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Author Topic: long distance relationship?
ocbabe
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Hi everyone... I just wanted to know if anyone on the forum has had a long distance relationship? I would appreciate your thoughts on whether or not they are worth pursuing.
My current boyfriend and I live three hours (By PLANE) away from each other. We met in May 2005, and got to know each other really quickly. Unfortunately, I was only on holiday in the city where he lives, so we only spent about 2 weeks together. We fell for each other pretty hard though, and some time later he asked me if we could try a long distance relationship, a first for both of us. So far it's been ok. We talk every day, and we trust each other very much. As naive as it may sound to some, I don't feel uncertain when it comes down to the question of him staying faithful to me. In fact, he's so unlike all the other guys I've dated in the past... very affectionate and open about his feelings for me (in the early stages of our relationship it was clear that he was investing more of his emotions; meaning he liked me more than I liked him). He's a pretty sensitive guy, but I do love him a lot.
He visited me in October last year, and we had a wonderful time together. I also lost my virginity to him and I have no regrets about that because he's the most caring guy I know. Lately he's been telling me things like he's sure I'm "the one" and that he wants to "spend the rest of his life with me." As much as it makes me happy to hear this, I guess it got me thinking about how fast our relationship has developed and progressed. I can't help feeling scared and perhaps a little bit skeptical. We're both still young and trying to build our careers and all. We have plans to move to the same city, but due to financial constraints, I don't know how soon we could manage this.
I was talking to a friend about all this, and she told me that she would just be worried that my boyfriend and I might not have a "solid foundation" for a relationship because everything happened so quickly. What if things turn out to be different when we;re finally together? As far as I know, we've both been very open and honest... but I suppose you can only know so much about another person. Even couples who live in the same area take some time to learn whether or not they are truly compatible.
I guess what my friend had to say has got me thinking... I don't want to lose my boyfriend... but are long distance relationships impractical or a waste of time?

Posts: 24 | From: jersey, NJ, USA | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
faifai
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I don't have any experience personally with LDRs but here are some links to help get you started. I'm sure someone else will be along soon to add their own thoughts.

LDR's (Long Distance Relationships) http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/000483.html http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/000913.html http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/003784.html


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Kristin_0608
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I'm currently in a long distance relationship for about a month now i'm going to visit him in a few days and i miss him terribly. I talk ot him on the phone everyday and we talk about what's new in our lives and what we did that day and just keep talking about what's happened and so. I don't think long distance relationships are a waste of time. If you really love your boyfriend you will stay with him regardless of the distance between you. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and when you two finally get together again it makes you realize just how much you love and care and miss him.We have a lot of trust between us thats what our platform is made of, Trust. I know my boyfriend is staying faithful to me because he's not like all the rest of the guys i've dated too and he loves me a lot very appreciative, affectionate, just an overall GREAT guy. So I don't think LDR's are a waste of time. I love my boyfriend very much and I can't wait to see him again.

[This message has been edited by Kristin_0608 (edited 02-20-2006).]


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Heather
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No relationship which two people enjoy, which is healthy and makes them feel good is a waste of time.

LDRs, like any other kind of relationship, have their pros and cons. Obviously, when you're talking every day, and only talking, you can become serious experts when it comes to communicating. You often learn well how to integrate a relationship into the rest of your life without ditching other things that are important to you. You tend not to take time for granted. But, they can also seriously up the romance level, and feel a bit more dreamy. When there isn't regular visits, you really aren't getting to know what your partner is like in plain old daily life, and how you bot fit in the WHOLE of each others lives: with your socal circles, family, school or work, etc.

Might things be different in-person full-time? You can bet they will. But different isn't always so much better or worse as just... different.

From what I gather, you two have seen each other all of twice, including the first time you met. That DOES sound hasty to me per making moving plans. I'd suggest you insted invest less energy in those plans and more in figuring out creative ways to have some more visits. As those go on, you'll be in a better position to evaluate how you feel about this.


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StarHallie
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Wow...yours sounds exactly like MY current relationship. I live a few hours away by plane from my boyfriend. He's making plans to move to where I live next month.
I've been with him for nine months. We had been together for a mere TWO months when I moved away from him. Yet we're still just as hopeless for each other as the moment we began. We save up to fly to see each other and split the cost about every month or so, and we talk constantly on the phone. We both really feel like we're a part of each other's busy lives, and the distance has only strengthened our relationship (along with a couple of recent miscellaneous hardships!).

So....YES! Long distance relationships can WORK! And LAST! We're committed to each other. He wants to marry me. I want to marry him. We're talking about our futures. We love each other. (Sometimes when guys say things about commitment...they actually MEAN it...even when you're dealing with a pessimist like me!)

As for the staying faithful issue...my boyfriend is like model-status beautiful, so that was a huge concern of mine. But when I examined his integrity, and the ways he showed that he was trustworthy and responsible in daily life...I had this enormous amount of trust in him and still do. It's all about trust. And then we just joke all the time about how beautiful we both are and how there's nobody who could compete with either of us! ;-)

The truth is...I've also had some moments where I have been "tested" in my faithfulness to him. There are cute guys everywhere. But gosh, when you love someone this much, you really aren't interested. It's so weird!

Trust me...there will be a lot of jealousy exchanged. It's inevitable.

Everyone's situation is different, but I'd say, for the most part, a long distance relationship requires lots of maturity and patience and for-sure-ness on both sides of the fence. It's really difficult to be away from the one you love the most in your life. REALLY difficult. I've never cried so much in my life. But I think its way more than worth it in the long run.

HAVE FAITH!

Good luck to you and hope everything is going well! :-)


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nanswer4me
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My first time posting here, after being a longtime reader.

For as long as I can remember, I've been against LDR's in high school. It can work for other people, but I love being around people, especially people I love.

A month ago, I had a 'life changing' experience. I went to a youth seminar through my synogoge, where kids from all over the country stayed in a hotel, no parents, learning the basics of political activism. But everyone really knows what these youth trips involve. I'm a good kid but I decided this one trip I'd relax and go for whatever I wanted.

Needless to say, I met this boy. We met the second to last day of the trip, and I thought it would be a one time, enjoy myself, let go thing, and he'd forget about me the next day. We exchanged email addresses, phone numbers, whatnot, but I honestly didn't expect him to stay in contact. When I got home the next evening, I got a call. It was him. I was curious, but I didn't think much of it.

We've continued to talk on the phone nearly every night, and I think we're both a little scared of what we may have gotten ourselves into. He lives over 1000 miles away, also a 3 hour plane ride. But slowly and surely, I think we're falling for eachother. I know I'm falling for him... I'm not one to say "I love you" before I mean it, and the last thing I want to do is rush something with a guy I physically knew for 24 hours.

My parents simply know him as the boy that I met on the trip, and don't know about the late night phone conversations we've been having. Nor do they know that a few nights ago we had phone sex (my first time). I'm a virgin, and I'm in no rush to have sex. He's NOT a virgin, but he is very respectful and has shown no interest in pushing me to do something I'm not ready for. We've discussed seeing eachother again, and its not looking good. I have a job, and he's looking for one, but we're both teenagers who would have trouble finding the money for plane tickets.

The trip was a shot at independence, and since then, I feel like a different person. I like the person I've become, and I can't help but think that meeting him has been a part of that.

As I said above, the distance thing scares me. We've talked about doing it, and after the other night, I want to consider it more seriously. A few of my friends are in LDR's with people across the country, but they knew eachother beforehand for various amounts of time.

This has been really confusing for me. I suppose I failed hook-up 101 (lol), and I've only been in a handful of 'serious' relationships before.

Sorry to write a book... but do you have any advice on how you guys make it work? Do you think its worth it to try to make it work for me?


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Heather
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First things first: if you're putting any pressure on yourself per making choices about this in terms of the idea that it's something that may be lifelong, take thos pressures off. You sound really grounded, so maybe I don't even need to say this, but ANY romantic relationships in the teens are unlikely to equal a life partnership, nor even something that lasts all that long. We can "fall for" people without it being The Big Thing. Most of us will fall for at least a few people in our lives. Taking that pressure off, if it's there, may be a help.

I also think one thing you said deserves special attention:

quote:
The trip was a shot at independence, and since then, I feel like a different person. I like the person I've become, and I can't help but think that meeting him has been a part of that.

He very well might be, but it does seem like this had a lot more to do with just you. Even the relationship: opening up, taking an emotional risk in that regard, etc. Just know that you don't HAVE to cement yourself to this person just because they're interested, or just because this has had relevance to you.

Know that to really keep an LDR going, if letters and emails alone aren't going to cut it, it costs money. My partner and I have been long distance for the last year, for instance, with visits at least once a month, and it has cost us a great deal. Without both of us having work that helps offset those costs, even as thirty-something adults, one of us with a fairly cushy day job, no less, it would not have been doable finanacially. The phone bills alone can become outrageous.

Too, if it takes a crazy long time to even have a second date, as it were, know that keeping reality intact can be hard. LDRs can tend to up the new relationship energy, up the romance, up the drama.

So, personally, I'd suggest slowing this down some until you know you CAN have that second visit to really get a handle on things. Less phone calls, more letters. A clear discussion between you two now, until you can at least see each other again, to keep this less on the serious side.

And obviously, pursuing a friendship should also not be off the tabble. In other words, in case you're entering romance as a default, don't. A romantic relationship and a freindship can be equally relevant.

Have you talked about any of these things together?


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lotesseflower
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I've been with my boyfriend for over three years, and 16 months of that has been LD. It's not what I would choose, given my druthers, but we make it work. I'm 9 hours away, so visits are few and far between, unfortunately.

However, be careful about making commitments in the form of moving/relocating/chaing your or his life too much. I want to stay with my boy forever, we've talked about marriage, I'm planning on it. But I feel too young to completely, irrevocably commit to him, and I would never let him move here or change my own life decisions to get us out of this LDR phase. That would create an obligation, one that I'm not comfortable being under.

Basically, don't put yourself in a position where you wouldn't feel comfortable breaking it off if you needed to. It's not worth it. LDRs are just fine.


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nanswer4me
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Thanks for responding so quickly.

I definitely am thinking of this 'relationship' as a minor thing, absolutely not a cement rest-of-my-life type of thing. My friends get caught up in the drama of having a boyfriend, and its really just my attitude to take things day by day. I have no interest in moving to where he is, marrying him, or anything like that. My relationship with him is that yes, I may be falling into this sort of caring about him and its awesome to have that kind of connection, but I also have a life to live beyond him.

We've only casually discussed doing a distance thing, and that was really in my first week of knowing him. I was hoping to discuss it more with him tonight, after recieving your feedback.(And while there are still free weekend cell phone minutes... my bill this month is going to be outrageous. I peeked at my minutes this month so far, and during the 'free nights' I've used something ridiculous, like 24 hours worth --which would make sense, averaging at about 1 hr on the phone a night-- but my parents are still going to go bonkers =O)

I suppose what I meant by that quote you pointed out, Miz Scarlet, is that I do not regret meeting him and spending so much time talking to him, that with or without taking a relationship further, learning to take a chance and be outgoing in a relationship is a trait he has helped me find in myself that I will hopefully keep with me.

We've just exchanged mailing addresses, and We're sending eachother a few things by snail mail this week. Hopefully this will become a new ritual for us, to add a fun pen-pals element to the friendship.

Friendship is always my first approach with guys, usually because I can connect with them better than most girls. And if something else develops, I'm okay with that. Thats why this whole thing has taken me by surprise -- its working in reverse! But definitely, if it simply isn't going to work out - the possibility of not seeing eachother for another 5 months, or him and I talking it out and realizing that its not the best option right now - I'd rather just stay friends and know that we've got that.

Thanks for all of your help, I'll keep you updated! And... if we do decide to try something, there is the whole new bunch of issues of speaking to my parents about it. Oy vey.


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golden_lily
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I just thought I'd put in my 2 cents here. I met my boyfriend/fiance online 3 and 1/2 years ago. I live in Ohio, he lives in Washington DC. (It's an 8 hour drive or a 2 hour flight). We became good friends and a little over 2 years ago we started dating without ever meeting. 8 months into our relationship we finally met for the first time and realized how deeply we loved each other. Over the next year and a half, we've met several times and he's moving to Ohio to be with me in May. He was here last week and we went shopping for engagement rings.

It's been hard. I won't sugar coat that. We've almost broken up a couple of times. Even talking a couple hours a day, I don't feel like we get to spend nearly enough time together. I can't help getting jealous sometimes of people who get to see him, physically, more than me. If something goes wrong in one of our lives, he can't hold me and comfort me or vice versa.

So in essence, yes I believe LDRs are worth pursuing if you're honest with yourself and each other. They CAN work and they can be worthwhile if you put the trust and effort into them and you're willing to make the commitment. Even if it's not a lifelong thing, if you enjoy him and his company and he makes you happy, even for a few weeks or months, then I believe it's worth pursing.

Good luck


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StarHallie
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Ugh, the jealousy thing. Sounds so familiar. I feel so stupid about it...I get so upset, especially when he's around this one girl he knows from school (even though I have NO DOUBTS that he has zero intentions of hurting me with ANYONE).

Anyone have any advice on this?

(i.e. how to not be so livid about him being with other people... because those people can't be YOU, as ridiculous as that sounds)


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nanswer4me
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So... we spoke about it. And we decided that its better not to do a LDR, especially for our situation, in which I doubt we'll ever see eachother again.

But last night we had phone sex again. And afterwards, I felt ridiculously guilty... maybe even a little used. The whole time, he was reminding me that it was all about making me feel good and my needs. I thought it was a nice gesture, but I really wasn't in the mood. I did it anyways... and I felt so awful about it that I nearly got sick to my stomach afterwards. The feeling really hasn't gone away, and right now is what kept me out of school today. I know its nerves, but I felt so empty and awkward... I've decided that I don't want to do that again, at least until I have the emotional commitment.

How can I tell him that? I'm glad to be friends with him, but you guys are right, I think I got caught up in the moment and I need to slow things back down. How do I do it? What can I say to him?

I'm not at a point in my life where sexual pleasure is something that I want to encorporate into my daily lifestyle... and I'm certainly not interested in staying up until 3 in the morning every night just to make it so. What do I do? I'm really, really confused... and I think I've made a huge mistake doing it in the first place.


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Heather
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Doing something once NEVER obligates a person to do it again.

So, try this on for size, "I'm sorry, but I didn't enjoy what we did the other night. I wasn't in the mood so it really WASN'T about me, and I'm feeling conflicted about it and kind of lousy overall. From here on in, I just don't want to do that again."

And if that's a problem? It's his problem, not yours.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 02-28-2006).]


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nanswer4me
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Thank you. I think thats exactly what I'll say.

I really value all of the advice given here, and this truly is an amazing site. Instead of brewing on this idea of mine for a day and a half to eventually end up doing something that I didn't feel comfortable with, you guys have helped me come to a better conclusion, without making me feel completely selfish. You're all the 'big sister/brother/friend' that I don't have. Its a wonderful feeling.


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Heather
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Aw, well thanks. That's what we're here for, and glad to be of help!
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