Viewpoint: Take care of you in relationships

You know what’s worse than being single on Valentine’s Day?

Being in a long-distance relationship on Valentine’s Day, because even though you’ve theoretically found someone to spend your Valentine’s Day with, your person is not physically there.

Oh, sure. You can “see” each other by indulging in a long-distance phone call or a Skype date, but do you have someone to cuddle up and watch a gooey rom-com with?

No, because you’re in different cities.

See, if you’re single, at least you have the chance of finding somebody new to take you out before the big day. You have the possibility of a date. I’ve got love, but I don’t have that possibility. I’d give anything to spend the day with him.

Unfortunately, though, we’re in two different places in our lives. He’s moved out of Waco to get a better job, and I’m still finishing my education at Baylor. As much as I’d like to see him, I can’t leave Waco to be with him.

And that’s OK. Staying here was absolutely the right decision, because to be part of a well-functioning couple, you need to be able to stand on your own two feet.

I get it; that sounds contradictory. But think about it this way: If you can’t get by on your own, you’re never going to get by as part of a team. Sometimes even though it’s tough, you have to make decisions that ensure your future is sound, with or without your partner.

Most people don’t like to be chronically miserable. They also don’t like to be around the chronically miserable. No one goes to funerals for fun.

So why condemn yourself and your partner to misery by making decisions that can lead to resentment and recrimination? Focus on your future before fun: finish school or take care of your career-building before you fall off the face of the planet for a relationship.

In my case, I’m engaging in a little bit of selfishness. So is he. I couldn’t move, and he couldn’t stay. What do we do? Who has to sacrifice their dreams?

Well, neither. It’s not fair for anyone to have to make that decision. But do we have to give up our relationship?


Being apart sucks, believe me. But it’s better than hating each other for the rest of our lives. It’s better than breaking up. We’re doing what we need to do now to build a firm future, a future that ideally will include another person, but in which we can survive alone if necessary.

I won’t lie: this is hard. Distance causes fights we would have never had before. But it’s worth it. I can move forward. I will have the tools I need to make myself fully happy , and I can I look forward to a day when long-distance is in the distant past.