AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “long distance relationship”

‘We’ Are Incommunicado

This post will mainly be about Ben and Eve, so again, I wish to say how privileged I feel to write about 2 important people in my life. Last week was a bit difficult for both of them. Eve is currently working crazy hours in a different city and has been very isolated. Until yesterday, the place she’s been living in has had no wifi and she is not allowed to use the computers at work for personal use, even if she uses them outside of her working hours. The only way we’ve all been able to communicate is through a program on our phones. This has put a strain on the relationship, as you dear readers might imagine. It has been difficult for Ben because he would very much like to be in regular contact with Eve and he has missed her a lot since she left. This has also been difficult for me because Ben hasn’t been as attentive at home, so I feel like I need to pick up the slack.

As I have discussed many times, communication is so important in a relationship and it can sometimes be even more important in a long distance relationship (LDR). I have had many experiences where I have wanted to maintain an LDR and the other party has not because they didn’t have time for communication. It might be true that we are all busy, but we can place priority on relationships. One of the reasons why polyamory exists is because of the Internet. Many people learn about poly on the Internet, join discussion groups, and receive emails about poly events. In the current age, we also have so many different ways of communicating. We can send emails, facebook messages, okcupid messages. We have skype, Viber, and phone cards. Even in poor countries, people have cellphones. We can even still send old fashioned snail mail. In order to keep in touch with the ones we love, we have to put in the work. It might not be easy, but it’s very worthwhile.

There was another subject I wanted to mention. Eve commented to me that I often refer to Ben and I as ‘we.’ This has made her feel excluded, and understandably so. Eve has become a big part of our lives. We talk about her a lot when she’s not around. She and I communicate regularly, sometimes even more regularly than her and Ben. There are times when it is appropriate for either Ben or I to use ‘we.’ However, this can also take away from who we are as individuals. When we live with someone we love, they become an integral part of our lives; Ben is exactly that to me. That being said, I want to strive for including Eve in our lives.

Thank you as always for reading. My email address is miriam@askmiriam.ca if you have any relationship queries.

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow

As many of you know, Ben and I are currently in Vietnam. For the past 2 weekends, we have opted to take separate vacations. Some people express surprise that we do this and some tell us that we have a healthier approach to our relationship than others do. Since we have left for Asia, we haven’t had much in the way of alone time. Especially here in Vietnam, we are together nearly all the time. We live in the same room and we even teach together. This causes a certain amount of friction at times, both in a good way and in a bad way. We are both independent people and have different interests, so separate vacations make sense. On the 6th, I went to an island called Cat Ba because I wanted to relax on the beach. I also met some people and flirted; that felt good. Of course, I happened to flirt with a French guy who was in a monogamous relationship, but hey, you never know until you try. In much of Asia, I think poly is a non-starter – flirting with expats and tourists seems like the way to go. Even if it doesn’t result in anything, I still enjoy it. Ben also got to flirt in a very small town that he accidentally found himself in. He was meaning to go to a town with a gem market to find a stone for my engagement ring and ended up in a town with a very similar name. At the very least, it makes for an interesting story. This weekend, I went to a beautiful area called Ninh Binh with lots of limestone cliffs and temples and Ben did make it to the gem market.

Until we left for Asia, Ben and I had a long distance relationship. The times that we were together felt special and were concentrated with good discussion and plenty of sex. We’ve come to a point now where things have become more domestic and dare I say, a bit boring. Because it’s been so hot, it’s hard to go out all the time and we find ourselves getting into arguments because we’re in each other’s faces constantly. Though we are fairly similar people, we have gotten into discussions about our differences and that can be hard.

At this point, time apart actually feels precious. We get the chance to miss each other. We come back home and can tell each other stories about the weekend or we can phone each other when we’re away and say, here’s a cool thing I did. When you’re in a serious relationship, I think it’s important to maintain your identity as a separate person. Some amount of interdependence is good, but if you’re with each other all the time, things can get difficult and you won’t realize how good you have it. Thankfully, after Ben and I had an argument about our different approaches to our lack of alone time, we taught our students about love. Our students shared stories about people they had been involved with, which were so nice to hear. I also got to hear Ben talk about why he wants to be with me for the rest of our lives. I have to say, I feel like a very lucky woman.

If you have any questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

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