How Quarantine Changed My Perspective on Long-Distance Relationships
Updated: 6 days ago
I live in Dallas, Texas, and if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that the love of my life does not. I don’t really know where the love of my life lives, and I honestly don’t even know if he exists, but if he does, he isn’t here - I’ve done my research. So, what option does that give me? Prior to this quarantine, I wouldn’t have really considered a long-distance relationship. Though I have dabbled with the idea, nothing serious ever came of it, and I decided it was too much commitment with not enough payoff. With social distancing leaving me with nothing to do except work, sleep, eat, flirt, and reflect, I’ve come to the conclusion that long-distance might not only be a viable option for me, but it could even be a preferred option. Here’s why:
The first thing that comes to mind right now when I hear the word ‘relationship’ is not right now. Why? Because there are so many things I want to focus on as an independent individual and I don’t want to commit my efforts to someone else. Though obviously my end goal is to find ‘the one’, I’ve come to realize that I am in no rush. Relationships take a lot of time and effort, which many young adults like myself, just don’t have that to spare. Even though I think that I might want a relationship, I also know that I want to be able to freely allocate my time without having to constantly take another person's wants, needs, and expectations into consideration.
Being single allows me to work those late nights, stay out all night with my friends, and do whatever I want whenever I want. People often tell me that a healthy relationship shouldn’t be limiting, but even the healthiest relationships are limiting in a sense. Even once you take your partner's expectations out of consideration, your own desire to want to spend time with your significant other might prevent you from focusing on other things. Boss wants you to stay late to finish working on a deal but you’re a little too eager to rush off work to go see bae? It doesn’t seem like a solid career move, but hey, the heart wants what it wants, right? Wrong.
Thanks to this pandemic, none of us are really able to date, at least not in the traditional sense. So if you’re anything like me, you have probably flirted your way into multiple situation-ships out of sheer quarantine boredom. I did learn a valuable lesson about long-distance relationships - they can provide you with the emotional connection and mental stimulation that you crave without consuming too much of your time.
As each day of quarantine passes and we get closer to the end of this awful season, I continuously make cuts from my roster. While thinking about who all needs to be cut, I stumbled upon a boy that I’ve actually grown to like. The problem? He lives in New York City. Somehow the boys I’m into always end up living on the opposite side of the country. Quite the problem for a Dallas girl, right? Well, maybe not anymore. Given that two of my biggest concerns about getting into a relationship right now are my inability to find an eligible boy in Dallas (hey, I have a type and they don’t wear Sperrys and Vineyard Vines) and my concerns about the relationship becoming all too consuming of me and my time - I think quarantine may have helped me find the perfect solution.
When it comes to serious relationships, you’re looking for someone who could potentially be your forever. So, ‘kicking it’ with someone might not be one of your top priorities. You’re probably looking for someone supportive and compatible that you can ultimately build a life with, so why limit yourself to the people who live near you? It’s too early to tell if Mr. New York qualifies for long term, but he does satisfy my carnal need for emotional intimacy without taking up too much of my time.
We initially met when I was in the big apple last September, but we didn’t end up talking until he hit me up on Instagram shortly before lockdown began. It started with some fun banter in the DM’s and continued on. Whether it was a quick phone call to talk about our days, or some fun text exchanges, as the days passed, it started to feel like an actual relationship. We formed a strong connection because it was all emotional without the physical aspect confusing us. Without being able to rely on physical activities like watching tv or sitting in each other's presence while scrolling through Tik Tok, the time we actually spent communicating was meaningful. Though it was limited, it consisted of quality conversation and gave us the ability to really understand how the other thinks. We were also able to have a good balance of spending time chatting while also prioritizing work, hobbies, and our other in-person relationships (friends, family, etc).
A huge advantage we have in the 21st century is that booking flights across the country is as easy as ordering groceries from Amazon. Just because you don’t live in the same city, doesn’t mean you’ll never get to hang out. With flight prices at an all-time low, you can easily take advantage of your current work from home status and go quarantine with your long-distance boo. When thinking about the possibility of a serious LDR, I realize that visiting each other once or twice a month will make that in-person time so much more meaningful, plus I can still get all the time I want to focus on my career aspirations and other important relationships.
If all goes well, eventually someone will have to relocate. You can’t have a long-distance marriage, can you? Well, maybe you can, I’m not here to judge. Prior to getting serious with someone who lives in another city, you should both talk openly about whether or not you are willing to relocate. If neither of you is, then maybe this isn’t the right approach for you.
Another con that comes with this is the price tag. Flights aren't always going to be as cheap as they are now, so if both people aren't working or making enough to incorporate monthly travel into their budget, it might be a more difficult journey. It’s not impossible, but you might have to get accustomed to the idea of not being able to see your significant other every month.
You’re opening the door to more options, therefore enhancing your chances of really finding your true match rather than settling for anyone within a 50-mile radius. Your soulmate might be in your current city or they might be across the country. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by cutting out those possibilities for the sheer fact of convenience. The world has 7 billion people, why restrict yourself to just the singles who live near you?
Once you find someone you think is worth commitment, the distance draws a natural boundary, allowing you to spend more time on you. You’ll get to put all your efforts towards turning into the best version of yourself, while still having the stability and support of a committed relationship.
With all this being said, change your Tinder location to nationwide and enjoy the ride! Let us know your thoughts on long-distance relationships in the comments below and stay tuned for more.