Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picking the Long Distance Route

by In Transition Working Girl

Happy week of love! Or, in my case, happy reminder that the one I love lives three hours away.


I am going to let you in a little more on my personal life. For three and a half years I have been in a serious committed relationship and feel he is the One for me. Right now, we are in a long distance relationship.

A little history, the first six months we were together, we were apart. But then his job brought him to the area in which I live so it worked out perfectly. For the last three years, we have pretty much been attached at the hip, enjoying our quite evenings in and weekends together.

About a year ago, I started feeling restless in my career and wanted a change. I went through several stages of thinking I knew what I wanted to do. At the end of the day, I realized to accomplish what I really wanted in my career, I would have to move, affecting us both. Being a planner by nature, moving was always "our" plan, but not for a few more years so I was to blame for this change.

My boyfriend played a super supportive role at first. But after a few months of talking about the possibility of me moving, he suddenly wasn't so supportive and our relationship took some hits. I found out he was confiding in others about his frustrations over me wanting to move. It all was difficult for me to deal with, especially while trying to make a career change. It all came to a head on the weekend I was offered the first of my two job offers. We had hours of long conversations and lots of crying trying to figure out what was best for us personally and professionally.

Throughout the conversation we pin-pointed many things, but it came down to one word we both wanted to avoid, resentment.

We are both young, motivated and focused on our careers. We both feel the need to excel and push our limits now but also selfishly wanted the other one to be right by our side. However, we realized that by not letting the other one fly, they would resent the other one later on and would have far worse implications on our relationship. And that was how we decided long distance was better for us in the short term. We did make a promise, as I am sure all couples do, but our relationship is first and if changes need to be made, they will.

We put a plan in place to be together. And, fingers crossed, by the end of the year, I will not only have my career, but my man back too.

How have you handled long distance relationships? Any tips for this Working Girl?

(Image via)

12 comments:

Nicole said...

I too had long distance relationhsip. For the first year of my and my bf's relationship, we lived 2 hours away from each other. At first, it was kind of fun b/c it made the weekends so exciting when they came and everyone of them seemed like a miny vacation. But after a year, it wasn't getting any easier. Finally, we decided to move in together. To compromise for both of our jobs, we tried to meet in the middle as best as we could. Since my job requires 40+ hours per week and his was only a couple days a week, we moved closer to my job. When it comes to love, no distance can keep you apart. Make big plans for the time you have together or just do nothing but be together. I highly recommend Skype as well for the days apart. It may be tough, but it's worth it. Good luck.

Chicago Career Girl said...

I think you're on the right track having a plan in place. My boyfriend and I were apart for a couple of months when he accepted a position in Chicago and I stayed in Minneapolis to finish out my position there. But there was always a plan for me to move, which I did in December and it was great to follow through with the plan.

So overall, I'd say, make the plan and stick to it. You'll get through it!

Angeline said...

I totally feel you. I met my husband in college, and we were together nearly 24/7 for the first two years of our relationship. And then we ended up at grad schools across the country from each other (him in CA, me in NY). It was a really hard decision, but we decided to stay together. The possibility of resentment was definitely explored--neither of us wanted to wonder what could have been if we'd gone to the school of our choosing. Marriage was on our radar as a future plan, but we both really valued our education and our personal goals. After one semester apart, he proposed, but we still did long distance until after I graduated and we got married (a total of 2 years apart). By the time we got married, we'd spent half of our total relationship apart.After marriage, I moved to where he was still attending school, since mine was a master's degree program and he's getting a ph.d.

I can't say it was always easy, but I also think it was definitely the right decision for us. After our attached-at-the-hip stage (the beginning) it was actually a very good maturing experience for us to have to communicate solely through the phone for months at a time. I really enjoyed my time in NYC, he was able to concentrate on his studies and comprehensive exams. And as long as you have a plan to be together in the future, I think you'll be fine.

writtenonawhim said...

I'm so glad that you posted this. I'm in a very similar situation with a boyfriend of 3 + years. I graduated college in '09 when my boyfriend still had two years left of school. In my heart, before I ever met him, I knew I wanted to move to a big city to work and while I knew I was going to put us into a LDR, I moved 3 hours away the day after I graduated to start working in Chicago. In the beginning, yes it was fun to have work to focus on during the week and then have him as my "prize" on the weekends. We had plenty of tough conversations both before and after my move. They suck! But they are necessary because communication is the most important part of making it work. He's my support system and without it, I don't know how I would have made it through my transition into being a working girl. Back then our plan was always to be long distance and then eventually we'd talk about moving to the same place or him moving to Chicago. Unfortunately, he is also in the military and that threw a huge wrench into our plans when he found out he was going to deploy to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010. Now our LDR got a little longer physically but also made the timing of our plan stretch a little further as well. I can't say its been easy in the least (he's still deployed right now), but I do think LDR's can work if BOTH people are willing to do what makes them happy (no resentment here), BOTH are communicating (we work on that daily), and BOTH are still willing to wait to reach the ultimate goal_ being together again. I applaud girls who are brave enough to go after their dreams and leave the people they love (family and otherwise) somewhere else. I've learned, that at the end of the day, you need to love yourself first before you can love someone else. Realizing I was going to put my relationship in a tough spot I made a difficult decision, but I wouldn't be true to myself if I stayed in a college town over a guy. I hope this helps bring some clarity/support/whatever to the rest of the working girls, because I still believe it can be done!

Jill said...

I had a long distance relationship for over 2 years. It was my boyfriend from college. We started dating the beginning of junior year and then decided to stay together as he went to law school and i got a job 4 hours apart from each other. I lived alone and he lived with his family still. It was hard. I spent many nights crying. We once went 3 months without seeing each other.
I see you and the other girls talking about weekends together at least. I never had that. We tried to see each other every month or 6 weeks but it didn't usually happen. Eventually our lack of good communication let to our breakup this past fall. I wanted to talk about future plans or discuss when we would ever live nearer, but he never talked seriously about it. We have remained friends and both still love each other. I am hoping we will get back together soon and make a better plan. We both dated other people in the past few months apart, but both still love each other and have to make sacrifices for each other if we will ever have a future. I want a lot for my career and he does too, so picking somewhere to live makes it hard. Neither of us want to resent each other if one of us has to move, like u said. GOod luck girl, I'm here for u! Everyone always says that if it is meant to work out it will, but truthfully u have to do a lot of work to make it work. www.lifeaftercollege3.blogspot.com

Mays said...

Hi and furthermore, HAPPY FRIDAY!! Man nothing puts me in a better mood, than waking up and knowing that it is Friday and that I have the whole weekend to spend with my family, friend, and boyfriend…..that is NOW I should say as I didn’t have that fortunate opportunity just 6 months ago.

I have to admit that I know exactly the feelings and thoughts that you are struggling with dealing with you LDR, as the man of my dreams and I literally mean “dreams” I met just a little over a year ago and we did a LDR from day 1 of meeting for the 1st year (365 days to be exact lol). Our 1st meeting definitely goes down in the books, I reluctantly came home from New York City for one of my sorority sisters weddings, and he was a groomsman in the wedding. We hit it off instantly, and immediately I knew that there were going to be times that I really had to pick myself up and go forward on days that I really wanted us to be together. As months went on and we would see each other once every five weeks, I started to miss the little things when you are first dating someone that you enjoy together. Like first dates, I never truly got to experience that with him because he was in St. Louis and I was all the way in New York. But I definitely think in know that our LDR made our communication with one another that much stronger. I giggle to myself when I think of all the nights we would have these intense “phone dates” with one another and live for that time together, because essentially that was all we had until the next time we saw one another. As him and I grew closer, I grew sadder and sadder knowing that my true happiness in all aspects of my life could not be met until him and I lived in the same city.

During this huge part of our relationship we had enormous decisions to make. Here I was in fabulous New York City, working for a top fashion designer, I was young woman at 25, had an amazing group of friends, and had everything the big apple had to offer me at the tip of my fingers. I knew that it would be an incredible risk to take if I decided to move, BUT I knew that it would be an incredible risk to not move and take a chance with a man that loved me in a way I had never been loved before. I decided to take a chance, because deep down inside I know life inevitably is all about risk and I had no doubt in my mind that no matter what I would be happier in the end.

Now 6 months later, I am even happier than ever in St. Louis closer to my family, friends, and love of my life. In my mind it can get much better than that, because at the end of the day in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I was looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other-love, and I finally found it.

Good Luck in your decision and I hope I was able to help you with my past experiences dealing with LDR!!

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Julie said...

My story: 5 years long distance - still going strong!

My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years, long distance. He's from the US and I am from Denmark (Northern Europe). I was an Au Pair in his city for one out of the 5 years, but the remaining time has been long distance, only seeing each other during summer and winter vacations. Since we're both students this is the only time we can meet.

Hopefully after our bachelor degrees we can both study or work in the US.. But the future is hard to predict, so we just take one step at a time.

We manage because we're perfect for each other - the values that have to be there are there all the way. We grow together by trusting each other and letting each other pursue our careers and most important of all: by inspiring and supporting each other.

It's hard, but we only want each other.. and then it's possible.. with a whole bunch of hard work of course!

Julie & Demetrius

ps. Here is our website where we write about music, film and photography and post our own projects: www.seeVIOmedia.com.

african woman said...

I'm glad you posted this one. We have the same situation I and my bf had been together for almost 4 years. He is my my bf from first year college until now. When we were still studying we always have a greater time with each other because we are classmates. We tend to go everywhere we want. When we graduated 3 days after he started working and we only see each other once a week every saturday. We still communicate everyday though he started working. He really proved to me that no matter how far we are he we can still make it. Until such time that I get hired and my rest day will be every Sunday so our dating date changed it will be every sunday.

My bf would always tell me that he really loves me so much and he don't want to lose me. Even if he don't have enough sleep as long were together it will really complete his day. I myself also feel the same way too.

We both believe that "if there's a will, there's a way."

So, all I can say is that eventhough your far from each other still you have to make an effort to make your relationship on going.

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