… Long distance relationship, that is what the title refers to and I’m going to write about the one I’m experiencing and I’ll scribble some thoughts as they fly out of my fingertips.
I am in a long distance relationship. Perhaps you are too. Maybe you tried one once, and maybe one will try you. You never really know but the one thing you need for this to happen is to know someone in a place that is not the same one you live in. That could be town, city, state, province, country, island, continent or planet … (put that planet idea on hold for a while).
For reference I consider long distance relationships to involve vast distances that mix and or involve agonizing feats of endurance and complicated travel. I don’t count relationships separated by a days car drive, train ride or bone jaring horse drawn cart ride or sliding across a frozen waste land draged along briskly by a team of savagely eager sled dogs. Why not? Well … I have no real good reason other than all of my experiences with relationships have been on the long distance horizon, where all of them have been somewhere over the visible horizon ala earth curvature. That and I am used to driving long distances to get from here to there. Flying and train rides make up the getting to my lovers tight embrace, while … you know what? You are right … it is unfair of me to discount lesser distances because if there is any distance between a couple at all, it is automatically a distance thing and the term ‘long’ is irrelevant. Ok. Sorry for the confusion but I want to be fair, if I can.
Many of my friends (best, good and loves) have had that element, the distance thing. I am used to it and the distances/distance has/have always been rather *far (Note: the word *far is a silly if not totally unoriginal description for any distance that stretches into the mind numbing travel through time if you are dealing with time zones). On the other hand our modern communication technologies have done away with these spaces if you will short-shrift, reducing them to mere seconds as we correspond via email and various chat options such as Skype and others of your preference.
Back to the point. The relationship, the one you choose, the one you chose to be in … the one with the partner you love who is so very far away; like any other relationship they work or they don’t. Some people can deal with the separation issues while others implode or explode, fuelled by what it is or starved of the vital elements that make or break relationships. Ok, I grant you that relationships are different for each of us and come in different grades of attachment levels and so it must be said that they can not be nailed down or poured into a fit all template. Yours is what it is and will evolve into and mine is mine. We are as uniuqe as the relationships we choose to foster and be part of.
The one I’m living right now has history. A long back story with a foreseeable future; yes a future and I feel like it is a never ending story. But a living story, a thriving and growing relationship and no, the distance thing won’t kill this relationship, it won’t quash it with wishful thinking, heart rending pining or desperate and terrible longing. I know the distance between us, she knows it and we are what we are. We have accepted it for what it is. Living in the moment might sound lame and off-hand in a way but life is just the moment we are in, the past is gone and the future not yet here. Now is all there is. Far away or close, it is the same.
I have become accustomed to living in two timezones as it were; thinking two times at the same time when I think of my love I now automatically calculate her time from the time it is here. Weird but true, it helps to connect with her. To know the time of day or night allows me to be present when we communicate. The regular visits we share also allow us to know the others environment and thus provide context to our experiences, some shared, some related through text or visual interface via computer or the face time, face to face, in your face together time.
We met as teenagers, loved as young adults and drifted apart and lost contact for what can be considered a life time. Then contact was reestablished and incredibly we’ve been in daily contact ever since. It is coming up on three years of accumulating emails, of skype dates and the odd telephone call in the middle of the night when the ‘time travel thinking’ goes wonky and either one of us answers from deep sleep and never quite wakes up to have a normal conversation with the wide awake and very sorry to have disturbed partner. It is funny after the fact, haha.
Why I scribble on about this particular relationship is because it has legs, strong legs and long legs. Legs because it is based on a shared past, strong legs because we have and are making the effort to see each other regularly and long legs because we stride across the globe to see each other AND because we know that this is something long lasting, not a mere internet connection that could go poof like a popping bright pink balloon. It is the knowledge the knowing what this is, why it is and what it will and can become that makes it work. Yes, it is work, sometimes hard work.
It is not easy to be apart for long stretches but each of us is comfortable with ourselves, being alone for a while. The sweeter the reunions and times shared together, the bitter pills swallowed while packing to take leave again. And what also takes some emotional getting used to is the roller coaster of getting used to being together after long separations, to find that beautiful equilibrium that appears near the middle of a visit, far removed from the arrival excitement and the departure blues. Being realistic helps, a lot. Unreasonable expectations can lay waste to tender felt emotions, sweep aside loves gentle plans if one is not truthful in intent and purpose of the love that led to this relationship and where this journey can and will lead to.
What was the point of this thinking? Long distance relationships can work. Some can’t and don’t. Like anything in life, somethings are not for everyone and somethings come easier to some than to others. It is a matter of what your heart tells you and how you react to it.
If you are in a long distance relationship, I wish you every success and happy ending. It is what you can make of it, yours to enjoy. I am looking foward to the day when the distance gap closes and we can share the same space and be together. That day will come.