Long distance relationships

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Okay all my lovely readers...anyone out there currently in/successfully survived a long-distance relationship? What helped? And if you didn't survive, what would you have done differently?

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2000


Oh, these stories are all so lovely...all my readers who AREN'T in LDR's--I'd love to know how you all met your SO's as well, if you're willing to share. All this squooshiness is just really getting to me. Yummy.

So everyone is confirming what I already knew...that constant communication and as much of a sense of normalcy as you can achieve are the most important things. I'm glad I was right about that. :-) This all seems so easy to me NOW, but I know that it is most likely just going to get harder. I'm kind of coasting on the bliss and eventually choices will have to be made. Hearing from people who made those choices or went through this is so wonderful for me. Thank you so much for sharing of yourselves.

Oh, and Toni--I can ask him to do a guest entry, but I can't promise anything. :-)

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

I'm not sure if this is the same thing, Mel, but not long after Carl and I were married, he started working enormous amounts of time out of town. There would be weeks of him being gone (and me, home with the kids) and it was very hard. The key for us was to a) talk and b) not just about problems, but to always find the funny little things to share about the day. You know, the little observations about people and place that you'd talk about over coffee in the evenings. We are both pretty good at painting visual pictures of the people around us and it was often an adventure hearing about the zanies he came across. Of course, there's always the problems you'll discuss, etc., but to me, the saving grace came from learning to see the world through his eyes. (Which you two seem to already be doing)

Also, we say "I love you" about five million times a day. Still do -- 18 years later. And fwiw, he was instantly my best friend and we moved very quickly -- we were engaged in a month and a half and married in three months' time.

By the way, it's wonderful to "see" you so happy and full of peace and joy. I'm just thrilled to the brim for you. And dying to "meet" John... hey? when do we get a guest entry, hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2000

My long distance relationship was a little different from most in that we'd basically lived together for 9 months before he had to take a year off from school and move back to New York. And about six months after the long distance thing started, he decided to be a jerk and cheat on me repeatedly. But that's a whole other issue; for the first six months, the long distance thing worked as well as a ldr can.

It helped a lot that we talked constantly. He called me first thing in the morning to say good morning and I love you, I called him last thing at night to hear his voice before I went to sleep, and in between we exchanged several emails a day.

I think my favorite thing that he ever did that helped me with the long distance thing was making me a tape of him reading The Velveteen Rabbit. One must understand that this is one of my all-time favorite children's books, and every now and then my inner child loves to be indulged, so when he was living here we'd curl up together and he'd read it to me, complete with voices for the different characters. So when he had to move away, he gave me that tape, and there were many nights I'd fall asleep with my Walkman on, listening to his voice. It made the loneliness much more bearable.

I don't know if you happen to have a digital camera, but we both did, so most days we'd email a picture of ourselves that day to each other. Not that I really needed the reminder of what he looked like or anything, but it somehow made me feel a little closer to know what he looked like that particular day.

I'm trying to go the other route as well, and think of things I could have done differently to help the relationship survive. But the end of that relationship was all about his cheating and my depression, both of which would have been the same regardless of distance. I'll be back if I think of something, though.

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2000

Hi Melissa! Wow! He sounds like my kind of guy!

[warning, this turned into a long rambley story, sorry]

When I met my husband I lived in Baltimore, MD and he lived in Virginia Beach, VA. We were both "home" for a weekend (we grew up 45 minutes from each other in the upper part of Virginia) and ended up in the same nightclub. We had an instant spark. Instant. Spark. I wouldn't call it love it first sight(not that he wasn't cute, but I wasn't looking), but rather love at first conversation. Anyway...we both were in relationships, but we "didn't ask, didn't tell" about that at first. He asked for my phone number at the end of the evening. (This is after we closed the club down at 2am and talked in the parking lot for another hour with my girlfriend and his dad!) He called me the next day (when we had both returned home) and we talked for several hours. Then he called me the next week and the next week. Every call was HOURS long. This was very different for me because the guy I had been dating for YEARS treated me like crap and would NEVER have called me long distance to chat! Anyway one day maybe 3 weeks into this he called and got my machine and his voice was so small and crestfallen because he had missed me. He called every hour and kept getting my machine because I had gone to my mom's for the weekend. When I got home I was in a panic because he sounded so sad, and it was late so I knew he wouldn't call me again. (It was only 10pm but I had a rule about no phone calls after 9:30 or so because I got up early) Well at this point he had never given me his phone number, and we had never discussed whether or not either one of us was involved, because we both were. So I wanted desperately to talk to him, but I was afraid that I would find out that he was married with 2.5 children. Ya know? So I decided to call information and IF I got the number that meant I should call. Well his last name is pretty uncommon so he was the only one listed. Then I decided that IF a woman answered the phone I would hang up and never speak to him again. He answered. He said "I can't believe you called me! How did you get this number?" I was terrified that he WAS married and that I had just lost him forever. I told him that I had called information and that if he didn't want me to call I would tear up the number and never call him again. He said "No No, I'm just surprised." then he really shocked me, he said "Hang up, I'll call you back, you can't afford this." Now like I said, I wasn't used to being treated like a lady at all, so this really floored me. I hung up, he called back. It turned out that he lived with his SISTER and his MOTHER so the chances of me getting a female voice were 2-1! We were starting to realize that we really wanted to be together. We made plans to see each other again, just to make sure that what was happening was real. Our first date ended up being 12 hours long! He met me at the reception of a friends wedding in which I was a bridesmaid. (He gets huge brownie points for this because he met my mom, my sister and brother and a former boyfriend at this wedding!!!) We went for a drive in the country, out to dinner, out dancing with the girl I had been with the night we met and her husband, and then sat in my mother's driveway talking for another couple of hours. That was when I told him that I had a jackass boyfriend. He looked at me and said words that gave me goosebumps. He said "I'll fight for you." Needless to say he had me! We met on August 19th, 1989, this first date was on September 16th, starting in October I drove down there every other weekend to visit him (he worked weekends and couldn't come see me, but he would pay all my tolls and fill my car up with gas and give me cash for the trip back!!) By November we couldn't stand to be apart any longer. His girlfriend was long gone and we were talking marriage already. At Thanksgiving he moved to Baltimore with me, but couldn't find a job...so by New Years I quit my job and we moved to Va. Beach. We got married a year to the day from when we met, August 18, 1990. Our son was born August 16, 1994. Our 10 year anniversary is this August. It feels like 5 minutes. He's my best friend in the whole world. The. Whole. World.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

9 months after my now-wife and I started going out, I moved from St. Catharines to Toronto to go to school and try to make something of my life. (Some might argue we're still waiting on that one...)

The next 2 years, from '86 to '88 were spent in a long-distance relationship, albeit not nearly as long distance as yours presently is. After a while, we had it down almost to a well honed routine; 2 -3 phones calls each week and a monthly visit by one of us in the others direction for a weekend.

We were so good at our timing that when she was visiting me, we could time it to the last minute before getting on the subway so she would make her Grey Coach back to St. Catharines. Btw, it's still 18 minutes to get from the Sheppard subway station to the Dundas station southbound on the Yonge Street line.

Given that we're coming up on our 15th/3rd anniversary (15 overall, 3 married - we got married on our first date anniversary) I'd say we survived. :-)

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2000

My own experience was actually that the LD made falling in love that much easier, tho the phone bills, back & forth, etc. did suck! My SO & I have a rather weird story - knew each other from college (now about 15 years ago), were good friends for most of college & years following. Talked and/or saw each other a couple times a year, and then, about 5 years ago, all of a sudden, fell in love. He was living in NYC at the time & I was in D.C. That summer was both very frustrating & absolutely incredible. We managed to see each other almost every other weekend - I'd get up to NY or he'd get down, and when we were together, we were together the whole time - none of the having to fit your outside life in w/ the relationship - it was just US 24 hrs. a day for however many days we had then. I think this made it very special for us. Of course, after about 4 months, we couldn't take it any more & he moved down to D.C. 6 more months after that, we got a place together & the rest is history! Of course, we were starting a relationship that built on 10 years of friendship, so it was different than you & John, Melissa, but treasure this time. I miss parts of that wonderful summer. Your journal is bringing back a lot of those feelings for me. Falling in love long distance can be A LOT of fun!

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Nice forum, Mel.

My LDR is a bit different from most...we began dating in the same city in 1992, lived together from 1993-1995, and then separated (although we still dated occasionally). We got back together this year, and he lives in Washington DC, while I live in New Jersey. Because we have such a long frame of reference, however, it doesn't really feel like a LD experience. We've also made a commitment to move together by the end of the year, and we make sure to see each other at least once a month. After almost nine years, it really feels comfortable. It's the most solid, sure relationship I've ever been in.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

Hi, Melissa!

Dario & I had a mostly long-distance relationship for about two years, before we finally gave up the struggle and got married.

Of course, we're talking *very* long distance here, so none of these weekend visits or daily hour-long phone calls for us. He and his parents sent me tickets to come visit over Christmas break my senior year of college, then I came back to Bologna over the summer to work, couldn't find a permanent job, and went back to the States in September. He visited for a week in November, and I returned the favor in May. We were broke from all the phone calls and those transatlantic flights (few as they were, we were young and poor!), and the time came to make a decision.

And yes, the rest is history. :-) I can hardly believe, looking back, that we actually got married a) so young, and b) after having spent such a relatively short time actually *together* (about a year, spaced over 3 years). This September will be our twelfth wedding anniversary, though, so I guess we did something right.

Best of luck with *your* long-distance relationship. I love reading about it, and seeing you so happy!

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2000

I'm a girl of 20 living in Queensland Australia. The love of my life is a guy I met online when I was with my boyfriend at the time. We didn't know each other very well and it wasn't until I split up with my boyfriend (who lived 45 minutes away) and the one after him (who lived even further away) that i became close to this guy, who lives in Perth. It's as far west from Brisbane as you can get.

Why did I choose a guy who lives so far away? Because he cares about me so fully, he respects me and loves me unconditionally. Sure it's hard [aren't all LDR's hard?] but we're both so closely-binded with our hearts and souls that it doesn't matter.

I know he's perfect for me because of the way I was treated by my first love, who ignored me for his computer and game consoles. I know my Perth-guy would never *ever* do that, not only because he hates them, but because i'm his number 1 priority. We have never met in person [i'm planning a trip there in june/july] but this relationship is more perfect than any of my past ones have ever been at any stage.

Some of my internet friends got really bitter about it because he's three years younger than me and they think it won't last. Well there's only one person I have to please in this life, and that's myself. And I will love whomever I want. And so I am.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

Well, *someone* has to admit they've failed at long distance relationships ...

I had two in a row. The first was a guy ... a great guy ... I'd been dating for almost two years. We met when he was in training for his company, and being moved all over every three to six weeks for another training class. We hung out 'as friends' while he was in Philadelphia, then I didn't hear from him for a long time, until about six weeks later when his training was finished and he got placed in Jersey. He drove an hour and a half every weekend to see me, then got himself relocated to Philly.

Originally, however, he was from Seattle, and he was bugging his company to get him back to the west coast -- as they'd promised when they hired him -- for the entire year and a half that he was working in Philly. They got him to San Diego in May of 96 and the illusion of the wonderful relationship slowly began to crumble.

It was as much my fault as his, I know. I let us drift apart. I reverted my emotional needs completely to my friends and some new friends, allowing myself to think he couldn't possibly be my emotional support from so far away. He did the same thing, I think. When he came back to visit me for July 4th weekend, it was like being with a stranger. I cried when he left, and when he called me from San Diego, I ended it -- even though I knew I was moving to Arizona in a month and we'd have a chance to work on it, to be closer. [My largest regret is that I broke it off over the phone, when I'd *just* had a chance to sit down and talk to him. I was a coward, and I've never forgiven myself for that. He deserved better.]

My thoughts in looking back, Melissa, are that we *let* it happen, we let it fall apart. We didn't have to grow apart; if we'd worked at it, it might have lasted. But that's a maybe ... He was my first love and he always will be.

... I know I said I had two, but now I really don't feel like going into it. I'm sure y'all won't really mind.

By the way, Melissa, as a mostly-silent reader, I just wanted to add a congratulations. The way you write about your happiness fills me with happiness for you and John.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2000

Okay, sit back and grab a strong one...this is a story from hell! *laughs* I met a guy when I was 14, we fell instantly in love and had a wonderful relationship. 6 months into it my father lost his job and we had to move...out of state. We kept up the contact by lots of phone calls and letters, and I even went back to visit him once shortly after I moved. Several years later I became pregnant by someone else and I felt compelled to marry him. I told this guy that this is what was best and blah blah blah. Shortly after the marriage didn't work out and I was back to being single. We began talking and one thing led to another and we got back together. He was still in college with 3 years to go until graduation and he lived in San Antonio and I lived in Kansas City. We survived by phone calls everyday (no matter how short) and alot of conversations on the internet. He came to visit me on all school breaks and 2 weeks during the summer. It worked out to be about every 3 months. It was hell and we went through alot in that time but apparently it was meant to be because we are still together. I moved down to Texas to be with him and I have been here for 2 years. It's hard but if its meant to be its worth it!

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2000

You guys are talking about failed and very successful LDR's, but mine is in a limbo of sorts... My boyfriend is a John as well, and he is in Los Angeles, a bit far from my southern home. We've maintained a long distance relationship for nearly 3 years, and it may be another 3 before we could ever hope to close the gap because of college and jobs. Despite the difficulties, i adore him, and we've grown so close that sometimes i forget that he's not here. He calls me to wake me in the mornings, tucks me in at night, plays guitar for me on the phone for hours, and sometimes just calls me so i can listen to the birds on his porch. I've found that one of my favorite parts of his calls are when he goes through his daily "routine," while talking to me, opening his mail, saying hi to friends, etc. It just makes me feel like i'm with him, peeking over his shoulder. Another thing i love is when he surprises me, he'll call during a break in his meeting at work just to say i love you. I'm not sure how we will eventually turn out, some LDR's are just impossible to come together, but not for lack of love or want. I do know that, whether or not we are ever truly together, he has made my life a wonderful thing. Nae

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2000

Wow, Nae. That's what I'm hoping my new availableness by phone is going to bring us...all the daily routine stuff and that kind of thing. That's the worst part about an LDR, I think. I mean, not being together period is awful, but I love all the understated parts of a relationship that are impossible to have with someone who lives hundreds of miles away.

-- Anonymous, May 21, 2000

I had goals, the full year or so that Jeff and I were apart. Had to have countdowns to when I was next to see him physically, and had to have a longterm goal as to when we'd be in the same place for good. If I hadn't had those goals, I would have gone batty, sure of it. Oh yes, we alos spent Obscene amounts of money on phone calls, we usually managed one 10-15 minute call a day. For a year.

We've been married for 2 years, I moved from Oz to America, it's a good thing.

-- Anonymous, May 22, 2000

I am currently in an LDR, i think. I have been in it about 1 month 11 days, the guy is wonderful, we plan to meet maybe next year summer(he is coming here) he sames to really love me, and i think i really love him, he is the same age of me, he is 32 days older to be exact, i meant him online, and we have never meant, the worst part about it is, we r about 1500-2000 *MILES* apart, that freaks me the fuck out, we call eachother frequently, our phone bills must be high, but they r worth it, now this must be the longest long distance relationship u've heard of, right? I know, but anyway, i hope it works out, i know it will be tough, but, if it turns out well, i will be happy and so will he.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2001

I was in a long-distance relationship for.. umm.. slightly over a year. It ended in the best possible way -- I moved the 1700 miles necessary to make it a no-longer-long-distance relationship. Now I've got a better job, a better homelife, a love, and I brought my cat with me. What more could I want?

We met by talking on MUDs, but didn't consider a relationship until we'd met in real life at another mudder's wedding. Actually, we scarcely spoke to one another till then -- just knew one another peripherally from frequenting many of the same places. The relationship involved a LOT of talking online, but not many phone calls, since neither of us is too talkative in the traditional way. We visited each other every six weeks or so, and counted the days between trips. I wasn't too deeply rooted in my hometown, as a recent college graduate with a useless degree struggling to find decent employment. I'm doing much better here, though I wouldn't have had the impetus to move to San Diego without my boyfriend here.

Lots of communication, lots of visits, phone calls, packages, toys, share everything you possibly can. In-person time is very important.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

A LDR can work out depending on how u had established your relationship. It only depends on u both... if you keep GOD on your relationship... i think there's nothing to be scared of coz HE sees our tomorrows clearly and takes care of it...if HE thinks it's good for u then he will find all ways and means to make u as one in HIS time and if it doesn't work out it only means there's someone out there who is much better in store for u. with the saying, true love waits, perseveres and endures is absolutely true. No matter how long it would take u to be together again if u had built a strong foundation and true love for each other i think everything will work out. This requires so much sacrifice but then always remember true love requires sacrifices and it is what u call the test of time.. The best things in life does not come easily.

-- Anonymous, June 29, 2002

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