“You’re the reason I wanna stay
I loved you before I met you and I met you just in time
‘Cause there was nothing left”
– “Don’t Change Your Plans”
Ben Folds Five

My former college roommate was a psychology major, which lent itself to many hours poring over the DSM-IV manual. For those of you who do not know, the DSM is a research manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, detailing psychiatric disorders and their symptoms. Many a night was spent reading various symptoms, diagnosing ourselves and everyone we knew. In just a few days time, we had diagnosed each and every one of one friends with a psychiatric disorder.
“Oh, she’s histrionic, he’s completely OCD.”
I find the same habit reoccurring with the advent of WebMD and their “Symptom Tracker”. Never do my symptoms indicate I have a cold, but rather lupus, some rare form of cancer, or a lung disorder. I am convinced that WebMD incites paranoia in people.
With all of this experience using the DSM-IV and WebMD, you would think I had found a diagnosis for my symptoms.
I think I am addicted to long distance relationships.
I don’t understand why, since everytime I have dated someone in my zip code, I found the proximity enjoyable. I have always had a tendency to meet people either while travelling on vacation, home on a short break, or just prior to me or the other person’s preparing to move…far away.
Everyone else shuns long distance relationships – they take too much effort, too much money, and most of all, you, as a couple, are living in a dream world. You can bypass the troubles of day-in-and-day-out living, and treat your weekends together as mini-vacations, escaping the real world and all of its associated problems.
The question is always there, “Are you going to move there, is he going to move here?” When I was younger, I wanted to be the person who could pick up at any time and move anywhere, especially if it meant giving a good relationship the chance it deserved.
Then, I realized that it’s hard to start a life somewhere, if you don’t already have a job there, have friends there. You can’t always leave your life behind, and expect that someone else can provide one that would make you happy.
Similarly, you can’t expect that the life that makes you happy, where you want to be, is what the other person wants.
Find happiness, where I want to be, and then find someone who is willing to share it with me. I don’t want be a person who tries to change someone else’s plans and compromise their happiness, just to make him fit into my world.

“But don’t change your plans for me
I won’t move to L.A.
The leaves are falling back East
That’s where I’m going to stay
All I really wanna say: you’re the reason I wanna stay
But destiny is calling and won’t hold
And when my time is up I’m outta here
All I know’s I gotta be where my heart says I oughta be
It often makes no sense, in fact I never understand these things I feel”
– “Don’t Change Your Plans”
Ben Folds Five

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