You read it here second. This column first appeared in The Sunday Times on 6th March 2016.
MARCH 2016 CONCH – By Paige Nick
LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS
How do we feel about long distance relationships? I ask because I’m about to enter into one and I’m trying to figure it out. And by long distance, I don’t mean that he lives in Kenilworth and I live in Green Point. Or that I live in Cape Town and he’s imaginary. I’m talking many thousands of kilometers, a couple of timelines and at least two ‘chicken or beefs?’ between us.
So, not knowing how to deal with the prospect of an LDR (as the seasoned long-distancers call it), I looked online. Which anyone who has ever Googled ‘sore stomach’, will know is a terrible idea.
The internet told me that to have a successful LDR, you have to: avoid excess communication, but also stay connected at all times by saying good morning and good night every day and sending texts, pictures, audio clips and short videos. They also say that you mustn’t be needy, but that you need to make sure you know what you want to achieve at the end of the day, and ask questions like “How long are we going to be apart?”, “What about the future?”, “When are you going to call me again?” and “what did you eat for lunch?”, as often as possible. And also that you have to try to maintain the norms of your relationship, but also surprise each other constantly.
I’ve never been so confused in my life, and I once sat through a lecture on quantum data storage by accident. (I was supposed to be in the astrology lecture next door.)
And what about the elephant-shaped dildo in the room, sex? How do you manage that in a long distance relationship? I mean his penis is long, but it’s not that long.
All the websites mentioned dirty talk. They say to keep the flame burning send teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. They say sexy puns work well too. Sounds like writing a column, but without the audience or paycheck.
But maybe I’m being too cynical and it can work. I know a guy who relocated to Cape Town for work and his wife stayed in Jozi, and they’re just fine, although he could do with a haircut.
In fact, maybe it’s even the ideal situation. You get most of the pros of being single, like the lone wolf, whole house as (wo)man cave, never shave your legs, drink milk straight from the carton, watch porn for breakfast, eat garlic for supper, go out with your mates every night, and don’t pick your knickers up off the floor till laundry day. All with the added bonus of having a special someone in your life, who makes you feel good and sends you dirty texts.
Plenty of couples do it. So much so that I even came across couple’s therapists who specialize in long distance relationships. But I don’t know, if I’m seeing my therapist more often than I’m seeing my partner, maybe I should rather be dating the therapist.