Posted by: dsduffy | July 5, 2011

Coming clean: Long Distance Relationships

I’m pretty sure it is common knowledge that long distance relationships (ldr’s) are hard to maintain. Well, try being in more than one at a time! That is how it feels living as an expat, or at least for me it does.

The phone calls, the emails, the packages and cards. Missing each other and not being able to do anything about it except for reaching out via telephone or webcam. Knowing that you can’t see each other, trying to be strong for the other person, not breaking down in tears on the webcam. Waking up in the morning and hearing a voicemail from them always brightens the day. Hearing songs that remind you of them. Seeing a woman (twice now) that reminds you so much of her, staring at her and wanting to give her a hug, knowing it isn’t her but she is pretty darn close. Seeing others with their loved one, feeling pangs of jealousy.

It is hard to maintain ldr’s being in time zones 14-16 hours apart. The only times of the day that are best to call seem to be the busiest for both parties: early morning getting ready for school time for me = dinner time for them. Or late night when I am tired and ready for bed = early morning getting ready for work for them. I just wish I could call them at 2pm one day and it be 2pm for them as well. Or to pick up the phone during our favorite tv show to gossip about what they are wearing, but it’s just not gonna happen.

With some, you feel annoying and/or frustrated if you are the one that calls most of the time, or you feel bad for not sending packages and letters more often, or at all. There is never a perfect balance, but you are often feeling “out of sight, out of mind” in some of these ldr’s. You wonder: if it was the other way around, if they were the ones that moved to the other side of the planet, would you call them as often? Or at all? You hope that you would act the way you would want to be treated, but we all know that “life gets in the way” and we fall into our daily routines. There are some relationships that were only maintained because you physically got together and hung out. You never spoke on the phone anyway, so why would you expect a phone call now?

The bottom line is that when you are finally reunited, it will feel like yesterday that you saw each other last, and the non-phone calls will be forgotten all about.




  1. I can understand how you feel. Now, look at the other side and see how we are, all living with excitement through you and all your experiences. How lucky you are and how envious some of us might be of your adventures and spirit. It’s a given fact that we all miss each other, but knowing you and the family are well, and having the opportunity of a lifetime… makes it easier for me. You also find out how strong love and bonds can be. Nothing can break it ! I Love You from the other side of the world or just a phone call away. ;0)

  2. I totally feel you about timing being inconvenient for both parties — I find myself getting aggravated if someone wants to talk as I’m starting my work day here, but it makes sense for him or her because it’s like 7 p.m. on the East Coast. It takes creativity and compromise to maintain the connection!

  3. OMG. New mum from french part of Canada, moved to Australia 2 months ago with 2 months old baby. Totally looking for my place in the universe. Wondering everyday of my life how my relationship with my best friends back in Canada will survive…from lack of news from their side. Sadness. Warm on my heart tonight to read your post about that subject. Thanks!

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