Letting Go of Invisible Friends

I’m sorry to break this to you, but there is no such thing as a long distance relationship. That’s correct, you have no relationship. An LDR simply does not meet the criteria necessary for it to be considered a legitimate relationship. There is no reciprocity of anything more than words passing over a phone line or an IM text. Understand me here – you have no relationship. You have self-assumed accountability, self-assumed liability and internalized responsibilities to be loyal to this person. You are entertaining a commitment to fidelity with an idealization, and ignoring what everyone outside of your LDR will regularly tell you is insanity. LDRs are one of the more insidious forms of ONEitis.

LDRs are the most easily identifiable form of ONEitis, and it would be laughable if it weren’t so damaging to a guy’s life progression. The LDR man generally sacrifices years of his life in this pitiable effort to pursue his ‘soulmate’ across the planet or even a hundred miles away. The very thought of refuting the idea that an LDR can work is equatable to denying his belief this fantasized ONEitis fueled idealization that he’s swallowed for the better part of his life. It’s easy to criticize an LDR in the terms of questioning either party’s earnestness and fidelity in entertaining an LDR and this is usually the tact that most people giving advice on LDRs follow. One or both parties are or will ‘cheat’ on the other over the course of time, its true, but LDRs are far more telling of a mentality that results in much more damaging consequences as a result of deeply conditioned self-expectations and fears.

I can’t begin to list the number of otherwise intelligent and ambitious men I’ve known who’ve drastically altered the course of their lives to follow their ONE. Men who’ve changed their majors in college, who’ve selected or switched universities, men who’ve applied for jobs in states they would never have considered, accepted jobs that are sub-standard to their ambitions or qualifications, men who’ve renounced former religions and men who’ve moved across the planet all in an effort to better accommodate an idealized woman with whom they’ve played pseudo-boyfriend with over the course of an LDR; only to find that she wasn’t the person they thought she was and were depressive over the gravity that their decisions played in their lives.

An LDR is akin to a LJBF, but writ large and festering in a man’s life. You play surrogate boyfriend, voluntarily accepting and internalizing all of the responsibilities and accountabilities of being a woman’s exclusive, monogamous partner with no expectation of reciprocating intimacy or sexuality in the immediate future. However an LDR is worse than a LJBF arrangement since it pervasively locks a man into a success or failure mentality with regards to the relationship actually being legitimate. After all, she’s agreed to remain his girlfriend (from miles away) and if he’s the one to falter it’s his lack of perseverance in this  ONEitis ego-investment that dooms them. Once the LDR inevitably ends he’s the one left with the self-doubt, he’s the one beating himself up over wasting time, money and effort and he’s the one feeling guilty whether he or she is the true ‘cheater’.

An LDR is like having an invisible friend with whom you’re constantly considering the course of your actions with. Consider the personal, romantic, familial, educational, career, personal maturity and growth opportunities that you’ve limited yourself from or never had a chance to experience because of this invisible friend. When you finally divorce yourself from this invisible friend, will it have all been worth it? Guys cling to LDRs because they’ve yet to learn that Rejection is better than Regret. AFCs will nurse along an LDR for years because it seems the better option when compared with actually going out and meeting new women who represent a potential for real rejection. They think its better to stick with the ‘sure thing’, but it’s the long term regret that is the inevitable result of an LDR that is life damaging. Nothing reeks of desperation or verifies a lack of confidence more than a guy who self-righteously proclaims he’s in an LDR. Women see you coming a mile off, because you are a guy without options, clinging to his one previously realized option. In fact the only reason a man entertains an LDR is due to a lack of options. If you had more plates spinning an LDR would never look like a good idea.

And finally, it’s not uncommon to see the “not in my case” defense offered about how you actually DO see your invisible friend once every 4 or six months. To this I’ll say again, what opportunities are you censoring yourself from experiencing by playing house with a woman you only see this often? Do you honestly think you’re the exception to the rule? The truth is you’re molding your lifestyle around what you hope your relationship will be in the future – that’s no way to live.

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whiteboykrispy
Guest

I saw too much of this in college, and it was never fun to watch. So many dudes ruined what social life they could have had by trying to hang on to that girl from high school. In almost all cases it’s the girl who has the power in these relationships. The dude is putting everything in his life on hold or accommodating the girl, while the girls would often choose to go to different cities, states, colleges. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that these relationships never worked out in the long run. Practically every one I… Read more »

detinennui32
Guest
detinennui32

I had an LDR for 3 years in a grad school program. Everything in Rollo’s post describes that LDR. There is no substitute for face to face contact, living near your woman, interacting in person, learning body language, and slowly interweaving your lives together. You learn what the other likes and does not like, you have physical intimacy. You learn subtle cues. You learn whether she’s telling the truth or lying. You learn whether she’s into you or not. You learn to tell whether she is really in love with you, is cheating on you, or is considering cheating on… Read more »

Bronan the Barbarian!
Guest

Is it just me, or is the herb in that picture hoverhanding his invisible GF?

Rollo Tomassi
Guest

If you have the intestinal fortitude, you might look at the section on LoveShack.org that is entirely dedicated to making an LDR work for you:

http://www.loveshack.org/forums/f36/

Word of warning: the LoveShack forums are the literal antithesis of the man-o-sphere. If you ever wanted to evangelize the virtues of Game this would be the true proving ground.

Good Luck Chuck
Guest
Good Luck Chuck

LDR’s are the perfect situation for the branch swinging, attention starved sex. What could be better than getting your emotional fix from a “boyfriend” who lacks the ability to monitor your day to day activities? That college chick I was banging a few years ago tried to pull this on me awhile back. Really? You’re getting ready to start school in one of the craziest party cities in the world, and you want me to play boyfriend from 4 hours away? I wonder who would get more out of our “relationship” that consisted of a few late night phone calls… Read more »

Good Luck Chuck
Guest
Good Luck Chuck

Wow. That’s nauseating.

What’s interesting to me is to see the stark contrasts between the culture that exists in that forum and blogs like yours and roissy’s. Then you have places like SS where guys go to pull their heads halfway out of their asses.

No matter how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with the truth it seems like there is an outpost on the internet for everyone that will make you feel right at home.

detinennui32
Guest
detinennui32

Chuck: Cosign. My LDR told me she was faithful. But looking back, there was no way for me to know that. And since I didn’t know the rhythms of her daily life, how could I know or even see the subtle tell tale signs? It’s so hard to explain to those who don’t know, that a woman can get sex anytime she wants. All she has to do is announce it and watch the men line up, and she chooses the best one. That task is much easier with a BF who sees you once a month or less. Loading...

john doe
Guest
john doe

This sounds a lot like me right now! This chick went to the east coast who i was seeing. Said she’d only be gone for a month. Anyways, like an idiot I’d text and call her often, but almost a month after I last saw her amd without telling me, she starts dating a guy, has sex with him twice after knowing him for just 3 weeks, and gets pregnant. He treats her like shit and she’s devastated. She has to go get an abortion. Now she wants me back! She says she’s changed and yada yada and she has… Read more »

detinennui32
Guest
detinennui32

Sorry to hear that John Doe. Of course she wants you back. Don’t take her back. Don’t walk away. Run. Run quickly and don’t look back.

Badger
Guest

Damn straight. My only LDR was like three months, maybe less, and it still was a big factor in messing up part of my 20’s. It was as much the one-itis for the girl who was leaving town as it was the dynamics of the distance itself. Dumb decision. But I learned from it (it was actually the case that got me into game) and am better for it, in spite of it.

Kane
Guest

Is it really an LDR if you see each other Fri-Sun every week? Some LDRs are close enough to travel to each other every week.
Some jobs will have you based out of and “living” in one city, but you’re in some other random city during the week and free to fly anywhere you want on the weekend.

Hope
Guest
Hope

Long distance works if the girl is truly in love with the guy in return and will sacrifice her time, money and lays out a concrete plan to be with him. All these cases aforementioned sound one-sided.

Rollo Tomassi
Guest

Hope springs eternal.

Dagonet
Guest

This post basically nails the psychology of the LDR. In my experience, the fact that I chose to stay in an LDR as my new girlfriend started at a different college was definitely influenced by my insecurity/perceived lack of options. However, once you have decided to be in a relationship with someone (which implicitly means they are worthy enough for you to want to invest your time and emotions in), it can be difficult to just straight-up say “We’re done.” After improving my game I’d be much more likely to, but if you’re going to make the questionable decision of… Read more »

ABetaMan
Guest
ABetaMan

I married my LDR over 20 years ago and I can tell you everything you’ve said in this post is true. I have a lot of regrets and face a bleak “golden years” as the kids leave and we have a stale, kid focused relationship. Guys, do NOT move to another town or take another job to be near her. To do so sets a horrible precedent. She should follow you. If she won’t, say good bye. I’ve taken the red pill way too late in life to make a difference in my marriage (divorce and restart is not an… Read more »

loveiseasy
Guest
loveiseasy

I agree with the overall idea that most long distance relationships are doomed before they even begin. Geography is a powerful thing and 100s of miles of highway is not a factor to be overlooked when trying to maintain a relationship. I know a couple men who actually have a shit-ton of options like 22 year old investment bankers making 150k a year who choose to hold on to their college girlfriends. It’s amazing really. The man I am currently involved with is quite a catch and I admire him deeply and think of him fondly. We’re essentially best friends… Read more »

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[…] Letting Go of Invisible Friends (LDRs) […]

Sword
Guest
Sword

I had always heard Long distance didnt work, with my borderline girl, I thought ‘im different, we will make it work’.

I was delusional.

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[…] on opposite ends of the state? You’re pining over an LDR and my take on this is that there is no such thing as an LDR; you do not have a relationship with her, nor did you ever really have […]

Keanu
Guest

Fuckkkk….this one hits close to home

anotheronetakesthepill
Guest

Where i come from people say: love in the distance, 4 of them happy!

Sky
Guest
Sky

Like many things I’ve read here, it’s best to avoid talking in absolutes. A friend of mine travels a lot and met someone in Boston when he lives in SF. His rules for LDR are 1.) that there is a plan for it to not be LDR for more than 1 year and 2.) they see each other in person at least once a month. His lover moved to SF to be with him and they are loving it…and my friend is 10 years older and they met when his lover was only 21, and a neuroscience major (so score… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Question:

Girl I’m seeing is about to leave town for 6 weeks for a temporary school rotation. She will be back after 6 weeks. How should this be approached?
Advice?

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[…] first test of the red pill versus your feminized conditioning. Most blue pill guys entertain the ‘invisible friend’ of an LDR (long distance relationship) for the first time at this juncture, or they alter their educational […]

Jack.Rayner
Guest

My only attempt at monogamy was a LDR. We weren’t even that far away (saw each other 2-3 times a month), but even then, I wouldn’t recommend it. Even for people interested in monogamy.

It just prolonged everything. Prolonged how long it took for us to figure each other out, to learn each other’s bad side, and to then accept that things had long been over. It was a waste of time. If we lived closer, and spent more time together, it would have probably never lasted as long as it did.

mothewriter
Guest

I was in a LDR. And now I’m married to him. Worth it.

cruzcontrol
Guest
cruzcontrol

Hi all: I am a 33 year old who is currently in something like an LDR, but doesn’t fit the definition perfectly. In fact, it is possibly even worse, because we officially broke up since 2012 but I still think of her pretty much non-stop. In 2010, when I was 29, I met a wonderful 26 year-old girl during an MBA. Although I had had many partners, my self esteem was always pretty low, so I really thought I had hit the jackpot. She was beautiful and amazing and we really made each other laugh. (See, I still refer to… Read more »

rugby11ljh
Guest
rugby11ljh

Person to person

Mr.Wong
Guest

Hi Guys, Following manosphere for last couple of weeks. I so wish I could have found it at least 2 months before, I would have been able to steer the relationship my way……. Well it was a LDR, my 3rd LDR in span of 10 years, which lasted exactly for 3 months like the previous two. I somehow never felt attracted to women romantically when I meet them in person. I followed one rule to get my lays which was girl should be committed to some other guy. And being honest about the situation of being available to fuck as… Read more »

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

I agree with most of this but I’ve got 2 friends that met their partners online and lived in different countries and both are now happily married. One moved to the states to be with his future wife and the other stayed put as her future husband moved to be with her. As long as you intend to close the distance it can work but if no one wants to move it’s pointless.

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[…] I completely forgot about https://therationalmale.com/2011/09/20/letting-go-of-invisible-friend/ […]

Tom
Guest
Tom

While I agree with the post, I find it lacking coverage.

What about temporary LDR? Say oversea post/deployment or whatnot for a maximum of 6 months then returning to normal non-LDR relationship.

What about if it’s the girl initiating “all the life-altering decisions such as moving around the planet changing jobs or whatnot” while the guy stays put and not affected?

Andrés Barreto
Guest
Andrés Barreto

Here’s my story, i had a LDR with a girl who i thinked that was my soulmate, we share conversations all night by videocall, every day for almost 2 years, i leaved my country for her, she even help me with a ticket from the las country to hers. We spend a weekend together, afther that she saw that she was my only contact in that country and even when she told that she will help me to find job and other things she left me in the street like its not my problem. Afther a few weeks she said:… Read more »

Yollo Comanche
Guest
Yollo Comanche

@Andres

Pues…….te dio en los webos o entendi mal?

Andrés Barreto
Guest
Andrés Barreto

@Yollo me referia a que era el golpe que necesitaba para romper el huevo, algo asi como romper el cascaron

Grigor
Guest
Grigor

When i read this post i just can’t get out of my head the question about the people who succeed with an LDR and the women comes to the guy and lives together and are getting married. My friend i victim of this and had a LDR for over 2+ years but now is very happy and is getting married after her moving to him. When i see this i get confused if i should drop my LDR because i read this post or just continue improving myself and keep her in my frame in general and still try to… Read more »