How much contact do you have with your SO?
October 28, 2015 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Couples who have been together for more than a year and do not live or work together - how much contact do you have and what does it look like?

I'm trying to calibrate my own relationship. I understand that each relationship is unique, I should talk to my partner, etc. I am just trying to get a sense for what's common.

1. How often do you see each other, and how (night in, out on dates, etc.)?
2. How often do you communicate in other ways, and how (text/email/phone etc.)?
3. For couples who have a mismatch in what each considers "normal", do you have any established ways of compromising (e.g. a daily check-in of some sort)?
posted by yawper to Human Relations (29 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Important factor: Distance between couple's homes.
posted by ReluctantViking at 7:51 AM on October 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Valid point! Please include that info.
posted by yawper at 7:53 AM on October 28, 2015

I've been in an LTR for seven+ years and my guy lives between 1-3 hours away depending where I am. We see each other pretty much every other weekend and most holidays. We try to take vacations together. We email, long blabitybla emails, once or twice a day and text back and forth frequently in-between those times. We chat for a half hour or so before we go to bed. He texts me good morning when he wakes up (I'm always up earlier). If something is going on (I have a conference, he is sick, one of us is traveling) we might switch it up but it's usually with some advance communication since we're old and like our patterns. And this is all the result of compromises. He's a lot more of a "let things happen like they happen" guy and I'm a lot more like "Hey I want to know how your day is going and know I can contact you if I woke up and had a bad dream..." sorts of things. So it's a lot more regimented than I think most people would like but it seems to work for both of us pretty well.
posted by jessamyn at 7:53 AM on October 28, 2015

I've been with my girlfriend for 2 and a half years. We live 30 miles apart. I have a son from my previous marriage and she has no kids.

We see each other twice a week on average - one weeknight and Saturday afternoon thru Sunday afternoon. Some weeks, we only see each other once based on what we each have going on.

We text throughout the day (typically at night to see how our days are going) and share links via FB or occasional email.

I truly and completely love living alone, so I don't see our situation changing in the near future. Neither of us is interested in marriage or having (more) kids so it works for us.
posted by Twicketface at 7:55 AM on October 28, 2015

Oh yeah my SO has an adult son who lives with him which is one of the major reasons we don't live together but I'm also a country mouse and he's a city mouse so we enjoy visiting in each other's spaces but wouldn't want to relocate.
posted by jessamyn at 7:58 AM on October 28, 2015

My boyfriend and I have been together a year and a half. He lives just 5 miles away and has a five year old son.

Because we live close to one another we probably see each other 4-5 days/nights a week.

Because he has a young son, I'm over his place more than he is over at my place.

I would say that most of our nights in are routine - make dinner, put child to bed, do some chores, talk, and usually sexy-time.

We are usually doing something date-like - dinner, movie, museum, lecture, live theatre - once a week. And sometimes our weekends involve a family adventure or a couple adventure. We've taken vacations together and go camping once in a while. And at least twice this year has a weekend alone together.

We communicate via text, im, phone pretty much every day. Those text can be meaningful or simply sharing something silly one of us saw on twitter.

At this point there is not talk of moving in together - we both own homes we love - or marriage, but there is strong commitment and connection.
posted by brookeb at 8:08 AM on October 28, 2015

This was about eight years ago, but my dude and I lived on opposite US coasts for the first year or so that we were dating (this is all retrospective because we didn't call it that until about halfway through that year, but... that's what was happening).

Time zone differences were tough, but this was when texting was becoming a big thing (smartphones!) so we sent lots of texts at odd hours of the day. Some would be answered immediately and turn into text conversations, others would land at odd times and sit there for responses at equally odd times for the other time zone. Years later my mom pointed out that that's basically how she and my dad communicated, via little handwritten notes, during the years (years!) when they lived together but my dad worked nights. So, plus ├ža change...

Our fields of work don't overlap in the slightest. That's sort of a blessing for me, since I don't like talking about work after hours (it's heavy material, often depressing stuff about lab animals and disease and toxicity testing). My partner's much more excited about the details of his work, and since he does big construction projects and it's kind of a happy time in his field right now we do talk a lot about his work. Back when we were doing the distance thing, I hated spending what little time we had talking about anyone's work, but I learned to love his enthusiasm and now I know a lot about commercial real estate.

We tried to meet up--flying one direction or the other--at least every month in the beginning and eventually every 2-3 weeks. It's important, if not essential, to have face/body time. Get it whenever you can, even if it requires the romancelessness of scheduling far enough in advance that you can both make it work. Eventually the distance for us got to great and we moved in together. Which was a big, crazy step! But there you have it, a reminder that, should you want to, you can meld your schedules through brute force and strong wills.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:22 AM on October 28, 2015

When my husband and I were together but not moved in, we spent 2 1/2 years as a long-distance couple (over 150 miles). We saw each other in person every couple of months, talked on the phone a couple of times a month, but texted and emailed quite a lot.

When he moved to my city, we had separate apartments for a bit over a year due to lease vagaries, although he ended up in the same apartment complex as I was. We saw each other in person about 4 times a week, at a guess, although it was often just one of us hanging out at the other person's place while we read, watched TV, or played video games separately. We still texted and emailed quite a lot, but didn't need to have as many phone calls.

After that, we moved in together.
posted by telophase at 8:45 AM on October 28, 2015

Ah-- speaking of communication mismatches, our phone styles differ. I tend to not call someone very often, but spend an hour or more on the phone at a time. My husband tends to call a couple times a week, but usually spends just a few minutes on the phone at a time.

When we lived apart, we tended more to my style of phone calls, but it caused a bit of stress a couple of times, like when he saw that I'd just posted a quick update on my blog about finishing part of a project, and he called me right then to congratulate me. What he didn't understand is that I was so incredibly stressed out about being late over this project that any interruption was unwelcome and felt like an imposition. (ADHD--if I get interrupted when I'm focused on something, it means at a minimum 30 minutes before I can get back into it. When I'm running late, you can see where this would be a problem and extremely stressful.)

We did straighten up the misunderstanding, and the compromise we worked out was that he'd text or email and ask if it was a good time to call when he felt the urge to talk.
posted by telophase at 8:51 AM on October 28, 2015

Before moving in together, my (now husband, then boyfriend) and I lived about 1.5 hours apart and typically saw each other at least one weeknight (his work was located midway between our apartments, and I was in school so could schedule trips to his place for days when I didn't have an early morning the next day), and at least one weekend day/night (typically all weekend unless one of us had work or other plans). We were and are high on the communication side of things, and typically gchat on and off throughout the workday. Phone calls rarely (we both hate talking on the phone). When we're really far apart (like someone is on a work trip or visiting family), we do not do phone calls every day, although we will text or email.

But, I also do think this is super specific to the couple. We are very high-contact people in general - we just spend a lot of time together whether living together or not, because that's what we like.
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:18 AM on October 28, 2015

Before we moved in:
Lived ~45 minutes apart, but both worked in the middle (15m from one and 30m from the other).

3-5 sleepovers a week, several of which were "come over after 10pm once we both are done with our other evening activity."

Text daily, especially on days when we didn't see each other.

1-2 "date" nights a week hanging out alone just the two of us (or sub one of those for an all-day weekend date).

1-2 nights a week hanging out together with a group of friends, his or mine or ours.

~1 weekend a month out of town together (one or both nights camping, trip together, etc.).

(Hasn't changed since moving in except now we come home to each other every night.)
posted by amaire at 9:38 AM on October 28, 2015

We only live a couple of miles apart, and we've been together for just over two years:

1) We see each other 2 or 3 times during the week. Whether we're out or in usually depends on how tired each of us is from work, or our early-morning schedules. It's more likely to be dinner out if I need to wake up early in the morning. We also usually spend a day/night together on the weekend.

2) We send a few texts daily, usually little "thinking of you" type things. We both dislike the phone and email is only for arranging plans with other friends or funny pictures/articles.
posted by invokeuse at 9:49 AM on October 28, 2015

My partner and I are doing the Living Apart Together thing, and we are so so so happy with this arrangement. It'll be five years in December.

1) We almost always (barring a bad illness/migraine) spend Friday and Saturday night as a sleepover at one of our places. Usually once during the week we'll meet up for a beer or for dinner, but sleep at our own place. Some weeks we don't see each other during the week, and that's fine.

2) We communicate all day long via emails with links to stuff around the web. Neither of us likes the phone, so barring having to settle plans quickly very occasionally, no phone calls. I will sometimes text just to say I love you or share some little dumb thing, he will, too. If he is going out that night I'll ask him to text when he gets home safe so I don't worry. Non-negotiable, though, every night we text a goodnight to each other.

We're both really happy with the level of contact, so there hasn't been a lot of negotiating. He knows that our weekend nights are really important to me in particular and we are good about communicating about plans for those nights.

Super happy to answer any more questions, too, if more come up. This is hands-down the happiest I've ever been in a relationship.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:21 AM on October 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

She's in Texas, I'm in North Carolina. We went ahead and got married for reasons, even though we're still living apart.

1) We try to see each other once a month to every 6 weeks. We've gone two months, but man, we're cranky by the end of two months. We were going to go 10 weeks this fall (between when she was out for our 20th high school reunion and when we go on vacation with her partner + family), but I just cracked and bought plane tickets out there for a weekend in November, because we're grownups and we can (and it's partner's birthday, so that worked out well).

We're lucky - I'm an academic and she's finishing up a degree, so we get long stretches together in the summer and the winter. I go there in the summer, since she's been doing summer school (I teach summer 1 and then go), and she comes here in the winter (last year I went back there with her halfway through winter break so we could spend New Year's with partner and family, and that was really nice).

2) We talk all the time. We gchat at each other (we uh, broke Facebook messenger), and then we have a group text for me + wife + partner. We also spend a lot of time on the phone - I call her every weekday morning (weekends it depends on who's likely to be up last), and we end each night with a phone call unless they're on an overnight date night or something, and we get on the phone in between if we can. Lots of chit chat about how's your day, silly things my students have done or her classmates have done, etc., along with the mundane "did you mail that thing to the VA?" or "I made your doctor's appointment" or whatever. We should do video hangouts more than we do, and we both say we should, but we get so busy...

3. We were very lucky that we matched up well, other than I hate talking on the phone, but I got over that for her. :)
posted by joycehealy at 11:02 AM on October 28, 2015

Little over a year and a half; live 30-40 minutes apart by subway. We usually see each other three nights a week, including Saturday afternoon or evening through Sunday afternoon or evening, and it's always at minimum dinner if not an actual going-out date. We have not done the "come over just to have sex and go to sleep" thing -- usually if one of us has something else to do on one of our usual nights, we just get together a different night. This has required surprisingly little negotiation because we're on the same page regarding solitude/togetherness balance. The plan is to live together in the near future but only if we can build in enough personal space.

We text pretty much constantly, both the "how's your day going?" type and the "look at this picture of a dog!" type. The only negotiation that needed was that I was getting anxious about "how's your day going" texts that came too early for me to have gotten anything done (I'm self-employed and work on roughly a noon-2 am schedule, he has a normal job). So I asked for him to hold that type of text until the afternoon and that was fine.
posted by babelfish at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2015

Together just about a year (sorry, I know that's right around your cutoff criteria) but we have known each other for more than 10 years, so it feels like much longer. We live about 20 minutes apart. We work in different places- his job is very, very mobile and rarely works at the same place two days in a row. I am a 27 year old woman and he is a 29 year old man.

1. How often do you see each other, and how (night in, out on dates, etc.)?
Honestly, pretty much every day. I live alone and he has roommates, so he comes over after work and we're together until I leave for work the next morning (he gets up a good deal later and leaves when he wants). We go out maybe once or twice a week, to a restaurant or bar or whatnot.

2. How often do you communicate in other ways, and how (text/email/phone etc.)?
Text throughout the day, not super often. Depends on how busy either of us are. Maybe 10-20 texts? Rarely call, unless he has a late night and a break in his day, or if we need to communicate something urgently.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2015

Before my husband and I moved in together, we lived about 75-90 minutes apart by transit. We moved from "weekdays at our own places, weekends together at whoever's place is closer to our social commitments for that weekend" to slowly extending those weekends longer and longer. At the same time, because we were spending more nights together anyway, our frequency of date nights *out* went down to every couple of weeks, even though we were already seeing each other more nights per week than not.

At the time, he was working at a place that required him to leave his cell phone in his car and restricted what websites he could be on/software he could install because Protecting Innovation, so I do remember feeling jealous of other couples who would text/IM throughout the day. But we still checked in with each other nightly, mostly by text/IM because we both hate the phone.

With other long-term significant others, I remember fairly similar arrangements/expectations - as we grew more serious, nightly checkins if we weren't spending the night together were pretty normal. The primary difference was when I was dating a law student long-distance in DC while living in Boston - we still had nightly checkins on IM (and we had webcams! the kind that took a picture every 30 seconds, because this was 2001 and we were both on student budgets, haha), and we'd fly to see each other every 4-6 weeks or so.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 11:44 AM on October 28, 2015

There is such a wide range of what's normal, anything you do is likely to be reasonable as long as your partner agrees. Here's what I do.

My husband and I have been long distance for the last two years and we've done it several times before, varying between six weeks and six months. We're currently in different countries about 700 km apart. When we first met we saw each other nearly daily and moved in together after about 18 months (after which we were rarely apart). Then the first long distance was at our ten year anniversary and now we've been together 21.5 years. The LDR is never by choice or design and is always because of my career (I'm an academic so two-body problem basically).

Our communication levels during these times has always ended up very similar. We talk three evenings per week (sometimes two, very rarely four) for between 40-120 minutes (1 hour is standard), these days by skype but via phone in the past when that was the only option. We usually schedule our next meeting when we say goodbye. We email occasionally, usually just a link to something cool we saw or a photo of the cats, and text/whatsapp even more occasionally. Going a week without either is totally normal. Back in the day he used to write me letters. We see each other about every four weeks, three is better, six happens occasionally. Recently our visits have just been weekends but last year they were two weeks long, so we were together two weeks out of every six most of the time.

Lots of people seem to find our level of communication really low. But talking every day is just never going to happen, takes way too much time and is way too boring and annoying and we both have better things to be doing. We would like to visit more often but we can't afford more and this takes all our spare money as it is. Also you can't have any kind of life where you are if you're away all the time and having a life outside the partnership is important to both of us no matter how close or far apart we are.

Our current LDR will be over this weekend and we're never doing it again.
posted by shelleycat at 12:58 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Before we were married, my wife and I saw each other every single day starting two days after we met. We would text just once during lunch and never call. We were too busy and knew we would see each other during the evening anyway. We did, however, send emails constantly with fun poems we made up on the spot. Just poems, though, no other content.

In contrast, my sister in law and her now-husband didn't live together until after they were married, but dated for 9 years. During those 9 years, the saw each other only once a week even though they lived 3 miles away from each other. They called each other every few nights if they weren't seeing each other. Big problem: When they got married and moved in together, they couldn't stand each other. They were so used to seeing each other once a week for 9 years that seeing each other every day was way too much. They are still together many years later, but I am around them enough to know they resent each other's presence. They get along great when they are out and about, though, since that is what they knew for 9 years. I find this fascinating.
posted by TinWhistle at 1:12 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh for mismatch: for quite a while a the start of this LDR he didn't reply to my emails very reliably, so they'd just sit there waiting. I noticed it most when I'd ask a simple question and nothing. It got a bit frustrating and made me start to feel ignored. Then he was sick and had to take two or three days off work (very unusual for him) and I didn't find out until afterwards because we weren't scheduled to talk during that time and he didn't bother to email me. So I told him straight out that he had to reply to at least most of my emails, even just to acknowledge them, and that I expected to hear about anything unexpected when it happened even if just a quick text or something. So he made an effort and started being better about those things. We've been together a long time so neither of us mess around any more, when we want something to change we just ask for it.

Just because our overall communication is relatively low doesn't mean it's unimportant and I really look forward to our talks or emails. I think that not feeling ignored is really important, particularly when you don't get the physical feedback of seeing your partner noticing you. So we've managed to find a level that fills that need for both of us without also being too annoying or too much work. I think that's what you should aim for, whatever that is for you.
posted by shelleycat at 1:17 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just to throw a data point in on the "lots of togetherness" side- We basically live together, although we maintain separate apartments. (Our apartments are 10 minutes apart on the same street.) We used to spend weeknights at my place and weekends at his but now we mostly just stay at mine. We text every day and have for longer than we've been seeing each other in person every day. (We did not spend nearly so much time together early in the relationship.) For a while we attempted to spend 1 night a week apart and will probably go back to doing that soon. We do spend time apart when we travel separately (up to a week at a time.)

I think I would be happy spending 5 nights a week together and 2 apart, but honestly, we're pretty spoiled and I'm used to having him around all the time. We are very busy with work, travel, family, friends, and events so this amount of togetherness doesn't actually feel very stifling since so little of it is downtime. We've been dating 1 year and 5 months.
posted by quincunx at 5:10 PM on October 28, 2015

8 years together, we live 1/2 mile apart, we spend the entire weekend together (from Friday night to Monday morning). We have breakfast together 2-3x a week, and see eachother one night a week maybe every 2 weeks on average, usually not a sleepover.

We IM intermittently throughout the day, probably not going more than 3-4 hours without some sort of digital contact. If I don't hear from him (or vice versa) for more than say, 6-8 hours, without some sort of advance knowledge (i.e. I'm going to be in meetings all day!) it usually warrants a phone call.

This has evolved a lot over time. There were different phases of our relationship where one or the other was not totally comfortable with the amount we were seeing one another, we never really made express concessions or compromises, we just sort of felt our way through it until we got to a happy place. :)
posted by pazazygeek at 6:18 PM on October 28, 2015

I have to admit, I almost thought that Twicketface might be my present bf if it weren't for the 2-1/2 years and 30 miles away... We are just over 1 year, and 35 kilometers away... but as for the rest, it sounds almost exactly like us! I thought maybe I was gaining some insight into the desire to remain alone by his perspective, but that part isn't totally accurate.

So, I'll just say that we text throughout the day - little things that don't need to be answered right away (this was hard for me to grasp for the longest time - to be able not to worry about answering, and also not to freak out if I didn't get a response)... I've learned that he doesn't always see every text, so I try to keep them at a minimum - even though it was his preferred method of communication, not mine. He stutters, so he probably avoids the phone for that reason - as well, he is very eloquent with his writing prose, so that impressed me. We basically send each other "good morning" and "good night" texts now, with a few informative (me: I'm going for a run/in town visiting clients/etc... him: I'm taking son to soccer/getting groceries/etc) or banter-type texts throughout the day, every day. We also share emails if sending pics, or sharing a link to something, but not really for chatting. It took a while to train him not to text me all the time, especially if it had a strong emotion attached (I might not catch a sad thing, or I could feel attacked if he were frustrated from working on a course for work). Oddly enough though, I never felt like his texts were intrusive - which I almost always had felt from anybody else.

I've convinced him that I need to hear his voice during the week, so a few times a week, we will chat - it started with just 5 minutes or so to say good night or say something small. Now we will actually chat for 20+minutes a couple of nights during the week. It's tough when he works Mon-Thurs, has his son with him the whole time, and has had schedules for soccer practice, Scouts, and clinic visits and whatever else comes up. My schedule isn't so defined, which makes weekends a bit more difficult (as does the irregularity of his ex-wife to commit to a time to take her son for the weekends - which sometimes doesn't happen at all, or plans get messed up).

We started to get into my coming over mid-week for a short visit or sleepover, but that hasn't held with the busy schedule. Now it's down to about once or twice on the weekends, sometimes for an overnight, usually for at least two full days, but not always with the overnight - depends on whether he's been getting enough sleep, or whether he's overwhelmed with his life and bogged down with anxiety. I've learned to accept - and take it as it comes, because he's always wanting to get out for a hike or do some other outdoor activity that I like on the weekend, and make it work with my messed up, here-and-there schedule.

Neither of us have a lot of money, so we both don't want to spend much. We save having a dinner out for every few months, and only if it seems like the thing to do - we've been out hiking all day and are famished, or we've traveled up to pick up his son (in another town) and his mother screws up the timing... *sigh
We choose to occasionally watch some series or movie, and then borrow them from the library... (neither of us have television cable service). I actually appreciate that this is the way it is, because I would feel pressured to spend money I don't want to spend if I were with someone who always wanted to go out or take weekends away.

But honestly, although we would like to live together (even his son has asked a few times for that to happen - and I would like to start forming some more familial bonds), and we tried to start that process last Spring - it is a relief at the moment to not have the responsibility of picking up after the two of them, and to have my own private space. It's cheaper this way for both of us, as we would need at least a 3 bedroom / 1400 sq ft place to allow for a private room to either of us to get my office work done, find solace in a private space, or to sleep when the other is restless. That would mean renting something exhorbitantly priced, which would significantly increase both of our monthly spending. We would like to buy somewhere quiet, preferably a bit removed from an urban centre, but he is living paycheque to paycheque with the very reasonably priced rental he has now, and I am trying to save.
posted by itsflyable at 6:18 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Together three years. We had previous marriages and have children from those marriages, but not together. About six months ago, we wrangled it so that we live next door to each other.

We spend the night together 7/14 days; one week, that's 2/7 days - the next week it's 5/7 days. This is largely dictated by our co-parenting schedules, and we sleep over mostly at my house because of my co-parenting schedule. Most of these nights we do in-house. We usually co-habitate starting around dinner time. Sometimes, we book our shared social life on these nights, either having friends over for dinner or drinks or going to a mutual friend's house. We maybe grab a date night once or twice a month on one of these nights.

The 7/14 nights/days we spend separately, we do some combination of having coffee/drinks/dinner or lunch/organizing life together - probably - at some point in the day - but that isn't really intimate, planned, focused time together as much as it's a convenience or necessity of being neighbors and partners (I'm out of you have any? Hey, I'm taking a break from writing, want to talk?); it's usually pretty short and perfunctory. I'm very happy for my days/nights alone to get some time to myself and to spend time with just my kiddo.

We don't really communicate too much via text/email/phone anymore, although we certainly texted (and talked on the phone) a lot in the early days of our relationship. That kind of constant communication has been superseded by actually getting to see each other. But on days when we're not physically together a lot, someone will usually (but not always) send a "how's day going" text and/or a "good night I love you" text. We don't really email all that often. We never (and never have) FB chat/message or use other software chat clients. We sort of both operate under the assumption that when we're apart, we're both getting s*&t done so that when we're together, we can really be together. And we also both place a high purchase on time apart and each person being able to manage their life/feelings without constant handholding or validation.

I think, though, that mapping communication styles is hard not least because they evolve and change over time. One thing that's worked for us is - in non crisis moments - using positive reinforcement to remind the other person in our relationship about what (and what kind of) communication feels especially good (so this is in response to your mismatched question).

One time, I came home and started taking off all my clothes and I casually let it drop (heh) that it was inspired in part by my partner texting me a random compliment earlier in the day. Or, once my partner said to me, "I really feel connected to you and like I'm important when you call when you're out of town." I would say that my partner sends me a random compliment more days than not now. And I know that now: I call. every. night. I'm out of town.
posted by pinkacademic at 8:05 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dating for a year and a half, live 35 miles apart. We spend a good chunk of every weekend together, often at his place, since mine lacks such important elements as air conditioning, parking, and a full-sized couch. Our time together has gradually become more home-focused (e.g., fewer movie outings, more Netflix and podcasts on the couch), though we usually have at least one affordable meal out per weekend. Due to the distance and slightly out-of-sync work schedules, we don't often get to see each other during the week. Although we generally touch base by text once or twice a day (sometimes more, sometimes less), we also talk on the phone midweek because text doesn't let us hear each other's voices. We also email pretty consistently, though we tend to reserve that for sharing links and such rather than for conversation. The texting can run the gamut from "I love you" to "Here's a thing I think you'd like" to "GRAR meeting/traffic/whatever and I know you can relate."

All of this evolved as the relationship did: sometimes it just happened naturally as a result of growing intimacy (e.g., texting more often), and at other times we discussed our preferences. We've also used positive reinforcement--I've told him how much I love getting texts from him, and he is always very appreciative of my willingness to go to his place.
posted by chicainthecity at 11:23 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

We've been together for 5+ years and live 10-15 minutes apart. We spend two or three evenings together per week and I'd say 1 or two weekends a month I think. Some of that time is spent with mutual friends. There are times we spend more or less time together and sometimes our busy lives get in the way. We do check in on each other every once in a while to see if we are still on the same page regarding how much time we spend together and how that time is spent (sometimes quality is more important than quantity!). We also text or call almost everyday.

In the beginning, we were really mismatched when it came to expectations of the relationship. I'd say I am the more independent one and I like my me-time and my own apartment, whereas he really likes being around people (and me) all the time and doesn't like being alone. I also really value my hobbies outside the relationship, when he tries/tried to involve me with every activity he does. Also, I am more a texting person, where he likes to call. This caused tension at first, but now I know he calls me because he loves me and wants to hear my voice and he doesn't feel unloved or worried when I don't have time to take his calls or talk for an hour. We did compromise on this at first by scheduling phonecalls, but with time we got so used to our respective communication styles that it is no longer a source of tension. Sometimes he doesn't call me for days and I even get kind of disappointed!

Some people do think our relationship is weird though and that is much harder to deal with (in my experience) than the differences between BF and me. I get asked a lot why we don't live together and aren't planning to in the near future. Also, we don't sleep over a lot, because I'm a light sleeper and he snores a lot. Sleeping in the same bed every day would ruin our relationship, I'm sure, but people tend to think it is a sign of a bad relationship or whatever. These reactions of other people do bum me out, but I try to not let other peoples expectations or definitions of 'normal' influence our relationship.
posted by leopard-skin pill-box hat at 4:41 AM on October 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

My girlfriend and I have been together just over two years and as of June I live around the corner from her. It's perfect. We formerly lived 10-15 minutes apart and saw each other about once a week, and now though we still have only one sleepover a week we get to have to smaller, "cohabit-y" interactions without having to live together, like I was trying out a recipe last night for a work potluck and my place is between the gym and her place so she had dinner with me; she doesn't have a car, so if I'm going grocery shopping I'll usually ask her if she wants to ride along. Both of us really value our alone time and space, we have pets that would not mingle well together and hobbies that also come with a lot of stuff, so this is the dream arrangement for now.

When we first started dating we exchanged little emails throughout the day constantly. A change in her work arrangement led us to transition to less frequent communication via texting, and now we'll text during our public transit commutes and a little during the day. At bedtime we always text goodnight.
posted by good lorneing at 10:26 PM on October 29, 2015

We live together now but I will report on year 1 when we were living apart:

1. How often do you see each other, and how (night in, out on dates, etc.)?

We spent just about every weekend together, usually for 3-4 day stretches. This pattern began in the very first weeks of dating.

2. How often do you communicate in other ways, and how (text/email/phone etc.)?

At first, we emailed/texted frequently throughout the day.. that declined as we began spending more time together. After the first few months: A text most days, at least one conversation every day, usually before bed, sometimes also in the morning. Emails several times a week.
posted by Gray Skies at 8:38 AM on October 30, 2015

I have been with my boyfriend for one year and a few months. We live about an hour and a half away from each other. We spend weekends together (F-Sun or Sat-Sun) and video chat for an hour or so each night on the week nights. We communicate by text/phone now and then during the day.

We both have summers off due to our jobs and during the summer, we spent 2 - 3 weeks together with a few days inbetween to go home and take care of business, then 2 - 3 more weeks together, rinse and repeat for the entirety of the summer.

My boyfriend is very responsive to my needs in terms of seeing each other and being together and I feel like we're generally on the same page. Having that trust or knowing that it would be something we could talk about if one of us was dissatisfied is an important part of our relationship on some level. We're happy and frequency of talking/seeing each other was never an issue.
posted by mermily at 7:14 PM on October 30, 2015

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