Queer Abby: Monogamy or Distance?

Queer Abby: Monogamy or Distance?

Dear Queer Abby,
I have gone on a few great dates with someone who lives overseas, so it’s not a realistic dating option. How do I stay open to them while also staying open to local dating? I am a monogamous person at heart.
 
Signed,
Puzzled in P-Town
 
Dear Puzzled,
 

My first question for you is – are they an option or aren’t they? What do you want in a relationship? If you are a workaholic or frequent traveler with a love of screen time, then perhaps distance is for you; but from your letter it sounds like you would like a monogamous date.

Monogamy and in-town are the best of friends.

Monogamy and distance are a tougher match, in particular if you do not have an end-game.

The beginning of a relationship, the sexed-out oxytocin-fueled mania called limerence, is a fever dream of potential.
Your body and brain want the love drug chemicals to keep pumping, so they will tell you: LOCK THIS DOWN.

However! They will also glaze over the sharp edges and reality of a person, leaving you an unreliable narrator in your own life. The only cure is time. Time will let the high wear off and reveal smells, ticks, and a person’s bad qualities. This is WONDERFUL, because you get to decide, unencumbered by limerence, whether those qualities work for you.

If no person is 100% perfect, and we are rounding up, I would like you, dear reader, to be clear-eyed when you determine if they are worth rounding for (i.e. if this is an appropriate person with whom to pledge monogamy).

I repeat: THIS WILL TAKE TIME.

Distance will give you intensive, time-crunched experiences in each other‘s worlds, but I promise you, it will not magically gift you the time-served you need any faster.

If I had to be prescriptive, I’d say visit each other regularly for four months before you betroth.

In the meantime, mix it up. Flirt in town. Go on some dates and remember that you can give and get romantic attention close to home. If your monogamous heart cannot stomach first dates as you wait for your beau, keep yourself as busy and nourished as possible. 

So much of distance is living in the past or present. I want you to keep a firm joyful foot in the now of your town. 
Move your body. See your friends. Fill up your tank with things you love nearby so you do not cloud your vision and narrowly focus on abstracted love. 

There is love nearby, platonic or environmental though it may be. I want you to hold it.

Love,

Queer Abby

Nicole J. Georges

Nicole J. Georges is a writer, illustrator, podcaster, and professor from Portland, OR.