Hello Operator

Published 27, Apr, 2012

Rob Newman isn’t sure about long-distance relationships. “Are relationships that start from afar doomed to fail?” he asks.

Recently I found myself having to end an on again off again long distance connection.  Two years was a long time to remain uncertain, but we did try and it really was a more off than on situation.  Still such a time can leave feelings raw and emotions high.  I was sorry for my own indecisiveness and even more so to inflict that on another on an ongoing basis. 

Over the past seven years I have been an importer, if you will, of boyfriends and paramours from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)  and beyond.  I don’t want to imply that the fair city of London does not offer up their own share of eligible bachelors … I’m sure they do, but for me importing importants and impromptus insured a certain distance that I felt necessary for both my own comfort as well as my denial. 

There is also the whole serosorting aspect of my thought process with regard to dating that quite honestly has me shopping in the big city in part because I see the stigma less then I do in my own backyard.  When you add that mind set, and for me it is the mind set that makes me most comfortable when dating, the fields narrow … but I digress.  I am talking in the more general sense with regard to long distance relationships. 

With the recent change in my personal life I spent the better part of Easter weekend spring cleaning and rearranging my home, my thoughts, and in some ways my life.  Part way through the extra long weekend I spent the Saturday evening with friends for a fabulously festive feast.  Two of the gents attending that evening had also recently embarked on a long distance connection and the coming together of friends and food were in part to celebrate the recent union of men and minds. 

Sadly, all good things must come to pass … distance being a factor. 

Are relationships that start from afar doomed to fail?  I pondered this thought throughout a sleepless night of late and I decided that yes; they are doomed! 

I can’t speak of course for my friends but I do mourn what I would have thought a good match of these two unique and wondrous worlds.  I can only bring my own thoughts to bear on the subject of love from afar.   

Relationships for me, when they start, are so often this explosion of feelings and dreams,and I statements … “I want to see you, I want to be with you, I want to hold you”.  When we are mere blocks away we can savour and soak up this blooming love fest; but when there is travel and waits and schedules we so often have to quell those initial thoughts with the mundane act of planning spontaneity. I can still recall asking a florist if roses and cheesecake will last for 2 hours in the back seat of a black car on a summer day as I navigated my way to the big city and my latest beau; she suggested keeping the air on.

Add to the initial distance aspect the weather, mode of transportation, and last minute changes and we then need to rethink the simple act of planning dinner and a movie.  Successful long distance relationships, I have come to believe, begin with two who live with or near one another. Then distance doesn’t become a factor.  Most I would think are more relaxed about a loved one who is far, but not far, for long.  To start off a relationship with needing to “understand” when all one wants to do is enjoy and share and simply snuggle is the beginning of a downward trajectory…this is at least what I have found to be true for me. 

That is not to say that if some handsome, passionate, compassionate, semi sane suitor from who-knows-where calls and asks me out that I would say no … but that’s a whole other story.