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Parallax - Advice            October 30, 2000

  She moved away but they're still trying to go the distance

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I knew my girlfriend for about three years before we started dating. One week later she moved to another state. It was a very uncharacteristic decision for both of us to continue the relationship, but we knew we had something that was very special. For almost a month now, we've been doing the 'long-distance' thing. I'm going to visit her next month, but I'd like some advice on keeping our relationship new and exciting from a distance.

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Her view:

Dear Mile-Zero,

Hmm…have you thought about trying to make it a short-distance relationship? If things are so great, you may want to make some moves to live closer together. On keeping it exciting while apart, I have a few suggestions. How about a nice weekend in a romantic bed and breakfast in some very pretty area like Vermont (or whatever is close to you?) How about bringing her a framed photo of the two of you, so she can display you properly? And how about doing something special when you arrive, like bringing her a little poem you wrote or a sentimental memory of something you did together - like a menu from a restaurant you ate at - something cute?

Overall, I think the best you can do is to continuously tell her how you feel. That's the hardest part of a long-distance relationship - the not knowing, not being a full part of the other person's life. So give her that. Tell her what you do all day; tell her about all your mundane activities; and tell her you love her - if in fact, you do. Then, when you're both ready make a plan to move closer together, make the sacrifices. A long-distance relationship can only withstand a limited amount of time - you'll be the best judge of when you're reaching that threshold. And when that time comes, move quickly or the moment will be lost.

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His view:

Dear Mile-Zero,

I won't ask why you waited to start dating until a week before she left, but I will remind you that this won't be simple or fun. It's commendable of you to want to make it so. But keep in mind she's moving to a new place: lots of adventure, new places to go, bars to visit, people to meet, men to develop crushes on. Don't be misled by the romantic thrill of doing something challenging - it's going to be hard.

Still, I guess everyone has to try long-distance love at least once. My colleague is quite good at dispensing advice on how to charm women and keep relationships 'new,' so I'm sure she'll recommend much gift-giving and extensive phone conversations.

But if you want to make it really exciting, focus on sex. Place a strong emphasis on developing your phone- and Internet-sex skills. Send her erotic letters, or tapes or MP3 files of your voice reciting sexy poems. Also, plan a few surprise visits. She'll surely love those. However, if you're not as special to her as she is to you, a surprise visit could turn out to be more exciting than you bargained for.

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