Author Topic: Long Distance Relationships  (Read 7799 times)

TooSoon

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Long Distance Relationships
« on: April 03, 2015, 10:57:30 PM »
Anybody want to talk about the challenges of long distance relationships? 

look2thesky

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 11:56:59 PM »
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« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 11:29:30 AM by look2thesky »

widowat33

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 11:57:42 PM »
I'm not in one right now...but my while dating my dh we were. Once we were married we did live together for a couple of years, but with his job he worked away for the last four years of our marriage.
It can be very challenging! For us the arguments were worse, because at least face to face it can be easier to resolve rather than on the phone, or FaceTime, etc... The special events that I had to attend alone without him, were another thing I hated so much.
In reality I suppose the long distance marriage we had actually prepared me better for this life without him..maybe it has made it somewhat easier to adjust?!  I know I am certainly more independant, and used to dealing with issues on my own than I might have been had he been home all the time..
One positive to the long distance was how much we appreciated every moment we did have together. We never took our time together for granted and made the most of it. I think that's another aspect that has made this journey a little less painful.
I realize you are talking about current relationships, and maybe I shouldn't really post about the past, but I get how hard it is. Every relationship has it's challenges, being in a long distance relationship has different challenges for sure. However, for us it worked, and I know some other couples that it works for as well, but it's definitely not for everyone!

Mel4072

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2015, 12:34:16 AM »
TooSoon,
If your heart is in it then you will find a way to make it work. One thing that changed about me post loss, was my willingness to travel. I don't mind leaving my roots anymore because I know that change is inevitable. I also know that I can survive it and even thrive.
Follow your heart. Damn the job and house. Everything really does work out. It's scary. My relationship is 40 minutes away from me. That's scary every step of the way. But I trust my heart now and know that it won't betray me. And every step, I have more peace and comfort.
Your are a very special person. I love you and admire you. You WILL figure this out!

Chrispy89

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2015, 05:26:44 AM »
Hi,

My partner and I were on other sides of the world for about 6 months. You need absolute trust and faith in each other that you are faithful and you need commitment, commitment to keeping in constant contact with each other throughout the day (texts,emails, facebook etc) and making the time for each other to speak over the phone, skype etc at least once a day. It was hard, because we missed each other, but we knew we were both worth waiting for so we did.

Good luck
xx

mokie

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2015, 08:00:07 AM »
My new husband and I were several hundred miles away while "dating".  We talked or messaged every day, and we made the effort to travel to see each other.  He had a better schedule for traveling, so he would often be the one to come see me, or we would both drive and meet somewhere in the middle, and check out new little towns.  I had the summers off, so I would often spend a couple of weeks or more with him then.

It was absolutely worth the struggle for awhile. 
When you get the choice to sit it out or dance... I hope you dance!

Wheelerswife

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2015, 09:26:22 AM »
TooSoon,

You know my long distance story, but newer folks may not.  My polarbear and I were 1600 miles apart when we started talking and we decided to meet pretty quickly so we could find out if there was truly the chemistry between us.  Well, it was quite evident that the spark was there and it was on fire.  We hated being apart so much that 2 months into our relationship, I began the process of planning my move to be with him.  My move came 6 months after we connected.  My heart aches for those who find new love but have challenges closing the gap.  I know of several people who have done this, most over a much longer time frame, but I also know people who did it much faster than John and I did.  It is definitely more complicated when children and careers have to be considered.  John and I had no children and I had a career that offered mobility and opportunity elsewhere (and I ended up choosing to "retire" after I moved anyway.) Finances, attachment to family and geographic location and a host of other factors can impact one's ability or desire to relocate, too.  I wasn't caring for my aging parents, nor did I have health issues at the time that I moved.  I guess that the factor that I considered most with my decision to pursue the relationship with John and to move to be with him was this one thing:  Happiness.  I would pursue a relationship again for that exact reason.  I've had enough heartache.  I will do what brings me the most happiness.

Hugs,

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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N43EM

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 10:37:04 AM »
Yes, I want to talk about it!  I've been in a relationship for 2 1/2 years now with a widower.  He lives close to 2 hrs away- and its across wyoming highways, which means the weather dictates travel (the roads are routinely closed and/or dangerous so plans are constantly altered or canceled).  The distance is difficult, but for us the challenge of children is even harder.  We have almost no time alone, and the added frustration of different school breaks and schedules.  But, I do feel it is worth it.  Just hard.  So I guess long-distance is complicated by so many factors (just like widowhood), that its hard to make any generic statements about it!

Nuggets

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2015, 01:10:30 PM »
John and I were in an LDR in the late '70's -- long before 'Internet for the Masses' and phone plans --- it was expensive, and we wrote a LOT of thick letters... (I kept all mine, and now they are in the casket with the author --- ). 

The first relationship I was in after he died was VLDR -- with him in New Zealand and me in Canada.

The second (and last) relationship wasn't nearly as LDR with ONLY ONE TIME ZONE CHANGE :) -- he was in SoCal and me in Alberta. 

So, with John - it worked out pretty good :) , I moved from the Yukon to Alberta willingly because it was a good option for me (I was just finished trade school, wanting out of the Yukon, etc) - we lived together for a year and married in 1979.  He died in my arms 2 weeks after our 23rd anniversary.

The fellow from NZ:  not so good, time we spent together was fun and fabulous... he had been twice divorced and was not interested in going that route again.  We both were raising teenage sons and were fearful of messing up theirs lives by blending families.  He could NOT come to Canada, I could have went to NZ because of family history... but it never got that far.  In the end, we drifted the distance after his 23 yr old son completed suicide in 2006 - I didn't have the skills and intensity to support him, and he had a very difficult time.  We are still friends and I hear from him (or his daughter, she was in favour of the union and still says her dad was a 'dumbass' for letting me go -- sweet lady) often.

The fellow from Socal:  not so good.  Again, he was fun and funny and we were able to spend a lot of time together with the relative ease between Calgary and LA - and he was was in Calgary several times a year for work.  He had big trust issues because of his divorce, I didn't think it was fair that I would be measured with the scale he used for his ex-wife.  Things faded to a quiet, pathetic whimper once he took a position in the Deep South of US and getting together got increasingly difficult.  We parted amicably after 4 years - I felt that he should have a fair idea if he was interested in a future with me after 4 years, he still wasn't sure -- was as good as 'No' for me, and I wished him well in his new life in 'The Land of Bugs and Sweat' (his words, he was not impressed with living in Alabama - and it may have had something to do with his demeanour ;) ).  I have not heard from him since.

My opinion:  for the relationship to grow to a point where you are discussing whether to share a life and future together - someone has to be willing to make big changes to their life.  While dating and getting to  know each other -- everyone is on their best behaviour and things go pretty good -- but eventually you grow tired of being alone even though you have a significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend or new life partner.  The apart times are cumbersome, the together times go by too quickly.

Last was 2012 - nothing since then, I am holding out for someone in my own town --- I'm 1 out of 3 for the LDR route and the Universe seems to be sending me a message :P
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.

Isaac Asimov

Jess

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2015, 01:57:02 PM »
Being in a long distance relationship myself, I can certainly contribute to a discussion about the challenges. In my case, the distance is 1800 miles. There is no driving and meeting in the middle, it always has to involve a plane trip for a weekend or week here and there. While it is difficult, with the right person you connect with, it is possible and can even be a really positive thing, which is what my relationship is for me.

All relationships take effort, but I have found that issues that would be small if you are in the same town become magnified. For example, when life happens and plans change, it is so important to communicate that to the other person since there is no other method for the other person to know. We learned that one really quickly.

Also, with a LDR there is a reliance on technology. Last night my entire neighborhood experienced an internet outage, which meant that night's Skype hangout was effectively off. It was frustrating, but there really wasn't anything that could be done about it. When you get accustomed to video chat, sometimes having to default to just talking on the phone is not as good. Reading about Nuggets pulling off a successful LDR in the late 70's makes me feel a little spoiled to to say that, but it is what it is.

Having an endgame is also important. We had serious conversations much sooner than I probably would have if I was seeing someone in town, but if ultimately neither person is willing to uproot themselves for the relationship, it would become a permanent LDR, which for me personally would get rather lonely and I would have to be faced with the decision as to whether or not those sporadic weekends and weeks were enough, no matter how strongly I felt.

It is also perhaps a bit different being a widow in a LDR. When the other person is away, I end up missing two people in completely different ways. I miss my husband constantly but I understand he will never be coming back. I miss the other person in this LDR with me in a totally different way knowing that I just have to wait until the next trip or ultimately the time that we have decided would be right to close the geographical gap. It is a bit disorienting at times.

For me, being in a LDR works because we have an endgame and a commitment to each other to make this work, but it is not for everyone. I am not sure if it were someone I didn't share such a connection with if I would be willing to face the challenges.
On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. - Unknown

Don't be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous. - Hazrat Inayat Khan

Joe: 1979- 7/2014

anniegirl

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2015, 03:13:04 PM »
Quote
My opinion:  for the relationship to grow to a point where you are discussing whether to share a life and future together - someone has to be willing to make big changes to their life.  While dating and getting to  know each other -- everyone is on their best behaviour and things go pretty good -- but eventually you grow tired of being alone even though you have a significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend or new life partner.  The apart times are cumbersome, the together times go by too quickly.

Yep, totally agree because it is simply too hard to do for too long. It doesn't matter how much you love and "get" each other absence makes the heart grow frustrated and that frustration will eventually doom the relationship.

In my case, I moved.

Quit my job. Sold my house. Gave away or sold everything we couldn't fit in the back of his truck and a 6x12 foot Uhaul trailer and left a place where I lived for 20 yrs and a state I'd lived in my entire life. Emigrated to Canada. 1500 miles away.

And no, it wasn't all hearts and flowers all the time, but neither was the LDR.

We were lucky because his kids were young adults and mine was in pre-school, so though we had blending, we didn't have the insurrection that some people have when they have kids who are old enough to have opinions but not old enough to realize that they don't have a vote.

I have never been sorry I was the one who uprooted and moved.

There have been adjustments. If you'd told me 15 years ago I would be a SAHM, I would have laughed at you. And for all the common roots of Canadians and Americans, Canada is still a foreign country in ways that aren't obvious on the surface and the culture shock, though not as bad as it probably is for people coming from other places, was still real.

The biggest thing about pulling the pin on an LDR and moving to a both in the same location relationship is the fear of change and of "having made a horrible mistake that can't be undone".

Change is work. Nothing more. And there are very few things that can't be righted.

This is not the droid you are looking for.

TooSoon

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2015, 03:38:52 PM »
Wow!  Thank you all so much for sharing your stories; I feel a renewed sense that what we have committed to is not "bat sh*t crazy" as some people seem to think it is.  For anyone who does not know my story (and with apologies to those of you who have heard my story ad nauseum) I started a friendly correspondence with someone on ywbb about a year and a half ago. A year ago we met in person and have managed in that year, despite his being in the UK and my being in PA, to spend a good bit of time together both here, there and elsewhere.  (insert sappy lament about how happy I am and how much I just want to get on with it).  My patience has run thin and waiting indefinitely, well, being widowed won't permit me to do that.  I know time is not my friend.  I am ready.

Jezzy, I so get what you are talking about with missing two people at once at some moments; I've always had a pretty good handle on that as A and I corresponded for 6 months before meeting and I could keep things fairly well compartmentalized.  The time difference exacerbates this for me.  I get home from work, make dinner and then M retreats to her ipad and art making and I sit down at the computer and he's gone to bed - for instance, tonight will be INTOLERABLE and though I've accepted it for now, I don't have to like it. 

The real frustration kicked in after he came and spent a week here with M and me.  I already knew we were both all-in but it was that was when I started it get wildly impatient to make that leap, whether us there or him here and really started to feel the urgency of making a plan.  He applied for a job in Philadelphia but didn't get it and we were both naively optimistic and then crushed.  That didn't help.  And there's no meeting in the middle for us either as we'd be smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic.  I also haven't seen him since January and have two weeks still to go and I was way over the waiting long ago.  So hard. 

I am so relieved I can talk about this here.  A didn't join the new board and on the old one I never felt like it would be ok to bring this up; I don't know why, it just seemed inappropriate or something.  Keep talking!  This helps so much!  I have often felt very much alone, especially as I've watched others move forward into relationships while I sit here hammering away at the keyboard.  You guys are the best! 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 05:58:27 PM by TooSoon »

mokie

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2015, 03:43:11 PM »
Yep, ultimately, someone has to be willing and able to make a move.  In my (our) case, it was both of us.  We both quit our jobs and moved to a totally different place and started a whole new life.  I know this isn't possible for some, and with the job market the way it is, not always smart to quit a good job, but it worked for us.  We also had 3 sons combined who were all in their 20's and either in college or on their own, so we didn't have to worry about uprooting little ones.  That also made the traveling while LDR easier.

I liked what Maureen said:  "I guess that the factor that I considered most with my decision to pursue the relationship with John and to move to be with him was this one thing:  Happiness.  I would pursue a relationship again for that exact reason.  I've had enough heartache.  I will do what brings me the most happiness."

This is so true... Do what's best for you... and little ones if they're around.  Others in your life will come on board.  Or not.  But it's your life.
When you get the choice to sit it out or dance... I hope you dance!

mokie

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2015, 03:46:11 PM »
And I SO get the "it's been X-weeks, and still X-more, and it's HARD!!!"

We rarely went more than 3 weeks without seeing each other, but there was a time or two when it was up to 6 weeks.  Again... keep the end game in mind!!
When you get the choice to sit it out or dance... I hope you dance!

IronBear

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Re: Long Distance Relationships
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2015, 07:50:52 PM »
Anybody want to talk about the challenges of long distance relationships?

They can work if one person is willing to move in the near future.

Quote
My opinion:  for the relationship to grow to a point where you are discussing whether to share a life and future together - someone has to be willing to make big changes to their life.  While dating and getting to  know each other -- everyone is on their best behaviour and things go pretty good -- but eventually you grow tired of being alone even though you have a significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend or new life partner.  The apart times are cumbersome, the together times go by too quickly.

^that^
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 07:55:31 PM by IronBear »