I’m planning a big move, and the guy I’ve recently fallen head over heels with is also planning one. The catch is, it’s not to the same city. We’ll be 12 hours apart, and it’s COVID. Is long-distance a viable starting point, or are we doomed?
Here’s something you should know about your dear Kiki: I don’t believe in “doomed.” Relationships work because we want them to work and we make them work, not because of fate or fortune. It’s pat and pithy, but no less true for that: Energy flows where attention goes.
There are two important things that I want you to take away from my response. The first is this: Don’t worry about COVID-19. Will it restrict your ability to visit one another? Of course, especially if there are travel restrictions in place from one or both of your cities. But long-distance relationships don’t flourish or falter based on how often you can visit each other, but on making time for each other in your day-to-day.
In fact, the inability to travel lifts a significant weight off the situation — you won’t have to decide (and potentially argue about) who goes where, who makes more (and can afford to travel), who can take time off, etc. You can focus on finding other ways to spend time “together,” with the bonus that online “dates” are easier than ever to find: Watch a play together; do an online escape room; order delivery from the same chain and Zoom a meal—all of these things are more reasonable-sounding than ever in COVID times.
The other major takeaway is, if you are both actively planning big moves, that means you have dreams and goals for your futures. That’s awesome! One high-risk factor in long-distance scenarios is when one partner is focused on their life and the other is focused only on the relationship. It’s far better that you’re both charging wide-eyed into life than a situation where one is following their dreams and the other is left behind.
Plus, all relationships work best when both parties are able to chase and fulfill their dreams. If your relationship thrives and survives to the point where you join each other physically again, you’ll be far better positioned than many couples to find future success. You will both already have taken a shot in life and taken steps toward becoming the person you need to be.
So take the word “doom” out of your vocabulary, unless you’re desperate for a rhyme for “gloom” or you’re singing the Doom Song from Invader Zim. The question is never, “Are we doomed?” but, “Are we willing to put in the work?”
Well, Miles? Are you?
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 288.