Living and Learning

As you know, I have an interesting relationship situation. Let me quickly remind you, in case you forgot. 

Boy from MA. Girl from CA. Meet while working together in New Orleans. The situation is interesting, as in, neither are "in their element". Living out of a hotel does not give you a very good chance of learning who someone is completely (aka. are they messy? are they a hoarder? do they make their bed/wash their dishes/clean their toilet?) And yes, this matters.

2 months later Girl goes to South America for a year of travel. You would think this would be the end, but it's not. They keep in touch. Boy comes to visit a few times. When girl comes home, she goes to work in Iowa. Boy is still in New Orleans. They try to see each other when they can, which is usually once a month, in a city in the middle, where they are tourists, living in a hotel (aka. not real life). 

After several months of this, Girl gets a job in New Orleans again. For about a year, they both live in the same city. Sometimes in a hotel, sometimes in an apartment, but still, it is a temporary thing. After this, Boy and Girl decide to travel the world for a year, once again living in hostels, hotels, campervans and even a tent (that was an interesting situation). 

Boy and Girl get back home from traveling and go to their separate corners, him to MA, her to CA, where they have been ever since. They see each other every couple of months. 

BUT NOW: Boy and Girl are both in CA. Living together. In a house. Once again, it's temporary. It's strange to be together for more than a couple of days, and for more than once a month or once every couple of months. 

We are very different, but so far are making it work. How are we different? 

- He is not a good sleeper. I sleep like the dead. 
- He doesn't care where things are placed. I am a type A organizational freak. 
- He is spontaneous. I am a planner.
- He would rather pay for dinner out than cook and clean up. I let him. :)
- He splurges. I am frugal. 
- He is always hot. I am always cold. 
- He likes beer. I like water. 

We are also the same in many ways. 

- We both prefer savory over sweet. 
- We love taking after dinner walks.
- We both love photography. 
- We like looking at houses for sale even though we can't afford them.
- We both love exploring new places. 
- Food is important to both of us. 

I know that even though we have been together for almost 5 years, we still have a lot to learn about each other, not only the little things, like what is someone's favorite cake flavor, but also bigger things. We haven't really had the chance to go over all of our life goals, since we are always on the move. We are not going to figure it all out here either. We still have a ways to go, but I am looking forward to it! 

Have you ever had a long distance relationship? Would you rather pay for dinner out or cook it and clean it up yourself? 

** also, I have a guest post up over at Her Sunday today! Go check it out when you get a chance!**


  1. You do have one of the most interesting relationships! There's something to be said for the fact that you've made it through all that time apart, living in different cities, and traveling together! I haven't been in a long distance relationships since I was in high school, and that doesn't really count as life in HS is so different from being an adult. Although, my poor parents had to pay some hefty phone bills. Eeks. I can't believe they let me get away with that! Good thing they really liked my HS boyfriend. ;)

    I would actually rather cook dinner than go out - if I have the time and energy to cook... My options are pretty limited when eating out so I rarely get to order what I'd REALLY want! ;) So I prefer staying in - especially when dating as I really like cooking dinner together.

  2. All the traveling and moving and still being together... I love it! A long-distance relationship is so beautifully inconvenient, you know?

    My husband and I dated for ONE week and then long-distanced it right up until the week we got married, with a few visits on my school breaks in between!

  3. Wow, that is an interesting relationship. The fact that you are together through all of that, even if not always 'real-life', is definitely saying something. Your list of differences cracked me up...they are identical to the differences between my husband and I. My husband and I were a few hours apart for several months (and a bunch of other complicated drama that I won't go into), eventually we just said screw it and I told my job I was moving, hoped they'd let me keep it, and moved in with him!

  4. I've never been in a long distance relationship unless you count the 9 month deployments for my husband with the marine corp. There seems to be such a calm and rational perspective coming from you (or maybe I'm reading too much into your post) and that has probably been a tremendous asset to making the relationship work. Whether I'm paying or not I prefer to eat at home.

  5. The fact that you're still together after so long tells me that you have a strong relationship!

  6. You guys have certainly been through a lot. I've done long distance and I'm a firm believer that you can learn so much more about the other person when all you have are letters, emails, and phone calls. Obviously you guys are doing great to have been together 5 years!

  7. Wow - that is interesting.

    After my husband and I met, I moved to Washington DC for 4 months. We had only been on a handful of dates and our relationship wasn't 'official' when I left. While I was gone, through phone calls and letters (pre-internet) we grew so much closer and our relationship took off when I got home. (that was 20 years ago :-)) eek - we're old!

    It can work.

    It seems like you know what you're up against. And it seems like you have a handle on the situation.

  8. What a unique relationship! Not that it's been largely long-distance. But, it seems like you're both OK with doing your own thing, even if that means you stay on opposite corners of the country. I'm impressed you're both committed to making it work - it says a lot about both of you. But, you're right, it's totally different from living together. I'm glad you're getting a chance to do that this summer.

    I dated long distance once for a year. It was awful, because we spent the whole year planning for the following year when we would move to the same place together. He was a poor graduate student and I was just getting my feet wet in my first job after college. We tried to see each other every few months, but it was really hard on both of us.

  9. FIVE YEARS!!! And this is the first time you've lived in the same city. Wow!

    And coming from an old married woman, my husband and I are complete opposites (in many of the ways you described above) and we get along fabulously.

  10. Sounds like you 2 are a good mix:) You already know how my long distance relationship went, didn't stay long distance for very long:) I would rather eat out and have someone else clean up. That is probably because I cook for my family almost every day and need a break:) Glad you are having this time together to get to know the little things.

  11. I love this. I love to cook, so I prefer a home cooked, fresh meal any day! However, sometimes after a long day, I'd rather eat out and let someone else do it for me :-) Long distance is such a challenge, but sometimes it's just worth it.

  12. What a fun story! Glad you are able to make it work! I prefer to cook at home and let hubs clean up :-) That is still up for debate we'll see what happens once he actually gets back..

  13. Five years of long distance is so impressive! It must be odd to suddenly be thrown together... but fun, too. :) We did one year of long distance, right after we started dating- it was not fun for me. But I think it strengthens your relationship in other important ways (communication, etc).

  14. I guess things would be too easy and boring any other way, right? If you've both hung in this long through all the changes and distance, I'd say you're good to go for the long haul!

  15. Crazzzzzzy. ;) I think I would like the periods of alone time.

  16. It sounds like you are making it work. My husband and I met at a wedding when I lived in New York and he in Denver. Two months later I went to Russia for Peace Corps. When I came back I moved in with him. And here we are 11 years later.

    I'd rather eat out, he'd rather cook.$

  17. It sounds like you are making it work. How in Santa Cruz?

  18. I didn't know this much about your relationship, wow you guys have been through a lot! I had no idea you'd been together 5 years. Considering all the traveling you've done together I think that shows how strong your relationship is! Living together is always a bit of a test though. Eric and I lived together on and off for 4 years because I would be away at college and then we'd live together in the summer and then one year he moved back home to work. Every time we moved back in together it took a couple weeks or a month to fully 'adjust'!

  19. My husband travels a lot for his job, sometimes for months at a time. I love having him home, obviously, but I also really like having the time to myself sometimes. I think that if you're both independent people then a long-distance relationship can be successful and if you have enough things in common and can overlook the things you don't, then a "close-distance" relationship can be successful too. Being good travel companions is important if you both like to travel.

    We like to cook at home but we also like living in countries where housekeepers are cheap and take-out food is really cheap. :)

  20. I think when you travel with someone, you often get to know them much better than otherwise. It sounds like you have a good foundation to build from. What a fun and exciting time in your relationship as you get to know each other better :-)


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