Living apart together? Trust me, it works!
It's every girl's dream... Like in telenovelas, she finds prince charming, they get to know each other during a reasonable courtship period and then they march down the aisle (wedding bells tolling!) and set up home together right away. The typical story might deserve a revision though, and telenovela producers should start thinking of painting a new--less traditional-- picture because as it seems, things have changed and couple relationships are not quite like our abuelitos anymore.
What am I talking about? That it's time we open up about these matters since making a relationship work might require that he and you live in different states (or countries) with weekend visits and sometimes even see each other only once a month.
Believe me when I tell you it happens, as that is precisely my case. My fiancé and I live in different countries and our relationship works thanks in great part to technology but also thanks to the fact that we are committed and invest loving time and creativity EVERY DAY making our relationship work. While we might have accumulated more air miles than you can imagine to see each other as much as possible, we both know that it is NOT because we want to live separately, but because circumstances and reality for us say that if what we choose is to be together and committed in love, living apart is the only way (for now...).
Statistics show that one out of every 20 married couples today choose to live apart, and more and more couples want their own bedrooms or at least their own beds. You might squirm thinking that that's not quite what your Latino values around marriage are all about, but still... Could a little distance make your relationship work better? Bring back the passion? Help you value each other more and take each other for granted less?
Of course mine is not the case of the many couples that find that the only way to stay together is living apart, a trend that has been documented widely by sociologists for some time now. However, like them, my fiancé and I have worked through the many challenges of our separate lifes, enjoyed the passion that comes along with seeing each other sporadically and have learned to place great value in the time that we do spend together. Surprisingly, our relationship is stronger due to that same distance that breaks many apart, so much so, that we know--beyond a shadow of a doubt--that what we both want is... to be together.
How do we do it? Here's our formula: 1. We talk every single day (perhaps even more than many married couples we know that live under the same roof). 2. We fill the void of being apart with simple details and 'I love u's'. 3. Time together for us is memorable. Those are the things that remind us why we can't wait to see each other again. 4. We make each other a part of the every day life (sharing not only the good, but also the not so good of daily routine).
Each 'goodbye' is difficult and sad, but the 'hello agains' are sweet and amazing! Planning the rest of our life together is just as happy or more!
Do you think a marriage can in fact be stronger when distance is keeping you apart?
Image via ChristiaanBotha/Flickr