Long-Distance Relationships

Lynn45February 25, 2004

I've been in a long-distance relationship for almost a year now. I have been single for many years, as has he - I mean really single - without any relationship. We both had had them, but not for a long time. It seems hard for me to keep connected - I feel withdrawn when we are apart.

Anyway, I wondered if anyone would care to give me the benefit of their experiences.

I may post this on the Marriage Forum, too. Some of them may have experiences to share.

Thanks - Lynn

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Carrie B

Hi and welcome, Lynn.

I was in a nine-month long distance relationship with a man who lived on the opposite coast.

We met while we were both vacationing in Europe, he lived in California and I live in PA. We were lucky in that he had a job that allowed him to work off-site, so he could visit me for several weeks or a month at a time. During our nine-month relationship, I think we were together more than apart. It was, however, a strange way to get to know each other - we were either living together, or we were 3,000 miles apart.

Ultimately, the relationship didn't work out, but it is hard to say how much the distance impacted the outcome. I don't think it would have ultimately worked out even if we lived in the same city, and perhaps we would have realized sooner how little we had in common.

I've heard of successeful outcomes to long-distance relationships, but generally that includes the relationship ceasing to be long-distance. My brother and his (now) wife carried on a Los Angeles-Baltimore relationship for several years, but now they are married and living together in a third location.

Are you and your SO talking about the future, Lynn? I think long-distance can work for a period of time, but I think without a clear goal, with a timeline, it puts an enormous amount of stress on the relationship. How far away are you? How often do you talk on the phone?



    Bookmark   February 25, 2004 at 2:33PM
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I am a good pen pal, correspndent, friend in a far off place, but I cannot imagine a long distance relationship for myself. 'Relationship", to me, means spending time together. However, if you are happy, I would not question the feelings because the relationship doesn't fit someone elses criteria. "Withdrawn" does't seem entirely negative to me. I am too old and too involved in other things to want to spend every waking hour with a SO. Do you enjoy or resent your time on your own? Do you both feel the same?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2004 at 3:03PM
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Thanks for your responses.
CarrieB, We are about 440 miles apart. We see each other at least once a month. We e-mail several times a day, talk on the phone when we can, and send letters/cards occasionally.
We have talked about the future. In the beginning, it was about marriage - "when" he finds a job here. Now, I'm glad to say, he realizes it may be best to live separately at first while he adjusts to his new job (when/if he gets one) and talk more about future plans then. This way we can work out issues about our pets and children (grown, but still things to talk/work out). Not to be cold, but practically speaking, since we're older there are issues regarding retirement assets, houses, all those kinds of things to consider, too. I think the relationship would be easier if we were in the same town, whether we lived together or apart. But that's not reality at the moment.
We knew each other in high school and connected at our class reunion last summer, so it's not like we were complete strangers. However, there is still a lot to learn about each other.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 2:31PM
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Hi, I'd like to see if we can resuscitate this thread. I'd love to share thoughts with others in LDRs.

Lynn45, I'm in a similar situation to yours. I'm older too, 50, and my boyfriend is 49. We've been in a LDR for 6 months and have known each other as friends for 10 years, though we lived in different cities most of this time. We live 200 miles away. We were fond friends and then realized we had deeper feelings back around Christmastime even though he likes to say he's tried to make me his girlfriend for 10 years! Anyway, we see each other 1-2 times a month, most months. When we see each other it's usually for 5 or 6 days, so that's good. This past month we only saw each other for 3 days and one of those days we had a pretty serious argument, so that wasn't a great way to spend this month.

We talk on the phone a couple times a week but it's for long stretches, often 3 or 4 hours. In the meantime we email occasionally. I'm starting to feel that this isn't enough for me, though. I can't move now due to family obligations, and he loves where he lives, so I don't see us being in the same city any time soon. Sometimes I wonder if this can really work. I didn't want to get into a LDR as I'd been in them before, but he's such a great person and we have so much in common.

He says he loves me and believes in commitment but says he's leery of marriage, but hasn't ruled it out. He's said he's committed to me and to our relationship and wants this to be "for keeps." I don't think we're quite ready to live together or make any marriage type decisions right now. I am fine with that as long as we can continue having a good relationship. My worry is that the distance will prevent us from being as close as we could be or could leave me feeling emotionally distant. Any arguments or disagreements we've had so far have just brought us closer together with greater understanding, so I do think we're on the right track. I'm just sometimes wanting, almost needing, to be with him when we're not together, and that's hard.

Anybody else?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 11:03AM
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Retro, my SOSO (Sort Of Significant Other) moved out of the country about 2 months ago. We've talked, and he wants me to visit, but I haven't really decided. Pretty up in the air about the whole thing. It probably doesn't help that I've never really been a chatty phone person. Plus the time difference; by the time I'm home from work, it's the middle of the night there. Plus, I'm still pretty upset that he (as opposed to we) made the decision to move. Not quite the same as your situation, but, definitely long-distance, even if the relationship is not so definite.

As an aside, as SOSO was flying to his new home, I was busy being a bridesmaid in a wedding where the bride and groom had been in an intercontinental relationship for three years. She met him while traveling on business in Europe, dated for a couple years, they got engaged, he moved here, great wedding. So, it can work.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 7:48PM
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