*Waves* Hello everyone! A thing I have noticed is that there is very little written about Long Distance Relationships (LDRs), yet there are constant threads asking for advice. So after a few requests, I figured I would put my experience on paper.
For the sake of simplicity I will be using the DDlg pronouns - I do not devalue any other identity or role.
Let me first start this by saying one thing - I fucking hate LDRs. I will always hate LDRs and I blame my LDR for a particularly ugly part of my life. However. I will always be indebted and grateful for the fact I live in a world that allowed my LDR to happen. Without this option, my Forever Daddy and I never would have met. I would still be searching for my other half instead of him sitting right next to me. And so though I despise LDRs, I have a fond appreciation of what they can do for people. Which is why I am here.
A little bit about my LDR - My LDR started in October 2016. We literally lived on the other side of the world - United States vs. Australia. We were in an LDR for a collective 15 months where an additional 2 were spent in person (5 months into the relationship we met in person). We lived 9134 miles away (14699.75 km) and no one in our family or among our friends truly believed we would be together. Our 2 year anniversary is this October 22nd. So you be the judge of that.
When it comes to LDRs there are so many elements that people never warn you about. They don’t think of telling you how the smallest things can have the biggest impacts. They don’t warn you that to survive an LDR, how you must limit it or otherwise you’ll get lost in it. They don’t tell you how, once you need to be with that partner, being so far away makes you lose interest in everything and anything other than getting back ‘home.’ I had to learn all of these things while other, more demanding, situations were going on for me. My LDR was a test of wills and I honestly just want to spread what I have learned, so people don’t have to go through the same thing.
This piece is going to be about LDRs that well and truly mean something for the long term. Those relationships that are aiming on Forever and realistically want to fight to be together. Some people want online only, or only for the DDlg and this that or the other. Those are all valid relationships, but they do not face the severity of those in a committed LDR. Just like a fling doesn’t compare to a committed relationship. [This is all relative, of course - I am in no way devaluing those who do not want a long term LDR.] This piece is for those who are desperately trying to work out their LDR because they want to spend the rest of their life with him or her. Like everything else, LDRs are on a spectrum, and that end is the hardest to work through.
Long Distance Relationships are nowhere near a new concept in our society. From oil rig workers to Military families, LDRs have been helping people stay or come together where otherwise they would’ve been forced to forget each other. What has happened over time, however, is the ease in which an LDR is created. Before people who were in LDRs were probably already married and have lived together. The LDR was created out of necessity of circumstance. But today, the LDR can be created by anyone, at any given time, anywhere in the world. And this should be both applauded and scrutinized.
LDRs have helped many different people find their partners, where if they didn’t have access to an LDR, they would have otherwise never met someone. Physically disabled, mentally anxious, geographically apart, socially awkward, hellaciously busy, single parents, hyper-intelligent, kinky, vanilla, etc… all of these people were previously forced to look for their partners in their immediate location. Now the whole world is open for them to find people with similar minds.
Simply put - Long Distance Relationships, brings people closer together and actually helps the spread of culture. (Don’t tell anyone, but I plan on surprising my Aussie mates with a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner this year )
But LDRs meet a recently acknowledged social issue - and that is social anxiety. Many people have a hard time making friends, let alone partners. Yet look at this forum we are on. How many of you get anxious with people in RL? How many don’t feel comfy until the strangers are gone and you are at home, tucked away safely? Before we would all kinda just ‘be’ alone in our homes. Lonely. Hidden from those that cause us anxiety, depression, etc. But now, we can not only connect comfortably (via technology) but we can form support networks, find people who truly think and believe in the things you do and create more than just intimate LDRs, but create lasting and platonic LDRs. To give them social exchanges and to give them interactions they otherwise may have missed. It is amazing, to truly be able to even watch a person live from a completely different country on your phone or through your computer.
But I wont get into the benefits of LDRs as I’m sure yall know what they are. I am actually sure most people on this forum have already been in an LDR and know those benefits. So… Let’s get to The Bad.
LDRs are hard. LDRs are harder than a real life relationship, they are harder than a kinky relationship and they are harder than an ‘It’s Complicated’ relationship. And if you are here reading this, it is even harder to pull off when the LDR is rooted in a dynamic (DDlg, D/s, M/s, BDSM, etc). This type of relationship (LDR + Dynamic) is probably going to be the hardest one to pull off in general because there is so much diligence required for just an LDR and even more diligence required for just a Dynamic-Based relationship. Combining those two and you have instantly doubled the efforts that you are going to have to make.
To break everything down, we need to start a the beginning.
Deciding to start an LDR is now seen as a light subject matter, and for most people, that is okay.
For those that want to use LDRs as a gateway to their Forever Partner, then this is where your effort begins. You need to seriously sit down and ask yourself ‘What do I need/want in my partner?’ and stick by what you say. Because in this Instant Gratification life we live in, and all of the social networking, finding a partner is not the challenge. Not any more. Finding a compatible partner is, and always will be.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and saw the menu and your mind froze? Too many choices, too many ways to have it, so new, so exciting, what should you get?! Wait… you don’t know!! There are simply too many to pick from! That is what these forums, sites like Fetlife and dating apps have done. There are so many choices, so you go with whatever is best. Or, to put it more apt, you go with whichever person is more convenient; this is how people treat LDRs anymore. And of course not all of them do, but a lot. And that is okay for those who just want to have fun. But for those who are investing in finding their true partner, this isn’t the way to go.
So you need to be careful in who you get with. You need to be prepared to be single, to be lonely, to get your hopes up only to find you were wrong. And having these things happen, is actually okay! These things strengthen you mentally, so don’t get discouraged, learn from each instance. But never, ever, forget your priority - finding a compatible partner. Holding out for him / her, you will be rewarded with happiness. Going with someone who may be alright, who knows?
Long-Term LDRs (LT LDRs) make you start working for them before you even enter one. Do you have the self-control to say “No, I don’t want to date you. Even though you are sooooo gorgeous and adore me. We just aren’t compatible.” or “No, I appreciate you wanting to $poil $illy, but we are looking for two different things.” Are you willing to be true to yourself in all ways that you can? Because if you are not, a LT LDR will not work for you, because if you cannot be honest with yourself, that means you cannot be honest with your partner and you are already doomed to fail.
Failed LDRs - let’s take a moment to discuss why most LDRs do fail. It has always been and always will be… lack of communication. No matter what one person may have done, it is lack of communication. Why? Because LDRs are nothing but communication. Literally. Ghosting, catfishing, neglecting, cheating, ignoring, and being disinterested are all common forms of LDR killers. But if you look deeper - you can see that if a person simply communicated it wouldn’t have escalated to the cheating or to the neglect. If they took the time and effort to discuss the hard stuff, these things can be avoided. Hell they can be mended if you two work at it enough. But you have to truly, truly want it to work.
If you don’t want that weight on your shoulders, then I do recommend a less committed relationship, even if it is still an LDR. Again, be honest with yourself and what you are willing to put forth for a successful relationship. If you are not at least willing to match your partner’s effort, but also do everything you can, then an LT LDR is not for you. A short term LDR, a fling, the dynamic, etc all of those would be for you and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It just means you prefer a different type of relationship.
However… successful LDRs spare no expense when it comes to communication. Those who have a successful LDR made sure that when it was possible (and probable) all attempts at communication was made. At all prudent times. This is exhausting and mentally draining, especially if there is a massive time zone difference. You both now have to coordinate around work, college, family, social events and more for each other, while being aware of the time. When Daddy and I were in an LDR, I would stay up to about 4-5am most mornings, because that was his afternoon time. I did that so we had a decent time to talk. And he did the same for me by getting up super early to chat with me before my work. He would get up at 2am.
The point is, be prepared for a shift in your daily life. There is a beautiful saying:
“Some talk to you in their free time, and some free time to talk to you.”
Are you willing to free time for your partner? Are you willing to skip the occasional night out to be with your partner on a day that is important to them? And if you make a mistake, are you prepared to own up to it without deflecting the blame on to your partner? These are massive questions you need to answer yourself before you even think of an LDR. And I am sure a lot of you are going “Illy, an LDR isn’t this serious.” But, in fact, it is for a lot of people.
This is the obvious bad - the bad of an LDR when people obviously just don’t care. Or don’t care enough to communicate what page they are on. Everyone knows what bad goes on in an LDR because we have all either experienced it, or we have heard stories. But what people don’t express, is the Ugly.
The ugly side of LDRs is basically everything no one wants to admit. No one wants to admit these things happen and these things are hard and controlling. No one wants to admit they were that person that shut themselves in and focused only on their LDR. And no one wants to take the blame for an LDR failing or hitting a hard patch. No one speaks of these things, why? Because they are just painful. That is it. No one wants the world to know how hard it was, or how much effort you spent (and maybe wasted) for a small part of the LDR, just to make things work. No one likes to air out their dirty laundry.
No one wants someone to hear ‘I told you so’ for getting into a relationship with someone from the internet.
So what is the ugly? It’s a reminder. It’s the hard reminder of the biggest thing you need to do: Do NOT let your doubt and your insecurity ruin the relationship.
This thing call Life tends to get in the way of every LDR. And people rarely remember that it is quite difficult to conduct a relationship without the person being right there, from a technical standpoint. We all expect things to go as according to plan; daily good morning/good night texts, daily audio and/or video phone calls, care packages, massive amounts of support from friends and family, that spark to hold throughout the duration. We expect nothing to go wrong, we hope we are always the minority and succeed in our LDRs. What essentially happens is that people just don’t prepare for the hard stuff, because most people avoid the topic altogether.
Real Life is harder to ignore than LDR. This is what no one tells you. Couples always make promises to each other but… it simply does not work that way. You can easily text "hey, I cant chat right now, love you " .... yet if a person was to just show up, it is a lot harder to put them aside because they are literally right there. That was the hardest thing I had to get accustomed to, being second to RL. RL takes priority and honestly, it should in a lot of ways.
When it comes to a healthy LT LDR - you, as a participant, need to realize that you should not make your entire life about your partner. Think about it in vanilla terms; how off putting is it when a couple drops everything about themselves, just so they can obsess about one another? When you are in an LT LDR, it is incredibly easy to forget about real life and to sit waiting for that person to contact you or respond. Especially for those who truly love each other and have the connection to be together for life. Being so far apart from ‘Home’ is beyond painful and some people find it easier to deal with by ignoring real life and just focusing on a person. But this is unhealthy.
If you start sequestering yourself from RL then what you are doing is turning your LDR into a toxic codependency. Think of those stories we hear from friends:
I can’t go to sleep until he calls me.
I don’t understand why he needs to go out tonight, I want to be with him.
She wont quit texting me, all through the night, even though I have work in the morning.
How come she doesn’t understand that I can’t be on the phone with her for hours every single day?
Obsession is quick to rear its head in LT LDRs, because a lot of the time one or both partners feel that is the only way to succeed. ‘If he doesn’t talk to me every single day, he obviously doesn’t love me.’ And this is not the mentality to have. Instead, you both should be encouraging the other to get out there and be who they always were. You two should be each other’s support system of course, but you both need a support system outside of the internet. You need to allow time to put the screens down and focus on you and who You are as a person. Daily.
Doing this does not diminish the love or effort you are putting into your LT LDR - it is actually quite the opposite. If both partners are able to maintain a healthy day-to-day routine and mindset, that does not solely revolve around their LDRs, they are actually more likely to succeed. The key to an LDR? Balance. If you do develop that codependency, your life will become increasingly difficult. You can’t sleep until you hear his/her voice? You have created a relationship where you cannot function ‘normally’ outside of your partner. This is when people start getting pushed aside.
Think of that person who constantly contacts you, even though it may be the wrong time or too many times. The one who just wont let you sleep, or go to work or be with a friend. That is what an LR LDR partner turns into if they do not keep their insecurity and their doubts in check. Why? Because as humans, not seeing is closely linked to not believing. So even if your little told you she was going out with some coworkers…. You may feel that isn’t what she is really doing.
You may begin to doubt everything she says, everyone she talks to and even doubt her timing. Why hasn’t she called you yet, you know she gets off of work at this time? Why didn’t she tell you she was going away for the weekend? Weekends are really the only time you two get to be together. Does she even care? Why is she doing this? Has she found someone else? Has she lost interest?
Do you see how, out of the real world and into the internet, doubts can quickly turn into abusive patterns? Because to combat all of those insecurities, people typically demand answers. And then implement preventative measures. I will use Daddy and myself as an example.
I have skyrocket insecurities and plummeting self-esteem. So when I came back to my country, I was instantly worried Daddy was going to find someone else. He had grown into his natural Daddy Dom over the past seven months at the time and was really shining through. My head kept telling me - he is going to find someone better, cuter, more little, closer, etc. just because I doubted my own worth. But this is all normal. Everyone experiences this doubt. But this doubt then coupled with my love and legitimate concern for my Daddy, it led me to asking Daddy to accommodate my doubts, and in hindsight, it was almost abusive. I asked him to tell me when he went places, when he arrived, who he was with (in general - family, friends, coworkers), when he got home. I wanted him to let me know when he woke up and when he went to bed. And so on. Most of all of this is because Daddy is in a wheelchair and after being with him for 2 months, is scared me him being all the way away and worrying something might happen. So I asked for check ins.
But… it looks familiar right? It looks like the stereotypical abusive man would demand of his abused wife. And I am not proud of that. It mostly came from a place of love and care, but it did come from doubt and worry. And that is never okay. Daddy and had hashed it out and made it less… well just less, and so everything was okay. But most people don’t see this connection. They tell themselves “I am the one who is just checking in and making sure he/she is okay.” But what is actually happening is you are causing more stress, more strain and are even pushing your partner away. Who wants to deal with being micromanaged, regardless of what the reason may be? And so in the world of LDRs - everyone involved must learn to breathe and allow their partner to live.
It’s okay to be afraid, insecure or doubtful, and you know what? It’s EVEN BETTER if you let your Daddy or little know. That way he/she can make more of an effort to reassure you and validate your concerns and liberate you from your fears. You need to keep communicating with him/her from the start until the end and DO NOT EVER STOP the communication. In an LDR, once the communication stops, the relationship is dead. So never be afraid to communicate these things, they mean you still care.
At the end of the day, people in LT LDRs need to be prepared to put everything in to being as honest and upcoming with information with each other. Otherwise doubts, insecurities, accusations, imaginations, etc all run amok and wild. If you two remain realistic and remain true to seeing all of the LDR through to the end, then the communication will be easier. Remember phone batteries will die. Family emergencies happen. Last minute work shifts will be taken. Life will happen during an LDR - and you, as their partner, need to support them. Not make them feel guilty about these things.
Even if your partner cannot partake in a specific nature of your relationship (like the DDlg dynamic, or a ritual or what have you), this is not a sign that your partner is disinterested in You specifically. Look at what is going, they could easily be overwhelmed. I know of too many LDRs that have broken up because he wasn’t being “Daddy” enough. Because he was sick, or working 60 hour weeks or because he needed to see his actual children. If this is the kind of mentality you have (need 24/7 dynamic), then I do not ever recommend getting into a committed LDR, because it just wont happen. No one can be fully “in” a dynamic literally 24/7, especially through screens. So be realistic in your expectations. Not only for your partner, but also for yourself. You wont be able to Daddy her every single time she needs it exactly when she does. And you wont be able to be cute and bubbly and make him happy every single time he needs it, exactly when he does. And that is okay.
First and foremost you two must have a strong foundation, and that is never rooted in a dynamic. Even if a dynamic is a massive part of your identity, it isn’t a solid foundation to work with. Because the dynamic isn’t the only aspect of your life. Work, education, family, social events/groups, stress, pick-me-ups, hobbies, etc, are all parts that define who you are and what you do. So you must build a foundation that includes everything. Otherwise… you really aren’t committing to the person, you are committing to what they fulfill in your eyes as a kink. By understanding this basic, yet wildly missed (including myself), concept you actually develop an even deeper bond than with just the dynamic.
I am only going to briefly touch on this because no one, NO ONE, absolutely not a single person, ever, warned me of this heartache. The ugliest and worst part of my entire LDR was the moment I had to leave Daddy to go to the airport to return back to my country. No one explains how, after learning and loving someone through a screen, that being with them in real life is magical. Even when bickering over stupid things, you are in this surreal world because the reality is, you made that moment happen. And so did he/she. You altered your life, moved the world and you two are now, finally, together.
Going back to an LT LDR after visiting Daddy was probably my first breaking point. All my life I had never felt like I was truly home, never felt like the place I was living in was anything other than a house. Until I met Daddy. I learned he was my home - and I hear this from many other LDR couples. But what I never heard was that the moment I was back in my old bedroom again, the world between us… I just wanted to quit. Not quit Daddy, but everything. I didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t linked directly to getting me back. It took me a month to realize how I was acting and how I was pushing my family away, but I couldn’t see anything other than the pain of not even being able to hold his hand.
When you leave your partner to return from wherever you came from… that is the single hardest moment in every LDR. And if you visit more than once, it will happen each time. It made me realize what I could have and how I could be living… but it wasn’t my reality, not the right time. And it is an incredibly depressing thought. Having to wait even longer after waiting for a compatible partner, and then finding out… you literally are a perfect fit. But you can’t be together again for awhile (in RL).
If you are in an LT LDR, especially if you can rarely visit, I urge you to all prep for this moment. Tell friends and family, tell your partner, prepare a “safe space” (for a horrendous lack of better words) in case you hit that wall. And this is why you must never push real life away, because you actually need that human connection to deal with the isolation from the person you love. I pushed my family away, but it took my younger brother pushing me back to get the picture. Don’t make that same mistake like I did.
Have a contingency plan, just in case.
All in All
At the end of the day the main reason any person should get into an LT LDR is because they have a genuine connection for them. You two are in it for the long haul so start thinking of the bigger picture. Ignore the urge to satisfy instant gratification and allow the time to let everything fall into place. This is by no means a guide to LDRs, but more of a cautionary tale or word to the wise. As I have been stating, we all know what LDRs are, but we all see them differently.
So if there is just one thing to take from this piece… well… make it two;
Never, ever, ever stop communication on all levels.
Don’t forget the Ugliest.
I hope all of you out there who are working through an LT LDR make it. I hope you find all of your effort was worth the war. And I hope at the end of your LDR you get to snuggle up together and live that life you have always wanted.
[Author's Note; This piece has not been proofread or edited. My apologies for any errors or typos. Thank you.]
Edited by Little Illy, 23 August 2018 - 07:54 PM.