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Thread: Relationship advice

  1. #1
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Relationship advice

    Does anyone have experience of STARTING a relationship where you both live a long distance apart? It seems kind of difficult, because going to stay with someone for, say, a weekend seems a bit much when you haven't even kissed!

    If you think there is something there worth giving it a go, how do you get things started?

    My, er, friend kinda likes someone who lives about 6 or 7 hours drive away.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Well, I started a relationship with my pen pal of ten years. At first it was just letters, phone calls, and online chats. We were 1,500 miles apart, so going just for a weekend wasn't an option. When I knew it was serious, I started making plans to get us closer together (geographically), and things went from there.

    Suggestions? Well neutral sites might be appropriate for a start. But, to make the relationship work, you'll probably need to be comfortable in each other's places. I'd say try to share your expectations for "staying over" with each other. If you're both comfortable with them, you've got a place to start.
    JOE ILIFF
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian yaff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNL
    Does anyone have experience of STARTING a relationship where you both live a long distance apart? It seems kind of difficult, because going to stay with someone for, say, a weekend seems a bit much when you haven't even kissed!

    If you think there is something there worth giving it a go, how do you get things started?

    My, er, friend kinda likes someone who lives about 6 or 7 hours drive away.
    JNL,

    I do not like to be a "wet blanket" but trying to start a long-distance relationship with someone whom you have not really gotten the chance to know is not something I would recommend. It is likely that you would both be on really good behavior and want to show eachother a great time so, if it clicks, it can be really easy to fall for eachother. However, It becomes really hard to manage the expecations that you have when you do have time together. There are lots of reasons and pitfalls to watch out for but, overall, I think that it is likely to be a very frustrating experience.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Hey, I've been there. Not once. Not twice. But three times. It is a very strange situation. In all three cases our first kiss was at the airport and the evening ended with sex. I found that because a lot of time had been spent on the phone and the Internet, that the intimacy was already well begun before that first kiss. Still it was odd being that intimate with someone when a few hours before I had never even seen them. Of course, I am a guy. Going from home plate to home run in one evening isn't that much of a problem.

    Advice: be very very sure. The man should probably come to the woman's town, to give her a more secure sitiuation (her own home where she can run him off if he get out of line or it is just too wierd.)

    A meal before you go "home" with them. Let yourself have a little time to get a better feel of the person.

    If you are staying with them, probably want to have prior knowledge of a hotel or motel nearby, just in case you have to leave, so you have a place to crash. And cab fare.

    At the first meeting like this, keep it as casual as possible. Not a time to start discussing life's mysteries or make plans. If it works out, then there is plenty of time later to do all that. The first time I did this, the woman went really fast. We met on Friday night and by Saturday evening she was planning how I would move to her town. Whoa!

    Finally, don't be crushed if you find out it wasn't meant to be. Two of my three didn't go much beyond that first meeting. The third worked out much better. We have been married four years and have a three year old boy.

    Good luck!
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  5. #5
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Joe Iliff

    Suggestions? Well neutral sites might be appropriate for a start. But, to make the relationship work, you'll probably need to be comfortable in each other's places. I'd say try to share your expectations for "staying over" with each other. If you're both comfortable with them, you've got a place to start.
    Yeah that sounds pretty sensible. I'm seeing him for coffee on Monday as he has business in my city for the day. I guess it shouldn't be too weird visiting each other if our expectations are aligned - I think just catching up as friends sounds okay.

    This is the same guy who was supposed to visit me a few months back but didn't show up. Well things cooled off for a while but we got back in contact and he apologised and said he was dealing with ex issues at the time and freaked out about coming to see me. But I think that time, our expectations of the visit were not clear at all.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by yaff
    JNL,

    I do not like to be a "wet blanket" but trying to start a long-distance relationship with someone whom you have not really gotten the chance to know is not something I would recommend.
    I actually got to know him when we were on a 1-week crime prevention course together, and we just got along really well as friends. So I know that we have a lot in common and I feel really comfortable around him. We can talk for ages about all sorts of things.

    Quote Originally posted by otterpop
    The third worked out much better. We have been married four years and have a three year old boy.
    Wow, that's pretty cool. And thanks for the sensible safety advice

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Sorry to be so old-fashioned, but on a long-distance relationship, I think it's up to the guy to put forth the first effort(s). He should be willing to come to you. Otherwise, it seems too much like a "control" thing. (yes, past personal life intruding...)

  8. #8
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    My only advice, if you are going to start a relationship, is try to keep the other major life changes to a minimum. I once met someone when we were both moving about 3000 miles away from where we lived to new towns about 8 hours apart from each other. Needless to say, that didn't work out to well.

    On a more positive note, a long distance relationship could work. I know a couple and I don't think they lived in the same town the entire time they were dating nor after they were married. They are still happily married and live about a 10 hour plane ride apart.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    My most recent relationship was semi long distance (2-3 hours depending on traffic). I have replayed my scenario a million different ways and don't really know what to suggest.

    I guess the hardest part is when you visit not having your own space or time for things you want to do and trying to live an entire week in 48 hours. I would caution the intensity at which you experience things and know what you both expect from things.

    Also staying with a person, especially a person who like you is used to living alone can make things difficult.

    I look back now and wish that I had stayed with freinds more often and did not expect to see eachother every weekend.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Thanks for all the good advice. It's still early days yet...

    Quote Originally posted by JNL
    a weekend seems a bit much when you haven't even kissed!
    ...but I'll update you on Tuesday after I have coffee with him

  11. #11

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    Karen and I started out nearly 3,000 miles apart. It was a slow start (not even a kiss on the first date). But the logic of being together was overwhelming, and it had not been quite a year from the time we first saw each other (we had known each other via email and a call or two for about a year before that) when she asked me. We are headed towards our 4th anniversary.

    One thing no one has mentioned is cost: once we hit our stride with each other we had $500 a month phone bills (embarrassing, isn't it?) and spent incredible sums of money on travel. Don't let that stop you, but do think about it.

    Other advice given here is good. Take some safety precautions. One woman I met arranged to have a friend call her ocassionally during the evening until she gave the "all clear." Meeting on neutral ground may be a good thing, although I think you have to trade it off against the security of being in your own space.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I have just started one... (past few months). She lived an hour away. Now that she lives 15 min from me, I get to see her about once a week, and we talk for about 5 min a day. She is in med school, and does not have all that much free time.

    I don’t know what to tell you other than stay with it, give it a shot, and see what happens. It is better to at least try to make something work than to ask your self (down the road) I wonder what would have happened.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  13. #13
    maudit anglais
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    I don't think I can really add anything to the advice given above. I fall into the "you never know unless you try" camp. Just make sure you don't go too far out on a limb - by that I mean don't screw up your great new career opportunity for the sake of a man

  14. #14
         
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    My experience:

    A few years ago, I started communicating with a girl that was subscribed to the same rock band email discussion list. She was 28; I was 23. She lived in Portland, Ore. (still does). I am in PA.

    We talked alot via email, IM and phone. It started very naturally; It didn't even seem like a relationship was starting, just a friendship based on common interests. But then it, of course, escalated to a romantic thing. After about 4 months of talking, she says she wants to come visit me. So she does. The first meeting at the airport was kind of awkward. You know this person, but at the same time you've never met them.

    Things went great though. We, of course, hooked up the first night and what seemed like every 45 minutes for the rest of her 4 day stay.

    She kept hinting at me moving there, but I didn't think it was, or would turn into, serious love.

    I visited her a few months later in Portland (great city), but immediately upon getting on the plane to leave I knew that was it. It was done. She was very mad at first, but now we are cool and still friends. Actually saw her in DC a few months ago. But she is in a serious relationship, so no hanky panky. It was a memorable experience, but I have no desire to do the national long distance dating thing ever again.

    All I can say, advice wise, is knowing someone via email/phone only is not like knowing someone in real life. "Virtual" relantionships are highly internal, imaginative things; you are basically in love with an idea of a person. And that idea of a person is often very idyllic and too perfect, and it's hard for the real person to match up to that lofty idea. This can cause problems.

    ds

  15. #15
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I suppose Tranplanner is right in saying you won't know til you try because truly you won't , but at the same time that does not mean 'weighing the odds' before jumping in isn't wisdom itself. Evaluate and try to anticipate all the friction and difficulties you will encounter beforehand. If after doing so you can still say yes then go for it.
    Having done the long distance relationship thing unsuccessfully twice myself, here is my starting list; others may feel free to add:
    1. (as already mentioned by others) Beware of expectations. The mere act of travelling 6 hours each way every time you want to see this person implies a certain commitment already. It takes time, money and energy each time to make this trek. This is why the proverbial wise man sits atop the mountain - you've got to want something quite a bit to make the journey. One of the down sides of this arrangement, though, can be that sometimes the person making the trip feels they are 'owed' something for the trouble (time, sex, extra consideration, or virtually any other quid pro quo scenario you can envision).
    2. Communications drag. In this wonderful modern age we live in there are phones and computers which help reduce the friction of distance. They are not a replacement for face to face communication . You may find that sitting by yourself in the car for 6 hours immediately after seeing this special person lends itself to excessive solitary introspection/analysis (just what did he mean by that last comment?) to stew over alone for hours.
    3. They're not HERE. This sounds terribly obvious but believe me you will find new ways and new depths to realize this every day once you've fallen for them. Talking to this person on the phone will help a little but it is not the same thing as having them HERE.
    4. The big uprooting. Assuming that you have been able to successfully negotiate all the difficulties associated with long distance relationships, eventually there will come a point where a decsion must be made to either move in together or cut it off. One or both of you may have a lifetime of family and friends where you live which one of you will have to give up (at least to a large extent) If one or both of you is a rolling stone - great, that helps. But it doesn't stop there. There are also economic considerations that come into this decision as well - one of you may have to give up a satisfying career in order to make the move.

    In general I believe long distance relationships involve more sacrifice. The act of making the necessary sacrifices can either strengthen the commitment if observed mutually or it can tear it apart from the friction they impose. Good Luck in whatever you choose.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    It never works. Take my parents, for example. They lived 500 miles apart and decided to give it a try, and eventually decided to get married. It has only lasted forty-nine years so far.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by JNL
    Does anyone have experience of STARTING a relationship where you both live a long distance apart? It seems kind of difficult, because going to stay with someone for, say, a weekend seems a bit much when you haven't even kissed!

    If you think there is something there worth giving it a go, how do you get things started?

    My, er, friend kinda likes someone who lives about 6 or 7 hours drive away.
    Well, staying together for a whole weekend seems WAY too much... if you've just had IM or phone conversations. At least you're meeting him for coffee or such first... But I'd wait a while and meet him a few more times before doing anything that long

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    It is very tough but extremely worth it if you find the right one.
    King B and I were 2 hours apart, we had emailed alot and made plans to have a nice meal and get to know each other better face to face. We had met a few months before that through a mutaul friend at a conference.
    By two days before, we knew that nice dinner was not going to happen. I packed a picnic basket for breaks and nourishment....And the whirlwind began. I don't regret any part of all the changes that have happened since we found each other!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  19. #19
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Update

    So I met up with Long-Distance Boy for coffee yesterday. We got on well and talked about neutral stuff - work, swimming, his upcoming triathlon... and then I took him to the airport. Where I participated in the longest awkward silence ever!!!!!! We were saying goodbye and he started saying something about how it was nice to see me, then he stopped, so I waited, and waited... then we both laughed and joked about the long pause. He wanted to know what was happening with us, so I suggested just friends seems like a sensible option considering the distance, and then if we do meet up there will be a lot less pressure.


    By the way, you guys were really helpful with all your thoughts!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Looks like you took the sensible approach. BME and I met over the Internet and chatted/e-mailed off and on for six years as friends. Somewhere along the way something changed in our friendship and we just had to meet to see if the feelings were real. We only lasted three months under the long distance relationship scenario until I moved in with him. That's three months to the day, coincidentally enough: from the Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice. I've never been good at long distance relationships... but I'm really glad I took the plunge and went for it anyway.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    What about driving half way...and staying in separate rooms? Maybe there is some interesting place you could tour together.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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