Long Distance Love: Hang Up or Hold On?
By KJ ADLER
I lived abroad in Paris before coming to Buenos Aires. After staying here for a while, I must say that Buenos Aires is a close second to being a city of love. Everywhere you turn there are couples smooching, romantic music playing, and guys cat-calling girls.
In Paris I had three friends, each of whom had boyfriends. By month three they had each dumped their American significant other, believing it was the right thing to do before making out with some Frenchman.
Here in Buenos Aires, where I am studying abroad I have three other friends who have boyfriends. Two of them have remained faithful by only dancing with guys at clubs and deflecting any wooing attempts made by horny young Argentineans. However my one friend, Maesa, was given permission by her boyfriend to spread her horny wings if she wished to do so. She and her boyfriend had entered the “open relationship” zone.
Earlier today Maesa came to me with a guilty look on her face. “KJ, I am so glad you’re here,” she blurted out. “I feel so horrible.”
Since being here in Buenos Aires, Maesa has made out with two guys in two different clubs. Last night, however, it got a little heavier. She went to what I would call second and a half base with some musician before freaking out and backing down from any further heavy petting.
“I just feel really guilty,” she told me over a cup of coffee. “I was so unsure the whole time with that guy, and I didn’t mean to lead him on! I think that was a preview of what’s going to happen with any guy I meet here. I love my boyfriend. We fit and I don’t think I feel comfortable doing more with other guys.”
Maesa has been in her relationship for two years. Although she was initially excited about being able to branch out, immediately after kissing the first guy she felt guilty. Not only did the prospect of hurting her beloved beau gnaw at her, but the very thought that he could be doing the same thing with another girl kept her in check.
Yet at the same time, she told me she didn’t want to be outdone. If her boyfriend had slept with someone else during their break and she did not, where would that leave her? She wanted to take an equal amount of advantage of the break as him.
Apart from Maesa, my other two friends have complained to me multiple times about how horny they have gotten since arriving in Buenos Aires. In a city where sexuality is freely expressed, I can understand their plight.
“Long distance relationships are stupid,” my roommate Joe once told me. “There’s no point to them. You have an idea of someone you really like who is out there. But an important part of a relationship is physically being with that person and if you can’t be with them then what’s the point?”
So what stand does mamma KJ take on the whole issue? I say if you can hack a relationship overseas then more power to you. Long distance relationships are probably one of the most difficult tests of will and commitment one can endure, especially for a long duration of time. You know there’s someone out there waiting for you, someone you share a deep connection with when you are together.
But I feel that distance takes away a lot of the spark, especially for sapling couples.
Personally I can’t stand them. I’ve tried a few times to hold onto a relationship while my travels pulled me in another direction but I’ve always ended up breaking up with the guy due to frustration.
Holding on to that string of commitment many miles away just doesn’t appeal to me.
Of course if someone comes along where that string is strong enough, as it apparently has for my other two girlfriends, then I wouldn’t think it would be so much a struggle as a short break to reflect and miss the person you care about. Not to mention I hear that “welcome back, I missed you” sex is awesome.