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Significant Others


WhatLikeItsHard
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Hi all,


First and foremost, I am NOT looking for advice. I assume my situation is NOT unique, so I'm more asking for people to share their own stories, since it's been hard to talk to with my friends about, since their either trying to get through the next few weeks of this brutal waiting game, themselves, or just telling me my anxieties don't matter about this subject. So...

As I was spending all of my free time in the fall working on applications, I met & fell in love with my current partner, who feels like the love of my life. I was open to dating because when I started my applications, my preliminary list of schools consisted of about five programs within an hour or two of where I currently live, and they were all the ones I was most excited about. Then, of course, when making final decisions, and reaching out to professors, etc. It narrowed down to one in the same city, and one about two hours away. The rest, specifically where I got interviews, are about 6-10 hour drives away.

As you all know, waiting to hear back is brutal enough; but with this determining both my professional development and feasibility of staying with this person (on top of pandemic stuff), I feel non-functional at this point. I'm worried that my relationship is *just* new enough that my partner, an engineer who just bought a house, will pick logic over feelings and say it's better we break up than to try to make it work.

For those of you that were dating/married when making decisions, or if you're in the same boat, please share your experiences! Even positive ones. I know technically, the argument is "if it's meant to be, then they'll just go with you" but I don't think that's really practical/reasonable for everyone.

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On 2/22/2021 at 7:22 AM, WhatLikeItsHard said:

I'm worried that my relationship is *just* new enough that my partner, an engineer who just bought a house, will pick logic over feelings and say it's better we break up than to try to make it work.

I really resonate with this sentence. I've been with my current partner for a bit over 3 years. He is an engineer who is a "T" in Meyers Briggs - very logical, not emotional at all in decision making. Our story began like yours. We met in my senior year of undergrad and his first year of grad school, destined for long distance.

After I graduated, I was moving ~2 hours away from school. We started the relationship with an honest conversation about the future. I said I had no desire for a long distance relationship, and he was okay with it. However, when the time came to separate, we had another talk. We realized we liked each other a lot and wanted to try long distance because we felt the relationship was worth it. So we tried it.

I won't lie; it wasn't easy. Being who he is, he requires less social interaction than I do in the relationship. So we had different expectations at first which led to some turbulence. However, we talked about our needs and figured out solutions to make the distance work. We stayed together in distance for almost 2 years. With the pandemic, we now live together and have for the last year which has been amazing.

However, I'm starting grad school next year, and there is an extremely high probability we will be doing distance again -- for maybe 6 years even. He is almost finished with his PhD, but has not decided what career to pursue after - industry vs academia. If he chooses academia, we are certain to be separated. It only gives me anxiety when I ponder the reality of it for too long. But with the uncertainty of so many things right now, I simply don't think about it because I cannot predict the future. I'd rather not waste time thinking about it. I'd rather focus on the present and cherish every moment I still have living with my partner. 

Honestly, I could go on forever on this topic, and I was intentionally vague on a lot of things because the details would make this post a novel. I'm open to expanding on anything though. Let me know here or in a DM.

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  • 1 month later...

My current partner and I started dating in 2016 and didn't really get serious about the relationship until JUUUUUUUST before I moved overseas in 2017 for my current job (my current job moves me around a lot). We went into the situation with zero expectations and kind of took things one step at a time trying out the long distance thing. We were constantly very open about where we were at in the relationship and how we felt, and we didn't put pressure on ourselves that this has to work out. If either of us wanted out, the rules are you can walk away, just be honest/open about it. In the end it worked out! It was not cute for the whole ride (as with any couple, it took some adjustments to figure out how to best make sure everybody's getting what they need in the relationship!), but honestly this whole little adventure has made me very happy. We see each other as much as we can, we talk all the time and still aren't tired/bored of each other, and we're each other's person! We'll finally get to put and end to the long distance bit when we move to Massachusetts together in the Fall (yay!) and we're both looking forward to it. I accepted an offer to a PhD program in the area, and it's a great city for young professionals and has a good arts scene we're confident it's going to be a good place for both of us!

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