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Poser's avatar

What was your most successful long distance relationship?

Asked by Poser (7800points) October 26th, 2007

How did/do you define success in regards to a l.d.r? Am I crazy to think that my GF and I can pull off a four year, 9000 mile separation? Can any relationship sustain that?

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6 Answers

FusionGyro's avatar

Statistically, odds are not in your favor. But that doesn’t make it impossible, just unlikely.

gailcalled's avatar

9000 miles? That means an ocean between you.. And four years. Fusion said it best – can one of you relocate?

Poser's avatar

Not really. She’s going to medical school overseas, and I’m in the service. No real options except Skype.

zina's avatar

wow, holy crap. we’re going for two years at a short 4-hour flight apart, and that seems daunting. two months in, i’m feeling really good about it. i have enough trust in our relationship to know that it’s solid. i don’t need to take care of it, hold its hand. we’ve lived together for 4 years (and in a variety of circumstances), and we’re engaged, so the situation in that way is ideal – a stable, developed, drama-free relationship that we’re both completely committed to. so we can skype or not, and we’re ok independently.

i think not knowing each other as well, having issues to work out, not being sure about where the relationship is headed, feeling like we have to talk all the time, not trusting the other person, not already having developed communication styles, etc would make things more complicated, harder to sustain over the phone/skype – hopefully if these things happen you can arrange an in-person visit. hopefully you can do that every several months in any case.

another element to consider (which can evolve as you feel comfortable over the course of the next few years) is how you approach relationships with others. in some cases complete monogamy works well, especially when you have close friends nearby and maybe more frequent visits, and in some cases, a more open relationship (where you can date others, or kiss, or whatever the boundary is) can work better for some couples in these circumstances – especially with such a long time like 4 years. no matter what you decide, i recommend that it’s the same for each partner, that the communication about it is incredibly open (comfort levels/feelings, crushes that develop, or any related topic), and that you discuss what would happen if someone breaks the ‘rules’ (depending on the people, may be an inevitability in 4 years). paranoia/suspicion/anger/jealousy/not feeling able to be honest with your partner/territorial stuff and many other related consequences of not dealing with this….. = a deep, black hole.

on a lighter note, i’m really enjoying mixing up skype with some postcards and surprise gifts! a friend watches movies together (while on the phone) with his fiancee. we have a lot practical things to discuss, but it’s important to also send each other YouTube comedy, news article links, love poems, or whatever you enjoy that you may share if you were in the same place. a little something sweet can change your partner’s day, and really show that you’re thinking of them and putting effort toward the relationship.

i just looked back at your question and realized you didn’t really ask for advice on how to maintain the relationship…..... sooooooo…........ i’m leaving this in case it’s helpful. but i guess the real answer is ‘one where you don’t have to worry, you know it will be there at the end of the time frame, and in the meantime communicating with that person is a positive part of your life.’

kevbo's avatar

My current relationship (which is now no longer long distance) has been hands down the most successful. We started out 190 miles apart and eventually settled on three weekend commutes a month, along with a ton of e-mail and phone calls. It was fantastic, because we had such anticipation during the week, and because our weekends were sacred and very deliberately spent together. Sometimes, even, we long for those days.

In my experience with longer distances and fewer resources to stay connected, it’s a decaying orbit situation. I think it’s really, really hard to keep communication from breaking down over time, and I think proximity matters more than people realize. That’s not to say that it’s not possible, and that you have any other choice, really, but to try.

DeezerQueue's avatar

If you come together after four years, then it’s been successful. I sustained one for three years. We each had our own lives, were able to stay connected through the Internet, telephone calls, regular post.

Breathing room is required. I’m not convinced that it is the time to place restrictions on whom to see and what the other party should or shouldn’t be doing. They’re in a different place, experiencing a different lifestyle, one that includes meeting new people and being in new surroundings and situations.

Relationships are not static, they progress or regress and can do both in different areas of the relationship simultaneously. Don’t panic and lose your head when you see regression in a particular area; instead, ask yourself why you may be reacting to or behaving differently than you might ordinarily do. Allow yourself to be human and look forward to the experience as a way to possibly deepen the commitment that you already have. If you tell her how you miss her, try not to do so in a way that inflicts guilt upon her being somewhere else to pursue her career.

Nurture the relationship but don’t feed your insecurities.

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