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Thread: Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

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    Arrow Surviving a Long Distance Relationship

    The Agony and The Ecstasy... of long distance relationships. So rarely does one cliche so succinctly sum up something.

    Those of us who've tried can all attest: it's haaaaaard.
    There are different kinds of relationships across the miles and they require different things.

    Some start out that way, such as when you meet Mr. Wonderful at your friend's wedding in Wisconsin -- and you live a thousand miles away.

    Or, perhaps the Mr. Wonderful you've been dating for five months in Biloxi gets sent to Chicago for a six-month assignment. Or, worse yet, his dream job moves there permanently and you don't want to choose between your own dream job (still in Biloxi) and your dreamy boyfriend.

    The differences between the three are vast. You and Wedding Wonderboy are getting to know one another across the miles, while the relocations take away a known quantity.

    Building a new relationship is a whole lot harder than maintaining an existing one. The easiest one to weather is the temporary shift - if you're committed to the relationship, you just have to figure out a way to survive six difficult months. But even that isn't easy.


    DEFINE YOUR TERMS

    You can ease a lot of long-term discomfort and confusion by defining your expectations in advance.
    For instance, unless you're looking for a casual, non-exclusive relationship, at some point, one of you is going to have to move. That can add a whole lot of stress to your already strained couplehood. So, from the beginning, set out a game plan.

    Are you evaluating whether one of you will move, and if so, does that mean marriage? Or are you just trying to maintain the relationship as it stands now, perhaps in a different place?

    Recognize that you can't compare a long-distance relationship to one based on physical proximity. But you may be surprised how much a relationship can grow - if you work at it. Late-night talks and thoughtful letters can convey a lot of what is most important in the long-term: your goals, values and dreams.

    But simple companionship and connectedness is often the meat and bones of a relationship -- and you still have to prepare yourself for the absence of his or her warmth, smile and all the wonders of non-verbal communication.

    When a boyfriend and I were separated for three months, I drove him absolutely crazy because I needed -- non-negotiably -- to talk to him each day.

    We discovered this when somehow we skipped two planned phone calls and I completely freaked out. I felt millions of miles away from him (really, it was only 9,000), unloved, uncared for, forgotten... and I was sure he'd been hit by a bus and that's why he couldn't get to the phone.
    Definitely one of my finer, rational moments.

    What had actually happened was that the nine-hour time difference got in the way. He was in Israel and I was in the States and he somehow thought that calling at 3 a.m. was inappropriate.

    Call me foolish.

    Remember this: missing a day (36 hours in my case) does not indicate relationshipial jeopardy. If a phone call gets missed or an e-mail doesn't arrive, do not assume that your darling has run off with the cleaning lady or been hijacked.

    Discuss your communication needs and limits. It's likely that one partner will need more communication more than the other. Be prepared to be flexible.

    If you want more contact than your partner, try to be less demanding. If you need less, try to be a little more communicative than you might tend to be. Meet in the middle.
    For instance, if he wants to talk daily and you don't, perhaps you can commit to sending a one-line loving e-mail each day, just so he knows you're thinking of him.


    BRANCH OUT FROM THE PHONE TREE

    E-mail is a wonderful invention for separated loved ones and is particularly useful in helping to avoid transferring your IRA directly to AT&T.
    On the other hand, be careful about relying on e-mail to resolve conflicts.
    The problem here is that e-mail feels as casual as a phone call, but it's permanent. The words are there in black and white. Tone, intentions and content can all be easily misconstrued.

    Just remember: this is a note, not a Talmudic passage to be read and re-read for every hidden nuance, message and subtext. (Being overly analytical can be a real burden here.) If you have an issue to resolve, try to do it over the phone or in person. You even have other options.

    To cut down phone costs, try calling your Beloved One when you know he or she won't be in -- and leave a "thinking of you" message on voice mail.
    Before Alexander Graham Bell ever was born, people kept in long-distant contact by writing words on a piece of paper, which they then placed into an envelope, affixed a postage stamp (in those days, you had to lick them), and then mailed through the post office. These were called "letters."

    You can also send care packages and little gifts, or peruse the selection of sicky sweet cards at your local Hallmark store.


    SHARE THE BURDEN

    However you do it, be conscious of the costs involved and try to apportion them in a fair manner. It can cause resentment if one of you foots the bill for everything. That's a doubly sticky situation since it leaves the big spender somewhat in control of the relationship.
    With visits, alternate who visits whom and consider meeting in the middle on occasion.

    Remember this: if you can't openly discuss your feelings about how you're spending money, you'll have a hard time building a long-term relationship with this person. Keep in mind that the tensions that arise now are opportunities to strengthen your relationship for the future.


    MAKE THE MOST OF TIME TOGETHER

    When you are together, expect pressure (whether it's because you have issues to discuss or not). Don't spend so much time agonizing over and planning out your time in concert that you forget to enjoy it. Every moment does not have to be perfect or perfectly scheduled.
    Conversely, understand that the perfection of weekend getaways likely won't continue once a normal relationship is possible.

    Ultimately, a normal relationship is the goal. And using some of these tools will stop "separation pressures" that might prevent you from getting there.


    Taken from: aish.com


    -SuperDave71
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle

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    Good post, Dave. Everybody always says that long-distance relationships tear your soul out and should not be done under any cir***stances, but I disagree. Some of the most fulfilling (albeit painful, as of my last relationship) have been long-distance. Granted, it was more because they were who they were more so than the situation, but it goes to show that if the two of your a strong people (these relationships are not for the faint of heart), then I think long-distance can really do your relationship a lot of good when you finally make it into the same area.

    I definitely agree with that last statement of making the most of your time together, and not to schedule everything in advance. My favorite parts of visiting my ex were when we were just puttering around in our PJ's.

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    HAHAHA...we share one thing in common except I call "PJ's" my "Comphy Pants"


    I have Stewie from Family Guy, AC/DC, Metallica, 5 Pairs of regular.


    I love'em! ha ha



    -SuperDave71
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle

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    I have Stewie too! I remember he had a pair of Spongebob ones that said "Talk nerdy to me" on them. I would've swiped them if they weren't like 15 sizes too big.

    The other good thing about long distance for me is that it kind of fits my lifestyle at the moment. I'm a full-time grad student and I live like a monk doing research and writing papers pretty much all the time. I feel like if I had a boyfriend here, I'd never have time to see him.

    Meh...if he were really cool I'd probably adjust my schedule a bit...

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    Currently I am in a "smaller" distance relationship, which is only an hour away. Actually, it gives us both time to do the things/take care of the responsibilities that need to be tended to and then on the weekend, regardless if he comes my way or I go his way we spend together...It just depends what is going on at that time.

    There are also times one of us will drive up to see the other one night during the week. It is working for us!

    xxSPHYNXxx



    Everything will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, then it's not the end

    Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

    HUGS!

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    Suzy47
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    This is what we do...to survive a LDR...and we've been together a year... SKYPE, BUYING SKYPE CREDIT TO MAKE UNLIMITED LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS, USING THE CAM FROM SKYPE AND WATCHING A MOVIE TOGETHER EVERY NIGHT!!!!

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    I've done the LDR far too many times lol, and now I am in a weird situation where I am talking to someone from California. I've known her for over 3 years and we've always been great friends, and she has confessed that she has developed very strong feelings for me....gawd. I don't think I feel anymore than friendship for her, but part of me holds back because the whole LDR (for me!) is just too complex. We talk alot, and right now, our 'friendship' suits us both. However, she does get very jealous even when I mention a coversation I may have had with someone female at work! I try to make a joke of it, and we do laugh about it, but I can see how this could get messy. She is adorable, we have loads in common and of course, the accent melts me lol. I have been honest with her from the start and said that I was not interested in any kind of serious relationship and she accepts that,.....

    There is so much going on for me in my life right now that I don't really have time to think about relationships and the madness that brings!
    -Peace
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    Long distance relationships seem to be all I ever do, and while they can be complicated, sometimes it really depends on the person you're in the relationship with. If someone is laid back and giving you reason to feel comfortable and secure (and assuming you are the same way with them), it gets easier. It's never EASY, but it's easiER. It's never easy to continually miss someone while they're gone...and I do have a habit of starting to get nervous/scared after about a month or so. That's where reassurance comes in handy.
    "Are tangerines really just oranges that didn't want it enough?" - Random Greeting Card

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    bukangliwayway
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    if the love is that strong and it all depends on the pair , if it's really worth it. i haven't experienced LDR yet.but if in case i do, i just hope it works...

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    Great post. I really needed to read this right now. Thanks a lot for putting this all together. I also think e-mail is a blessing. It's like writing letters to your loved one. Except, it will reach them instantly. I really enjoy putting down my thoughts and sending it to my girlfriend via e-mail. She loves reading them. )

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