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"Distance doesn't matter in a relationship."

Have heard this a million times from men across the country. This was my reply today to a man from Missouri:

What's your plan? You will fly to Wenatchee, WA twice a month so we can get to know each other?

It's hard enough dating men from Seattle, 130 miles away. I usually date Seattle men because they are better educated and more liberal. Also, I date hikers who downhill ski. This gives them winter driving skills and 4-wheel drive, since ski areas are high in the mountains. They are comfortable driving over the Cascade Mountains to see me.

In 2013, I dated a medical doctor from Little Rock, Arkansas. Charlie flew me to him or flew to see me. It took five months to realize he was selfish, elitist and a snob. I had to see him in action and under duress. He sneered at beautiful hikes I took him on ("I've been to Austria" ) and believed he was superior to people without an MD (Medical Deity).

He pressured me to go with a hillbilly kayaking outfit in Tennessee. "We drove three hours to get here," he argued. "Let's give it a try."

"No life jackets, no helmets, no guide and no sweep: it's not safe," I argued. Ultimately I gave in because I didn't want to spoil the trip. I nearly died, trapped underwater by a "strainer," a tree attached to the riverbank that fell into the river. There was no one to help me. In April, the force of the river was tremendous.

I was trapped underwater, holding my breath. After quickly trying different things, I pushed myself feet-first down to the bottom. Scrabbled around for a large rock with my feet. Then I kicked off forcefully from a rock- holding the kayak over my face to protect my eyes from branches- and exploded like a rocket to the surface. Sweet air!

Immediately grabbed the kayak before it swept away. No life jacket. Must stay with your craft.

"You were underwater a long time," Charlie said when I arrived at the landing site, shook up. "Your hair got messed up." Then, "I've seen worse," when I showed him my cuts. Unbelievable.
I dumped him.

Your thoughts?

LiterateHiker 9 Nov 26
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43 comments

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13

Here's my thoughts on distance in relationships:

1.) "Location is a matter of geography, distance a matter of the heart."

2.) "We were 1900 miles apart and couldn't have been closer."

3.) "We lived in the same house but were worlds apart."

@SeaGreenEyez

Accurate and funny.

@LiterateHiker Hmmm. That's actually my thoughts on distance.

My BF of a decade and I were 1900 miles apart in the beginning, no less than 180 miles apart throughout the years. We were inseparable in the ways that truly matter.

That comment about being in the same house yet being worlds apart was about my husband. And we were, in fact, intellectually, emotionally, mentally worlds apart. The distance between us was palpable.

To be clear: My opinion on distance? Location is a matter of geography, distance a matter of the heart.

You can be in the same room with someone and be on two totally different planets. You can be around the globe from someone and be right there with one another if it's the right person.

8

Distance does matter. It makes something that's tough to do with proximity even harder. Its more than doable, though, and there is one inherent advantage it does have - it forces you to talk about everything.

Meet my wife on this site, did a 1500 mile LDR for a bit, moved there and got married. Then we moved back up here, and now looking at a house in West Richland.

1of5 Level 8 Nov 26, 2019

I agree it forces you to talk about everything. I'm open and optimistic about a LDR, but haven't had much luck. Communication is important and if someone isn't willing to put in the effort and frequency well that's likely not going to work (mostly what I encounter). The hardest thing for me is trying to communicate via text and e-mail. I don't mind it a little but I'm much more comfortable and feel I can get a better read on someone if we talk by phone or video chat.

@BeeHappy I'm dyslexic so won't even go into how I feel about text based communication. πŸ™‚

7

"Distance doesn't matter in a relationship."

It most definitely does matter.
I don't believe anyone who says otherwise.

I also don't know anyone that it's worked for. At least not for any significant
length of time.

7

I suppose if the expense of frequent travel doesn't faze a man, then fine. But like you say, there needs to be enough together time and varied enough situations to be able to see how someone handles something other than a good time. It'll be those un-good times that will matter more in a serious relationship.

Deb57 Level 8 Nov 26, 2019

Trust me, being able to afford the travel does not mean all will be fine. Been there.

@Gwendolyn2018 I meant that as "fine" for him, if it's worth it to him to go to the expense. I sure couldn't afford to travel.

@Deb57 Gotcha.

7

Distance doesn't matter to people who are wealthy enough or motivated enough, but that's not most of us.

skado Level 9 Nov 26, 2019

...motivated enough, but that's not most of us.

It's interesting to see what goes on around this place regarding finding a partner. The desperation to motivation ratio is amazingly out of balance, imnsho. I have to give the literate one serious props for the effort she's putting in.

7

Distance doesn't work. Short term, yes. But not on an ongoing basis. Who wants to hug a map?

@Mitch07102

"Who wants to hug a map?" is apt and hilarious! Well done.

6

I'm in a LDR, met him on this site! Going to visit him again beginning of December. We video chat every night and text during the day! I'm in love with him! Still don't know where we will end up but I enjoy every minute with him via video chat and face to face.

@literatehiker That guy was a jerk! Happy to hear you made it out alive and dumped him! He sounds like a horrible person!

@MichelleGar1

Agreed. At first, men are on their best behavior. It takes time to learn about their character.

@LiterateHiker True! This guy showed you his true colors right off the bat! You got lucky you can say, I guess. You almost died but you didn't have to live through his narcissism, that's damaging mentally!

@MichelleGar1

He didn't show his true colors right away. Most men are on their best behavior at first. Mr. Charming.

To assess his character, I needed to see him in action and under duress.

@LiterateHiker Which you eventually did, yikes! Sorry you went through that!

6

Of course it matters. It makes everything so much more difficult and costly. I like being able to call at any time and go for a drink, or a day out together.

Yeah and have sex with them!

@2muchstupidity Well, yeah, there's that too. That's a nice little perk.

6

I have never had a long distance relationship but I my cousin did, she lived in the Idaho and he lived in Bath, Ontario. He did propose to her after 3 or 4 year long distance relationship, they were married in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and they moved in together here in Canada. So long distance relationships can work.πŸ’•πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

5

It may be less consequential in an existing relationship, but in the initial stages I think it makes things far more difficult.

Agreed. This should have been my comment. Lol

Agreed. Once you know someone, you can continue a relationship at a distance. It has worked for me in the past.

5

Maybe a long distance relationship will work for some couples. I'm looking for that special human to live no more than two hours from where I live.
For me is very important the frequency of the emotional and physical connection.

5

It matters to me. I need someone local.

5

There's distance, and then there's distance. And then there's DISTANCE.

I spent a couple months driving back and forth about 35 minutes (and she drove to my place too) while seeing/dating/getting to know/ spending the nights with someone last summer. It wasn't a hard drive, but I did get weary now and then of racing home to get ready for work after being together. I generally draw the line at an hour drive, but I would make an exception if it seems like someone is really connecting. I usually don't bother to reach out to someone farther away... but again, I make exceptions.

Knowing the relationship would be mostly texting and phoning can put a damper on it for most people.

4

Yes distance does matter. Being together matters and whatever prevents that is a problem. Other things that matter are working together under stress to see how each other responds to stressful situations, having some hobbies in common (but not necessarily everything).

4

I've never had a long-distance relationship, so I can't say.

@LiterateHiker, it seems you are doomed to a series of unfulfilling relationships, and it makes me sad.

@BitFlipper

Don't say I'm doomed. As an optimist, I have hope.

I have enjoyed five great, long-term relationships. We are still friends.

...you are doomed to a series of unfulfilling relationships...

There's a reason that phrase was shortened to "dating". πŸ˜‰

@LiterateHiker yeah, I have hope too. That's why I keep trying.

Being "doomed to a series of unfulfilling relationships" is still better than settling or being the one who makes all the concessions in the relationship.

@Deb57 or the one who takes all the emotional risks.

3

You are lucky you are alive. I'm sorry you had that bad experience and terrible response.
Long distance relationships are extremely hard. I have been in one for a year and a half. He's in London and I'm in CA. I flew over there and met him. We hit it off. Now it is cooling. I don't know why. He seems to have a lot of health problems. He doesn't contact me as much. It's hard hugging just a pillow. I wouldn't recommend a LDR. Too many long gaps!

3

I think it can be done IF there was a prior, established commitment already and the two people needed distance due to jobs/work, medical treatment, to care for dying loved one(s), or whatever other reason.... it would suck and be lonesome, but once reunited, would be good.... on the other hand, starting from scratch from long distance is problematic imo. At that point, do you fall for the real person or the character they play or the fantasy or idea of the person you have in your head?? Some people can do it, I don't think I am one of em. πŸ™‚

3

I can't remember how many times men have said that to me, and it is BS. I dated a guy off and on for five years; he was in Chicago and I was/am in Missouri. He traveled a lot from Sweden to China and points in between for business, and the distance was a huge factor. At one point, we were making tentative plans for him to move here, but then, he went to South America for business for several months and things went downhill from there again--this time the downhill was permanent.

In retrospect, I have no idea if we would have been able to live together or not. There was too much that was unknown. I am not moving and do not want to live someone in the foreseeable future (and most likely, never). I am not traveling anywhere to get to know someone.

3

Long distance relationships can be a challenge. Things can look good on paper (or screen) and maybe even over the phone, but how do you solve the physical presence issue. I haven’t ruled out an LDR, but approach cautiously.

FYI, I don’t downhill ski, but have plenty of experience driving in snow. My Subie is part goat.

CS60 Level 7 Nov 26, 2019

@CS60

"My Subie is part goat." Love it!

I just bought a new 2019 subie last November and I love it also

@LiterateHiker @RoyMillar. I have a 2015 Forester and will get another one in a heart beat. Reliable, great in bad weather, and great (average in the low to mid 30s) gas mileage.
Subie commercial over

@literateHiker @CS60 mine is a 2019 Forester Premium I have been getting on long distance drivng it speeds limits etc did 840 km in july going to east coast on one tank of gas ,average between 6.5 and 6.8 litres /100 for trip,,fantastic,,wish i could get that around town lol my commercial is over now also

3

I don't do long distance. I've tried it a few times, but the reality is I won't move and there are few people willing or able to move for love. Getting to know each other is just too hard, to expensive, and just not practical.

Its been an interesting balance between being more set in my ways/ ok where i am, as i get older, and then the realization that what kind of person makes me happy is so rare, and places are so transient. I actually think LDR gets easier with age. That being said, most every LDR discussion ive ever seen is dominated by young people, so maybe its just me.

@Burner When you are young you have more mobility. The thought of starting over in a new place far from my family is not one to dwell on. I've moved 23 times in my life, and lived all over the US and overseas. I know moving. It is exhausting. I can't see moving away from my kids and grands for some guy πŸ™‚ Just ain't gonna happen.

2

I don't see a long distance relationship working for me. I live on a small island, so the farthest distance there can be is an hour away. I've done that twice, and it was kinda nice to have that space during days we didn't plan to be together!

Anywhere else is a costly airplane ride. I wouldn't want to spend that much time and money traveling a long distance to find out the guy is a jerk. I can save my time and money by just not dating. I'll continue to enjoy the activities I like on my own or with friends, until maybe I'll meet someone else who enjoys the same things, but conveniently close to me.

For anyone off island, visits would have to be pretty lengthy for us to get to know each other. I would probably only consider someone who would want to live on my island, or maybe someone who divides his time between Kauai and the Seattle area, since I do visit there often to visit with my family.

2

I have been in two LDRs. Both failed to soon. Distance was the culprit.

2

Distance does matter though some people seem to make it work. At our age we all have baggage and we all still have work to do. That said, I don't think it works to try to make anyone else change. Don't lower your standards and don't give up would be my suggestion. For myself, I'm hoping to someday find someone whose baggage makes a matched set with mine but I accept the possibility that I may never find someone with whom I am compatible in that way. And when it feels unsafe in any way, just say piss off!

@Mostly_Harmless

Your username is hilarious! Thank you for your wise reply.

@LiterateHiker Mostly harmless is the name of the fifth book in The hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy trilogy. Douglas Adams made a mistake in counting.😁

@LiterateHiker You are most welcome. Your posts are always thoughtful and deserve thoughtful replies.

2

men come in all flavours. To bad it took so long for you to recognise it. Advertisement: TRY ME OUT!
Have a great Xmas, Jerry

2

Is a long distance relationship better than no relationship at all?

ugly Level 7 Nov 26, 2019
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