How to people in long distance relationships do it? How do they not go frakking crazy?
I can understand being single. You are one your own, you build a circle of friends, you might date but you accept that you are alone and you get used to it. Even if you want a relationship and don't have one, you can at least work on that, if that is your goal.
What if you are in love with someone? What if that someone consumes much of your thoughts? What is your heart aches when you are separated from this someone? What if that person lives 500 miles away? Then what? I am starting to wonder if people experience more loneliness when they are single (not in a relationship) or if they are in a deeply loving one, but are separated from the one they love.
I know there are people in long distance relationship all the time. I know that sometimes that long distance thing last a long time too. But for how long? I have to believe that a long distance relationship is not sustainable for ever. I would guess that they end in one of two ways: 1) they just end and the relationship is over, or 2) the relationship continues, but they long distance part of it ends as the two people eventually come together.
I just can't see it lasting forever if they cannot eventually be together.
Maybe I have a different perspective that most gay men. I lived with my partner for almost 18 years. Even now that we are on the path to divorce, we still reside together.
When people pair off, they generally do it to have a partner to build a life together. Part of that life depends on physical proximity. I think the heart needs physical nourishment to keep things going. It needs the soft touch of your lovers hand on your skin. How long can you say good night to the telephone? How long can a text message replace a hug?
I don't know for sure, but I suspect that most people in long distance relationship are apart for a reason, a job, school, family obligation, or something like that. But I have to believe that being in love, even deeply in love, is not enough for ever. There has to be an end game. They have to be working toward being together. They must have a plan. If they don't, why bother. Are you more lonely knowing that the person you love most in the world is apart from you than if you have no one? Why do they continue if there is a high likely hood their love will not or can not be with them. Does it make a difference if they went into the relationship knowing it would be a very long time before they could be together, if at all?
For 18 years I walked the same path with K. Now I have stepped onto my own path. It is a long path and I think it is a good path. I pray I do not have to walk this path alone to the end.
There is only one other I want to walk it with me.
There is plenty of room for us to walk it side by side.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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