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She Wanted A Long Distance Relationship And This is Why I Said No

Recently, I spent some time with a girl I used to date and when we dated it was picture perfect. Every moment we spent, we thought, if life found a way to put us in the same place at the same time, we could be in a relationship. I would actually make a commitment to her, but it had to be under the condition of us living in the same city. I wasn’t about to do long distance, which is something she was willing to do.

Every time she brought it up I told her I couldn’t and every time she wanted a reason I would tell her things like how long distance didn’t work. I tried it before. I was 29 and too old for that type of situation. Eventually, she relented, and stopped asking me. Eventually she went on her way. And though the two of us will still talk even as she settles down halfway across the country, I hope she understands why her and I at a distance won’t work for me. When a friend of mine asked me last night why I chose to not do a long distance relationship, this is what I told her.

It’s not because of the bad times. Bad times are bad times. No matter the distance, bad times suck and they suck badly. For me, long distance relationships truly show their limitations during the moments of happiness.

I can remember the times when I was younger and thought the distance was nothing. Long hours on the phone, some lengthy email and iChat conversations, frequent visits, and that’s all there was to it. Communication was the key to our survival, long as we had that, I thought, we would be okay. But sometimes, it was to our own demise.

When I’m having a conversation with a woman and we’re laughing, and we’re connecting on nearly every talking point, I don’t want her to disappear after her phone clicks. I want to lay next to her and let the silence of our words be replaced by simple sleep in the same bed together at the same time. What do I look like holding my phone all close waiting for it to ring or vibrate so I can talk to her again on the other end?

It’s the good times by yourself that wake you up to the cold reality the person with whom you would most like to share the moment, isn’t there. Calling your person up to tell them good news about the promotion or the raise or the great day is what any of us would do. But why put myself in a situation where I know the person I’m calling isn’t going to be home waiting for me to celebrate further?

The good times are the hardest times in a long distance relationship. When I was most happy in the long distance relationships I did attempt, I remember how bittersweet every one of those moments were. They were so drastically different than the good times I had with the women who were close. They couldn’t even compare, and to me, that’s what hurt me the most.

When you’re in a long distance relationship, sometimes you don’t want to go out simply to avoid the risk of meeting someone who is close. I remember times I would rush home after a long day of work, excited to get on the phone and talk to someone for hours on end. It all seemed so great, but in retrospect, it was what we were forced to do. Even the best conversation in the world can’t compare to the feeling of coming home to someone and without having to say so much as  a word, receiving a hug or a kiss from them.

Then there’s the visits, which always hurt more at departure than feel good at arrival. To those who have never given this long distance thing a try, trust me when I say, the smile we wear for the length of the visit is never on our face for a greater amount of time than the frown we wear when we leave.

The way I see it, if long distance relationships were really so great, then why don’t people just stay in them? The answer is simple. Those people who are great in long distance relationships, don’t stay in them because they know like I know, the better it gets, the worse it feels. And  the only way to change that is to pack some bags and say hello, with no thoughts of ever saying goodbye.

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  • Shai.R

    I read your blog every day, first time writing a comment. You were on point with this post, having experienced that same hurt, I completely agree with you when you say “the better it gets the worse it feels”. Great post 🙂

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    I recently got out of a 4 year relationship. We spent two years in the same city and two years apart. I totally agree with everything you wrote in this post. I will NEVER do a long distance relationship again. The fact that I was constantly sleeping alone yet “in a relationship” is what bothered me the most.

  • maria

    this …. hit home, one hundred percent.
    thank you.

  • booboonotthefool

    Long distance relationships are hard in that way- but I feel like technology goes a long way in making them more bearable. I think the HARDEST parts are when your schedules don’t align. Maybe you live in different time zones, maybe you just keep different hours, or maybe you are just in different places in life. It’d def hard sleeping along, but for a good relationship I think it’s MORE than worth it.
    I’d rather have a good man who is a phone call a way than a sorry one that can be over at the house when I call him. I agree it makes going harder; but I find myself looking forward to the next time we see each other like a little kid waiting for Christmas. I think it’s romantic that communication is the thing that sustains the LDR- kind of like the way men and women communicate when one is overseas….
    I think part of the reason LDRs are hard is because we want WHAT we want WHEN we want it- which def makes it hard when we can’t see the boo on demand.

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  • http://yahoo namia

    You right about one thing..those happy moments one does want to share them. Long distance is ok..when there is a definite the near future. Making two years now with my Boyfriend… we get to miss the hugs kisses etc….but its been a great two years..dint think i would ever do this for any one..but he is worth it and am humbled he is doing it with me

  • Tamia W

    You are soo right .. Long distance is HARD and i know… I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years now and the first 4 years we were apart we were both away at school … I saw him once a month if we were lucky… We dealt with the hand giving and at time it was very hard … i hated going to see him because it hurt so bad to leave him. But we soke every day like a hundred times a day… we were forced to be great communicators …. In the end we both moved back to our respective home towns and currently live together … I would never do long distance ever again !!! Great post

  • mboogie

    I’ve done 3 multi-year long distance relationships that didnt last and this is very much on point…the line that hit home the most: “The good times are the hardest times in a long distance relationship.” …b/c its so true….

    this is my first time posting a comment…really appreciate this blog post

  • Dae

    Ok I said I wouldn’t post a comment, but this post is too relatable not to. I have been in two LDRs (one for 11 months and another for 2 years) and I have learned that they have both their pros and cons. For example, the worst part is not getting to see the person “on demand.” But, I can honestly say I got to know my exes who lived far away alot more than the ones who lived closed by. You’re forced to communicate, forced to learn each other, and you know that your relationship is based on much more than physical attraction. It’s so much easier falling in love that way.

    But I digress, I would much rather have a partner close by, yet these days all of the wonderful people I meet or that I’m really interested in live far away. I don’t think distance should keep you from pursuing a relationship with someone who you feel really strongly about.

    You should choose not to be with a person based on things you don’t like about them that can’t or won’t be changed. But distance can easily be changed. Who knows, you might be passing up on your forever person for the person who lives next door, but won’t make you nearly as happy.

  • Alexis

    I completely agree with this post.

    I too had a similar situation in which someone wanted a long distance relationship but I was completely opposed to it because I knew what would happen. You begin to miss that person and want them by your side and its not easy. There’s only so much texting, phoning and video chat you can do before you realize if this arrangement is working right for you.

  • Mikael

    I really needed it right now. I have been considering a long distance relationship and after reading this, I can see how it would be such a bittersweet thing. Saying you talked me out of it would be an overstatement, but you’ve made me seen the light about it, so thanks. =)

  • Don’t know it all
  • Dragonessa Fiore

    You are right on…and this hits close to home for me. Ive been in 2 long distance relationships… because for the exact same reasons you listed here, he made sure we didnt stay long distance for long. We lived in 2 different countries to start, and within a few months we were living together.

    Ironically, the one that that didnt turn out well actually lives right here in my city. He may as well be in another country we saw so little of each other. But that was more a case of just not caring enough to make the time. After over 2 years of that, I never again want to be “taken yet alone”

    “Even the best conversation in the world can’t compare to the feeling of coming home to someone and without having to say so much as a word, receiving a hug or a kiss from them.” Exactly!

  • Erica

    Hmm…I agree. BUT (which seems to be the sentiment that everyone is taking)….to kind of put a twist on this conversation you have to look at our society’s condition as a whole. Currently, everyone is highly mobile. People are not staying in one place for long. Jobs move people around, higher education, and just other desires to be somwhere else. My question is how we are to deal with our potential mobility in the midst of trying to meet people with the intent of some longevity. If we keep this whole no distance stipulation then we will continue meeting people that we have to keep letting go. It then becomes not about who you are good with but who is convenient. I’d take the connection with the distance over convenience any day. I really don’t want to look over at a man and know that I’d rather be with someone else “if only” he was in the same state. That seems wack to me!

  • jat

    Great post as usual. I’ve tried long distance relationships and this line stood out to me the most:
    “the smile we wear for the length of the visit is never on our face for a greater amount of time than the frown we wear when we leave.”

    So true and its the reason why I won’t do it anymore. Nothing compares to having someone to come home to. And until someone is ready to move, the difficulties outweigh the good for me.

  • Natasha

    You make good points. I moved from my home town three years ago because of better opportunities. Now that I think about it moving is one of the reasons I never settled down because I always felt I was in transition. So now I am like ok, I am in one spot so I am open to a relationship. If I move to another city due to a relationship I want to make sure that opportunites for career advancement are there too!

    “I want to lay next to her and let the silence of our words be replaced by simple sleep in the same bed together at the same time.”

    Ok, that’s it…I am packing and moving to NYC:)

    “And the only way to change that is to pack some bags and say hello, with no thoughts of ever saying goodbye.”

    That’s right. If I am going to move it would be because I am planning a wedding. I would not risk everything for just my boyfriend.

  • Coolhand Luke

    Great post Jozen. Never really thought about it in those terms, but it’s hella true. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, especially since I’m gonna have to reference them quite soon. lol

  • BoomShots

    Having done it, never again. Great when it was casual but the more intimae it became the worst it became. You try to cram all your intimacy into the short stays and that is even a little unnatural.
    You can’t even disagree like other folks because you don’t want to waste that time together arguing. I am very spontaneous in my personal life and long distance relationships make it difficult to say “let’s take a trip this weekend, just the 2 of us.”

    I commend people who are able to sustain these types of relationships because they require a lot of restraint in my experience.

  • brownivyx

    I don’t do LD relationships either, based on prior experience from long ago. I learned early, a solid percentage of the wonder of relationships (for me) is intimacy and affection, much of which requires a physical presence. Skype is cool and all, but it can’t hold me when I’m sad or gaze at me across a room with *that* look or take me out for ice cream just because…

    The only way in which I could see LDR’s working is if it’s an open relationship…in which case, there are stand-ins to fill the void left by those who can’t be there.

  • Ronnie6676

    Long distance relationships are difficult and I think you hit the nail on the head about how the good times apart are the toughest. It takes alot of self knowledge to know it isn’t for you and not let anyone (even someone you’d love to be with) pressure you into it. Nice post 🙂

  • Sincerely Me

    Wow!! This is soo true! I know exactly what this is like. Been there and still kind of doing it!!

  • B

    First time commenting 🙂

    Great post Jozen. This post hit too close for me not to comment. Me and my SO are currently in “more than friends, but less than official gf/bf” stage. I’m willing to do the LDR while he is not. Your post definitely brought some things to the light, but I would have to agree with Erica. I’d rather choose connection over convenience. Its always good to see both sides, but sucks when it’s not in your favor. *sigh*

  • M. Hendricks

    Never been in a long distance relationship and the reasons you have stated is the reason why.

  • Nicole

    On point. I am in the midst of trying to get back to my home state because of a situation like this. It is a huge risk, because he, like you doesnt want to be in a long distance relationship so for 7 years we have dated and done everything that goes along with it without a label. Now because my heart tells me so, I am risking alot to pick up and move and I understand that he has made me no promises. It is a chance I have to take though.

  • Dae

    @brownivyx Ironic that you mentioned the only was a LDR could work is if it’s an open relationship. I had a guy suggest that to me recently. I understand the concept, but my question is if it’s open, is there really a commitment? What are you committing to do?

    And if we’re saying that eventually one person should move, how do you get to that point in an open relationship?

    These are the questions…

  • Teach It

    Great points, Jozen. There isn’t a ‘problem’ with LDRs, but there has to be an end in mind. An LDR couple can’t simply date to be dating, so goals and deadlines have to be set to keep the relationship moving forward. I once considered an LDR, but luckily he showed his arse loooong before it got serious.

  • dwillwrite

    @ Nicole. I hope you think long and hard but I wish you well.

    In just about every long distance relationship of folks I know, the moment one moves and it invariably it is the woman, things fall apart. Uproot job, give up apartment, the whole bit down the drain. It’s a chance you have to decide if it is worth it. Some folks long distance marriages, bless their hearts.

  • Miss Malorie

    Beautifully, beautifully put. Any thought I ever had about why I don’t do long distance relationships, you just articulated in a better way than I could have. I remember watching this news special about a woman who was married, but lived in a different state than her husband. For her, it worked, and I wondered if that was really a good idea… I know I don’t like living with people and I like my space to stay the way I left it when I went to work that morning, but the thing that would never work for me is the fact that when you love someone, you find yourself loving the good times as well as the bad. I’d rather come home to my guy getting on my nerves than to come home and realize he’s not there at all. Long distance is for the birds… literally.

  • brownivyx


    I think an open relationship *can* be a full-fledged commitment. But it hinges on several important factors: 1) that both parties have the ability to compartmentalize any outside interactions as completely separate from their relationship and feelings for each other and are able to treat it as such 2) that both parties are all in on this agreement-not one all in and one appeasing the other 3) that both parties are completely honest and forthcoming about each other’s quirks and deal-breakers regarding the arrangement and show complete respect for the other’s feeling where applicable.

    It’s not an easy thing, and I myself am not sure if I would be capable of it, especially the further along we get in the relationship. But others have succeeded. And failed. Much like “monogamous” relationships, which also have their own built-in flaws and baggage.

  • JCC

    You have a great blog this explains a lot for me as a woman however I had a situation where it seemed as if the man was resistant to the idea of another long distance relationship for himself and then at some point acted as if he were more open to the idea as we progressed in our friendship. Now well…the whole thing is off lol Which is interesting I always thought that if a man is set in his ways he isn’t really likely to change

  • Scoob

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. They don’t work…

  • GoldenQueen

    Your posts always hit close to home Jozen. My ex just got in contact with me today and wants to get back together but I’m moving away for college in August. You have left me with some things to think about. Thank you for posting.


    My LDR ended in blissful marriage. So although some people say that they don’t work at all, Here is proof that it DOES work, but only if both people in it are willing to work equally hard to keep it alive. Being away from your companion is definetly hard, but if you know that eventually you WILL be together for good, then it will be well worth the wait… it was for me at least.

  • LDRer

    I see LDRs in a positive light because I am surrounded by men and women in LDRs. I am International and a good number of us come to the US leaving our loves at home or our SOs go to different parts of the US for school. If you want to keep your relationship…the only option is to enter an LDR. Some of these relationships are successful because there is an endpoint (this is one of the biggest reasons LDRs work out, in my humble opinion)

    I am in an LDR and yes the good times are the worst when both of you are apart. The visits always tear me apart and the “alone but in a relationship” thing can be so real…but I wouldn’t give this one up for anything. It has been my best relationship yet and yes it makes it easier for me now because our LDR deadline is only months away 😀 but it has not been a walk in the park. We are much closer because we went through this together.
    I 100% respect you for knowing that LDRs are not your thing, it will save you and this girl a lot of headache.

  • SexyKatt

    I am a daily reader of your blog, this is my first time ever commenting.
    I truly appreciate this specific blog because I WAS a firm believer in LDR ( have done LDR’s from the age of 18 to 28), now that I am older I can TOTALLY relate to your words and dont really go for LDR’s. I will still give a LDR a shot ( I have no choice -no variety of men here- Ft Myers, Fl) but it is truly a hard thing to go through. I did a local relationship and the support and QT you receive is like no other, you can receive LDR support but it just doesnt compare.
    Thanks for this post. Have a great one. I love

  • Fallible Sage

    I won’t do a long distance relationship except under three conditions. It began as a close distance relationship and something changed in our lives that caused the geographical distance, the feelings are strong, and there’s a plan in place to eventually close the gap between us… and even then I can imagine it’s hard. For many of the same reasons you described, and a few others. I don’t like talking on the phone, I can talk for hours in proximity, but the need of an apparatus and the void of body language and touch make it an inferior exchange for me. It’s the good and the bad times too. Sometimes just being able to read a person can go a long way in appreciating sincerity or interpreting what they were trying to say, can help bridge the gap. I need to be able to see you touch you make love to you when we feel like it. There is enough to limit us with our separate lives, I’m not throwing distance on the pile. It’s like constantly waiting to unwrap a gift, or constant cliffhanging. Plus, proximity can make the next woman, who probably dulls next to your shine, shine a little brighter simply because she’s there.

  • mEL

    I agree 101% on this one. I have lived this. Its so true. And i will never do it again!!

  • JCC

    I agree with Heaven if both of you make the effort and know that eventually you will both be in each others vicinity then you can make them work

  • S

    Totally agree….I am in a LDR myself and though it can be really hard at times, I would not change anything. As you said, what helps is that both people are equally committed to it and the fact that both people believe it will end!
    It stays temporary no matter how long it takes to get there….

    Great post nonetheless 😉

  • Jane

    Thanks for your post, it gives me a bit more hope! I met my boyfriend while I studied abroad in London, we dated but I was coming home and we ended things…couldn’t stay that way for long. He is from London, I’m American, it’s been almost 3 years now and a lot money spent flying back and forth but for us the time together makes the lonely nights all worth it. Whenever someone asks me about it, I always say if I couldn’t see myself marrying him, I would never keep this going, hopefully our LDR will end just as yours did!

  • an

    I have to agree with those who favor LDR. I’ve been in a LDR prior to this relationship (which is ironically a LDR) and told myself the same thing… I will never do it again. Then, I met my fiance and we started dating for six months until he had to move. (He’s in the military) I went into this relationship knowing he was moving. What set him apart is the fact that we both came into this relationship for the long run. Not just some fling. We both knew we wanted this to eventually work out into a marraige. If it didn’t then it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really really hard but when it’s the right person the distance shouldn’t be the reason why you’re not with that person. It’s also about sacrafice and compromise. Having the same goals and especially life goals. Dating just to date won’t work because you’re eventually going to feel like you’re in it for nothing. Which is a horrible feeling. LDR is not for everyone but it can work. I actually really enjoyed this article because you’re right in so many ways. But remember that those are YOUR reasons why it wouldn’t work for you. Not everyone elses. Thanks for the post though, I really did enjoy it.


    I have been in a long distance relationship for 8 years (almost 9) and we are still going.  We are only three hours away from each other, but with work and kids, etc., it has been challenging.  That being said, there are things I would change if I knew how hard it would be sometimes, but I would not give him up for the world.  He is the best thing that every happened to me and even though I totally can relate to the sad almost painful feeling  when either he leaves me or I leave him, I still can’t live without him in my life.  Modern technology has helped a great deal, Skype, texting, cell phones, e-mail, etc…  We even meet in the middle sometimes for just an afternoon away.  I know that someday one of us will  make the choice to move and we will be together on a daily basis.  It is something we talk about on occasion.  However, right now, this LDR is working.

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  • souly

    LDR are hard. In my case we were together in the same city for one year and we are going on three years apart. I can relate to what you are saying about when the visits are over and you have to depart again, it’s heartbreaking!! And to do it over and over again is trying to say the least. I am happy to say that we are planning to marry next year and he will relocate so we can be together again. However, if I ever was back in the dating world I would not chose a LDR again.

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