I rarely make calendar-themed posts but the subject matter has been on my mind for the past month, the reason for this is shrouded in mystery as deep as the sleep of Cthulhu, and since it's February, it's fairly appropriate I publish it for this day.
Many times I've heard the assertion that long-distance relationships can't work. From what I gather people seem afraid to give it a try because due to a long physical distance it's easy for the other person to do whatever they want. To me this isn't an issue with distance but with trust. Saying that not having someone around 24/7 enabled them to cheat on you is like saying that the act of moving in makes it impossible to cheat on you. Alas, since people divorce each other due to unfaithfulness, distance doesn't seem to be a factor in this.
My main view on long-distance relationships is that they are probably the strongest ones. One obvious thing about being in one is that it is really hard. It is undeniably hard to be away from someone you love for very long periods of time. Now the question is who would voluntarily be in such a hard relationship when there must be easier alternatives. The first thing that comes to my mind is someone who loves you.
Love isn't all beauty and happiness. It requires work: sometimes hard work, other times gruelling work... on the part of everyone involved. This is what makes it special, love that is easily made is also easy to shatter. When you have willingness to work through issues that seem impossible, that's a sign of more than just affection.
I once had this friend who had the choice between two guys and she went with the guy who wasn't about to move out of town. He cheated on her despite living in the same city. Then I have two friends who are in marriages with men who each first met online. One pair started out apart between two sides of a country and the other was transatlantic.
Many years ago someone wished me to find love as beautiful as a rose but with no thorns. To which I could only reply that a rose without thorns is not picking up. This is why I like the rose as a symbol for love. It's beautiful and sweet but must be cared for with a gentle touch or it drains your life away. That's what hard work is; not taking love for granted and making the relationship work despite issues and obstacles.
Naturally, not everyone is capable of that, some just can't deal with too much and there's nothing wrong with that. Everyone has different needs but couples who manage to make such a relationship work earn my respect.