I Regret: My Long Distance Relationship

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I regret staying in a long distance relationship when I studied abroad in England for a year. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I wasn’t warned and hadn’t heard about how terribly difficult long distance relationships can be, but I was determined to be the best girlfriend ever to my distrusting boyfriend.

He was my first boyfriend actually, I hadn’t really ever dated until I was 21, and 10 years my senior, he was a sense of security to me as I sold off most of my belongings, left my apartment and made myself virtually jobless and homeless right before I set out to live in student housing for a year in London. At this point I was almost 23 and had been living on my own for 4 years; I didn’t live in a dorm or student housing and had a real apartment to give up and no parents’ home to return to when the school year ended. This was the biggest and boldest move I had ever made which left me feeling the most unstable I had ever felt in my life. I was just happy that I wasn’t going to also lose the guy that I had fallen in love with.

School in London was great; I made a few close friends very quickly. We banded together as Americans and hung out every day. We went on adventures and explored the entire city, but all I could think of is how I let my boyfriend down and how much I missed him. Everything that I saw I wanted to share with him, I bought him stupid little presents and sent home care packages. Email via Myspace (remember that!?) was our main source of communication, which was BS because I even bought him an international calling card to bloody call me!

The year moved on and I put more effort into the relationship. I went home to visit him for Christmas, seeing my family when he was off at work. He hadn’t gotten his passport yet, something we had attempted to do for him back before I left. He said he’d work out the various complications and visit me soon. I left him a card with money for his passport when I left for the airport to go back to school, hoping that would alleviate at least one of the problems with his lack of motivation.

It was even harder to go back after the visit home. Homesickness was in full effect and I missed him more. I became more and more insecure as I saw more girls pop up on his Myspace page. I never felt crazier in my life and he would send me depressing emails about how much he missed me, but act all cool when I called him. I would rush home from class for these sad emails and spent countless hours on my computer waiting for communication. I asked him to visit, I even offered to pay for half of his plane ticket even though I was broke spending US dollars that were worthless in UK pounds. He got frustrated with my pushiness and I would feel even worse. I had SEVEN visitors during the year, none of which were my boyfriend.

I returned home a month early from my program to attend my graduation. My boyfriend could barely have sex with me. He was distant and even when I specifically asked him to hang out with me (which at first I posed as a joke) he couldn’t find time to hang out one on one. Six weeks later he broke up with me, and then I heard from various friends about some girl who had been hanging around quite a bit. They didn’t think she was a threat because they all thought she sucked, but apparently he didn’t, because they wound up dating, and I suspect this began before we broke up.

Retrospectively I can look at this and say “I regret the long distance relationship;” but it isn’t because I now know we would break up or that he would cheat on me. I regret all of the opportunities and enjoyment that I truly missed out on because I spent too much time missing him and wishing that he was there. Lamenting over our relationship and feeling crazy because jealousy was a new feeling that I had never experienced before. I truly think I would have enjoyed myself if I was single and didn’t get wrapped up in placing my sense security on him. I might have grown, I might have found a career or stayed longer had I not wanted to rush home to him. If only someone had warned me that long distance relationships are bad, not because people get lonely and cheat, but because they distract you from enjoying your own experiences.

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    • Sabrina

      I stayed in a long distance relationship for WAY TOO LONG. I’ve been trying to think about what my regrets would be this week, and so far, this is really the only one I can think of. And for pretty much the reasons you said. I would have been able to enjoy my first year in college without attempting to leave half of my heart with him at the same time. Needless to say, it did not work out and he ended up being the one to break my heart in quite a spectacular way.

    • relationshipdj

      Long Distance Relationship can be very hectic and if the two parts are not on the same state of mind? If even one person in the long distance relationship have a problem with not having the person they are with around it will always end in regrets. I have been in a long distance relationship for two years and the some now. We are not engaged to be married. We knew what we wanted from before, we all doing our part making sure things are staying interesting. If anything we have grown even closer then before. The only distance that stands in between us right is the how far my love goes for her. But I do understand your situation. And I sympathized with you.

      We even started a blog just to keep our relationship going and share our story with ever. Check us out: http://relationshipdj.com/our-relationship-story-long-distance-relationship-story/

      • Allesandra Williams

        It’s great that you have something to keep a bond between you two. Not all long distance relationships end badly; my brother moved across the country and after a year his girlfriend graduated from her east coast school and joined him in California. They both spent another year or two out there and returned to the east coast and years later they are married and happy.

        I just simply regret allowing myself to focus on something that I should have realized wasn’t working rather than making the most of something that is a once in a lifetime experience. Never again will I have the opportunity to live in another country with so few responsibilities and though it was a great experience, it could have been better and I know exactly how.

    • relationshipdj

      That happens and it’s sad that people some times let others linger on the idea that there might be a chance for something greater. But What were the signs that you got that made you think it would work? Or what signs you didn’t that caused you you call it a quit?

    • Mother

      I am in a long distance relationship and hoping for the best. Ours is different from yours in that we were college housemates over 30 years ago and are now in our late fifties. We began this relationship at a distance. It is important to us that, no matter what, we will continue to be the friends we were way back when. Time will tell.

      Your story breaks my heart. You couldn’t have known that what you experienced at that age is somewhat typical of a first relationship. It’s hard not to think of your lover constantly. I wish he had been honest, less self-centered, perhaps ended the relationship as soon as you were settled overseas.

      Don’t let this experience ruin any future loves. Love is a gamble. Or maybe it’s like that box of chocolates. Seems that this guy turned out to be a chocolate-covered cherry. Ptui! And don’t look back at what you may have missed; dwell on the fab friends and experiences that you had.

    • T

      These are exactly my feelings on LDRs. A few of my friends were in LDRs and they had the most depressing lives (a fact they only realized later). Constantly on their phones, constantly worried about their SOs, rushing home for Skype in the evening. I could not help but think they should’ve been living where they were living, not online with someone they almost never saw. As a result of these relationships, they did miss out on potential encounters, and just on enjoying their time wherever they were. Instead, they were choosing the constant fears, expectations and disappointments that inevitably come with LDRs. I believe one needs to think often about whether or not the relationship contributes more positively than negatively to one’s life, but very few people do that. Those who do are not in LDRs.

    • junemvc

      Interesting take on LDR! Sad to hear of it not going well for someone. All I can say is, I hope it’s going well for you now!