Being in a long distance relationship myself, I know that we receive a lot of criticism about our choice to love someone hundreds or thousands of miles away.

I’ve been told that my boyfriend of 4 years at the time was obviously cheating on me and that I needed to get with a “real man that doesn’t hide behind the computer” (because that makes a lot of sense!) I’ve also been told that I must have horrible self confidence or that I was desperate to enter into a relationship like this.

As hurtful as those statements were, I now find them to be pretty comical. At the time they didn’t bother me that much and I remember going back to my boyfriend and telling him about how ignorant people could be. We’d both laugh about it together since we knew that what we had was real. It didn’t shake us at all.

It still shocks me that people can be so blatantly rude about things as personal as relationships even when their opinions were never asked for. Over time I quietly decided to not mention that I was in a long distance relationship just based on the frequency of how often it happened.

It got to the point where men would view me as a personal ‘challenge’ because my boyfriend was so far away. According to them it made me easy because I was almost certainly “sex-deprived” and “needy” which for some reason meant their chances of being with me were higher. Can you believe that people would actually say things like that to me? I couldn’t.

As startling as all of that sounds, I’m sad to say that it’s pretty common. Both for men and women in long distance relationships. But believe it or not, there is a positive that comes out of this. Hearing comments like these really strengthened my resolve to stay with the person I love. It made me realize that I don’t care what other people think about my relationship -It’s mine and I am happy with it.

Not all LDRs have that same resolve. Some people are really affected by the things that their friends say about their relationship, or even their family. It makes sense, since those are the people you care about most. Their opinion does matter to you. But  the truth is, how you stand up to those challenges really defines whether your relationship will make it or not.

So, I decided to write a list of reasons why others’ approval of your relationship shouldn’t matter. I hope this list will help other LDRs to stick it out despite any negativity around them, because we don’t need anyone’s permission to love.

  1. You shouldn’t need anyone’s approval

    Be proud of your relationship. If you love someone enough to deal with the distance between you, be brave enough to feel confident in that trust without needing the approval of anyone around you.

    The hardest and most rewarding paths are often the least popular ones. If you are constantly seeking the approval of those around you about your relationship, then perhaps you aren’t as confident about it as you think. No one else should be able to build up or destroy your love but you.

  2. What’s right for someone else isn’t necessarily right for you.

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and the same can be said about relationships. Your ideal mate may not necessarily be the perfect mate for your friend or someone else you know. Your LDR situation may not be right for a lot of people.

    Listening to judgments of people who say that long distance relationships don’t work is foolish just based on this reasoning alone! Relationships are just as different as people are and none of us can fit into a single mold.

    Don’t let people push their own relationship preferences onto you. Know what’s right for yourself.

  3. You will have to deal with the choices you make, not them.

    In the end, you will have to live with the choices you make in life -not anyone else. It’s easy for people to dish out criticisms when they know they have have nothing to risk or lose.

    You should always take any advice you are given with a grain of salt. Breaking up with someone you care about, or even staying with someone based on the sometimes one-sided advice of others can leave you feeling guilty, sad or regretful in the end. Those are feelings you will have to bear alone while they will carry on with their merry lives.

  4. It’s not possible to please everyone.

    It’s so true, you really can’t please everyone! Some people will never like the idea of a long distance relationship no matter how convincing you might be in explaining why you choose to be in one. That’s why it’s so important to build up that confidence within yourself.

    There will always be people out there waiting to tear down what you have. You’ve got to be strong enough to pick yourself back up and keep going despite what anyone says.