Last week was another exciting week in the land of the poly princess, as a friend of mine calls me. Well, both exciting and frustrating. I decided to end the romantic relationship with the lover in New York City. Long distance relationships (LDRs) can be difficult. Both parties need to invest a lot of time in order to make it work. For us, we just don’t have the time. His primary currently lives in Washington DC and he has many lovers in New York. I’ve been quite busy with partners here and I think things will get busier as I try to find a primary. I know several people who have LDRs and the successful ones require a lot of effort. I am saddened by the loss of this relationship. It has evolved very interestingly. I first met him in 2011 at a conference in Istanbul. I spent that summer in Germany doing fieldwork for my Master’s, as I studied the German anti-nuclear movement. That summer was quite pivotal for me. I visited Frankfurt to do interviews and I stayed with someone who told me that he and his girlfriend talked about opening up their relationship. A month later, I went to Istanbul for a conference and met the person from New York City who would become my lover. He and I had a crazy night of bar hopping and we also met the next day after staying up until 6am. He told me about his open relationship and he said to me later how jealous I looked. At that time, I was still with my ex-boyfriend and we had nearly broken up 3 weeks before I left for Germany. We decided to try and work things out. I explained to my ex-boyfriend that I liked this person and that I wanted to try having an open relationship but my ex was not keen. I met the person from New York City in July 2011 and we didn’t meet again until June 2012. For that entire year, I wrote my thesis and thought a lot about him. We kept in touch, though we did have a 3 month period of not talking because my ex was really hurt. My ex and I tried to work things out but we couldn’t. Just before we broke up, I ended up going back to Europe and I saw the person from New York City again in Berlin. We had 2 great days together. We didn’t see each other again until September when I visited him in New York. Because of the gaps in time, we could never really form a tight bond. I often felt that the relationship was unequal because I was always very very interested in him and I never felt that his interest in me was at a similar level. He felt like a very mythical person to me. The danger in that is that you can project almost anything you want onto the person and pretend that they’re perfect. When we spent time together in New York and later when he visited me in Toronto, we had a good time but the closeness was never that great. Of course, we also discovered each other’s flaws and I think we were both turned off by them. I think that if we had more time to invest in the relationship, it would have improved but it was not to be. I’m extremely thankful that we met because I might never have been poly otherwise. I told him that I’d like to see him again as friends. The moral of this story is, you really need to have time and energy to invest in LDRs. In my poly web, one person has a partner in Minnesota and they talk every day and see each other as often as they can. Over time, they have formed a very close relationship. The partner from Minnesota visited here in January and I could see how strong their relationship is. I very much admire that. Soon I will be returning to Denver to see the person I met there. I wonder what sort of relationship we will have. We’ve had some contact since he visited here at the beginning of this month. He and I have a good time together but I’m not sure if we can sustain anything. In any case, I look forward to the trip… The trick with LDRs, as with any relationship, is to align expectations. If one person expects a certain amount of contact and the other wants less or more, it can be tricky. The good and bad thing about polyamory and LDRs is that you don’t need to rely on the partner who’s far away. You may discover that relationships in your own city are enough to keep you satisfied and you may not end up having a lot of contact with the person far away. On the other hand, if you agree that you will meet a certain number of times a year and not have contact the rest of the time, for example, the relationship can still develop. Especially, if you meet the person and are very present with them for the time you can be together. Has anyone out there who’s poly had a successful or unsuccessful LDR they’d like to share? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Everything I post wil be confidential. Of course, all questions are welcome.