Posted in Couples
May 21, 2014

When Love Moves You

Lovers on bridge

By Elizabeth Shore

You may remember a post I wrote several months ago about searching for love in the digital age. It was inspired by a friend of mine who’s in the throes of a serious long-distance relationship. She and her guy met online, they “dated” online, they even fell in love online – all without ever having actually met one another in person. They live really far apart – on separate continents – so airline tickets are über expensive and cash is tight for both of them. This situation went on for close to a year until finally, last month, they met in person. He flew to where she lives and stayed for four weeks. By all accounts, it was amazing. Now, alas, he’s gone back home and they’re left pondering the age-old, long-distance relationship question: should one of them move for love?

It would be a massive, emotional life change. It would mean leaving behind friends, family, job, and familiar comforts. It’s not something everyone can do. It’s not something everyone should do. But how’s a girl to know?

Writer Amy Spencer posted an interesting blog article on match.com’s online site, happen (tagline: “because love doesn’t come with instructions”) about her own experience on taking the moving-for-love plunge. She recently relocated from NYC to L.A. and shared some good insight about how to know the time to move is right. Her tips mostly focus on making sure that a couple’s long-term goals mesh. Dreams for the future, whether the relationship is “in it for the long haul,” that kind of stuff. She also wrote that the two of them having a new place together, instead of her moving into his existing place, was vital to success. She writes, “Now, instead of feeling like I’m encroaching on his pre-me life, I feel like we’re on an “us” adventure.”

The interesting dynamic in the situation for my friend, and for any couple involved in a long-distance relationship, is that ultimately there needs to be an end game. At some point, the relationship has gotta happen in the same location for it to deepen and grow. Skype and Hangout are great, but they only go so far. The truth is, if you’re not together, you’re not together. The physical doesn’t happen. Phone sex and Skype sex hold a certain appeal, but only for so long. You don’t want to be building up callouses (heyo!) from an over-abundance of self love.

While I was thinking about my friend’s situation and reading some articles on long-distance relationships, I came across something interesting. Blogger Eric Ravenescraft wrote that a friend once told him, “A long-distance relationship isn’t really a relationship. It’s the promise of one.” Interesting theory, but I don’t agree. Neither would my friend. She and her guy are definitely in a relationship, and have been for the past year. They’ve spent the bulk of their time apart and have only met once. Yet they are partners in every classic sense of the word. They share life’s ups and downs with each other, their dreams and their goals. They offer support to one another, they laugh; they love. But at some point, if they want to go on, one of them’s gotta move. Question is who? And when?

Have you ever moved for love? Would you? Let us know how you feel on the topic and don’t forget to follow us here at Lady Smut, where we’ll always try to move you.




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  • Post authorHarliqueen

    Hm, it’s difficult. I don’t think long-distance is unusual nowadays with technology, and I think it’s great you can find love on another continent 😀 But moving is an incredible upheaval, and the worry it might not work out is always there.

    But then, what’s worth making a change for if not love? 🙂

    Reply to Harliqueen
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    You’re in an emotional relationship — and yes, possibly a sexual relationship too. What you’re not in is a domestic relationship, and that makes it all too easy! ;> No fights over bills, the garbage, etc.

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorC. Margery Kempe

    I have two homes: my partner is in one country and my job in another. At present I’m enjoying the benefit of a year’s sabbatical from my job, but given the realities of our economic situations, come fall I’m likely to be back to spending the semesters in the house in NY with my brother and returning to Scotland for holidays. Like a kid sent to boarding school. I hope to change it some time or to alter my schedule so I can maybe spend one semester on campus and the other online, but I have to negotiate with my job.

    I think it’s important to ignore sniffy remarks about what’s a ‘real’ relationship. Like people who sneer at social media — as if the people you’re talking to via your laptop, tablet or phone aren’t every bit as real — those who tell you arbitrary ‘rules’ about what makes a relationship bona fide have no business telling you what matters.

    Reply to C. Margery Kempe
    • Post authorElizabeth Shore

      Agree completely. Mere physical togetherness does not a relationship make. There are plenty of couples who are physically together all the time but whose relationship is a sham.

      In the meantime, if you do happen to get back to NY maybe we could actually meet in person ourselves! 🙂

      Reply to Elizabeth Shore
  • Post authorLiz Everly

    I agree with Margery. I’ve had some very meaningful relationships with people online and have never met them. But I hear what Madeline is saying, too, about living with someone–but that’s something easily overcome, in most case. If the love is there, you can work out who takes out the trash.

    Reply to Liz Everly
    • Post authorKel

      “If the love is there” assumes rationality and common boundaries from both parties… and humans are not always rational, do not always share boundaries, and often don’t even share a language – all indications to the contrary. Sometimes people who love each other unintentionally hurt each other because they’ve learned bad patterns, and then get so hurt that they can’t stop.

      It sucks, but sometimes you’re really just not able to live with someone, no matter how much you love each other.

      I’m pretty sure that’s a circle of hell. Dante must have just missed it…

      • Post authorMadeline Iva

        It’s nice to have an alternative — isn’t it — if you love someone but can’t live with them or vice versa. Whatever works, right?

        Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    I did a long term relationship for multiple years. It was haaaaaaard! On the other hand, during the times we were together it was all love you, need you, want you —that hotness of the beginning of a relationship all over again. Sort of. I’m not going to lie, it was stressful. On the other hand, the side of me my partner doesn’t like as much — the side of me that likes to stay up all night, or get all whacky with halloween costumes –that side of me got to come out and play when the partner was away…

    Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorKat Attalla

    35 years ago my husband who I met in Greece moved to America for me. Five years ago I moved to Egypt for him. I don’t regret either of those moves.

    Reply to Kat Attalla
  • Post authorKel

    I have an incredible amount of respect for people who can love like that… I’ve moved the other way – away because of a relationship gone wrong… and it was right for me, but I think it says something about me that I’m more comfortable picking up my life and freefalling in response to needing something new in absence of specifc people than in needing someone specific in it.

    And no one can say what makes a relationship except the people making the relationship. Emotions can really only be felt from the inside… anyone else is only able to see the parts they’re allowed to see. I think a lot of people forget that. Some relationships are deep and meaningful to the people involved without sex ever entering the picture, some involve children and are lifeless and cold but look perfect from the outside. Only the people having them really know.

    And maybe their authors 🙂

  • Post authorKelly Janicello

    I hope it works out for your friend, Liz. I’ve done the long distance relationship thing and found it worked for a while but then it just got old and changed the dynamics of the relationship. It’s definitely hard work as Madeline said but if you truly love the person its worth it. I don’t know if I would or could do it again. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.

    Reply to Kelly Janicello

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