I’m stuck in a long distance relationship, and when we are together makes me the happiest 35 year old guy on the planet, but when we are apart the most miserable guy on the planet. As this is a new year I’m struggling with what to do?
Dear Long-Distance Lover,
I don’t envy you. Dating is hard enough, but add in too much distance and you have a Molotov cocktail of emotions ready to explode. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but it also makes the loins hornier and, therefore, your judgment cloudier.
The issues you’re dealing with are two-fold; the difficulty of being separated and the enviable ability to perfect someone in your mind because you don’t see them all the time. When you’re in a long-distance relationship, it’s very easy to deify your significant other because they’re not always there to do the annoying things people do, like leaving dirty dishes in the sink or backseat driving. If you only get together every once in a while, you’re always in the honeymoon phase of, “I miss you, I want you, I need you, I love you.” It’s vacation love; not real, arduous, everyday, paying the bills and changing the toilet paper roll love.
A dear friend of mine ended up marrying a man who lived in San Francisco for ninety-nine percent of their courtship. They only lived together for a month before getting married and I’d argue that month didn’t even really count as they were preparing for the big event and living in an altered state of pre-wedded bliss. Once they were man and wife and had to settle in for the long haul, it was a tremendously difficult adjustment for both of them because they had to deal with the reality of the relationship, not the romantic fantasy they got to live out while apart, only to fall into each other’s arms for a few steamy nights before being torn asunder again.
If you really want to make your relationship work, you need to get it into the long-term real world. That means an extended interlude filled with morning breath, arguments when you’re hungry, lost and looking for a restaurant, crammed schedules that need to accommodate more than sex and spooning; all the stuff couples have to hurdle over to decide if they’re really right for each other. Until you do that, you’ll never know if you’re really in love or just in love with the heartache that comes from not getting the thing you want the moment you want it.
*Feel free to email us with any dating, relationship, love and sex questions you may have for Sasha.