Navigating the Churning Waters of Long Distance Love


Meeting the love of my life has stirred within me an absolute whirlwind of delicious feelings: excitement, romance, passion, freedom, understanding, hot-n-spicy tingles of desire and, of course, a deep and abiding love. I wasn’t prepared to feel the sweet depths of these delightful emotions; I hadn’t ever experienced anything like it before… not on this level.

Who knew that along with those feelings came some a host of other new sensations: longing, yearning, frustration, and even something that looked a lot like anger. Yes. Hot, consuming anger. How could this be?

We are long distance lovers, for the time being. At this time, there is no known date when that will end. Thank heavens for the internet, for cell phones, for FaceTime. We can connect and when the connection is good, we can talk, and hear one another, see one another. We can send messages that can be instantly received. How lucky are we to have the over 5,000 miles that separate us be melted down into seeming nothingness, because of wonderful, modern technology?

And yet, I want to curse my phone. I want to curse the internet connection. FaceTime. My patience has worn thin, like the elbows on my favorite sweater. I want to BE with him. NOW. It’s frustrating to not be able to be right next to him in real time; to feel him, smell him…do the simple, mundane things together like cook, eat, or shop. And when the internet connection is bad during a conversation, my insides transform into an annoying, short-tempered three year old, protesting and throwing a tantrum. I want to hurl my phone as far as I can throw it, and run from the room.

I don’t want to write “I love you” anymore. I don’t wanna have my nose in the phone all morning. As grateful as I am that these things exist so we can connect, I have grown so very weary of it all. My lips yearn to directly express the notes from my heart on to his lips. My body wants to explode, in the strange hopes that perhaps some small bit of me will reach him, propelled by the explosion. Then part of me can be with him, now. Instead, I find myself drowning the sadness down with cherry wine, crunching it away with salty chips. And still, there is a lurking sense of emptiness, even though I have filled myself up to the rafters. 

It’s so strange and difficult to live my life here, when a big chunk of my heart is over 5,000 miles away, sitting in this beautiful man’s chest. I am not some loser-needy-sappy woman. I have my own business, my amazing daughter, a healthy circle of fantastic friends, an incredible family, and lots to do! I do not need to pine for anyone!

And yet…

When we chat, I feel my body tense up. Muscles tighten, nerves fray, my stomach ties itself into intricate knots. And something that feels a lot like anger starts to bubble to the surface.

I’m jealous of the rain

That falls upon your skin

It’s closer than my hands have been

I’m jealous of the rain

I’m jealous of the wind

That ripples through your clothes

It’s closer than your shadow

Oh, I’m jealous of the wind…


“I wonder if a lot of people in long-distance relationships feel this way, and somehow project this frustration and anger on to their partner, and that decimates the relationship?” my love queried, as we quietly mulled over these unwelcome sensations.

I thought deeply about what he said. Bullseye! It sounded right, anyways.

“When something is so big, so important, and so powerful, a lot of emotions attach to it,” he added.

So how do we navigate through this time? How do we steer our cherished ship clear of the angry iceberg that threatens to obliterate us?

My mom suggested that I get really busy learning something new…maybe a foreign language? Something- anything— to occupy my brain, ease it back down from the walls it seemed to be climbing.

Then I thought of all I had been learning these last few years. Presence. I needed to shine the light of presence on my pain. To stifle it, hide it, ignore it or pretend it wasn’t there would only be like throwing fertilizer on these feelings. Sitting with the unease, being with the frustration, allowing the anger, and speaking it all out with my lover seemed to make these perceptions all fizzle down to a pile of dust. The dust would still be there, but at least it would now be dust, and not a giant monster, looming over us, eyeing us hungrily with bared teeth.

I also discovered that I needed to look at my self-talk. What was I saying to myself? What was I fearing? Where was it coming from? And how could I reframe it into something that felt more pleasant?

Instead of being afraid of my future and what it would bring, how could I trust in life more, and know that it always is waiting for me with open arms and gifts of endless and sublime beauty?

These questions brought to mind a poem my friend, Tim Young penned. For me, it answers all of these things. Maybe you, too, are struggling with being open, and allowing life to unfold. Perhaps this poem will bring you the peace it has brought to me. Enjoy.

Listen to my winds young one

Reach into yourself and pull out what you need

Your hands are timeless and fertile

And they have dug in this ground before

Do you remember the secrets of solitude

Whispered into the misty earth?

You are a supernova

Giving everything in bursts of light

You are a fuzzy peach

Overflowing with ripeness

You are a coyote’s howl

Poured over the moonlight

You are the guardians of the Goddess

You are the song of the Earth

Ride your voice to the center of life

Open wide, and then open some more

Meet me here where all lovers meet

In the meadow

In the current

In the dream

I’m waiting for you.

Rebecca Marie

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