To those of you unsupportive of my (or anyone else’s) long distance relationship:
I am writing to you today in an effort to open your mind, not only about long distance relationships , but also about judging other peoples’ decisions. Every couple presented with the possibility of long distance faces a challenge unlike any other. Not every couple is willing to take on the distance and some couples won’t make it. Couples who survive long distances have some of the best relationships. They are strong and loving, willing to work together for their mutual wellbeing. But you make it seem like every couple in an LDR will fail. What makes you an expert on the subject?
Maybe you’ve been in an LDR before. You know what it’s like, right? Wrong. You were in a specific long distance relationship. Last time I checked everyone is different and every couple is a unique one. Some couples won’t succeed but others will thrive in a long distance relationship. Maybe long distance isn’t a good fit for you, but it can be for other people.
Perhaps you can’t understand being in a relationship without actually seeing the other person. It’s not a “real” relationship, right? Wrong. Just because you cannot be with someone physically all the time, doesn’t discount the value of the relationship. The world is filled with ways to bridge the gap between people. Skype gives us a virtual togetherness, enabling couples to spend time together while apart. There are a variety of chatting apps to add communication as well. Let’s not act like the physical time together is what defines a relationship. Let’s be honest, most people are probably texting or playing games on your phone when you see your significant other. At least those of us in long distance relationships use technology to strengthen our connection. Of course, physical encounters are important in any relationship and sometimes all I want is a hug, but the most powerful connection between people is communication.
But there are other people closer to me that I can date, right? Wrong. I am in an amazing relationship. I am not looking for anyone else and I don’t want you to “find” me someone. My relationship is healthy and strong. We are compatible and happy together despite the difference. So kindly stop suggesting I find a new man. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Oh, long distance relationships are really hard? You don’t have to tell me that. In fact, I wish that you wouldn’t tell me. I am aware of the challenges brought on by my relationship. Sure, there are a lot of problems that come with an LDR that you won’t find in a “normal” one, but there are also a lot of problems that you won’t face, like proximity issues from living together. Every relationship is different and has unique problems. A long distance relationship can, believe it or not, have less problems than a close-knit relationship.
Long distance relationships are not a mistake. They are not a bad decision. They are not a waste of time. You have no right to tell me that a long distance relationship will never work for me. I chose to be in an LDR and I am actually enjoying it. Just because you could never succeed in one or because you don’t see the point doesn’t mean there isn’t one. There is nothing more frustrating to me than unsupportive friends and family members. These people are supposed to help you with every challenge you face. They’re supposed to hug you and comfort you and respect your decisions. But when it comes to long distance, often times this is not the case.
Let me give you a little warning: If you tell me everything that’s wrong about my choice to be in an LDR I’m probably going to avoid you. I don’t need other peoples’ toxicity in my life. I love my relationship. I am happy. If you keep reminding me of what might happen in my long distance relationship, I’m going to tell you what will happen with ours. I want nothing more than to be happy and if your constant reminders of possible failure are following me around I will be far from happy. If you truly care about me, you will be supportive of my decisions. You can tell me about your concerns for my relationship once, but then can you please to let me live my own life? I really do appreciate you looking out for me, but I am in a good place and this is my life.
Remember that saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Don’t judge a relationship based off of its distance.
A wonderfully happy LDRer
Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Open Letter