Long Distance Relationship = Emotional Marathon

Have had a couple of questions about how Jennifer and I stayed together before we married. For those following we had a three year three month courtship, during which we were actually in the same country physically together for a total of three months.
The short answer is I have no clue, I was out of my mind.
The long answer is;
1. Meet girl
2. Fly back to New Zealand
Buy Me!


  1. Dick says

    Apparently I did not read deeply enough… I didn't realize you were a Kiwi. What a great story; distant romance turned to love, turned to successful marriage. You and Jennifer really are an intriguing story… those letters that crossed the Pacific might make a good read for your blog subscribers… just sayin'.

  2. Athol Kay says

    Oh I've gone back and read some of them. It's the worst drivel I've ever written. Never to see the light of day sorry. :-)

  3. Dick says

    LOL! "Young and in love" often translates to "sappy, what was I thinking" to a 40 year old you. I know… Jane has similar declarations of adoration stowed away somewhere. And we were in the same town!

  4. Athol Kay says

    Perhaps all those things should come up in divorce hearings. Maybe things would be different for a few people. :-)

  5. Wicked Shawn says

    No rhey wouldn't. LOL You immediately dismiss it for youthful ignorance. When, in fact, often it is just the untarnished version of ourselves. The 'us' people were before work, kids, bills and the daily grind wears away at them.

  6. Anonymous says

    Athol, you are damn lucky that everything worked out so great. Maybe, on a subconscious level, you wanted it to work so badly because you'd given up so much. To leave your family and move halfway across the world for love? It better be love for the storybooks, dagnabbit. I think there's a psych theory for that, but I forget the proper name just now.

  7. Shane says

    My brother and his wife long-distance dated for (1? or 2?) years – cities 8 hours apart. My grandparents went through something similar, and she always described it as a tremendously good test for their relationship. Contrary to what many people think – time apart helps good relationships get better (you appreciate time together so much more) and it helps bad relationships end. I always recommend people not to shy away from temporary distance to people trying to discern their relationship.

  8. Athol Kay says

    @ Anon – Oh I get that 100%. The first year of marriage I had little freak out moments lying awake at night every so often. "Holy crap if this doesn't work out I'll be divorces AND deported!"

    I believe the psychological theory is called "burning your bridges".

    @ Shane – I actually think of our relationship as pretty normal. Think of all the WWI and WWII relationships that were long distance. Except with the added stress of the chance that every letter from the man was his last.

    Compared to that, it's really not that bad. I think what helps though is that these were external pressures rather than someone moving away for college or something.

  9. rosiewiklund says

    I love this story. My husband and I had a long distance relationship for more than a year before moved in together. We met, he moved, we did the distance thing with many LONG phone calls and hours on the bus, I moved in with him, he proposed pretty immediately. I freaked out over those first couple months thinking, "I left my job, my city, my friends. Arn't you going to marry me?" Happily he did.

  10. LIL says

    I have a lot of respect for you, and your overall levels of transparency in your blog Athol.

    It's not even the fact that you're not trying to "hide" anything. It's that your smart enough to realize that everything potentially is important, and as such it should'nt be omitted merely for appearance.

    Wow, good advice as well as good science. I knew there was a reason I read your blog.


  11. Dee says

    I always loved my man from afar for years before I just couldn't stand it and spilled out everything to him two weeks from my 18th! Turns out he felt the exact same way. I mean it was seriously creepy stalker-like how we had felt now that I look back on it. Anyways the only thing that kept us apart was my family after they found out we had fallen in love they tried to keep us from seeing each other ex. locking me up in the house and said horrible things, even made up stuff he/nor I would ever do. I realized they would never approve because he is older than I am, and they have very strong religious views! narrowminded ..rude.. grr okay anyway, we married after living together a good year. Now we are going on 6 years and life is good. I couldnt be happier and I admire you and Jennifer! Its awesome how determined you both were to be together and how marriage life has turned out for the both of you. ps. your blog rocks!

  12. Susan Walsh says

    Swoon, I love this. And I'm going to have to adjust to the Kiwi accent! You were very fortunate to be certain – I'm sure you realize that. Both you and Jennifer had a pair!

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