Miles Away

Long Distance Relationships

Three words I never thought I’d use to describe my own situation.

I have been known to say I’d be able to cope with a real grown-up relationship (I don’t even like saying the ‘R’ word) if the man in question lived at arms length, say 60-80 miles away. Too far to go for just an evening but manageable for 2-3 fun-packed weekends per month before returning home where there’s just me.

To my amazement, I pretty much achieved this whilst living in New York. I lived on the upper west side in the city and around Christmas, I started dating a New Yorker who lived about an hour away upstate. Three months later, everything changed as I had to unfortunately come back to England and 3300 miles is substantially more than my more manageable 60-80 target mileage.

I realised I missed him and to my surprise – and his – we decided to keep this thing going. So, I have devised some pros and cons for this long distance thing:

Pros (How we make it work)

When we are together, it’s always quality time so appreciating that sure helps. The limited time is too precious for bickering or arguing.

Make the extra effort to communicate openly and regularly. Text, email, phone, Skype, video calls – the technology is there and a Blackberry or mobile email device is fantastic, especially if you’re in different time zones and therefore not necessarily at your computers simultaneously. And you can email for free wherever you find yourself with something witty to say.

This brings me to humour as that’s what keeps us going whether we’re together or apart. Making each other laugh is what we do best and can be easily done with a text or a link on an email.

If you don’t live together, you have less chance of irritating each other or getting on each other’s nerves.

Plan telephone calls just like a date so you’re both free to talk. I won’t go to the trouble of video calls but I’m sure that’s fantastic for others in the same position.

Keep a list of all those things you want to share and keep adding to it so you don’t forget when your phone call comes around.

It helps to have an end point to the separation so you can see the sun on the horizon. 

There is lots of me time to do whatever you want.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Cons

It’s hard to make up after falling out without eye contact and a hug

When in a different time zone, it feels like being on a different planet and it’s harder to find mutually convenient times to talk. 

By the time phone dates come around the moment has sometimes gone. 

The cost of travelling.

It’s difficult to be 100% secure with the relationship and the mind sometimes wonders to what they may be doing and who they are with.

Using up all the vacation time to see each other.

 The lack of between the sheets exercising.

Oddly enough, since I have resolved to keep this thing going across the Atlantic Ocean, I keep hearing about others in a similar situation – all of them successful which is a very positive sign indeed.

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