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Can A Long Distance Relationship Work
Am I Crazy to Consider it?
This show is all about long-distance relationships. Can they work? Am I crazy to even consider one? This topic came up because we had a question from one of our audience and we decided it was so important. Many people face these issues that we decided it was a great topic to discuss.
First of all, if you’re here and you don’t have a long distance relationship or you’re not even thinking of one, keep reading because there’s going to be a lot of important information for you about relationships, in general. You can apply them in your life. It’s an interesting subject from my viewpoint because when I used to date a long time ago, there would be this term GU, Geographically Undesirable. If somebody lived too far or out of the comfort zone, we would label them GU or they might label me or somebody else GU. They were geographically undesirable. What that meant was it was going to take too long to get to them driving or whatever. It was already considered that it wasn’t a good idea.
In our days now, things are different because we have people in our yard, at least on our computer all the time. Let me give you an example. My sister has a great friend in New Zealand. They met a few years ago online and they’ve become good friends. In fact, he has come to visit many times since then. He didn’t know her, she didn’t know him. She was, at the time, married and had a child. Since then, her husband has died but he would come over to the US as a friend because they built such an amazing relationship online. They’re both gamers. They were gaming. They would talk for sometimes hours every night and they became close friends. He’d never been to the US so we flew over here and his father looked up Google maps and all of that to find out where he was going because he’s a young guy.
The bottom line is this kind of thing happens all the time. We have dating apps. Most of the time on the dating apps, it will give you a geographically significant or specific area that you are looking for people. Some people don’t put a definition to the area because they know that the heart of their heart might be somewhere else farther away. Is it possible to have a long distance relationship? Absolutely, but let’s define that a little bit more. We have the ability to connect with people in ways that we have never connected with them before because of the way our world is set up. If you’ve ever been on a dating app and you find that the geographic is specific or nonspecific, you can choose whatever it is that you would like. Some people say, “I don’t care where they live. I just want to meet the person that is ‘my person.’” There are some pros and cons to all of these different kinds of things. Let’s start with the core.
The core is to be in any successful, joyful or connected kind of relationship. We know that relationships succeed or change because I don’t feel that any relationship doesn’t work. It’s a matter of whether they’re aligned enough or not. We know that it starts from within you. You are the one who is the creator of this amazing experience and the person that you draw towards you is your self-development coach. It means that they’re going to be in front of you to push all the buttons they possibly can and not just the buttons that are trigger buttons, but the awesome buttons too. It might be the passion, it might be the communication, it might be the heart to heart that you share that is beyond words. There are all kinds of “buttons” that we all have and most relationships will touch some of all of them. The reason that I say it’s a self-development course is that we will frequently see things in our relationship that we don’t want to admit we have anything to do with. It’s important that you know yourself.
The distance thing comes up as a matter of your belief system. If you have a belief that you can’t be with somebody or you don’t want to be with someone that’s not within driving distance, walking distance or flying distance but not too far away, for other people they don’t care, what’s true for you? Think about that for a moment regardless of what your circumstances are. Think about what you would do if you met someone. Let’s say you’re not in a relationship, that you met someone and you’re like, “This is so my dream come true,” but they live on the other side of the world. What would happen? How would you deal with that? Think about that.
It’s an important thing to remember because the distance is only one factor in relationships that work or do not turn out the way that you would like them to be. One of the more important keys right off the bat is your value system. What are your values? What do you relish as important? What about honesty? What about impeccability? What about communication? What about all the other things that establish a core relationship, being successful or not successful or feeling good or not feeling good? It doesn’t matter where somebody lives. That part is critical to have in order or in alignment. You can also look at what your life goals are. If someone wants to go out there and be president of the United States, but you want to live on a farm in the country and spin your own wool, that‘s not going to be a good match.
It’s a little radical there, don’t you think?
It is, but I know somebody who wants to be the president of the United States. I know that there was a time in my life that I lived on the farm. I have my Angora goats. I would take their hair. I would spin it. I made a bedspread. I do know that these two things seem a little radical, but I’m doing this for emphasis rather than anything else. Remember that this work is also about knowing thyself. Every time we speak here, we want you to be able to look inside yourself and see what fits for you and what doesn’t fit for you. Throw away what doesn’t fit you or come back later because it might fit for you later.
The bottom line is when you have 100% self-awareness, your life is going to be completely different because you will make choices that will be relative to what’s true in your heart. People don’t make choices about which to win their heart. People make choices because they are afraid if they pick one thing, it won’t turn out as good as they want it to be. They make another one because somebody will be mad at them or they make another one because they’re afraid of being alone. Most people are not truly authentic because of the fear of loss. That’s usually one of the first things.
It came to me while you were speaking that if one picks a person to have a long distance relationship with, that person is unavailable. The person who picks that person or who chooses to have a long distance relationship is picking someone that they know will be much more difficult to have a relationship with or a relationship that will stick or be fulfilling. They’re afraid of getting into a relationship that will require them to be very honest.
No, it’s not always true.
It does happen, I’m guessing.
Everything happens. It is not literally everything does happen. It is not literally what happens maybe all of the time. One of the ways you know that is by looking at history. See if you’re the kind of person that picks married partners, people to have affairs with, you choose to be a mistress, or you choose to be a sugar daddy for people so you can have them around, but you’re married. That’s the thing that you would like. You pick unavailable people. I know quite a few women who have picked men that are married because they are afraid of commitment and this puts them in a place where they can always stay at arm’s length. It also can set you up to be a victim. On the other hand, when we’re talking about a long distance, I look at that differently. What I’m suggesting here is that long distance can work. You want to do some real introspection to find out how aligned are you and what is the possibility that you could ever live in the same vicinity or the same house or the same state.
There’s a lot to look at with this. If there is something that could possibly happen down the road, a long distance relationship is merely doing the groundwork to get to a place where you know you would be and would like to be together, so you can do a lot of things and learn a lot about each other. Especially when you’re on Zoom together, Skype and you talk on the phone, you text or you spend time with each other periodically. Let’s say that you live in California and they live in New Jersey. That is a reasonable amount of distance between the two. It doesn’t mean you can’t get on a plane and visit each other every whatever period of time, once a month, once every quarter. You’ll get to experiment about how the relationship does when you stay together for a couple of days and a week. More and more you’ll find out because when you live with someone, it is not the same as dating or spending a fun weekend with them. You get down to the nitty-gritty and pretty soon, the makeup comes off. He’s throwing a jockstrap around or whatever it is that people may do.
[bctt tweet=”When you know yourself and have 100% self-awareness, your life is going to be completely different.” username=””]
The truth is that people do stuff. People become different. They become their habits when they’re living together and they don’t feel like they have to put on their Sunday shoes. They don’t have to put on their best face. They frequently will acquire this sense of taking someone for granted or whatever. That’s another whole subject matter. When we’re talking about developing a relationship, you want to be in a place where you are looking at what’s core and not just what blows your skirt up at that particular moment. Long distance depends on where your core values are. It depends on what it is that you are specifically looking for in a relationship. Some people don’t want to be in a live-in relationship or a marriage relationship. They like their freedom.
Many times, they are so comfortable with being their own person and they get to visit or spend time with another person. That works for them because they don’t want to be locked in. They don’t want to have to report to somebody. They don’t want to have to be in a way that their partner thinks that they ought to be or whatever. They get their freedom, but they can also be with somebody to spend time with and perhaps or maybe it’s just about sex. It depends on the two people. The core thing is if you’re thinking about a long distance relationship or any relationship for that matter, what do you want?
What’s your payoff for being in that relationship?
What are you looking for? You write down ideally what is it that you want. Do you want to live with someone? Do you want to be able to have availability to spend time frequently together? Are you the kind of person that wants to spend 24/7 with a person? I am that kind of person. All of my relationships were relationships that I worked with or was around on close to 24/7 experience. Rafael and I are like that now. Yet, I have been in relationships where he “went to work,” but that was only for part of the relationship. I’m one of those girls. I like being with someone all the time and I like getting along that way. It’s not mandatory, but it works for me.
Some people are like, “No way. I want that guy out of the house and I want to do my thing. I want to go to work. I want my own independence. I want my own individuality.” If you have that at your core, a long distance relationship might be awesome for you because you get what you get when you get it and you get to be with you whenever you want. Things can work out well. I will also say that the majority of people prefer to be with somebody close up and cozy. They want to live in the home or at least nearby somebody so they can have a more intimate relationship mentally, emotionally and physically. You can have some of that long distance, but it’s not the same.
In your experience, are long distance relationships generally monogamous?
It depends on the person and that has to be agreed upon. We’re back to values, what is important to you? Is monogamy important to you? If monogamy is important to you, you better get clear with this person whether they be in your town, whether they’re in another state or another country. If you are not on the same page with that and you don’t trust that person, then it will be a very important thing for you to know about. You need to be on the same page with that. Any relationship can work no matter where it is if you’re both on the same page with your values, your beliefs, where you want to go and what your long-term plan is if you even have one. Does that make sense?
It does. The point I’m trying to make is that people can say, “We’ll be monogamous,” but when they’re alone and they have that autonomy or that independence, will they stick to that or how important is it? The question is getting down to which is something that one of our audiences brought up about the whole idea of sex in a long distance relationship and how that all fits in.
Everyone is so different. Some people spend time having phone sex even though they live far apart. They will have phone sex together. They might even do that on Skype or on Zoom or whatever. For other people, they take care of themselves and they save intimacy with each other. Other people, and I’ll quote somebody, they lived in different countries and they both agreed that they would just be whatever they were in wherever they were, and when they came together they would be together. You could call it monogamous because they’d be monogamous when they were together, but when they weren’t together, they weren’t. It depends.
If you are with someone that you make an agreement about something and you don’t trust that, get out of the relationship. Come and get some coaching because the insecurity that you have there is creating somebody who is not necessarily going to live up to your ideals or your expectations. It’s important to pull someone towards you that is going to be aligned to support you in being as happy and playful as you can. On the other hand, somebody can come to you because they’re going to help you see where your sensitivities are or where your issues are. You can utilize that relationship to expand and grow.
[bctt tweet=”Most people are not truly authentic because of the fear of loss.” username=””]
Based on your years of experience, especially in coaching the people in long distance relationships, do you find that they’re happier or not as happy as they would or could otherwise be in a close proximity relationship?
By nature, humans are very communal. People want to live together. They want community together. They want to be with each other with certain levels of variants to that. Long distance relationships have a higher likelihood of not turning out to be long-term unless there is a plan where they’re going to get together than relationships that are close up and personal. As I’m saying that, I’m smiling to myself because I’m thinking, “Our divorce rate is 60% or even more than that.” Being close to each other could be the hindrance. Maybe long distance is something to consider because if you’re not with them a lot, you don’t have a lot to fight about.
You can’t do any worse than 60%.
It’s hard to say, but that’s a real possibility. I do know that people want to be with each other. We want the tactile experience. We want the nurturing that comes. We want someone when we’re having a bad day to hold us or to talk to us. We want someone to have the ability to be able to bounce things off of and to share what’s in your heart or what you’re afraid of or whatever. It’s not that you can’t do that over the phone or over the internet, it’s that sometimes it doesn’t feel the same because they can’t reach over, hold you and hug you. You can’t look at each other in the eyes the same way exactly than you can when you’re in person. It’s going to depend on what your personal needs are. Some people don’t want people to be that close to them. Some people prefer to keep everyone at arm’s length and they’re going to be a lot more successful in long distance relationships than somebody who isn’t.
They can control their lives that way.
They can have it be the way that they want it to be. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a matter of what is it that’s true for you. What is being authentic in your heart of hearts is about? What does it mean for you?
Do you think it’s a red flag if a couple starts off a long distance relationship on an open-ended basis? I can understand if someone gets a job and was going to work in another city for a year or two and the plan is to reunite. It’s a finite separation period. If there is no plan, do you think that’s a red flag?
It probably is. If there isn’t a plan, the two people better be aligned. If one person is like, “I want to be within arm’s reach of them. I want to be able to touch them.” The other person is fine with traveling around. There are a lot of people that travel a lot in their relationships and sometimes it works out great. Other times, that “temptation” thing is like, “I’m lonely. I haven’t been home. I haven’t had sex. I haven’t had whatever it may be.” When that occurs, suddenly there’s justification to step out of the monogamy role. If that’s okay with both of you, that’s great. If it’s not okay with you, something different needs to happen.
We’ve gone through a bunch of different scenarios. Since I enjoy having a close tactile approach and being with someone that I love, I find that hard to relate. I want to ask you this question. You’ve talked about how it’s important to be aware and to be clear about what your intention is and why you want or don’t want to be in that relationship. How does one do that? It seems to me there are a lot of programs. There’s a lot of underlying stuff that’s lying under the covers that will cloud the decision and the reasons for making that decision.
There frequently are a lot of underlying things within each person that are having them create a long distance relationship. What’s important is to look at yourself. The way you look at yourself is sometimes difficult to do on your own. It’s very hard to see what we can’t see. It’s hard to know what you don’t know. That’s why you have coaches or you have people that can help you become more aware and more self-introspective, so you can get underneath the covers to know yourself well enough to know what your heart wants, not what your fear wants. Your fear may say, “Being with somebody who travels a lot is great because then I’ll have more alone time.” Underneath that is, “I don’t have to be as responsible or I don’t have to be with somebody all the time. I don’t have to be afraid of them glomming onto me.” Whatever the fear is.
[bctt tweet=”Pull someone towards you that is going to be aligned to support you in being as happy and playful as you can.” username=””]
For other people, it would be like, “I want somebody to be here all the time.” They can have the same issues. “I want to know where he is all the time. I want to be sure he’s not cheating or she’s not cheating. I want to have my fingertips on everything.” They both are saying the same thing and it all boils down to fear. The real question to ask yourself is, “What fear might I have in regard to relationships?” You can ask yourself that question and that would be a good start. If you’re not clear about that or you can’t see that, I suggest that you get some support so you know yourself better. You can make decisions that are true in your heart rather than in your mind. Decisions that are made from your head or from your intuition, they need to be looked at because it’s a balance between the two. Let’s say that you’re a single mother with three children and you meet somebody that you’re head over heels with and they happened to be 3,000 miles away. Is it realistic for you to move there? Is it realistic for them to move to you? When might that happen and what plan of action do you have to have that occur?
These are the things that you need to talk about maybe not on the first interaction but quick because you might as well know upfront. It is not fun to fall in love with somebody and find out that there is not a chance in wherever that they’re going to move and be with you or vice versa. If you’re the single mom who’s got three kids, your divorce papers and your visitation rights with the other parent is not allowing you to leave the state. You better make sure that person is willing to move or you have a long distance relationship that will not last because most parents want their kids to have a reliable, consistent two parents around. Although that’s certainly not so common anymore, it is important for you to be clear for yourself what it is that you want and what do you want for your children. What do you think is best for your kids?
That’s a whole another gig there because we haven’t even talked about the whole kids’ thing. Do you have one last parting thought that would help us with here because this is complex?
It is complex. The answer is not an answer that is a blatant answer, no. It boils down to the most important question. Do you know yourself well enough to know what your underlying belief systems, programs, ideas are as to why you’re in a long distance relationship? Why do you want to be in a long distance relationship? It may be that you just happenstance seemingly there are no coincidence or accidents or there’s no such word as happenstance. Let’s say that you meet somebody who’s far away and you do have a very close connection. Right off the bat, you need to get clear about whether this is a decision that can be made to where you can both be in alignment with what your end goal is. You said something about having a plan or having an end goal. How many people that get married do you think have a plan of action for their relationship?
Young people that get married these days, they might or maybe even in the old days. The routine is, “I’m with somebody that I love. I’m going to have two and a half children. I’m going to live in the house. He’s going to get a job and take care of me or we’re both going to get jobs. We’ll get to a bigger house and we make more money. We’ll put our kids through school and we do all of this.” That is the underlying supposed to be plan. Is that the plan that works for you? These days, not so much. We’ve got many very independent women that have no desire to be with men because they’re self-reliant. They don’t care whether they have somebody in their life or not.
When one of the partners wants to break away from that traditional sheeple type plan where everything was laid out for them or their parents told them how they had to be. When they want to go out and do something or take another job in another area, take more responsibility and do whatever, it will cause the relationship to end if that’s not clear.
It brings us back to two key important things. One, know thyself and know that what you know right now might change. You always want to maintain a certain level of flexibility and malleability in yourself, in your communication, and in your life. Secondly, you must have an open clear communication that never waivers from the impeccable you to the highest level that you know it.
I will give all people in a relationship a homework and we’d like you to send it to us if you’re brave enough to do that. That homework is to sit down with your partner or your spouse and have that discussion. Come up with the five most wanted, most important goals or aspects of your relationship that you want to happen and see if you’re in alignment with that.
You need to be more specific with that to help people know because I’m not sure what that means. Are you talking about long-term goals? Are you talking about, “I want her to have more sex with me? That’s my plan. That’s my goal.” Try to be a little more specific.
I wasn’t talking about “I want more sex” kind of thing. That was not my thought. You opened up a whole line of thinking for me when you said that people get into it and it’s a very important question. People get together, they’re in lust, they’re having all these hormones, emotions and it’s great. What’s the long-term intention for what they want to get, participate with and share with our partner? It’s not just the sexual thing. It’s an alignment of your values and your long-term values in alignment or your long-term desires as to where you want to go with your life.
[bctt tweet=”By nature, humans are very communal.” username=””]
It’s an interesting homework assignment. I’m sure I’m going to get some new coaching clients when people start to look at that because most people don’t want to look at that. They just live from moment-to-moment and day-to-day. One day, they reach a place where they’re like, “I’m not happy with this relationship and I’m leaving,” because they did not do the kinds of things that we’re speaking about here. They didn’t know in their heart or in their core what it is that they wanted. They find themselves unhappy. This is common.
They’re on a rudderless ship on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean just bobbing along and one of the people in the relationship are going to change and that’s where the relationship gets into trouble. That was huge. For me, that’s an important thing for creating unity and the moving forward plan in a relationship. Thanks for that. We have a question from Benjamin of Southern California and he said, “You talked about mirroring in relationships. What if I don’t see in me that which I see in others?”
When you don’t see in yourself what it is that you see in others, it is because the awareness about that is not able to be seen because the self-awareness piece is not there. Perhaps you have identified what you see in them is something different than the way it’s expressing through you. What that means is that there may be something that’s going on inside of you that another person is demonstrating, but it isn’t coming back exactly the same way. I know somebody who has been in a relationship and she feels like she’s been victimized. This person changes his mind all the time. He has not been consistent. She feels like she has no control. As a result, she feels like a victim and she feels lost about that. He’s not able to see anything inside of himself for his part in that. Since she has had some coaching, she’s able to see the lack of clarity and the lack of commitment that she has had so she’s got somebody who is inconsistent with her. He’s looking at it like, “She is pushing me away and she’s doing this.” He doesn’t see it as judgment. He doesn’t see that when he’s judgmental about her, that he is pushing her away and then she pushes him away. It goes back and forth.
Here’s the bottom line. When you notice that you have a judgment about someone, look inside yourself and see if there’s anything that’s even remotely related to what they’re doing. Don’t just look at it literally like, “Don’t call for two days.” It’s not that. Is there ever a time when you back up and back out? In other words, where you don’t communicate openly and clearly for a couple of days? Is there a time when you are emotionally distant even when you’re with somebody in the same room? These things are very similar. If she doesn’t call you for two days and she was the one who was supposed to and you don’t see how you fit that because you always call when you say you’re going to, do you always stay 100% present? Do you go away in a different kind of way than not making the phone call? There’s always something that the other person is going to be showing you.
Here’s the real important little caveat here. It’s not always with that person. It’s not always in that exact moment. This may be something that you have done in the past with some other person at some other time or it may be something that’s coming up for you. Preview of coming attractions and how you deal with it is going to be the most important thing. The more judgmental, the more victimized you feel and the more you project your own discomfort on the other person will enhance the degree of discomfort that you will experience somewhere along the line. Remember that what goes out has to come back. Energy never leaves its source. It’s like a boomerang. You can send it out there, but it will flip at you and it will be back right around your neck sooner than you even realize it. It’s important to recognize that if you can’t see it right away, ask somebody to help you or do a lot of introspective work.
Ask internally to see what it is that this person is showing you in that particular moment that would help you be more clear about why you keep creating relationships that keep showing you the same thing. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll look back and notice some similarities in past relationships. Have you ever noticed that? Have you noticed that the person you’re with now does something that’s very irritating and maybe if you look a little closer, the person you were with before that had something similar to that and the person before that ran the same number? There’s something in you that’s been tapped on to give you an opportunity to clean it up. I invite you to take a look inside. If you still can’t find it, let me know and we’ll do some work together.
The fact that you say, “I don’t see it in me,” and that’s totally fine, I would say that there is very likely resistance in you to wanting to see it that most likely is subconscious. You consciously say, “I want to get to the bottom of this.” There are resistance and a line in the sand that might be something that you’re unwilling to go there that has to be looked at. Just consider that, ask the question, and wait for a great answer.
You’re using the word unwilling and that might feel a little threatening to someone because somebody can intellectually say, “I am willing to know that.” There’s a deep underlying core principle of, “If you know who I am, you won’t love me. If I expose that, I am going to be opening myself up to attack and make wrong or whatever the case may be, which means I won’t feel safe.” That means that it’s very important for you to recognize that you, on a deeper subconscious level, may not be willing. Even though your conscious mind wants it, there is a disparity between the two. That disparity is protecting you from seeing it because the part of the mind that knows it if you see that and if you admit that, it could be threatened. It’s protecting you from the fear of what it is that that may be going on underneath that. It’s still something that you can ask yourself, but don’t beat yourself up and say that you’re not willing. You might not be willing, but there is another side to that willingness piece.
What I meant was that unwillingness is unconscious. It’s not something that you’re consciously or knowingly doing. It’s just that resistance that’s there. I agree with that. Thank you for that question. We’re going to go to the part of the show where Esateys asks her most important question of the day.
What would it take for me to know what I want? The relevance of that question is based on what we spoke about, which is when you know yourself and when you know what you want, you will make decisions more readily. Do you want a long-term relationship? If you do, what are the factors that will make it work or not work for you? This question is very powerful because it can be used in so many different circumstances. When you’re trying to make a decision between two different things, regardless of what that is, if you ask yourself rhetorically not expecting to sit down and “figure out” an answer, what would it take for me to know what I want? What happens is it allows all the walls and barriers to slip away the truth of what it is that’s going on with you to emerge so you have tremendous clarity.
I’m going to go back to my homework question. I got some more clarity about how to ask that question more precisely. How about you sit down with your partner and ask these two questions. Where do we want to be as a couple in five years, in ten years, in fifteen years? Looking at the bigger picture of your values, your purpose, what will give you greater connection and greater fulfillment both with your partner and individually? I understand it could be a little unclear and that was something that’s coming through for me. That’s something we should do. We might even do what we ask you to do. It’s great to be with you. We will see you next time.
I will look forward to it and I’m counting the moments until we connect again.
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