I've been dating my boyfriend for 8 years (adorable but also like WTF). We met our freshmen year of high school and if you would've asked us then if we'd still be together now, the answer would of been a simple "lol" (AKA no f*cking way). But it turns out we're really good at being in a relationship, so good that 8 years later we still find random sh*t to talk about, we still laugh at eachother's horrible horrible jokes, but most of all we still find it adorable when the other one is wasted and leaves a 5 minute long voicemail just so you know "they're thinking about you." (Ok no one wants to hear about your perfect f*cking relationship, pls move on). 

Near the end of high school, I  decided I was going to attend the University of Oregon (Go Ducks) and he decided he was going to stay in state. Mutually, we agreed that it would be best if we broke up the summer before college so that we each could enter this new time in our lives as individuals, and then decide if we were willing to enter a long distance relationship. Fast forward 4 months and I realized he was a pretty epic boyfriend (I don't want to speak for him but I think he also realized I was the f*cking sh*t) and we decided to give the whole long distance thing a try.

Now, 5 years later we've graduated college, I live in New York City and he's living in Colorado. We're still pretty good at this whole relationship thing (in fact, the drunken voicemails have greatly increased) but the truth is, our generation has heavily romanticized the idea of long distance relationships. I've decided it's time someone gave it to you straight. Because even though it's worked for me, it's something I would absolutely never recommend to anyone else. 

To begin, I thought we could go over my favorite excuses for why people say their long distance relationships work:

1. "Distance makes the heart grow fonder." This is true, for about a month. Your heart doesn't get fonder and fonder over time. Eventually, distance makes your heart f*cking annoyed. 

2. "A little time together is better than no time at all." Although in theory, this is true, a little time together isn't a relationship. A little time together is really fun, in fact, it's a ball. But for every day you had together, tack on one or two more to allow your heart to recover from getting used to being a part. That takes a ton of emotional resilience. 

3. "Every time we're together it's like nothing's changed." BULLSH*T. Warning: Once in a long distance relationship, every time you see them something will have changed. From what their favorite song is (seems like such a little thing, it's not) to where they live. You can say your specific time together feels the same as it did when you lived in the same place (if you have) but what makes up a relationship is those little things, those day-to-day details. 

4. "Being in a long distance relationship has allowed me to find  independence." Okay I will admit, I've used this excuse before and every time I catch myself saying it I get upset and I don't really mean it. Why? Because you shouldn't be in a relationship if you're not independent. If you need hundreds or even thousands of miles between you and your significant other to find independence, that's not a strength of your relationship, it's a weakness within yourself. 


The number of times I've had people come up to me and say things like "it's so amazing you guys have made it work this long," or "I've told my friends about your relationship and now they're giving long distance a try," are countless,  and although it's such a compliment, I also feel a little guilty. Relationships are hard work, add miles in between and now you're talking a full-time job. 

Here's the bitter truth. A long distance relationship probably won't work out. Ugh what a sh*tty thing for me to say I know, but that's what's real. It's worked well for me, and for some other people I know, but using other relationships as an example of what you should/can expect from your own, is setting yourself up for failure. 

Comparison really is the thief of joy. If you begin your long distance relationship (or any relationship) using other peoples' success as a point of reference, it isn't going to work. Statistics are literally against you. 


Now, you're  probably asking yourself, Shelby, how did you make your long-distance relationship work your cynical b*tch? And that's a good question. But it's more of the why I made my relationship work rather than the how. I chose to make my relationship work because my boyfriend is kind, smart, respectful, trusting, and most of all, my best friend. 

That's it, that's the secret. Find someone who's a really awesome person and if you need miles in between you to remind yourself of how awesome that person is, than a long-distance relationship isn't the right option for you. In fact, that person isn't the right partner for you. The ultimate goal is to be together all of the time, and that commitment can't be justified by the ability to make a relationship work under difficult conditions. Not even distance. And a lot of times, people use that as a reason to stay in a realtionship, even one that's clearly no longer working out. 


Don't do it if you don't have to. And if you feel like you "have to", make sure it's because you know it's actually the best solution for you and your partner, and not because your friend knows someone who knows someone who has made it work and apparently the sex is better when you only see them once a month. It shouldn't be looked at as a challenge to overcome or a way to prove everyone else wrong about your relationship. It should be done because you'll literally be happier because of it. And you know what? Most people are a lot happier together, in the same place. 

So to all you ladies and gents out there who are considering a long distance relationship, take it from a pro: Make sure that person is really f*cking dope. So dope that you can imagine living life without them, because you know what? You will be most of the time. And it takes a really special person to be okay with that level of personal sacrafice.