The LDR Dilemma: At What Point Is A Long-Distance Commitment No Longer Worth It?

by Julia Kirk

I started my relationship with my boyfriend at the end of our senior year of high school. He was going to school in Boston and I planned to stay in New Jersey.

We've been in a long-distance relationship for more than two years now. We stuck together, despite the fact that for most of the year, we live seven hours apart from each other. We count on sporadic and short visits to get by. We stuck together amidst the hook-up culture that college supports. We have countless Skype dates and send loving e-mails to each other constantly.

The long-distance terms of our relationship seemed to work for a little while, I suppose. However, now that I'm spending a semester abroad, I've begun to realize that maybe absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. Maybe, it just makes the heart grow weaker.

Now, those Skype dates to which I used to look forward just leave a bitter taste in my mouth. Instead of saying, "I love you," one of us is constantly asking the other, "Do you love me?"

Instead of being happy for each other, there is a shadow of jealousy that pulsates under our skin. If I tell him something great that happened to me during my day, he responds with something terrible that happened to him, and vice versa.

Our conversations used to be full of laughter, but they're mostly just arguments and awkward silence, now. Seeing each other behind computer screens suddenly seems toxic for our relationship; I’ve found myself pressing the little red "end" button when I see his name pop up as he tries to call me.

We used to have a foundation of trust that held us together, but that has since been obliterated and I have succumbed to the temptation of seeing other people. My free-spirited and impulsive nature has turned me into a cheater and a liar. It has left our relationship as a shred of what it once was.

I'm not saying long-distance relationships are all bad and I'm not saying it's impossible to make a long distance relationship work. I'm not saying it's always going to be painful, emotional and sad.

I'm just saying that sometimes, life gets in the way. Sometimes, two people love each other, but still yearn for two drastically different experiences in life. Sometimes, the distance apart ironically makes one feel trapped in by the relationship -- stuck in a hole, with any attempt to climb out of said hole hurting the one person you love most.

If there's one thing to learn from a long-distance relationship, it's to be completely sure you are right for each other. Either the distance will turn the two of you into complete strangers, or it will make both of you a hundred times stronger for pushing through it.

Maybe, when we finally see each other again, our relationship will resume back to where it once was. Maybe, one day, we can see time as a friend rather than as an enemy. Maybe one day, we can look back on the time we spent apart and say that it was good for us; it strengthened us.

Time is the only answer and we're at an age when we don't want to wait for something to happen. We are young and impatient. We are thrill seekers, looking for the most we can get out of the world. Our time is short here on this planet, so if you are stuck waiting for your long-distance relationship to work, maybe you should get out now.

If the two of you are really meant to be, it will ultimately work out. Don't force it; if you're away and it doesn't feel right, end it before someone gets more hurt than necessary.

Photo via We Heart It