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Going The Distance

A friend of mine met her husband when she was traveling in the South of France. A few days later, she was introduced to his family and shortly thereafter she entered into a long distance relationship with him. Within a year, he had applied for a work visa and moved to Los Angeles. They have been together seven years and tied the knot three years ago. While her husband applies for permanent citizenship, she is becoming fluent in French, and they are planning on starting a family. Had my friend not ventured out of her comfort zone in both traveling and dating, she may still be single. I asked if either of them were concerned when they met about the distance and how it would impact their lives. Hell, yes. They knew there would be obstacles, but they would work them out. They could not ignore how perfect they were for each other and were willing to take the risk of having loved and lost than never having loved at all. Embracing love outside their immediate geographic zone worked for them and it has worked for others.

My own sister, who was living quite contently in Canada, met a man who resides in Southern California. After a few months of courtship, a brief evaluation of her dating life in Vancouver, and she abandoned her career in law, sublet her town home, took a consulting job which she could do from any Wi-Fi hotspot and set out on an adventure of sailing around Central and South America with him. Two years later, they are engaged to be married. I imagine she will move to SoCal for a much sunnier married life than return to Vancouver where her dreary single life existed.

In my previous blogs (Pardon Me for Sticking My Tongue Down Your Throat, and 5 Dating Resolutions for 2011), I have mentioned the statistics on finding love and happiness in one's own back yard. The odds are abysmal. Often people move for careers, why not for love? Whether the man uproots or the woman does, it is a migration in the right direction - towards happiness. In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith's character reminds us that happiness is somewhat of an enigma. It does not just appear one morning on our doorstep with a big red bow wrapped around on it. Neither does happily ever after. We have to hunt it down and kill it... errr, embrace it. The idea is to breathe life into love - not squelch it before it begins, because it’s a little difficult. Who said life was going to be easy? 

This begs the question, would you go the distance for what could very well be the difference between living a happy, full life with someone who could be your soulmate, or would you slam the door in Cupid's face and wait for something more convenient? Faced with the opportunity, I would pack my bags and head wherever my heart had already landed. After all, happiness and love are a state of mind, not a country, city or hemisphere. My cats might hate me for the flight to the other side of the world, but I hope they would forgive me when they saw me purring with content. Of course, everyone knows that cats are selfish bastards, so they may not even give a damn.

Some of my father's last words were a reflection on what a beautiful world we live in. He had seen much of it and was well-loved. He was willing to make changes in his life. Some were good, some not so much, but over all he showed me that fear is death and challenges remind us that we are alive. The moment we stop living is the moment we start dying. Life is short and I choose to live it to the fullest. How about you? Are you willing to shake up the scrabble pieces in order to spell happiness? Would you move for the right person?Would you take a risk on a long distance love affair?

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Reader Comments (4)

Hey, Lennie. I really enjoyed this entry. I found myself thinking about my ex-boyfriend and our long distance relationship that we struggled through the first two years of our 6 year relationship. We are both Chicagoans, but at the time I lived in Chicago and he lived in LA. I'm sad to say that our relationship ended bad and we had great difficulty with it. We really did want it to work. In the beginning, he wanted me to move to LA and finish up my degree out there,because we were so in love and inseparable. I wanted to wait until I was completely ready, thou. I knew I loved him and wanted to be with him, but mentally I wasn't ready- I was actually a little scared. I was in my mid- twenties and I had goals, dreams and still do. I pretty much just waited till I had an agent out there before I decided to move there with him . I wanted to make sure that I had the man I loved with me as well as know that I can take care of myself , keep busy and focus on my craft ( he was already living there for 2 years and accomplishted a lot). When I moved to LA , I was happy to be with him. I loved him, but I just couldn't live there. I guess LA was not what I called "home sweet home". With time, our relationship fell apart. You say " would you move for the right person?" I would ....but maybe it didn't work out between us , because he wasn't right for me? I don't know.. If he was right for me maybe I wouldn't have thought twice about leaving my comfort zone to be with him. Maybe school, work and goals wouldn't matter??? hmmm... That was my first long distance relationship. It didn't work out, but I learned from it. It was tough. I would love to be a romantic and take that leap for someone who sweeps me off my feet, but I hate to say that I fear it . My past experience scarred me a little....I hate that.

February 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRCA

I think it's wonderful that you took such a risk and went on this adventure so early in life. I'm sure it was very sad that it didn't work out, but unfortunately finding the right person sometimes means experiencing a little heartache. This move across the country was not a mistake. It was a life experience. It will make it easier for you to make changes in your life in the future, because you know that the worst thing that will happen is you fall down, wipe yourself off, get up and move on. Kudos to you for taking a risk and experiencing something new. Always push beyond your comfort zone with relationships and careers and you will experience amazing things in life and become an even richer soul.

February 6, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Thank you, Lennie :)

February 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRCA

I have always had an aversion to dating "the girl next door" type but going the distance takes it to a whole new level. A level I excel at which brings me both pleasure and pain. Like any addiction it started small, dating a Jewish welsh catholic who survived the long distant transatlantic relationship but couldn't manage a 45 minute separation on my return from the US. Then it drove me to marry a French "princess". I was quick to learn that monogamy is not that nations strength. During the latter stages of the 7 phases of break up, I was
rescued by a Kiwi who pulled me from the City rat race and showed me the riches of life on the other side of the world without the trappings of money. Unfortunately I compromised in love to protect my heart which has only created a barrier to experiencing the euphoria and fear of truly falling for someone that a true romance between
lovers can create. Do I go the distance, well I have, more than once, each time learning, loving and growing from chasing the rainbow. To go again would be painful for people near to me, a selfish act that tests my morality and potentially disappoints all. That said, going the distance has always been worthwhile for me.

February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarossa

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