Distance makes the heart grow fonder or makes you incredibly lonely and you find somebody else closer that is more convenient. Everybody is different and has different preferences. What may seem “long distance” to some is perceived as relatively close by others. Long distance relationships provide a unique dynamic to the challenging art of relationships in general. Long distance relationships can test love, patience, insecurities, and loyalty. Why it works well for some and not others is a question that varies from couple to couple. I believe a strong foundation and friendship are key elements to any relationship and especially long distance relationships where there is probably a higher degree of trust required.
I have consulted with various people on this topic, both male and female, from different ethnic backgrounds to get an all around perspective. The perspectives vary from individual to individual. Some people made it work and some people didn’t. Sometimes people are economically forced to move apart or employment brings them to different places. For instance, for couples who are married, what if an employment opportunity arises that is too good to turn down yet comes with the price of a substantial geographical distance between the two? What do you do then? You make it work! There are so many scenarios we can run through with “what if’s” associated with them.
One example of a couple that tried to make it work long distance are Dave and Debbie. Dave and Debbie met and began dating while they were both living in Hawaii. Dave then moved back to the Bay Area, where he was originally from. Debbie continued to reside in Hawaii for a couple more months and then landed an employment opportunity in Detroit. Dave and Debbie were both financially able to handle travelling back and forth to visit each other at least once a month, usually twice (finance helps). They alternated travelling and could usually spend every other weekend together.
Dave went on to tell me that the time spent together was great but it was unrealistic. He states, “It was planned, scheduled and usually filled with fun activities”. He also states that is was more like, “vacation time.” I think he makes a really great point in stating that because let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy vacation time? Also, looking back in retrospect he realizes that his time spent with Debbie was not “normal” or representative of everyday relationships. Dave and Debbie continued to date for a year and half and felt great about their relationship and they were madly in love.
Debbie was then presented with another great employment opportunity that would bring her to the Bay Area and closer to Dave. It seemed as if everything was falling in place and all the sacrifices have finally paid off. Within 3 months of Debbie moving to the Bay Area, they broke up. The vacation was over and reality had set in. They were now dealing with each other on an everyday basis and dealing with each others’ frustrations and bad days. It is said that the true test of a relationship is dealing with each other when things are not going well and this was Dave and Debbie’s test. The relationships was not meant to be and quickly dissolved.
Every relationship is as different and as unique as the individuals that comprise it. Another example of a couple that is giving the long distance thing a shot is Tiffany and her man Maurice. She lives in the Bay Area and Maurice lives in New York. Tiffany and Maurice met in Philadelphia during NBA all-star weekend. Maurice is a sharp dresser and that caught Tiffany’s eye. They have been dating long distance for 10 years strong now. Tiffany states that, “It’s hard sometimes, but it works pretty well for the most part”. Tiffany enjoys having her space and so does her boyfriend. Tiffany also added she can see Maurice whenever she wants to. The distance from California to New York is only a 6 hour plane flight away. Tiffany and Maurice are both financially stable enough to accommodate the travel expenses. They have racked up the frequent flyer miles!
Tiffany and Maurice both like knowing there is someone there when needed but they don’t have to be around each other all of the time. The distance works well for both of them and may be part of the reason for the success of their relationship up to this point. Tiffany and Maurice are unique and their relationship has been working well so neither of them have any plans of relocating any time soon.
To be continued…