Long Distance Relationships March 11, 2009Posted by Onely in As If!, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
Tags: heteronormaholes, independence in relationship, long distance relationship, overseas relationship, short distance relationship
My ex-boyfriend broke up with me because he was “tired of coming home alone”. At the time, he lived in Florida and I lived in beautiful Northern Virginia. He said he wanted to date someone (anyone!) in his own city for a change, so that he wouldn’t have to come home alone most nights. Of course our breakup also involved other incompatiblities (for example, I wasn’t an asshole, and he was), but the coming-home-alone thing shocked me more than anything else. One of the things I had loved about our long-distance relationship (LDR) was that I had so much private space, which included coming home alone most nights.
I think that people with a Onely mindset tend to not mind LDRs as much as other people do. In fact, I think that we even specifically seek out LDRs. Some people (generally heteronormaholes) might see this as unhealthy, because they view LDRs as inherently inferior to, whaddyacallem, short distance relationships (SDRs). But as we can see from paragraph one, LDRs are only a problem if the people involved have different ways of regarding distance.
Looking back, I think I would have been happy to carry on with my LDR for years. I liked making trips to other state(s) to see my boyfriend, having mini special vacations, and then returning to my regular, independent life with my own house and friends and schedule. I was functionally single, but because I was officially coupled, I remained immune to social singlism (Heteronormahole: “You’re so great, why don’t you have a date?” Me: “Oh, my boyfriend’s in North Dakota right now” Heteronormahole: “Oh, that’s ok then”).
My esteemed Onely co-blogger Lisa–far be it from me to speak for her, but I’m going to anyway–had an LDR for three years. Her boyfriend, more mobile than she was, didn’t make an effort to relocate to her area, and although well-meaning friends told Lisa to give him an ultimatum, she never did. In retrospect, I think she was actually enjoying her time as a functional single and simply had no great motivation to change it. She was pre-Onely, if you will.
I too was a bit of a serial long distance relationshipper. My post-college relationship was between Germany and the US and then Thailand and the US, and subsequently in NoVA I tended to prefer dating guys who lived over an hour away in rush hour, and to be attracted to men who I knew were returning to their home states that next weekend. Wierd, or Onely?
When we advocate the idea that singles can be happy and productive members of society, we also have to open our minds to the validity and benefits of long-distance-dating for some people. Conceptually, long distance couples don’t differ that much from couples who decide to postpone living together, who date happily while living in separate houses across town, or who work very different shifts and only see each other at home one day a week.
We wonder how many of our Copious Readers had had–or would prefer–an LDR over an SDR?