Saturday, January 22, 2011

Long distance relationship

Haven't posted much this week... mostly because it rushed by. A. was here from Thurs through Monday this week and arrived again last night, which is great!

And this bring me to the topic at hand... long distance living.
As I've mentioned before, A. and I lived together for almost 3 years before we got married, so we were quite used to the whole arrangement: I cook, he does the dishes, I do the laundry, he vacuums, etc etc. We meet at the end of the day, usually I'd get a ride home with him from work and we'd always leave the house together in the morning. As a grad student I did not have much of a schedule, but since A. was not allowed to take work home from the office (the could not even log into his work email from home) living with him made me much more organized mainly because I knew the very slim chances of getting work done at home in the evening. So evenings we usually went running together, then had dinner, and then just relaxed and chatted (and sometimes went out).

Living apart now is taking its toll. Skype is a blessing and a curse at the same time... while it makes the calls cheaper (free!) it is quite hard to focus on the computer screen or on the conversation without starting to surf on the web, check emails, etc. Especially when there are no topics to talk about. And this is so frustrating! A. and I have never had difficulties in coming up with good conversation, but when you are miles apart and linked through a computer connection, the personal connection is also badly affected. What should we talk about? Ok, how was your day? Fine, not much news, and yours? Fine too. Then A. usually presses for details and I start telling them but I soon realize he's off in another world. I slip in a question. His answer is the same as the last 5 minutes: "hum..." I say "yes or no?" Then he stares at the screen, startled for a second, tries a "yes??" but that does not save him. I ask what the question was and he admits he has no clue. At some point he makes up an excuse that he wants to go to bed early and that he has to hang up. I know he's not going to bed, but he cannot get himself to say that he just wants to hang up. But since I don't have anything else to add, I agree.

On the bright side we do get to see each other 3 weekends a month, so not too bad at all. Except that the one traveling that weekend has a 6-8 hour journey each way to go from their house to the other's. We do get to see cool cities and places that we randomly pick to meet at for weekends, but all this travel planning is usually allocated to me. And sometimes I just don't feel like looking for tickets weeks ahead of time and trying to coordinate flights for each of us. It is a considerable amount of work to meet (thanks for very cheap flights at least it is not expensive) and that's when I miss the effortless, implied, everyday: see you here at the end of the day!! of living together...

On the up, very high up, side is that the long distance has made weekends when we meet great! No fights, no disagreements, lot's of fun... and the list goes on. I think this also has to do with everyday perks like housecleaning not entering the picture and therefore avoiding any friction. Also because the time together is short each time apart we seem to erase the last annoyances and when we meet we each give each other a new fresh "quota". We have also realized that this honeymoon usually lasts 2-3 days and they we're in an awkward position in which A. gets annoyed that someone is telling him to do things he doesn't usually do and I get annoyed at having to tell him things that he used to do when we were living together.

Overall we both agree that the experience of living in Europe, despite being living apart has been very positive (how else could you have a mid Feb week long escape to Greece?) but we are definitely hoping to figure out a way to live together soon. So A. started looking for MBA internships in Oslo starting in May and I've started looking for jobs in Brazil starting in August (when A. would do the exchange program there). Fingers crossed!!



  1. i was apart 'only' for 6 months during our 1 yr about horrible - planning a wedding is difficult enough, but to engage someone in the process thru skype is horrible....and the staring at a screen to connect is exactly as you say! you would never just stare at someone for hours on end to make conversation, usually, you are moving around, putting and doing other things and the same time.
    Even tho it was only 6 months, we tried to see each other every 2 weeks even tho that was an expensive flight because otherwise everything else was just.not. quite. enough. :) thank goodness that you guys have cheap domestic-euro flights ...and its a good experience afterwards to look back and laugh on. or just be thankful is over :D

  2. Me and A. were in a long distance relationship for almost 3 years. In one year I made 22 flights and nobody could believe that I got that frequent flyer card only to see him more often.

    Now we live in the same place but it brings new challenges, for example, it's not a native place to either of us and we both need to adapt.

    But I have an impression that you both are managing it well. Fingers crossed for your plans. Hopefully you can be soon in one location!


  3. I know exactly what you mean with the long distance thing as P and I did 13 months of it before I moved back to the UK. On one hand it is fun and romantic and exciting to plan trips away, but on the other hand you just want to see your boyfriend/husband like a normal couple! We also had a 5 hour time difference which usually meant I had to rush home from work each day for a 30 minute skype call before P had to go to sleep. I would never want to do that again, but I think everyone will say you appreciate your partner that much more when the distance comes to an end. I hope you two get to be together soon!

  4. Hi :)
    Wow, being apart during the engagement sounds much worse than after marriage distance ;)
    And we will definitely laugh about it in the future.

    Hi EM,
    22 flights does sound like a lot! But I admit I don't even want to count our flights...
    Don't you think that living in a place neither of you is from also has benefits? Such as both being able to complain about said place without the other one taking it personally?

    Hi loveinldn,
    Thankfully we don't have a time difference between Oslo and Paris. A. and I did various 3 months of distance periods when I'd be in Brazil and he'd be in the US, which was 3 hours difference and that was bad enough.
    Yup, let's hope not to do it again! :)

  5. Hello Samba! Glad to receive your visit in my blog!
    May I suggest you guys something?! Why can't A. try a MBA in Brazil? There is an awesome program in English for foreigns in SP at FIA, my hubby will be joining this May. Feel free to write to us: Let's keep in touch!