Friday, August 14, 2015
5 Things It's Okay To Be Angry About In An LDR
LDRs are not easy or the first choice for most couples. They're usually avoided at all costs if possible if you've started out in person. But it's a little different for those of us that started out long distance and then met in person later, like me and Justin. If you met online and then later tell people about your relationship, you're going to deal with some not-so-great things. There are plenty, but here are 5 that seem to be the most common - along with a couple of tips on how to deal with them.
Parents - Luckily for me, my happiness came first when I told my parents about Justin. He made me happy, so they were happy. They, of course, stalked him online a little to make sure no one was getting Catfished, but after that they were all in.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen on the other end. As many of you know, Justin's family is really religious. So, when they found out about me and that I wasn't the same religion I was automatically hated and he was forbidden to ever talk to me again. Two years of secret dating later and I still don't think they've ever been happy about us dating, which is really a bummer but nothing I can change. I just had to hold on to the fact that we were happy and that's all that mattered.
Some parents are never going to like or accept who you date - and if you meet them online, you run the risk of them being suspicious and not on-board for a long time. They want what's best for you (usually) and sometimes they'll fight for you to date someone in the same area instead of someone hours away by plane or car. You have to understand where they're coming from but you also have to follow your own heart. Take what they say with a grain of salt but also take into consideration what they're saying. You may be upset about why they think this person/relationship is a bad idea but sometimes they have really good points and if you listen, you may make better decisions when it comes to continuing your relationship. But it is okay to be upset that your parents don't like who you're dating. You're not going to agree on everything and, if no one is getting hurt, your life is your life.
Friends - Like parents, having friends on your side in an LDR is key. Friends are a great support system and when you have your friends happy that you're happy it makes things a little easier. You can vent and get advice from them when things are tough (which they tend to be more in an LDR because of the distance). But sometimes friends don't exactly act like, well, friends. We had a large issue here (because of religion again) and the majority of some friends never 'approved' of mine and Justin's relationship. A couple did but as things progressed and more members of the church found out about us, those friends were then against us as well. It was really hard to not have Justin be able to text me back in front of friends because they would talk about how disappointed they were or that he was making a mistake. Or that when he was out with friends and brought me up it usually didn't end so well. We would go hours and hours without speaking when he was around friends because he didn't want to get a lecture about us again. It sucked. A lot. Friends should be happy if you're happy, but that's not always the case when your friends don't turn out to be who you thought they were. Honestly there are very few people in California I want to meet when we go visit because I don't feel welcomed. And these people know nothing about me personally, it's all strictly judgments they made themselves which makes me angry.
It's okay to be pissed off at your friends or your SO's friends. It's okay to tell them to mind their own damn business. If you lose friends because of a relationship, were they really your friend to begin with? If someone ditches you after years and years of friendship because you're dating someone they don't approve of (yet there's nothing insanely wrong with your SO) then maybe it's better they left. When things get tough you find out who your true friends are. LDRs are tough and sometimes the ripple effect is losing "friends."
Trust - Personally, I still struggle with this issue. Trust is hard. Trust in an LDR is even harder. You have to trust who you're with, but it's okay to struggle with it. Other girls were involved somewhat in mine and Justin's relationship that really made me question if I could trust him. He would be out one on one with a friend and the next day I would find out it was a girl. They really were probably just friends, but it's never cool to find out your boyfriend spent a night out with another girl and never told you. I still struggle with that kind of trust when he's at work now, but I just have to take a breath and remember that he moved 3,000 miles from home to be with me. That he loves me. It's hard, and that's okay, It's okay to be angry with your SO about issues and at yourself from having a hard time trusting them.
Time - When work, school, friends, family, sports, etc., are taken into consideration in an LDR you run into the issue of time. Sometimes no one can text back for hours or they can't return a phone call. Sometimes your Skype date has to be postponed because friends stopped by unexpectedly. Sometimes a date important to the two of you is forgotten because of family problems. It's frustrating when your form of communication (text, call, Skype) is taken away for longer than you want because you can't just walk or drive to their house and hang out or meet up at dinner after soccer practice. You have to wait. And sometimes wait very impatiently and for a long time. Sometimes we would go hours without texting, I would get a two word reply and then it would be hours before another reply. That's really frustrating when all you want is to talk to and be with someone. It takes its toll and these kinds of issues are one of the top reasons LDRs don't work for a lot of people. And if you have a time zone difference it makes it even harder. Justin was two hours behind me which wasn't so bad, but for those of you in the States with SOs in the UK...I can't even imagine the planning that has to go into phone and Skype dates to keep the connection strong. Being pissed off with these issues is very understandable. You just have to take a deep breath and try to work out a phone/Skype schedule that works for the two of you.
Communication - This kind of goes with the trust area. You have to communicate in an LDR hardcore. You're not there in person to smile, shrug, hug, explain things, etc. You mostly are explaining things via text and we all know how a text can be taken the wrong way. A little more effort here is key. Don't say you're hanging with a friend. Mention what friend. Maybe mention what you're doing. This isn't a controlling/stalker thing, this is just information you would probably know or give in person. "I'm hanging out at Cathy's house after our Spanish midterm" would probably be said in person. Over text it could be easier to quickly write, "I'm hanging with a friend for a bit" because chances are your SO doesn't know who Cathy is. If he's 500 miles away, he wouldn't have met this Cathy so it may seem a little weird to mention her by name. Do it anyway. Knowing your SO's friends' names is really nice. I liked when Justin could mention someone's name and I could remember other stuff I've heard about them. It makes you feel a little more connected. You would, in person, be hanging out with these people so I think it's important to kind of include your SO in that part of your life a little bit.
On the flip side, we all know boys can be...not so great at emotions. Sometimes when they text it can seem short and cold and you'll wonder if they're mad at you. Turns out they're not and they don't understand why you're decoding that message with your Captain Crunch decoder ring. Talking and communicating take a little more effort in an LDR but can be super worth it.
Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Self Strength