April 12th, 2008

Moose With Mug

Long Distance Relationships

Hip-hop stations are fading in and out
All I'm receiving now
Is a kick drum mixed with static
Constellations are blinking in the sky
The road is open' wide
And it feels so cinematic
'Til a van
Driven by an elder gentleman
Cuts right in front of me
From then on that's all I see

It's a nine hour drive
From me to you
South on 1-95
And I'll do it til the day that I die
If I need to
Just to see you
Just to see you

"I-95," Fountains of Wayne

(Cross-posted from the OkCupid journal.)

Just as a quick aside before jumping into the actual entry... I'm kind of enjoying using favorite songs as a launching board for new posts, so I'm going to continue running with this until I grow bored with the concept or I run out of songs that inspire me to write something. Note that I specifically used the phrase "favorite songs" -- so in addition to writing about myself and my opinions, I'm also providing detailed information regarding my musical taste.

In my life I've actually been involved in two long-distance relationships. I choose to define them as being rather successful ones in that the relationships each lasted over two years and that in both cases the relationship ceased being a long-distance one within a few months. In fact, they came one right after the other, and the second one ultimately led to my getting married. However, it was a very different time of my life back when I embarked on those two relationships, and while I don't wish to exclude potential love interests based on distance, the fact is that I no longer possess the amount of flexibility to engage in them like I did 10 and 12 years ago.

On the other hand, what really is a long distance relationship? It's not something I've really ever discussed with anyone else before, but I'm not even sure those two long-distance relationships I was in years ago even qualify as long distance in other people's eyes (though they certainly felt like long distance ones to me). In the first one, I lived just outside of Philly and she lived in NYC, and in the second I lived in NYC while she lived just outside of DC. At the time, they certainly seemed like long distance to me. Yet, they were close enough that when the time came, I fairly easily left my current job and moved to the same area so that the relationship ceased existing as a long distance one.

That's just not possible anymore. The fact is that I feel it's my responsibility to do what I can to stay near my son's mother so that at all times we're both at least somewhere within the same metropolitan region (I know that there are plenty of divorced parents who share custody across long distances, and I don't fault them for their judgment -- it's just something I don't want to do if it can be avoided). So, where do I place the geographical boundaries when looking for the next Ms. Right? I hate the notion that the right woman for me might be someplace just outside of where I draw those lines. On the other hand, I don't want to overextend myself -- the current custody arrangement I've drawn up with my ex means that the weekend doesn't start for me until midday/early evening Saturday. Furthermore, I don't exactly possess a car I'm comfortable putting through a long-distance ringer, and given the recent run-up in gas prices, making such a trip on a regular basis can actually bust the budget.

As I said in a recent post, I just stopped seeing a woman I went on several dates with. The one downside of dating her was that her house ended up being slightly over an hour drive away from mine. I had a good enough time with her that I felt it was worth my while, but at the same time I think it gave me a good idea of what my idea of a long-distance relationship now is. I don't think I will call an hour drive away a long distance, but it is certainly in the upper end of the spectrum I would consider local.

Whatever the distance I ultimately decide is too far, I'm not 100% certain it will be a hard and fast rule. If I end up meeting the right woman online and the chemistry is absolutely amazing, then I just might be willing to enter in another long distance relationship again. However, given my feelings about my son, I just have to hope that if such a situation occurs then I will be able to rely upon my amazing powers of persuasion to get her to move to me.