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.