‘Should I Stay In A Permanent Long Distance Relationship?’

Reader Distance Makes The Heart Confused writes,

I am a single mom of four girls who range in age from 5-18.  I am twice divorced and am currently In a long distance relationship with a great guy. We have been together for a year and a half and he has two children.   He lives almost three hours away and we see each other every weekend.  Every other weekend I’ll drive to him and on the opposite weekend he comes to me.  The time we have together is great, and we have a lot in common.  But I also have to wonder, is our time together so wonderful because it’s like we’re on a little vacation every weekend. We tend to spend our time together going out to eat, hanging out with friends etc.

Neither one of us is in any situation to relocate for at least 13 years when all the kids are out of school.  I feel that I lose out on precious time with my children on the weekends because we’re always together, but that’s also the only opportunity we get to be together.

I’m not sure if I can continue a long distance relationship for the next 13 years. I know he would never end our relationship, he wants us together forever. Even if it means we only see each other every weekend for the next many years.

How do I find the answers I’m searching for? How do I know if ending it based on geography is the right thing to do?  I’ve made mistakes in the past and I don’t want to continue in the path of another failed relationship.

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Dear DMTHC,

This is such a subjective issue.  There are military wives who would say that seeing your partner two days out of every seven is awesome, and people like me who hate when their husband travels overnight.  There are people with bicoastal marriages and people who work, live, and socialize together like peas in a pod.  Whether or not you can be happy like this forever is up to your individual preference.

However, something that does strike me is that you are unsure about whether your time together is awesome because you’re “on vacation.”  If you have this suspicion after a year and a half, maybe you’re intuiting a truth about this relationship.  Even the strongest relationships often crumble under the stressors of blending families.  You guys are parents for the whole week and then on the weekends, you get to be adults again.  There is no blended family scenario that would allow for that, most likely.

Here are the options I see:

  1. Keep your awesome, fun weekend relationship and don’t rock the boat.
  2. Find a guy in your own city.

Remember, just because you can likely find another guy in your city who you like enough to date doesn’t mean that he’ll be as great as the guy you’re with.  Also, blending your family with him or with his family will not be easy either.

Perhaps the mistaken assumption you have here is that the relationship needs to “progress” in a set way or else it isn’t “enough.”  Perhaps you are guarded because of your romantic history.

Maybe this relationship is making you happy right now, and that is good enough, and you can reevaluate in a year, or two, or five, or ten.

It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that there is something wrong with your relationship because it doesn’t fit the mold of the generic marriage you have always visualized.  But this isn’t the case.  Why don’t you go with the flow for a bit longer and trust your heart to tell you if it becomes time to move on.  For now, it sounds like you have a good setup, and in fact I bet it is enviable to many of your stable, married friends.  It is certainly the opposite of “monotogamy,” so I bet your sex life is awesome, too.

Good luck, and till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Your “Vacation” Doesn’t Sound Like My Vacation.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.

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