Sunday, July 3, 2011

Long Distance Relationships

A long-distance relationship has never been what I’ve wanted . But I’m in one by my own choice (in a way.)

Once my boyfriend moved, I could’ve said, ‘well, it’s been nice knowing you,’ but I didn’t. I wanted to stay connected. I wanted to stay in relationship. So, here we are. Long Distance.

Fears and challenges will arise – have already arisen. But that doesn’t make me want him any less, nor does it make me want to give up trying.

We both believe that these challenges are just that – challenges.
We both believe that we can overcome them.
We both believe in our love, and
We both believe our separation is only temporary.

We just need to hold on.
Hold on to each other,
Hold on to our dreams,
And we can make “us” happen.

That said, not giving our fears and challenges an airing once in awhile so they don’t turn dirty and dank – growing mold and getting bigger – is not healthy.

Not whine, or be-labor them. But not stuff them either. Just show them the light, acknowledge they are there, so they will shrivel in that light.

Some fears/challenges we face:

*my need for touch 
*my desire for sharing companionship: taking a walk, watching a movie together, going to the market together, eating food together, sharing responsibilities
*my bf's identical needs and desires
*cultural/personality differences mostly surrounding the ‘censorship’/’need to know basis’ issues that come up frequently.

This usually manifest itself in me not caring who knows what about me and showing up for all the world to see (on Facebook usually), and him not sharing anything about himself.

He doesn’t want those not immediately close to him to know where he works, or where he went to school. He doesn’t like pictures of himself up on the internet. He doesn’t like anything up on the internet about himself.  

So, while I’ve reconciled with that quirk of his, it seems that it’s encroaching upon me now. He doesn’t like some of the things I put up on the internet about me. And that feels like it smacks of censorship.

Though when we talk about it, I understand his point of view and I enjoy learning to see things from different perspectives, so I welcome the conversations.

However, at the end of the day, I can’t be wondering or worrying if I should write something because of what “they” (whoever’s reading my internet presence) would feel, or think about me, if I did. I’ve fought for years to not fall pray to that stifling anymore.

*I’m not private; he is.
*I’m uber-liberal; he isn’t. 
*our time difference (I live on the west coast, he lives on the east)
*And there’s always this poly tendency that hovers around us in the back … however that manifests (if it does) neither of us know. And that’s a challenge. To any relationship, let alone a long distance one.

And since I’ve gone all overboard on the lists this morning, here’s another one.

Strategies for staying connected:

*visiting once a month, or every two months and making lot of memories!
*texting multiple times a day whenever we think of each other.
*Skype-ing and phone calls when we can.
*Regular Skype date night each week. (eat/drinks together, read to each other, etc and whatever, but it’s a night we can count on “being” together each week, and one to look forward to.)
*Read to each other over the phone before going to sleep.


Things to keep me distracted from my fears/challenges list: 

*learning a new language
*learning to dance
*writing/editing/finishing my book
*Willamette writers work
*network/build platform
*cook/clean/organize my home
*exercise (bike, hike, walk, yoga, dance)
*write on blogs (long distance relationships and women’s issues)
*being a cool mom
*building female friendships “divorce support group”
*book club
*writing book reviews for my blogs

What are your ideas?
Are you in a long distance relationship?
What do you do to stay connected?

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