Love Jones Thoughts Part 4: In the End, Darius was Wrong

9 10 2014

love jones2

Remember the final scene of the movie, where Nina and Darius meet in the rain, after they haven’t seen each other in a while? Right before they start kissing and before he admits that his love for her is urgent like a motherf-cker?

Remember how she tells him that as usual his timing couldn’t be worse? And after he declares his love, she asks him that all important question, “How do we do this?” She lives in New York, as you might recall. And he… he lives in Chicago. Do you remember what he says in response? Of course you do — that’s an iconic scene. It’s something that anyone who loves that movie can quote to you. He tells her that he doesn’t care about where they live, and basically that it doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately,  Darius (in that moment) is really really wrong.

Well maybe wrong is harsh. His statement is super over-simplified though, because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year is that it absolutely matters when the person you want to be with doesn’t live in the same city as you.

I didn’t always believe that. As a matter of fact, in my younger days, I had a number of long distance relationships that I tried. All were fairly brief (5 months or less), and all probably wouldn’t have worked even if the guy lived in my city. Therefore, I found myself believing that it wasn’t the distance per se that broke us up, rather it was the distance that exaggerated the things that would have broken us up anyway.

And yes, to some extent that was true. I look back on those relationships now, and while for the most part, those men were good guys — they definitely were more lesson learning opportunities for me than potential for lifelong partners. That’s not to put all the onus on them. I still had a lot of growing to do as well, but I think because I knew deep down they were temporary,  I gave long distance a pass. An excuse.

I’d eventually end up viewing one guy as a coward for not wanting to try it, not because he didn’t want to be with me, but because he claimed he did. And I felt like, at the time,  that he was either a liar mcliarson and didn’t really want to be with me or he didn’t have the fortitude to deal with a little difficulty. I mean, all these other guys were willing to do it (and by all, I mean like 3 — let’s not get crazy here), so what was his deal?

Well. Y’all. I’ve been trying to date long distance recently, and…

I know something different now.

Long distance is hard.

And it’s not just that it exaggerates the problems you may have. The constant scheduling is also extremely exhausting. The fact that you can’t see the guy you like on a random Tuesday is frustrating. The desire to disconnect is an ever present little nag in your side. The reality that you’re not really in that person’s life on a normal basis is a bit defeating. The difference between length of time you’ve been dating and actual real times you’ve been with each other is jarring. It’s just… hard.

That’s not to say I don’t think you should do it. Obviously, I’m doing it (or trying to do it or something, I don’t know y’all lol). Or that I don’t believe it can work. It just means that I think being realistic about the difficulties involved in it may give you a better chance at surviving it. Digging your head in the sand and acting as if it’s a natural thing to do surely isn’t the way. That I know. Which is why when I hear Darius say he doesn’t care about where they live, I know he’s not thinking past that moment.

And that sounds really romantic.

But it’s not long-lasting.

Maybe that’s why the movie had to end on that scene. Seeing them try to navigate life together in a long distance relationship would have killed all the positive vibes we all had at the end.

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