Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a comedian and one of the “Bros” at HeTexted.com. HeTexted is a site where girls can get advice on the texts they receive from guys. Every Thursday on PostGradProblems Jared will answer one of the questions from his HeTexted mailbag. These are real questions from real girls visiting the site each day. If you have any of your own dating questions go to www.HeTexted.com and ask Jared or any of the other Bros that fit your particular situation.
Q: I met a guy on Tinder in June and we immediately hit it off. We started talking all the time but he was in town visiting family and we were only able to hang out a few times. We continued to talk through the summer and cooled down into the Fall as I started a new job and was very busy. We started talking again a ton around Christmas time and ended up meeting up when he was back in the town. We hooked up a few times, had the time of our lives and since then we talk almost every day. We talk about meeting up again, our cities are a two hour flight from one another. We talk about everything from work, to family, travel etc. He is my ideal guy and always brings up things like “our houses, travel together, etc.” Do I continue to talk to this guy? He has brought up visiting me but I don’t want to push that.
A: The long distance relationship is like taking a half court shot to win $1 million: the winners are highly publicized, shown on SportsCenter, and seemingly pop up every week. We never talk about the larger group who doesn’t have it so easy. You know, the losers. You never see a highlight of the shot that missed wide left, just like you never hear about the guy who spent his savings on visiting the girl who saw him as just a friend. Or the missed calls on a Saturday night that caused a girl’s imagination to run wild. Or the guy who seemed pretty good at first then suddenly had very little to say after answering those “How’s the day going?” texts. I get asked every week about long distance relationships and it feels like every girl saw that Drew Barrymore movie and thought, “She’s not that hot and she made it work, so this should be easy.” The problem is, it’s not easy.
There’s only one way the long distance relationship works. It’s when a relationship has already started and one party has to move to a new place. I’ve had this happen to two different friends who are now engaged. They made it work because they envisioned the distance between them ending, and they were past the point of wondering why the “…” was sitting there on the text screen overnight. I just made those two relationships sound so easy, but I’m sure there was more stress and uncertainty than they let on. But all we hear is, “Yeah, we had to do long distance for a while and now we’re engaged.” Girls will rarely talk to one another about the fears they had, or the temptations they encountered. They’ll just pop that ring out as their friends bow down to their newest victor.
The type of long distance relationship described in the question is the type I get asked about the most. It’s the type of relationship that starts as a chance encounter and turns into a magical weekend. It ends with a kiss while grinding (in the “he likes me” way). I’ve been in this kind of relationship, and I can tell you the guy doesn’t feel the same way. He enjoyed the dancing and the kissing, but he really wanted to have sex. He will keep texting as much as he can because you’re a penny stock. For the 15 minutes a week he puts in, it could pay off big the next time you guys end up in the same town. He knows you’re close enough to climax with but far enough away that he can sleep in his own bed on a Sunday night. And if you two do meet up, he will seem great. He’ll do dinner and listen to that story and watch that movie instead of going out the second night. That’s not because he’s great, it’s because there’s a time limit. There’s only so long this adventure can last, and at least he’s also having some great “we only have so much time together” sex. You just got the “best of” episode of your hypothetical relationship. But that’s not reality. That’s not how good relationships work.
I understand why a girl tries to make the “chance encounter long distance” guy work. It’s all about confidence. It feels great to have this guy or girl out there who likes you and sends you texts about how he “can’t wait to see you this weekend.” It’s a great lie to tell yourself instead of the reality of being single. My advice to this girl–and anyone else trying to make the “chance encounter long distance” guy work–is that you’re better off not doing anything. Let him make the effort, make the plan, and make the time to get to know you at his own expense. He probably won’t, and even if he does, you won’t have a realistic relationship that has ups, downs, and farts. Spend your energy finding guys in your area and maybe you can have an “I like you” grind session with someone who can turn into something more.
Jared Freid is a comedian and HeTexted “Bro” based in NYC. You can ask him dating questions at HeTexted.com or find him on Twitter (@JTrain56) for weekly columns, podcasts, and videos.