Relocation is an issue in senior long distance relationships. This couple lives 2,000 miles apart; who is going to move, the man or the woman?
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
When older singles are involved in a long-distance relationship, it's most often a result of finding each other on the Internet.
But it's not always the Internet that spawns these relationships. You can meet someone who lives far away from you on a plane, train, trip, or at your friend Sally's house, when her brother visits from Oshkosh.
Long-distance relationships are good-news, bad-news situations. Good news because you've met a potential partner, something that often eludes mature singles. Bad news because bringing them to fruition is so challenging. Relocation is an issue in senior long distance relationships.
When you meet a person who interests you, who lives far away, you enter the inner sanctum of the long-distance relationship, with its delights, frustrations and challenges.
Judi finds herself there. She said, "I'm 61 and met someone 62 at a national convention. We 'hit it off' instantly and share many common interests and personality traits.
"Since the convention, we have stayed in contact via phone and computer at least twice a week. The problem is we live more than 2,000 miles apart. I am semi-retired and own a house; he is still employed and lives in an apartment.
"I am 'close' to my adult children, who live within a two-hour drive of my house; he is somewhat 'distant' from his adult children, who live in his same hometown. My friend and I would love to get to know one another better and to spend quality time together, but this seems unrealistic.
"Have any of your readers had similar experiences or can anyone share advice? Am I wasting my time hoping that something 'permanent' may grow out of this?"
Before singles dismiss a long-distance relationship for fear they will find themselves mired in a seemingly impossible and frustrating experience, as Judi is in--I must say that lots of couples have endured similar challenges to emerge as in-love couples living under the same roof.
In my upcoming book, "How 50 Couples Found Love After 50"(May, 2009), 30 percent of the featured couples met on the Internet and began their relationships from afar. Granted, not all were 2,000 miles apart, but they were far enough away so they couldn't see each other on a daily or weekly basis. However, distance was a factor. Flying to Sacramento from San Diego is a heck of a lot easier than flying to Chicago from San Diego.
For a long-distance relationship to work, that is, if the couple wants to be together on a daily basis, it's a pretty simple solution: somebody has to relocate.
For Judi--on the surface, at least, without knowing more of the details of her situation--it seems that her guy would be the logical one to move. He lives in an apartment; she lives in a house. She's 'close' to her children; he's 'somewhat distant' with his kids.
But it's not that easy. He has a job that he'd have to give up--risky in these tough times. She's semi-retired, perhaps it would be easier for her to move, but then they'd live in an apartment instead of a home and be near his kids and far away from hers.
Any option is risky. Let's say he comes to live with her and once he's moved in, he doesn't like it, or doesn't like her, and/or, she may not like having him living with her, or like him. Then what?
Before any decision is made, they need to spend time together, not just on short visits, or on a romantic vacation, but for an extended time living together where they face the day-to-day routines. Only after that should they decide to relocate or not.
Is Judi wasting her time? No, as so many of the couples featured in my book discovered. Will getting together with him be difficult? You betcha!
What would you tell Judi?