Don't Really See How They Can Work...
I guess at this point I can say that I had (past tense) a long distance relationship. I learned a lot about myself, and where I am at this point in my life, and how I don't want really want to risk my current way of life in the name of love. That last part rather surprised me. I thought that I would give up anything for love. I guess not.
My experience with this long distance relationship is that it seemed everything was perfect... except for the fact that it was so difficult to see her. We had our differences, but the way we had our differences was so different than I've ever experienced before. It was like we were on a completely different level than any other relationship I've had.... and we were such different kinds of people.
In the end, however, my desire not to relocate was enough to make everything fall apart. If the relationship had been local, we would have easily been spending all of our time together, learning about each other, and most possibly having the experience of our lives. But I've got too much going for me where I am; I guess I never put it all together before. I attend a church that is the only one of its kind in the country, if not the world. (That is a bold statement to make, but it really is that different.) I have a job that has a very good chance of being the last job I will need to work... and the work is even enjoyable, most of the time. And I have my son, who I have grown closer to, since the divorce. I had always taken him for granted before, and find that I think differently of our time together now.
There was another thing that was different from the very beginning of this relationship. I managed to maintain almost complete honesty with her all along. I found it was more difficult to do than I had thought, as it is impossible to be honest with another if one has difficulty being honest with themselves, which I am struggling with right now. In some cases, I found that "the truth" changed over time. Nothing one can do about that except continue to open about it. But that sure feels weird in practice: "Umm, I know I said this was absolutely the way that I feel, but it's changed now."
Still, this time around, the honesty was appreciated, even at times when I felt like the most dishonest (in a way) person because my truths kept changing on me.
In past relationships, I had been the kind of person who was very careful not to say the wrong thing. This time around, it was more like being careful not to say something wrongly. (That is, to be as clear as I could be about what I said and, as much as possibly, how I felt about what I was saying.)