Don’t confuse long-distance companionship with a long-distance relationship

Woman in airport image by Shutterstock

Remember Quin, the girl who snapped at a guy for breaking up with her over text message while the whole Internet called her crazy? She’s now doing a regular advice column here at Guyism because you love her so. Today she tackles how moving to a new city or changing jobs can open up new and exciting relationships.

While blocking out 2/3 of the upcoming month for various work endeavors in eight different cities, I remembered why I love traveling so much.

There is nothing like sitting at an airport bar and meeting/picking up new people. If you’re lucky, that person is on your flight to Vegas. It doesn’t hurt, however, if you part ways, exchange cards, and catch up with each other when you’re in the other’s city.

I found myself in the latter situation with a particularly impressive Bostonian I met last year. A Cambridge native, and partial to the Northeast corridor, I found myself pleasantly surprised by this guy’s mid-week, midday calls. We always seemed to be in the same city at least once a month, and shared a flirtatious, enjoyable relationship, complete with dinner dates, museum openings, box seats at the symphony, etc.

Long distance relationship questions are almost boring at this point. We’ve all had to make the call at some point in our life. So when this guy called me on Thanksgiving to ask where our relationship “stood,” I balked.

We’d never spent more than 18 hours together. We’d never even truly cohabited a city. We’d definitely never talked in “we.”

People who travel frequently — an increasingly large number of young professionals, particularly in DC — often find themselves in these co-dependent long distance dependencies. Not to be confused with a relationship, they are instead a meaningful connection between two people who share equally frenzied, peripatetic lifestyles.

I previously wrote about how sexual intimacy is nearly vestigial to many men (and women). I attributed this to its easy access and desensitizing omnipresence. Are people truly trying to make fledgling long-distance companionships the new “going steady?” If you like sex and hate nagging dependency — the centuries old “playboy” stereotype — any woman living in this era is going to be confused by such an extreme, opposite stance.