Tabatha McGurr is a Brooklyn bred-writer currently residing in Bed-Stuy with her boo and dog Coco. She's been running to the Married To The Mob blog for the past six years. In her weekly column, she gives Complex readers insight into what today's young women really think about love, sex, and relationships.
If anybody asked me whether they should get into a long-distance relationship, I’d tell them to call it a wrap and move onto the next one. Sure, sometimes great couples have to move away from each another, and I understand them trying to make it work, but they’re lying to themselves. We think that love and willpower can keep our minds and bodies from wandering when we’re away, but sadly, we’re all driven by primitive desire. Shit, most couples have trouble with infidelity when they’re glued together 24/7, let alone separated for extended periods of time. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but my experience shows that it’s extremely difficult. Here are a few reasons why...
THE POWER OF SPECULATION
This is the main problem with keeping an exclusive relationship when living far away from your significant other. At first, you’ll be talking on the phone all day long, texting how much you miss each other, and video chatting every chance you get. Then she’ll slowly get used to her changed environment and make new friends, many of which might be dudes. At that point, the calls become less frequent, until eventually you’re sitting there wondering, “Why hasn’t she called? Who’s she with?” She might be studying with her girlfriends or helping out her sick grandma, but most tend to think the worst. You’ll either freak out and start acting like a jealous psycho or run out and party with as many random broads as possible, both of which are unfortunate. There’s no way to know what she’s up to for sure, so unless you’re ready to put all your trust into someone, don’t take the risk.
EVERYONE HAS NEEDS
Even if you totally adore somebody and want to spend the rest of your life with them, it’s extremely hard to ignore attraction to others after a while, especially when you haven’t has sex for a while. Attention, interaction, touch--that’s the shit all of us need to feel special, and it doesn’t always translate through a phone call or computer screen. Flirting with people outside of your relationship might start off completely innocent, or even accidentally, but those little games always evolve into something more. It’s all about staying on your girl enough for her to feel like you’re there with her. Call, text, visit, and send gifts without suffocating her. Also, don’t ever fight or argue over the phone. If you’ve got beef, squash it when you’re around one another, otherwise she’s bound to go cry on the shoulder of the next guy she sees. He’ll love hearing about her asshole boyfriend who lives across the country.
WHAT HUBBY DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HURT HIM
Maybe you put your trust in the wrong chick, or maybe she just realized that she could get away with anything the second you moved apart. Some people take distance as a free pass on morals. Set ups where you can’t keep tabs on your partner almost encourage people to live double lives. The same goes for those who constantly travel for work purposes. It’s too damn easy to fly into a new city, bang a stranger, and keep it moving like nothing ever happened. Not that I encourage it, but if you’re rolling like that, don’t forget to pack protection. You wouldn’t want to bring a nasty souvenir home to the main squeeze.
ALL THE EFFORT BECOMES EXHAUSTING
Even if the above doesn’t apply and your relationship is full of love, trust, and communication, all of that back and forth becomes exhausting after a while. Every sign of affection requires extra effort, from long phone calls to Skype sex sessions, and that gets annoying regardless of how committed you both are. Eventually, you have to ask yourself if all the work you’re putting in is worth it, and if it is, that’s amazing--hold onto each other forever. If not, it’s time to get real and discuss where your relationship is going. Who knows, maybe they’re feeling the same way and don’t know how to tell you. If you think you’re ready for something a little more convenient, don’t waste the other person’s time or dog them out by lying. Just be honest. At least you gave it a shot.
I don’t believe in that long-distance nonsense. There’s way too much freedom to fuck up, and when it comes to sex, we require instant gratification, not horny instant messaging. Some of you might have the strength it takes to be in such complex relationships, but that doesn’t mean your partner does. Like tending to a flower, you have to be there to shower your boo with love and attention everyday, otherwise the love is bound to wither and die.