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Jewish Journal

Long-Distance Love

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

April 29, 2010 | 7:20 am

In the words of the great Bette Midler: From a distance, you look like my friend. Photo courtesy of CupidBlogger.com

Dear Yenta,

I am curious if it is healthy to desire having relationships across the world and yet not have one that is in my home area?

-Long-Distance

Dear LD,

What is “healthy?” Oye. The relationships we choose today aren’t necessarily our relationships forever. If right now, the intimacy and space you can handle with love is with an 8,000 mile gap, so be it. You sound self-aware enough to know if it is a problem.

The fact that you ask the question at all means you know you might, in time, desire a love closer to home, one that you can see and feel and have in your life in a more immediate capacity. But if this week, month, year you aren’t ready for that, it doesn’t mean you are “unhealthy” as much as maybe just not ready.

There are all kinds of equations for relationships. There are Manhattan couples who are married and live in separate apartments, Vermont Mommas who never leave their husband’s sides. There are people who make it work from Turkey to Costa Rica, and others who are married and live together in some perfect California town and absolutely hate their lives.

Healthy, to me, is attempting to be honest with yourself, kind to your loved ones, and true to your dreams. If you dream of sharing a home with your partner in France, but can’t seem to stop falling in love in Tibet, then perhaps seek some assistance exploring your fears of bringing love closer to your court.

Choosing a partner in a far off land might mean you are worried about being seen in your entirety and therefore rejected for your flaws.
As Tai and Cher put it in Clueless:
Tai: Do you think she’s pretty?
Cher:No, she’s a full-on Monet.
Tai: What’s a monet?
Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.

Maybe just work on liking yourself more, positive affirmations, “I am cool, I am nice, I deserve a homeslice,” in order to cultivate either a stronger long-distance relationship, or to move towards one on U.S. soil. Intimacy can be a struggle, but there is a difference between fearing it and simply not having found a hometown lover.

For more check out “Long Distance Relationship: Love the Distance or Distance the Love?” from CupidBlogger.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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