Hopefully, you make it here. All the dating has been wonderful and you successfully defeated every one of the dragons that tried to keep you from a shared path of Happily Here & Now. You have even shared some reality and that part was amazing and incredible.
You are both now in Stage One Love and see no problems on the horizon that will keep the two of you from making it all the way to Happily Ever After.
We interrupt this trip to Ever After for a sobriety test. The problem is: What do you do next, in your long distance relationship?
Probably, leaving after each visit seems to get harder each time - even if you know you will be seeing one another again in a week or two or three. And, all the times alone seem to last forever and the times together seem to evaporate during one deep breath. Neither one of you wants to continue living like this - with all those miles between you.
So, what do you do?
Pack up and move in with one another, with one of you quitting your job and maybe taking kids out of school, pay all the costs involved to transport all your worldly possessions to where the other one is?
What happens if you do all of this only to find out that you really can't stand to live together for any one of 10,000 reasons?
Here are a few issues that you might want to consider as a Test Drive first - before you fully commit yourself to an err lease / purchase:
- DIDO - This stands for Day-In-Day-Out. Remember, at this point you probably have yet to REALLY share day-in-day-out time together, including all those mundane, administrative times required to run the business of the castle, and all that time focused on a concept called jobs and careers. Those are the kinds of things that you will be worrying about day in and day out if you move close, move in with one another OR even get married. Hint: You only get half credit for DIDO time during vacations together that last longer than three days.
- DIDO Length - Does length matter? How long does it need to last? How many times do you need to do it? There are no easy answers for this one, although it is probably obvious that the more you do and the longer you do it, the better your confidence factor will be that you two truly are compatible. The limitation for most is that those pesky jobs interfere - unless you are wasting vacation time while you are on their turf. But then, if it is a true test drive, will they be going to work while you stay at their home?
- It May Hurt Like Hell - Trust me when I say this test drive part is NOT a foregone conclusion. If anything, THIS is when you may see deal-killers galore IF you have your eyes open and pay attention. Likewise, your lover needs to be doing the same. Even in the best of relationships, this is where the hassles will show up. But you both have to be candid and honest here - before one of you makes life-changing decisions about jobs, careers, moving, etc. And if EITHER of you conclude that it just isn't going to work, it will probably be heartbreaking for both of you, considering all the time and emotional investment made by both to get to this point in the relationship. All of that having been said, IF you both have done a VERY good job with ALL Ten Filters , the risks of surprise here are greatly reduced for you both!
- Kids and Others - You need to spend DIDO time not just alone - but also with all the other people who are in each other's DIDO lives including kids, family, friends, and sharing all those things that your lover does with all those other people who are in their lives. Until you do, you won't really have a clue as to all the considerations that are an integral part of each other's lives. If you don't like sharing those parts, see that as a very large red flag about the ultimate, long-term success of the relationship. Also, see Kiddo Dragon.
- His turf / Her turf - You need to spend DIDO time in both places, sharing as many components of each other's lives as possible - even if you expect to move to the other's city, you can gain critical insight from the time spent in DIDO at both places.
- Enough - At what point has there been enough of a test drive by both of you to feel confident about the next step - relocation by one or both of you? Anything you do to short-circuit the test drive will greatly increase the risks of overlooking deal-killers. But there also is no way to know it all. I have had readers tell me how they are in a relationship where one of them packed up and moved across the country to live together - after only knowing one another three weeks and after only one meeting. I would suggest being a bit more prudent and taking a little longer before changing your whole life.
I know. All you two want to do is be together every day and night Ever After and I have to bring up all THESE things for you to worry about.
Hey, I want you two to be happy, Ever After. I don't list these to dissuade you from your hopes and dreams and goals, but instead to help you identify as many dragons as possible so you can slay them together - before they interfere with you two making it all the way to Happily Ever After!
There are no easy answers to the issues of long-distance relationships and no easy way to slay all the dragons that come with them - except having you both use The Methodology with total honesty. This will help expose a lot of the problem areas and deal-killers BEFORE one or both of you end up making life-changing decisions.
Bonus: For more articles on this same topic and posts on love, relationships and finding your own perfect-for-you Hero or Heroine, I invite you to visit my blog. . . and ask your own questions. . .
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