By: Revanche

My goodness, introducing the SLDR!

June 13, 2008

Hat tip to Wanda for the link to this article about the SUPER Long Distance Relationship: intercontinental relationships! I can’t really get my mind around that.

I have it relatively easy in that we’re on the same coast, and within an hour’s flight of each other. But it’s still a major pain in the patoot to have to schedule every single possible meeting, days and weeks ahead of time. With gas prices being what they are, and a promise BD extracted from me two+ years ago never to drive up alone, there’s simply zero spontaneity in the daily part of our relationship. It’s not exactly heartbreaking, since I’m the consummate, OCD, organize everything to a fare-thee-well personality, but still. Definitely no surprise bowls of soup when we’re sick, no surprise flowers when we’re having a good day. Heck, sometimes we’re so busy or tired, we don’t even know the other person is sick or happy.

[….. That makes our relationship sound terrible. It’s not. It’s just the reality of the LDR that certain things people take for granted do fall by the wayside. And it’s not like we don’t eventually figure it out, it’s just that it’s not obvious the way it is when you’re face to face.]

But getting back to my point: the SLDR? How long can people tolerate and function in that sort of distance? And does becoming accustomed to it create a dynamic in which you have to relearn how to get along in closer quarters?

When you’re starting out in an LDR of any sort, you’re thinking of the practicality: the career moves, the growth, the freedom to build a life apart from the relationship so you’re not one of those attached-at-the-hip-elbow-jaw couples. They, frankly, annoy me. After some time, though, it gets hard. Exponentially harder. I’d guess that’s when people start breaking down and either splitting up or making plans to be in the same city at the same time, forever.

I wonder if the breakdown happens at a more accelerated pace for the SLDR?

4 Responses to “My goodness, introducing the SLDR!”

  1. I think in SLDR the breaking point is much sooner. I wouldn’t be able to function in an SLDR without a deadline for it to be over.

    I’ve done SLDR (4.5 m) LDR (3.5 years, off and on, including the SLDR period), and regular R (now) in my relationship, so i have a lot to say on this. I’d write a whole post, if i can figure out how to tie money into it. 🙂

  2. Sense says:

    Hee. As of today, I’m in an SLDR. In two weeks, though, I’m planning on being on the same continent, so it doesn’t really count. (it WAS going to be a month and a half, but we both agreed that was too long)

    i’ve done the LDR thing–for the first six months of our r-ship. It was ok when we were first getting to know each other as not-friends, but it would never fly now.

  3. mOOm says:

    I’ve been in SLDRs (Aus-US and US-Sweden) and one LDR (150 miles) which latter has now become a non-LDR (and married). The Aus-US one lasted long enough for me to move to the US. But I was still on the opposite coast. Was hoping my partner would then move to my coast, but it didn’t happen and eventually after I was two years in the US we broke up. That’s when I started the Sweden thing which lasted about 4 months – I visited Europe twice in that time (once Sweden, once met up in Italy).

  4. ~stackingpennies~ I’m sure you can tie money into it quite easily: how did your habits differ because of the SLDR or LDR, or didn’t they? What kinds of choices did you have to make in those circumstances that aren’t a concern in (R)? Etc. I’d love to hear your perspective on it.

    ~sense~ Endpoint? Check! Good to hear things are in better shape now. It’s funny, we agreed that our relationship might not have worked so well had we been LD in the beginning instead of now because we were able to build a solid foundation.

    ~moom~ That’s a rather amazing record of SLDRs! Congrats on the marriage to Snork Maiden, btw!

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