Monday, April 26, 2010

Ah, the beach... and long distance relationships.

So I've been living in Rio for about 40 days now... And in the meanwhile A. is in the US, finishing up his job there. It will be a total of 2 months of long distance before we meet again.... In writing this doesn't even sounds like much, but it is a lot!

Well, some would say I should be used to it. Ever since we started dating A. and I have had 3 months apart each year. Mostly me coming back to Brazil to do research during the university Summer break in the US. Those months were never easy though... but I think I've started seeing patterns to the LDR thing:

1st month: awful! Having been living with A. for almost 3 years now, the first month of LDR is terrible, you miss the having someone around you, having a listener at any given time, having a friend you can call to go out without even having to reach for the phone. Phone and skype conversations in this period are long and not necessarily fulfilling.

2nd month: you get used to it. Life in the other place starts kicking back in, you meet new people (or contact old ones), and start figuring things out. In this phase A. always asks: "Are you in Brazil mode yet?". That means that I get more of an accent in English and start wanting to explain things with Portuguese adjectives. Conversations with A. in this period are more matter-of-fact, about things you do or did not do, about new people you meet, about places you went. This is the phase when I allow myself to think about what we can do together after we meet again.

3rd month: bordering indifference. In this phase it is a struggle to keep things going at a certain interest level. You know you will meet each other in less than a month and therefore you don't feel like talking all that much (especially since catching up in person is so much easier and nicer). Getting used to being without each other means friends take over some space and suddenly there is more to do. In this phase, even though we talk every day, it is not uncommon to call A. and hear him say: I'll be going out with X. in about 5 min (happens with me too).

After considering these phases, last year A. and I decided that we would try to keep it at 45 days long distance max. So in the middle of my Summer research months he came down to Brazil for a week (well, actually less considering he missed his flight and arrived almost 2 days later, but that's another story). This time A. cannot leave the US due to visa restrictions and I cannot make it back in less than 2 months, so it will have to do. At least I'm hoping we won't reach phase 3 this time :D

So, since I'm in phase 2 right now, what did I do this past weekend? Tired of sitting at home and being too close to work to ignore it (and not having much more interesting stuff to do), I packed a bag on Friday and took a bus to the town of Buzios, 3 hours away. Staying at a hostel and meeting new people, going to the beach and walking around definitely was a good idea. I'm glad I went!! The pics here are some of what I saw there.

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