Willing to Go the Distance

Priyal Kanabar

Someone once told me that the typical long distance relationship does not work because the typical arms do not reach the long distance. This got me thinking…it must be something very special that makes a long distance relationship work. But once you have found that special something, it becomes worthwhile despite the lack of physical contact. In those cases, long distance relationships have many advantages.

It is so exciting to be with someone from a different place, first of all, because their exoticness makes them very attractive. A nice tan. A cute accent. And then because your romance will always have the prospect of a vacation coming up. Spending the summer in Brazil with your Latino lover is so much more thrilling than spending it at home watching movies with your boyfriend whom you see all the time.

Your perception of him is not all clouded by all the oxytocin (the sex hormone) so you can really get to know each other. So, if you are fascinated by each other, you can spend ages talking on Skype and it does not get boring, you would happily miss a party because talking to him is so much more exciting, then it seems that you have met someone you really connect with. And long distance is the best test of whether your relationship actually has a deep connection under all the romance. The mixture of strong attraction and deep friendship is what makes a great relationship; long distance gives you the opportunity to put your attraction aside for some time and really develop a friendship.

Independence. You cannot become dependent. Your whole life will not be consumed by your relationship. I know so many people who seem to have become extinct after getting into a relationship. They never go out anymore. They never leave the warm and lovely enclave of their private relationship world. Their friends never see them.

This is not what I want.

A relationship would be an important part of my life, but it would be an aspect, not an all-consuming force. But I understand that it is easy to fall into that situation where you haven’t seen anyone but your boyfriend in the past week. So a huge advantage of a long distance relationship is that it is impossible to get into this situation. You have time for yourself and your friends, you have the independence to do what you want, and you have an amazing relationship. I think you, as an independent person doing what you want to is so much more happy and attractive than the you who spends all her time with her boyfriend.

Distance can add fire to love. Not having that person there all the time means that you won’t get to that comfortable but boring stage where you start to take each other for granted. Many times I have seen couples who don’t seem to like each other very much anymore. Yet they stay together because they are attached and comfortable; neither one is happy or excited, but they just keep with it. We are too young for this! A long distance relationship is uncomfortable. Long periods of longing followed by short periods of intense happiness. But this is thrilling. If you are in a long distance relationship and it is working, then you can be sure that it is because you really like the person, it is not because you are attached or comfortable, because it is impossible to be when the person is so far away. And when finally you go to Brazil, you can be sure that your sex will be on fire.

An anecdote-in a recent carpool I met an old man who traveled to China in his youth. He met a girl, they knew each other for 3 weeks and he came back to the States. They wrote letters because they enjoyed talking to each other so much, long distance phone calls were too expensive and Skype and Facebook didn’t exist. Now, 28 years later, they are happily married and have been for a long time. So the wise old man gave me some advice after telling me his story: It is a rare thing to meet someone who you are fascinated and excited by. If it happens, have some patience and go with it, you don’t know where it will lead.

Having reflected on the advantages of long distance, I have become inspired: I’m going to go out tonight, find myself a very nice Brazilian foreign exchange student, fall in love, establish an amazing connection, feel sad then when he leaves at the end of this quarter, then spend the rest of the year saving up money and dreaming of my summer in Brazil, which I will spend romancing at Carnival. This is my plan. I hope it inspires you. Happy Valentine’s Day.