in a LDR, and yeah, it sucks. I live in Vancouver, he lives in Toronto – it costs us $500 to see each other for a long weekend once a month. We are in different time zones, which makes communication complicated.

    but. but! as much as I miss him to pieces, I have to say that I think we talk and share more in this situation than we would if we were right next to each other. We email, we chat, we send texts, we skype (thank god for skype), we talk on the phone… and pretty much spend hours every day sharing with each other, getting to know every little detail about each other.

    Maybe I'm trying to rationalize too much?

    In any case, I also think it makes a very big difference what point you are in your life – as teens or in college, you're still growing up and learning about yourself. But he's 30 and I'm 26, and we know who we are (I think, mostly!) and what we want. We're honest with each other and have a mature relationship, which I think is why this works, even at such a distance.

    That said… I still get upset saying good night to him on skype, when it's midnight for him and 9pm for me, and he's going to bed and all I want is to snuggle with him… (k, maybe not *just* snuggle 🙂 )

    When we see each other, it's amazing and passionate and wild – but I really can't wait til we figure out a way to be together… He's Canadian, I'm American – to live and work in each other's countries is complicated, and we don't yet know how/when we'll be together.

    But I'm hopeful, because I think our love is stronger than distance (and immigration laws).

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents – wayyy more than I have ever shared in a blog comment, but I felt compelled.
    Cheers,
    Penelope

    PS. I'm a friend of Arielle's from Tufts, that's how I know your blog 🙂

  12. Because of you posting this on Amber's blog I found your blog and love it! (I'm trying to catch up on older posts now). LDR's are definitely hard – my husband and I did that for two years, and both parties have to be willing to really make it work.

  13. I am not a long distance sort of person. I have friends who have done it and been very successful, I just get too frustrated with the entire thing.

  14. Future Mrs. H says

    My white arugula pizza is actually really easy to make… if you search white pizza on my blog I posted the recipe!! And if you want to make it a "healthy" pizza you can use whole wheat crust, fat free ricotta, and fat free mozz! I highly recommend you trying it though =0)

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