Coping With a Long-Distance Relationship

What happens when you meet that special someone, and then they move away? Do you pursue them, or do you forget them and find another who lives closer to you?

I find I’m hearing this question a lot in my circle of friends and with others in their twenties and early thirties. Therefore, I thought I would share this question with you all.

Tell me if any of these scenarios sound familiar to you:

  • I met this special someone during school; after I graduated, I moved to a job somewhere else.
  • I met a special someone on vacation, and then we both had to go back to our “real” lives.
  • I met a really special person, then found out they have a job where they are travelling all of the time.

Your twenties and early thirties can be a transitional time, with people relocating for school, work, personal interest, etc. Many young people are moving across the country and around the world for better opportunities in their field of interest.  I find factoring a relationship into your life is hard when your career and school cause your life to be slightly unstable.  If you do date and then leave, you may appear to be a commitmentphobe.

So picture this:  You meet someone and befriend them, and you realize that this person would be someone you could consider marrying, as they have all the characteristics you would like in a mate.  However, you can’t continue your lives together as one has to go away for school and you stay in the city for work.  Even a city a minimal distance away, two hours for example, is still far as the other person won’t be with you day-to-day; they can only be with you on the weekends.

The communication aspect of such a relationship may not be affected by the distance; with the increase in technology, couples can keep up the contact.  I know many couples who chat daily using either the telephone, Skype, texting, IM, etc.

Despite this frequent communication, you may still lack the physical contact and close proximity of the person you care about.  This “special someone” is not physically present in your life on a daily basis.  Consequently, you may feel quite alone even though you are in a relationship.  Despite knowing your “special someone” is living and breathing elsewhere, you may feel that they are a fantasy – not real in your daily life. If you stop talking to them, you may feel like the person is lost from your life.

Many of my friends and acquantainces have lived with such circumstances.  The separation can be hard on their lives and relationship.  In these circumstances, what happens if the couple is separated for a long time? Should each try to move on to someone new, or should they try to remain connected to each other?

Therefore, my questions for thought are:  Do you forget about this distant “special person” and move on to someone who is in your city at the moment?

If so, how do you forget about this someone who a) you don’t really want to forget and b) with whom others seem incomparable?

It’s hard to remain close to someone who is far away.

My advice: Never give up on someone who is special to you. True relationships always find a way of working out.

(c) Laura Ouilette.
(c) Laura Ouilette.

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!


15 thoughts on “Coping With a Long-Distance Relationship

  1. I seriously need to thank you for writing this post! I’m currently in a great relationship with the most amazing guy but I question if its financially unhealthy for me to continue living here with him. For the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating moving back to my hometown in Texas where I may have a better chance of finding work even though the distance would likely end our relationship. Reading your post reminded me of just how happy I am with him and how that happiness is worth fighting for.

  2. Ive just met this guy a couple of weeks ago, hes been tutoring me for physics. I know its probably too soon and I dont know if its right but I feel completely mesmerized by him, Ive never felt anything like it. Hes everything I would want in a guy, I never knew such a person existed. Everything from the way he thinks, his point of view on life and his simple has me completely dumbfounded. I really am not exagerating i honestly have never felt like this about absolutely anyone. We like the same things enjoy the same hobbies, there is such a scary similarity between us i cant believe it, hes a complete gentlemen polite, honest good values. The thing is he is moving back to Colombia in a few weeks and then hell be off to Germany. I dont think Ill ever get the chance to see him again. Im completely dishearted…. What can I do? Should I ask to keep in contact or would that be something too direct too soon? :(

    1. Diana thanks for sharing! It sounds like you have met a wonderful guy. I don’t think its too direct to ask to keep in contact. I would keep it casual and ask for his social media usernames or email. That would be a friendly thing to do to start. Who knows what may result from it :)

  3. If a guy i liked moved to mexico i feel he was the person for me do i move there hes gpne for three years hes helping to rebuild the towns what do i do dont know where exaclty he is helpi

  4. Wow … that is a really tough question – no easy answers there! My wife and I lived in different states for a year before we were engaged (she went back to graduate work in Albany, I was working outside of Boston). I traveled a lot, and when she was done we were engaged and moved in together. Tough year – long distance dynamics are challenging even though we’d known each other 3 years when she went to Albany.

    Oh, and that was just about 24 years ago … so obviously the hard work across the miles was worth it! :)

  5. picture this, i have a friend that is a girl who is close to me, i think im falling in love with her already, but then time will come that she had to move away to another country Asia Pacific region to Europe. so how can i deal and cope in what i am feeling for her right now the feeling is so strong i think i like her and afraid of losing her, even though i know she will leave any time soon for her career. thanks :)

  6. Thank you so much for this post. This moved me deeply. I recently have gotten in a relationship with a military man that has recently found out that his term with the cost guard is coming to an end in 8 months and will be moving back home to AZ (we are in CA right now)

    He found out this information when we first started talking. He said at that point he had been really interested in meeting me and that he felt terrible of having to break the news to me.

    I at first didn’t know how to feel about it because we had just met in person but after having 2 amazing meet ups since then it does make me sad to know that he is leaving. He is more amazing then I ever thought possible. He was never a good text communicator but when we finally met in person we had the most amazing ,entertaining and lengthy conversations that I have ever had.

    I know it is so early in our relationship but I have never felt so strongly and passionately about someone before. He meets almost every mark of the person I have been dreaming of. I know we are both young but I have dated a lot and I know a thing or two about bad guys and good guys. I don’t know where our future will take us but I hope that at the end of the 8 months we are still together and happily in love.

    Either way, I told him when we were having a conversation about if we should continue to see each other or not, I would rather have 8 wonderful months with him than 8 miserable months dating people I dont care for always thinking what if.

  7. I know this is an old post but it is very relevant to me. Its been almost 6 months since the guy who I was talking to moved away. My feelings for him are still very present. I believe his are too because he tends to send me messages here and there about how much he misses me and recently he drunk dialed me expressing himself to me. Im not sure if its all in my head but it feels as if we both are holding on to something. Any advice? It feels as if everytime that I am ready to put an end to this chapter he reconnects with me and it makes it that much harder.

    1. Hi Erika! Yes, I wrote the post a while ago but the topic is still relevant :) I know many friends who have experienced this still today. Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story. I have actually been in a similar situation years ago. The thing I would say is that long-distance relationships solely rely on communication – such an important aspect of any relationship. Talking either through email, phone, text, skype, etc builds intimacy and trust. Plus because of distance you need to rely on that. It can be hard but instead of both being all in your head, share your feelings with him – it will bring you closer :) Keep us posted.

  8. Thanks for Tweeting this to me. I wrote The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Together when You’re Far Apart just for couples in these situations. Yes, a long distance relationship can be successful if you know how to do it.

  9. I recently started back talking to a guy I use to date when I was in high school. When we were younger we were dated on/off entire high school and he joined the military. Well recently we both got out of serious relationships. well last year and we started talking slowly and started hanging out and things started getting pretty serious. We would spend alot of our time together. Every day I was off I was with him..went oit on dates he introduced me to his work friends who are like his famity and even his kid. He’s always been the guy I wanted to be with aND to have him back in My life is like the best feeling ever. This started back in October. The only problem is he will be getting stationed half way across the U.S. come fall and I dk what to do. I know he feels the same way I do for him but I think he is hesitant just like I am. I don’t know what to do but this is potentially a man that I don’t want to leave from out of my life again…..I’d be devastated.

  10. I met a guy online and we texted all day everyday, talked on the phone at least three times a day firvthe first week. We have so much in common. He has family that lives in my hometown where I live. He had lived here for a short time in years past. I spent a weekend with him a couple weeks ago. It was an instant bond. He possesses every quality I want in a man. He gives me the weak in the knees feeling. Intimacy was great between us. I know it was soon but it just felt right. The problem is he was offered a job that’s 6 hours away from me. He’s 2.5 now. I’m willing to drive and Skype, text, talk… Whatever it takes. Problem is. He’s kind if pushed me away. He says he really cares about me but he has to make sure his life is going good and he isn’t sure he made the right choice. Its hard because he called and texted non stop and now not much. He still calls. He only has a month until the new job starts. He is who I want. What should I do? Do I give up? I have other guys intetested in me. But I have no interest in them. I only have eyes and wants for the one. I can’t stop thinking about him. What can I do? I’ve told him my feelings. I told him I support him and I want to be here for him. He’s a great guy and he makes my heart skip a beat. His voice soothms me and makes my day go better.

  11. I read all these posts and my heart stops. I have been dating a guy for 9 months now, knowing from the beginning that he applied for a green card. He is currently a game ranger in South Africa and plans to move to USA, specifically NYC to start a new era in the finance world. He’ll be moving end of 2015. I am still a student and I only finish June 2016. I didn’t want to get attached at first, knowing all his plans, but we got on so well and being in the bush with him, made me admire his love for nature and animals. He is ambicious and adventurous. Our time in the sun has been a thing of absolute beauty. We’re still young, and when opportunity knocks, I guess he has to answer. It is contradicting you know, because I think what he’s doing is bold and ambicious, but I don’t want him to go and I can’t imagine breaking up because of distance. I’ve been single for six years since I met him. And to find someone who is so compatible to you is hard to let go of. Have we been dating for long enough to even consider moving to NYC, no. Am I crazy in love? yes. He is optimistic about our future together and wants me to visit him to get a feel of life in NYC. Can you imagine long distance from NYC to South Africa?

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