When You’re in a Long Distance Relationship…in the Same Town

A Storm Trooper from Star Wars vacuuming a floor with a vacuum
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“I feel like I’m a long distance relationship,” he says.

I hear that weariness in his voice. “But… she lives 10 minutes from you, doesn’t she?”

“Yeah,” he says.

“It’s the same town, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, we’re both in Cleveland,” he says.

“Why on Earth do you think it’s long distance?”

He sighs. “I never see her. Once, twice a month if I’m lucky? Meanwhile, she sees him every day.”

“Her nesting partner?” I say.

“Yeah,” he says. “And I get that not every minute of the day is quality time. And that a lot it is just… roommate stuff. Figuring out dinner. Doing chores. But it’s hard because I want to see her. I haven’t had this much difficulty getting time together since I was in college and had a girlfriend at home a 3-hour drive away.”

I nod. “That makes sense.”

“I feel like I should just suck it up. It could be worse. It’s not like I’m in an actual long distance relationship,” he says.

“Well you kind of are,” I say.


The Fourth Dimension Is Time

“Well, when we’re thinking of things being far away, we typically think of how many miles someone is from us. The first three dimensions are easier to visualize in terms of physical space: length, width, depth. But the fourth dimension is time. Time can easily create distance. Sometimes we even mix the two and talk about this in terms of how long a car or a plane ride would take,” I say. “But we don’t always honor how long the wait takes to get there.”

“Or how much life we have to live through?” he asks.

“Exactly. How many rough shifts at work between dates. Or awkward social interactions at the gym. Or even how much adulting,” I say.

“She lives roughly three floor vacuumings away,” he jokes.

I laugh. “I’ll see you in 18 meals.”


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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this today! I cannot express how much I really needed to hear this, especially with my current relationship hurtles.

  2. The definition of a long distance relationship is two people that are in a relationship who are far apart from each other, the client is in the name. As someone who is in an actual long distance relationship (7,000 miles approximately) this just seems silly, plus seeing your significant other once or twice a month is a luxury, me and my boyfriend are aiming for once every six months. So yeah, if you live in the same town, regardless of whether you see each other often or not, it is not a long distance relationship.

  3. 7,000 miles is quite a distance, Natalie. And once every 6 months would be quite a wait. That constitutes a truly epic distance.

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