love, Love + Dating, personal
Comments 46

Long distance relationships Part 1: stretching the thread

Have you ever gone out with someone from across the state? Or what about in a different country altogether? My love and I are spending 6 weeks apart. That’s 42 sleeps. Which includes one of us travelling 17,000 kms away, to France and the UK. It doesn’t seem like much really, in the overall timetable of a Life…

Except it also feels like FOREVER.

Perhaps you live with someone already? Then imagine not seeing, smelling, touching, hearing nor tasting them for 6 weeks. Not good huh? Similar to missing your children too I guess; I always miss my tall, smelly, hairy, smartypants son like crazy, even though I know I have to ‘be cool’, letting him spread his wings and fly.

But I don’t want to be like that with a special new lover. I want to dive in then wallow, spending days in heavy-lidded bliss.

Spending hours talking, revealing, learning, wondering, sharing.

To proclaim difference, and delight in the similar.

To explore cafes, cuisines, cuddles and values.

To get shamelessly high on endorphins, oxytocin, and pheromones mmmmmmmm yes please.

Long distance romance has its charms and challenges; we all know that. That’s why I swore off it… until H came along, and broke my cardinal rule HERE.

But you know what I’m learning? To just be Still. To quietly hold the thread of love between our hearts, while I go about my daily business. To send supportive thoughts and texts while we’re so far apart, and H finishes a stressful one-month training course. To notice the seesaw of emotions when I don’t get juicy emails in reply to ones I send, or worse of all, no special comics and drawings.

[*Disclaimer: OK, so I got an AWESOME handmade drawn & collaged book for my birthday HERE, this is true. But, y’know, it’s not the same as a daily/weekly drawing…]

I’m practicing holding a steady heart. And I love it. I’ve always been so easily swayed to distraction or frustration; this is like a much-needed lesson in calm, gentle, open-soul loving.


Just like H.


5 more sleeps…



  1. Philadelphia to Ann Arbor, Michigan was my farthest LDR. Didn’t last, but not because of distance. My wife and daughters spend 6 weeks in Martha’s Vineyard every summer, while I stay in Brookline. Easy enough weekend trip, by comparison. Kudos to you for going with the flow.

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  2. My fiance who died was in Chile, while I was in the US. It was supposed to be about 8 months apart while I came home, finished my degree, made arrangements to settle my life here and move back to Chile, etc. We never got that chance as he died a litttle less than 4 months in. 42 days seems like a breeze when your heart has dealt with the distances mine has. Not to say easy, but just a matter of perspective.

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    • Oh god I can’t imagine how terrible that must have been! You poor woman; I’m so amazed at your resilience & courage. I know I’m being a softie, having a little whinge… I agree completely it’s about perspective. Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s a perfect reminder to be grateful for every day, as we don’t know what challenges may be coming πŸ™πŸΌ. Bless you for commenting so honestly ❀, gabrielle

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      • I have lived a blessed life in so many ways, but I miss my first soulmate dearly, even after he has been gone almost half my life. There are still days that I would give almost anything to have the life we would have had. I hate that my memories of him have faded so much, and that I have never been able to have more than the ones we made over that too short period. He was a kind and gentle man, and we were so young. I often wonder about how he would be now, and how WE would be, had he lived.

        But he didn’t and I did, and he wants me to live my life to its fullest, even though he can’t be here with me. So I have always tried to do that. I have loved with abandon, and put my heart all in, even when there is never any guarantee. You have to take the chances you are given, and hope you reach the brass ring. Hug tight when your love returns.

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        • I’m so delighted you can still feel grateful for what you have, and can still feel influenced by your love. That’s fantastic! And YES, you betcha, I’m hugging tight to H when we meet at the airport next Thurs ❀. Thank you again so much for reading & commenting from your unique perspective πŸ™πŸΌ, gabrielle

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  3. I’ve never had a long distance relationship. There were a couple that fizzled out after I moved away. It’s probably more problematic to start close and choose to move away. Maybe it says something about it, or me, to start with. 5 sleeps and counting down with you.

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    • Yes, good point actually: if all we’ve known is this distance & monthly connections, it’s kinda Ok- that’s the rhythm we have. I’m naturally just getting a bit excited, & the drama queen in me can’t help having a countdown to ‘showtime’ (& telling the WordPress world!) πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜˜

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  4. Pingback: Long distance love.. – Compartment 11

  5. Thanks for sharing! Your last couple of paragraphs totally resonate with me – re being still & holding steady.
    I started reading your early “Episodes” about the beginnings of you & H and I look forward to catching up on more. I have read & listened to Alain de Botton (love love love him) and I LOVE that you did that with H.

    As much as I can see that it appears crazy & eyebrow raising from the outside (and even to me at times) and I haven’t discussed this with M at all, but I do love M who I blog about. I’m sure he realises it (he has read a lot of my blogs and expressed he enjoys my writing) and maybe he is an arse for being so distant and sporadic. I know I hardly know him but I want to know him. And I hope I do get to, but I also accept that may not happen and I must continue to honour myself first and foremost (he did reinforce that learning with me actually).

    Anyway, the point of my comment was to say that I totally get being steady, calm, still – with less distraction & frustration. A massive learning for me this year. Presence, now – being objective rather than succumbing to being wildly subjective.

    Namaste to you B&S x

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    • Hi Magenta- thank you for such an awesomely detailed comment, I appreciate it. I had to wait till I got to my computer rather than smartphone to answer you properly. I’m so glad my experiences have resonated for you; another book which definitely influenced me deeply was ‘Attached’ by Amir Levine. I recommend it thoroughly. I admire your ability to hold steady without getting much feedback from your loved one; I must acknowledge that ‘H’ is very present to me as well, despite the distance. Honouring oneself is indeed paramount though! It has taken me till 50 to admit I DO want to be held & cherished deeply, rather than skirt around being emotionally safer yet superficial. Namaste indeed, and many thanks for reading and commenting, G

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  6. I am very familiar with long distance relationships both with family, children and partners. It is challenging and can be heartbreaking at times but it sure does make you appreciate the little things when they are around

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  7. Lovely one – yes have been in long distance relationships, my lifes love and I first met when he was living in Adelaide and I was north coast – that was before mobile phones or text messages or anything like that. I still have the 50 or so colourful and long letters that we wrote to each other before, 6 months later, he landed unannounced on my doorstep one evening just before my final nursing exams to tell me he loved me and was moving to the north coast……we spent the night revising anatomy for my exam the next day! Now my life consists of these sort of relationships with my children, grandchildren and friends….I try to be patient but I am not always and not always present in the moment…….11 days to go till I leave again for home ❀

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    • Thanks for sharing S! Yes, intimacy at a distance with our family is a vital skill when you’re a traveler… can’t wait to have you back and in the studio πŸ’ͺ🏼😘 xx

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  8. I don’t know if I would be able to manage all those sleep(lesses). But the human condition is such that it is able to acclimatise and adapt, and although it is hard, one gets used to it. My husband is going away at Christmas for three weeks and it will be the longest we have ever been apart. I am just trying not to think about it. But, time goes on by! Thank you for sharing your lovely, peaceful thoughts on this ❀

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    • Yes, it’s hard being apart… But there is also a joy to be found in solo time. Re your 3 weeks apart: I’d make a few plans to spend quality time with friends, perhaps do a yoga retreat or something for a weekend? I’d use the time wisely: it’s a gift. Perhaps make him something as a surprise? And the last week will be fantastic as you both get excited about being reunited! You’ll be fine, don’t worry 😊. Thank you for reading & commenting, G

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      • Oh, absolutely! Thank you for the advice. I scheduled a weekend in Paris and a five day sleepover with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, so there will be plenty to do. You’re completely right about making good use of the time πŸ™‚ Best of luck, and happy reunion!

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  9. I am in long distance relationship with my partner, we are from 2 different countries. Different time zone and different religion. We are together for 4 years now. It was difficult but we love each other and we working hard to make it work

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    • Wow, that’s a way bigger challenge than my 1600kms! I’m amazed and in awe; keep up the good work ❀. And thank you for commenting and sharing your story, blessings to you both, G

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