Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LDR

Ah, LDRs. Long distance relationships.

I have a lot of friends in LDRs, (*ahem, me too) and I've noticed a couple of typical responses when one says he / she is in an LDR.

"Oh. How do you do it?"
"LDRs don't work."
"Isn't he cheating on you?"
"Out of sight, out of mind."
"Well, he could be cheating on you. But, you could be having your own fun too!"

Some people are well meaning. Some people are plain stupid. Some, moronic. A lot, deluded.

Here's what I want to say though.

People act like being in an LDR is being in something very mutant and alien. But it's a relationship, just like any other. There are no generalizations in relationships. Not all LDRs are the same. Just because you date someone in the same town, doesn't mean your relationship is similar to your neighbour who's also dating someone in the same town.

Sure, there are similar characteristics. But a relationship, is a relationship. It's unique, it's organic, and it's every couple has his or her own dynamics. Your'e never going to find two relationships that are exactly alike.

People like to talk about cheating in LDRs, and how temptation will always be there. I'd like to correct this misconception. Cheating isn't exclusive to LDRs. Cheating happens everywhere. Long distance, short distance, sneaky distance. It's about the people that are in the relationship. Yes, the distance makes a difference. But it's not a defining factor in whether someone cheats or not. I also think people who use that as an excuse are just weak.

Sometimes, people tell me to keep my options open too. In all honesty, I find this very disrespectful to my relationship. I'm very happy in my relationship. If I want to keep my options open, I know how to. I don't need you spouting out unhelpful nonsense. Please, cap that spout. I have friends who are in relationships I think they could do better in - I'm sure you have friends who seem to be in really lopsided relationships - but -  I keep my mouth shut. Because if they're happy, I'm happy. (This doesn't apply if the dude is an alcoholic, a wife-beater - you get my drift.)

There are friends of mine who have been in LDRs and then they break up. Everyone always shakes their heads and say, 'Yeah, the distance did it.'
So simplistic. Distance.
Sure, distance contributes, but people forget there are a lot of other factors involved.
It's not just DISTANCE.
It's easy to blame the distance. We comprehend it. We understand that the further a person is away, the harder it is for a relationship to work. I understand that logic, but really, there are a thousand other factors attached to it.

I once had a neighbour. 50 year old principal. After my fifth form exams, I had about six months of holidays. I discovered then that every Wednesday, while his wife went out to work, he would drive out and bring his mistress home.

He was a very old, not desirable looking uncle in any way. In fact, he always reminded me of a soyabean, because his head was rather large, white, and bald.

Anyway, out of sheer boredom and some misplaced sense of annoyance, every Wednesday when he would bring his mistress home, I would run out of my house and stare very obviously at the mistress.

He then switched his schedule a bit, which made it very difficult for me, because I was constantly at my window, trying to monitor him in hopes of running out and catching him with his mistress again!

You know, if a person cheats, a person cheats. It's not because of distance. It's because that person himself is a cheat, and he would find a way to cheat.

I found Soyabean's affair very disgusting, because he would bring his mistress back home. I mean, if your'e going to have an affair, at least have the decency to have it out of your own home! But the home you share with your wife and two children...well, that's just plain disgusting.

Soyabean moved away not too long after. I later found out that in my town, everyone knew about the affair. I felt very sorry for the wife. Some might ask why I never said anything to her. My neighbours and I were actually not on speaking terms and we weren't close. It's a little strange to sidle up to someone you're not to close with and inform them their husband is cheating. And...I don't know. Some rumors said she knew the affair was going on. Some said she was oblivious.

I digress.

There are no hard and fast rules or generalizations when it comes to relationships. Every single one is different. I think it's up to us to make it what we want.

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