One thing I have heard from people in LDRs is that they regret missing out on “normal” couple things. You can’t really go spend the night at your partner’s to escape a noisy roommate, you can’t ask for a ride, you can’t just decide to go hang out without any plans.
There’s the pain from separation, but the relationship just lacks normalcy. There is the feeling of being left out when you hear others talk about their partners, and the jealousy you feel when you see any act of PDA. If you met your partner online, there’s that awkward moment when people ask where you met, and the invasive questions that may follow.
But is it all really so uncommon? Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but studies suggest that 35-50% of college undergrads in the US are in or have been in a LDR. There’s millions of students, so that’s a pretty high number right there. It is considered fairly normal to continue a relationship despite one person having to leave for school, especially considering how it used to be rare for women to go to college; it was considered fairly normal in the 50s ( in heterosexual relationships) for a man to go to school and his girl would wait for him.
There is also to consider how many military families experience extended periods of time apart due to deployments, training or tour of duty, or live apart for other reasons. Over half of all active military are married, so you can imagine, many families in the military understand separation and it is unfortunately, a normal part of military life.
Immigrants also can experience years apart from their families and partners; often one member of a family will find work in another country, work for years, gain permanent resident status, and then begin the long process of sponsoring their spouse and children. It can be years before they can even visit, let alone close the gap permanently.
If you’re not within these demographics, it is easy to feel alone and even weird for being in a LDR. So when you start feeling awkward when people are asking very awkward questions about how your relationship works, remember; you’re actually way more normal than you think.