Today we are taking a look at long distance relationships, and more precisely at 3 inspiring stories, to give you examples of what to expect if you chose to go down that path. Because you’re probably wondering what your odds of pulling it off are, and wether long distance love can be a reality or if it merely belongs to utopia?
3 inspiring long distance relationship stories
Long distance storie #1 : Summer lovin’…
“I was 33 when I met J., on vacation at a campsite I’d been going to for years ; she worked there as a waitress to improve her english. She was from Poland and didn’t live in the States.
It wasn’t just a summer crush, and a month later I already had strong feelings for her, and wanted to give us a chance in spite of the distance.
So after she returned to Poland, we communicated via texting, Whatsapp and Skype. I took several trips to Krakow. She also visited in the States. We would see each other every two or three months, with bonus rounds in July and August.
Even though I could have put an end to this holiday romance, it continued for 5 years (including 2 years of us living together). She took a sabatical in 2014 and came to live with me, and then moved in for good in September 2016. She got her English degree and left her family and her country to live with me.
Shortly after that, there was trouble in paradise. She gave up her plan of becoming an elementary teacher two months in, and that got me to start doubting our own future. I don’t know if it was because of her age (we had about ten years in age difference) or because of her character, but I realize now that even though it was she who initiated the breakup, it couldn’t have lasted much longer anyway, and the last few months seriously lacked communication between us.
Now that I think about it, I wonder if we weren’t happier when we were apart ; either because our desires grew during the long separations, or because being in a couple simply wasn’t for me, who can say? And now that we aren’t together anymore, we have almost never been on better terms.” Michael
In this case, distance hasn’t been an obstacle ; the relationship has managed too grow for a long period of time (three years before they lived together) regardless. And just like with any other couple, the reason for the breakup was elsewhere. Living together, not communicating. That being said, it worked fine during the long distance part.
As Michael said, maybe what was keeping the relationship alive and vibrant was the magic of missing and seeing each other again after long periods of time…
Long distance storie #2 : Virtual relationships
“At first it was a teenage summer love between Matt and I. Camping, friends, a beach, the sun, our first moments of freedom without our parents… We were 15 and for two weeks, nothing would stop us. And when the ride was over, the promises to write and to see each other again didn’t survive the winter…
Ten years later… I am separated and about to move into my new apartment, alone. While sorting and packing my things, I fall across your letters. Memories come crashing back like a wave. A welcome nostalgia. What did you become? You address is on the letter, as well as you parent’s phone number. Hesitating, daring, not daring and eventually calling. Your mom answers, I briefly explain who I am, it makes her smile, she thinks it’s cute, she gives you the message and my cell phone number. Will you call me back, will you send a text? Tonight, tomorrow, in a week, never? And more importantly do you remember me?
I only have to wait a few hours, you call me back that very evening and you remember me very well. You remember us. You remember the two weeks on vacation. We share memories, impressions, before talking about our current lives.
And it goes crescendo for several weeks. Writing, calling, sending pictures, telling stories, comparing our exes, comparing our lives. Until you ask me to spend the weekend at your place.
There are a couple hundred miles between us, several hours in the car or on a train. The train it is. When I hop off, I’m overwhelmed by emotion. It’s all there, the memories, your beautiful ocean blue eyes, the sun, the romantic walks on the beach. We spend a long weekend sharing memories, discovering the adults we have become, taming each other.
Other weekends follow at your place and then at mine, for three months. You hesitated, you were fresh out of a long relationship, you weren’t fully healed yet, and if truth be told, I don’t think I was either. We gave ourselves one last chance to see if distance would be an obstacle we could overcome, if strong feelings could bloom. I came over to spend a week with you. Experiencing music festivals and romantic dinners, walks on the beach and delicious nights. Life was good together.
Tenderness was laced with nostalgia, passion with sadness. Comfort. But no love. We wanted to believe, but in fact, we just allowed our story from ten years ago to end, and this relationship brought us what we really needed at this point in our lives. Happy memories, comfort, a cute story. But not a real love story. Feelings weren’t strong enough for us to decide to go long distance, for us to plan ahead.
But we tried, we gave ourselves every chance of making it, and most of all, we loved each other in our own way. The only way possible for us to love each other at that precise moment in our lives. I have no regret, and I have added new memories to those of when we were 16, maybe even more real ones. Train rides back and forth from New York to that beautiful part of the canadian coast will always be a part of me I cherish.” Audrey
Virtuality doesn’t mean a story can’t develop, granted you’re ready to get real at some point. Distance could have been a difficulty if the relationship hadn’t transformed into a true love story. But not to the point of being crippling. But sometimes distance isn’t the hard part. Managing to forget your past and to allow the other into your life and showing him the real you can prove way more difficult. And that’s often what’s hard with relationships born over a long distance : you don’t know your partner when it comes to everyday life, you don’t know the people around him, his habits, what drives him.
Will you belong there? Will it be possible for you to feel at ease and to build a cocoon for the two of you, in which you could start developing a life in common, a real relationship?
Long distance storie # 3 : When you go long distance after three years of love
“You were my first long love story, the kind you never forget. I was 16, you were 18, when it got serious after a summer-long crush. It was beautiful, simple, natural, easy, obvious. We lived a few miles apart, we quickly asked our parents permission to see more of each other, introductions were made and we grew up together, starting our way steadily into adulthood. We were together during the weekends and the holidays. I was in highschool, you were working and training to be a firefighter.
Life was good and smooth, there was no obstacle or crisis for two years. We were young, we discovered life together, we were happy.
After two years, I graduated from highschool and was about to sign up for Columbia university. You enrolled for a long service in the army, and got into the military fire department, your dream. But you were stationed far away and had to wait a minimum or two years before you could ask to be assigned elsewhere. I wasn’t against the idea of later moving closer myself, depending on how you got along over there and on my own studies.
For almost a year, we took our bearings, when you were lucky, you could have a couple days off about every three weeks, and when you weren’t… there were always letters and phone calls.
But that wasn’t enough. I was 19, you were 21 and we were slowly but surely turning into grownups, living in different worlds. We loved each other, but had a hard time sharing our lives, I had the feeling we were inevitably pulling away from each other.
The words in our letters became the expression or our ill-being, our phone calls felt forced, and the reflex of throwing blame around was never far. The distance was beating us. Slowly but surely. We failed to unite our worlds together, to evolve together.
You were changing and so was I. The man you turned into was but a stranger to me, you couldn’t recognize the young woman I had become. We tried and failed. We couldn’t look to the future together, wether with me over there or you back here.
If truth be told, we didn’t even try, the distance set up an emotional barrier that was just too strong, a border we simply refused to cross.
For a time you build your life over there, I kept mine here. Our couple survived the thousand miles for a year and a half. We wrote, we called, we missed, we fleetingly crossed paths. And we cried, we blamed and failed to understand.
If you hadn’t left, would we have stayed together for a long time? Forever? I don’t think so. Long distance got to our couple, to our love. That’s the way it is. I have always thought to myself that if we had loved each other harder, one of us would have gone to the other, but we were young and we had our own dreams to chase and much to do, only not together. So at the end of the day, I think we made the right call. It was a beautiful story, there is nothing to regret.” Clarice
Distance… It fuels a craving, it ads spice to the relationship, magic when you meet again. For a while. Then it quickly turns into frustration and jealousy, incomprehension and tension, and creates conflict. Distance is no longer just about miles, it’s also about feelings and emotions.
Living a long distance relationship is also a way of experimenting love differently, to challenge your couple, but is it viable in the long run? Doesn’t evolving apart from each other prevent connection and complicity? Distance for the sake of distance? And sometimes, being far away and trying to live together, or living together then moving away, is a risk. Opposite risks, but real nontheless. Because no one knows in advance if a couple will be solid enough to withstand it, to keep evolving together within a new paradigm.