September 2008

He says, She says: Long Distance Relationships

Author: Keith Kelson, Lindsey Hawkins | Photographer: Photography By anne

He Says
By Keith Kelson

I’m a big fan of love. I listen to Barry Manilow, Barry White and Neil Sedaka. I show up at the weddings of people I don’t know just because I’m such a big fan of love. More than once, I’ve helped some young unmarried woman catch the bouquet. I’ve helped many couples pick the perfect song for their first dance.

I’m a big fan of love.

So, most folks are shocked and surprised to find out that I’m not in favor of long distance relationships. I won’t rehash any of the old, tired worn out clichés about long distance love affairs. You’ve heard them all before. I say that long distance love affairs are bad for the environment. You starry-eyed lovey-dovey types are causing the Amazon rain forest to vanish. Love should be local, is what Al Gore says, and I agree with him.

Just like you should support your local businesses, you should love the locals as well. It’s good for the environment. Loving the locals means saving the planet. To do otherwise is just plain irresponsible. Hey, I’m a big fan of love, but I’m a much bigger fan of the planet earth. It’s the only planet we’ve got, after all. Well, there are other planets in the solar system, but I don’t think that they support Homo sapien life.

I’m a big fan of love, but I’m a bigger fan of breathing. So, you love-struck dewy-eyed kids should find someone in the same area code or state for Pete’s sake. Especially nowadays with gas prices soaring to four bucks a gallon. Four bucks for a gallon of gas? Ha! I’m the most romantic guy around, but four bucks for a gallon of gas means that, unless she’s an oil baroness, I wouldn’t recommend it. She would have to be hotter than five miles of asphalt in Arizona during the middle of summer. She would have to be smoking like a young Joe Frazier. She would have to be Kim Kardashian, Gabrielle Union or Beyonce.

I know, I know. Some folks out there are shaking their heads. After all, love conquers all. Love is a many splendored thing. Love means never having to say you’re sorry. But love also means being a responsible citizen. There’s some exotic lizard in the Amazon that’s depending on you finding a sweetie locally so that his habitat can remain undisturbed.

Unless you own one of those cars that can use vegetable oil as fuel, you need to take a good long look in the mirror. Your love affair means that the ozone layer is gonna get another hole in it. Do you really want to make Al Gore cry? But for those determined types, you know, the ones who thought that new Coke tasted better than classic Coke, let me present another valid reason to keep your love affairs local.

Have you been in an airport recently? Those TSA agents won’t help your long distance romance—the frisking, the searching, the multiple trips through the x-ray machine… You’ll be there for three hours getting “screened,” and eventually your sweetie will grow bored and she’ll strike up a conversation with that dude, Conan at the ticket counter. They’ll end up at the Starbucks sipping a mocha latte and they’ll both discover that they’re fans of Rick James.

While they’re singing all of Rick James’ songs from the ’80s, Olga from the TSA will be waving that wand uncomfortably close to your most personal areas. Meanwhile, you’ll be standing there looking like some low budget baddie from a James Bond movie, and you have to ask yourself if it’s worth all the hassle.

Well, of course it is, but do as I say, not as I do. Don’t do it, man. Love a local chick. Ladies, love a local fella. Save the environment. Don’t make Al Gore cry

The poor guy didn’t get to be president, so you owe him one.

She Says
By Lindsey Hawkins

What he says is quite a mouthful with one prominent point: long distance relationships do pollute the environment. However the environment they really pollute is the inner self. I’m talking about your mental health. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder; it makes the heart grow more insecure and weary.

Case study number one: the fabulous, wealthy and uber romantic celebrity relationship. Let’s really talk about polluted environments. Powerful celebrities often lead fast-paced lives, requiring private jets and private jet fuel to get from Hollywood to Cannes and back. Then they attend dinner with a loved one who is probably catching a plane of his/her own seven hours later to shoot a movie in Connecticut. While they’re destroying the ozone ten times faster then the rest of us star-struck sedan drivers in long distance relationships, they are still not making it work. Insecurities grow while one famous actress wonders what her famous beau is really doing on his layover in Cabo San Lucas; and sooner rather than later, the relationship ends. Meanwhile all the hopeless romantics out there are shocked that Brad and Jen can’t make it work, while reading about it in People and Us Weekly; consequently destroying the rainforest. But the layman still believes that seeing someone once a month or once every three months is practical, healthy and totally going to work, because love knows no boundaries.

I don’t care who you are and how secure you are, even when you are truly in love, distance is a relationship killer. You would think today with all of the communication technology you could easily text your way to love or at least maintain it; but you can’t. The male ego needs stroking, women need fresh compliments and humans need to be touched. A look, a kiss or a smile that easily ends a typical argument cannot be seen or felt hundreds of miles away, and this is what makes individuals insecure and resentful. Again these emotions are what we call relationship killers, and you are only setting yourself up for misery and disappointment.

With every argument there is a counterargument, so it must be considered that long-distance relationships may be worth it and work depending on how long you have previously been in a local relationship and how long you will be in a long-distance relationship. If your boyfriend is going away for two weeks and you just can’t handle it, then you have no business being in a relationship and probably should seek therapy.

But if you have been seeing someone long enough to mutually consider the relationship serious, then I would say anything under six months is doable with ability to visit your significant other. But I would only recommend it if you have mutual trust and excellent communication skills; and you better have mutually said I love you and mutually meant it.

Anything over six months, with or without the above skills, is risky business. I do not recommend it, especially if you have not known the person longer than six months. I know we all think we truly know someone, especially when we feel like we are in love. But if you are starting off the relationship long distance, trust me, you don’t know the person. You have not seen his/her true colors and you risk investing a lot of time based on very little knowledge, which can lead to heartbreak.

I am not saying that all long distance relationships fail, but let me make a recommendation. If you are truly feeling spontaneous, go with the person you are so in love with and then see if it works out. You can always come back. You may not have a job, but I am sure your true friends and family will say, “I told you so” and let you move back in.

Oh, and by the way, this article in no way shape or form has anything to do with married people in long distance relationships or long distance relationships affiliated with the military. These are two situations I know nothing about, and God bless both.

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