Temporarily putting long distance into the balance of a long-term relationship can be fun. It can make weekends feel like a date again. It can allow the kind of decadent sloppiness only the temporarily “single” can truly enjoy Monday to Friday. It also plays havoc with my circadian rhythms. I find myself in a loop of staying up way too late, but having the same externally imposed up time I wind up taking naps and staying up way too late again.

I’ve discovered things that my partner paces for me, as noticed by their absence when he is gone:
Besides going to bed later I sleep on his side of the bed. I only cook on weekends. I watch MUCH less TV. I wash but don’t fold laundry. I work on long-term projects but let the dishes sit for days. I journal more. I stay longer hours at work. Dieting is easier.

We have finished 6 weeks of this weekend commuting now, with 2 left to go. The novelty is wearing off. Now he has left again - 5 am on Monday morning. This would not be fun long term.

We did this before when the children were little. It was much worse then. He was out of the country for months, not just in New York for the weekdays. Pity the military wife with young children. I don’t think I could take that; at least I didn’t have to worry about his life being in danger.

Back “in the day” (as my now college aged kids put it) we called potential long distance relationship partners “geographically undesirables) or GUs.

added 2/13/02

I was thinking about living with a SO as a form of external pacing yesterday at work as I helped a breastfeeding mother whose little premature son ate so eagerly that his oxygen saturation would drop and he would fall asleep exhausted before finishing his feeding. Just as he needed a reminder to stop and breath; I seem to need the presence of my SO to stay on a normal schedule.

added 2/14/03 Some things never change, again today I helped a mom with a baby whose ability to pace himself is dodgy. Again, I'm finding myself up at 2 to 3 am or later when SO travels. Again, I wonder where my self discipline was lost.