All Articles Tagged "long-distance relationships"
According to IndianExpress, a new study claims that women immerse themselves in their romantic relationships, while men place their romantic partners on an equal but distant footing. This study shows that generally, women appear to be more invested in their relationships than men and that their happiness and well-being is more dependent upon how things are going in their intimate relationships. Is this a surprise to you? It’s not a surprise to me.
After all, who is usually the one who recognizes when things in the relationship aren’t working too well? The woman. Who is it that typically seeks professional help with the relationship? The woman. Who is it that mostly spends time on YourTango, reading self-help books and going to seminars about relationships? Women. Why is it this way? (For more information, check out Secrets of Happy Couples.)
Women are biologically wired to be the nurturers. They are the ones with the skills to anticipate the needs of their partners, take care of nurturing the relationship and do the problem solving when things have gone awry.
Read more at YourTango
For those of us crazy enough to even engage in a long distance relationship, there is one unavoidable question that will come if you stay together long enough: who is going to move? This week I was asked if the man or the woman should move or does it matter? Let’s get the short answer out of the way: Yes, it matters.
In my opinion, neither party should move for anyone they aren’t planning to marry. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t move for anyone that you aren’t already engaged to. That’s right, I’m going old school! You should already have or be planning to put a ring on it before engaging in cross-country cohabitation. Why anyone, male or female, would move across the country to “see where things go” is beyond me. You can see where things go from the comfort of your own home. Ever heard of Skype? Look into it.
Relocating just so you can go on more frequent dates isn’t a valid reason. If you have doubts about the merits of your relationship, moving across the country won’t provide you with the revelation you seek. The only difference will be now you don’t have to travel as far to realize that the doubts you had at a longer distance exist at a shorter distance too.
Moving isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly by either party. In a perfect world, you could move for love, land seamlessly in a new job, and make all new friends. It’s not like any of us need real-friends beyond the confines of Facebook anyway, right? But, the world isn’t perfect.
Ideally, the person with the best job should stay put regardless of if they are the man or woman in the relationship, especially in this economy. It’s very likely that either party will face long-term unemployment in the name of love. You need to seriously ask yourself if you’re ok with being the sole financial provider in the household for an unknown period of time. Stated another way, you both need to determine if you can handle a woman being the only one making the money while the man sits around (hopefully temporarily) being a house husband – a role both men and women have failed to readily accept.
Despite all the progresses of women in the workplace, not surprisingly, most women still want a man that can provide for them. This usually means financially. As I’m fond of pointing out in various posts, love doesn’t pay the bills. So although it shouldn’t matter who moves, it does. Unless they have a job waiting for them, one person is making a financial sacrifice for the relationship. This is fine and dandy when you’re in the throes of the honeymoon phase. However, I promise you that new live-in boyfriend/girlfriend smell will wear off a lot faster than those bills you’re responsible for each month.
Then there’s the question no one likes to think about: what happens if you break up?
As the sultry R&B artist, Sade, informed many of us in the 80s, “love is stronger than pride,” but is love stronger than work? It’s interesting that when relationships fail, we are often too quick to blame others but when relationships succeed we are quick to take all the credit without proper attribution to our partners. As a fellow writer for SBM recently pointed out, we have been conditioned to make more sacrifices for work, which only last 20 – 30 years of our lives than for love, which has the potential to last 50 – 60 years. When the opportunity for promotion presents itself in the workplace, we throw caution to the wind; when the opportunity for promotion presents itself in love, we snatch caution from the jaws of happiness. This sentiment is true, but can we honestly ignore the fact that relationships sometimes don’t work out? If you believe the divorce rates, there is a 50% chance you’ll end up “unemployed” from your relationship.
I do believe that a man should be open to moving to make a relationship work, but because of the risks such a decision entails, he should do so as much for himself as he is for the relationship. If things don’t work out, which is a very real possibility, then he may have to live with his decision longer than the woman he made the decision for. This sacrifice should be acknowledged, yet moving really guarantees you nothing more than the opportunity to see if the relationship will last.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision to make and if things don’t work out, it’s your decision to live with. I can’t buy into the philosophy that it’s up to women to still bare all of the risks it takes to make a relationship work, as was the status quo recommendation a mere few years back. It should be clear that whichever party relocates is taking the greater risk. Nevertheless, egos aside, most men should be able to admit that in today’s society there is no less risk for a woman to move for a relationship than there is for a man.
Should a woman always be the one expected to move to make a relationship work? Does it matter if the man or the woman moves? Have you ever moved for a relationship and had it not work out?
WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. As a Scorpio, many women wish death on WIM and some have attempted to hasten its arrival. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM and on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery.
A healthy relationship is the perfect balance between comfort and something that pushes you outside your comfort zone, rational and a little bit of fantasy, sexual and emotional chemistry. Lean a little far one way or the other and you have a relationship that could easily be broken by the ever-changing climate of life. Don’t even base your relationship on these elements.
Equilibrium: The smooth-talking-street-smart-intellectual mirage we girls sometimes dream of. I met him on the corner of impossible; wrapped in a loose white shirt, almost sagging jeans, fresh kicks, and a Yankee fitted. The white iPod headphones slipped up and down his chest as he bopped his head ferociously. Chiseled face, a perfect brown, a goatee and mustache; connected around his full lips.
Usually, I avoided the type: Semi-angry man rapping through the subways and swiping their metro cards to the lyricism of a favorite emcee. I imagined if I broke their spell, they’d bark at me or send me flying off the tracks.
He was different.
His walk was slow, unlike his peers that graced their native pavement alongside him. I followed him out of the bustling cave, littered with musicians and storytellers, up the steps to Union Square. An equestrian swagger and serious demeanor crossed the street in front of me, his broad shoulders flexing, arms tatted with bulging veins; he gripped his mp3 for safe keeping. I glanced down at his keychain that swung from his back pocket, its prevalent lanyard read….”New York University.” I smiled at my ignorance. I assumed he was some retail associate or customer headed towards an urban and trendy SOHO store.
In fact, he was a transfer from San Francisco State and taking a semester of classes at NYU to experience the city while getting a few credits out of the way. A psych major, epitome of hip-hop head, and one of the most intelligent brothers I’d ever met; crossed my path and I had to yet to fathom it.
After four blocks of walking behind him he asked, “Uh, are you following me?” I immediately recognized his west coast accent having fallen in love with a Bay Area species once before. I laughed, “I think we’re just headed to the same place.”
He smiled, “See, I knew you were stalking me.”
I pulled at his lanyard, motioning towards our simultaneous destination, and it was with this gesture that our closeness began.
I was headed to an open mic the school was hosting and he was headed to class. Since both ended around the same time, we bumped into each other once more. Convinced it was destiny we flung our legs over benches nearby and exchanged anecdotes until the sun drowned in the dark purple of the city’s summer sky.
The summer before my junior year and his senior year, we were drenched in love. We wrung ourselves in front of his dorm kissing, sipped mudslides at Applebee’s, and held hands like the spaces between our fingers were jigsaw.
He was raised by his mother, a reflection of goodbye-food-is-in-the-fridge in the morning’s mirror. He whispered something about growing up in the worst area of his city and bringing up a brother three years his junior, who was now addicted to cocaine and in and out of rehab.
“I wasn’t letting social services know we didn’t have it together. I couldn’t have us split apart.” He twiddled his thumbs, while relaying this story, three hours into our five-hour-first-in-depth conversation. I placed my hands on his shoulders, imagining I could soak up some of the pain that came with reminiscing on things better left forgotten.
The summer waved goodbye to us like a long gone friend. Our hearts floated above the heavy waters of our chests and swayed like buoys waiting to drown. We shook hands at farewell; a river and ocean promising to converge once again.
They say 3,000 miles is but a block for lovers. The advantage of technology on our side, we decided keeping in touch would be easy for us. There were the good times. A shared laugh through Skype on a computer screen, an i-miss-you text, and snail mail that placed withering concrete on our lack of physicality.
The distance always prevails.
The silent space between texts grew frequent. The frenzies we called life whirled around us as we longed for clarity. I was blurred by men and buzzing friends who advocated that our relationship was pointless. He was swarmed with whispers from women who knew seduction could trump a distant fidelity any day. We were trapped. Between the white screens and black font, the IM boxes, and the voices that grew fainter.
Does this sound familiar?
His breath pervaded the receiver heavily that night. Lips pressed to the bottom of the phone, hoping his words would invade my ears like a reality we once knew. I knew it was time, it was well overdue. “I’ve come to accept the reality that we can’t be together. This conversation was supposed to happen some time ago. Even if we plan trips for this summer, it won’t be enough. It’s like; I can’t have you right when I need you. I want to be your solidity and your sanity when stress is heavy. Knowing that I can’t do that for you or be there kills me. You need that. I can’t provide it from this far.”
He was right. So right, that I clutched the side of the bedpost and listened quietly and intently while the blisters grew upon my palms. Blisters comprised of wanting to throw things, shake the world, and roar in anger. But we were adults now. Adults weren’t allowed to cry when they didn’t get their way, blame God for detachment, or believe in fairytales. We wiped the fairy dust from our eyes the moment we realized life wasn’t fair and would forever drag on as such.
There was a quiet in our already inaudible storm. With nothing else left to say we parted ways, split by our longing. He posted this on his status the next day:
“I had to set you free away from me to see clearly// The way that love can be when you are not with me. I had to leave, I had to live. –Maxwell”
The space between yesterday and today are littered with present(s). A closed fortune cookie, an unused lottery ticket, and a union never united. Long distance for me were bullet wounds filled with glimmers of hope. Hope always fills the barrel with hollow tips. All it takes is one shot, one promise, and one prayer.
What’s your long distance relationship story?
“RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.
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Dear Very Smart Brother,
I am hoping that maybe you can tell me whether this guy is really worth sticking with or if I am being played and should really leave and never look back. I have been seeing this guy for a little over 5 months now. We have been rocky since the start because when we first started talking he had just gotten out of a relationship. I was trying to guard myself and keep from becoming the rebound girl but he ensured me he was over her. I believed him…sorta.I have been hurt and lied too a lot in relationships so it is hard for me to trust but a man is only as good as his word and if he tells me something and I have no reason to not believe him I will.We both are college students (I’m 19 and a freshman, he is 20 and a sophomore), we attend schools in different cities so we are in a long distance relationship however we are from the same city. We met through a mutual friend who told me he is a “good guy.”
To get to the point, I have a hard time trusting him and other females. One of my biggest fears is getting cheated on and possibly never finding out about it or being lied to about it. But because we are doing this whole long distance thing a lot of what we do takes place over the computer and cell phone. This is where Twitter and Facebook come about. He tends to be a flirtatious guy, I do not like this and have told him and he keeps it under control at times, or so I think. He’s one of those guys that like girls pictures and comments on them and their posts. It wasn’t a problem until I saw he kept liking this one girl’s picture who goes to school with me. On those pics he even crossed the line and told her she was beautiful and even called her baby a few times. We talked about this and he stopped. I explained to him that it’s disrespectful to me to see this and what is the point unless he is trying to get the girl’s attention. This particular girl is a girl he used to have a thing with and apparently they are “just friends” now. (I have my doubts.) They hang out every now and then and it bothers me. I also feel if he is content in what we have and since he knows how it makes me feel he shouldn’t want too, even if it’s just out of respect for me.
We also had issues with communication, he wouldn’t talk to me for some days and I’m like um you do realize we have this long distance thing going on here, if this is going to work we have to keep the connection strong somehow. For a while we would video chat or text a lot, talk on the phone. Now all we do is text and most of time we are arguing over something he did.
Now I have another breaking point with him on twitter. He flirts with other girls but claims it’s just a social media site and I take it too serious. But I feel sending winky faces and asking girls to text him and saying they are cute is borderline. I have tried ending things with him many times but I always find myself going back to him after we talk about the issues. I don’t know whether he is just good at lying or if really I do bug out over little things. I just feel I don’t need to be in a relationship if I’m not being respect or being played. He is a good guy in the sense that he not doing all the crazy stuff other young men are out there doing but bad in the sense that maybe he doesn’t respect me like he should and maybe that he’s not someone I should be with. Another thing that gets me is he tells me he loves me. I don’t say it back because I don’t and I’m not sure I ever will because I’m not sure if he is worthy of all my trust or if it’s all a game to him right now. But I wonder would a guy put up with all the arguing and distrust from a girl he just wanted to play? I want a good relationship where my boyfriend can talk to me about anything and we have genuine and mutual trust. I don’t know if I don’t trust him because of my life experiences or really cause of stuff he does. I really like him though. He makes me laugh, he seems to really care about me (at times). I am sorry this is so long but I wanted you to have all the details to really help me out.
Run Away or Stay
I’ll say it right off the bat: I don’t believe in long distance relationships. If you live in the same city for a while, and then one person has to move away and you stay long distance until you can make new arrangements—fine. But, if you go away to another city, state or country, meet someone for just a few days, and decide to try and form a relationship around that after you get home, you might be guilty of the following:
All relationships take work, but long distance relationships take a bit more effort in the way of communication, compromise, and understanding. Statistics show that an estimated 2.9% of US marriages were considered long distance, with 1 in 10 marriages reported to have included a period of long distance within the first 3 years. If you are currently in a long-distance relationship first, bravo, and second, take a look at these suggestions to help keep the spark alive, over hundreds of miles! Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
I fell in love with my last girlfriend after I knew she was planning to leave to South America for a year and a half.
I was in my mid-to-late 20s and considerably more idealistic than I am now: I saw it coming and I allowed myself to grow deeper in love with her, completely ignoring the fact that I knew I wasn’t built for long-distance relationships.
I figured after she’d leave, we’d write and send care packages regularly and chat with each other on Skype every day. I’d scrape together the thousands of dollars it would take to visit her in Chile (more than once if I could) and we’d make those 18 months WORK, goddammit!
Of course, it didn’t go down like that. She fell in love with her experience while I fell even further in the doldrums of a recent layoff. We made it only four months into a half-assed “long distance” relationship before we ultimately fell out of touch and she got with a guy with whom she became engaged before returning to the states. They were married earlier this year.
That issue, and ones since, have reminded me that the “happily ever after” concept of love and partnership is all too often mired in idealism. A childhood spent watching sappy television and listening to Tracie Savage songs led me to believe that love conquers any and all adversity.
Alas, it’s true that two people that are perfectly compatible may simply have unaligned stars, and the long-term potential of certain relationships may never be realized.
Even the best romantic relationships can require a lot of work to maintain; when you add “long-distance” to the equation, keeping your love alive may seem much more daunting. However, with the right approach (and the right partner), your romance can thrive from afar.
“Madame on the Street” is our weekly video series that poses a question to people on the move in New York City!
It’s one thing to be in love, it’s another to keep that love burning with thousands of miles in between. Although technology and travel help, with busy schedules, it’s hard for couples to keep a relationship at a distance thriving. We hit the streets to get people’s thoughts and experiences concerning long-distance relationships.