Thursday, June 18, 2009


Friday, June 5th was my graduation from residency! Marking the end of my time at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and the start of a new adventure through the University of Washington and theSeattle Children's Hospital Regional Hospitalist program.

I've become every accustomed to my life here in Norwood and the Greater Norwood area (Cincinnati), but how exciting it is to start something anew! A first "real job," starting off on a "career path," a whole new environment to explore, new foods to tastes, and of course the difficulty of maintaining or developing new romantic ties. :-(

I have very mixed feelings over the events which will transpire over the next few weeks. I'm in the early stages of exploring new romantic relationships; something that is grand and wonderful, but at the same time, with me leaving, adds a great deal of distress. I know, behind me here in Cincinnati will be a host great friendships, romantic interests, wonderful neighbors, and a calendar full of nightly events.

Some of you my know that I briefly tried during the second half of my 1st year of residency. While overall the experience for me was pretty meager, I still do from time to time receive e-mails from the eHarmony advice section.

This pasts week's set of articles focused on a timely topic - "Do Long Distance Relationships Last?"

While a little disheartening and disturbing, at the beginning of the article, the author concludes with acknowledging that "partners that take active and conscious strives to get know each other will have a more realistic perception of their relationship, and will make their long distance relationships LAST!"

A quick search also lead me to three much more interesting and supportive article: "Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide," "8 Signs you Shouldn't Be in a Long Distance Relationship," and "How Far Should I Go For Long Distance Love?"

Some quick highlights from these articles are:

"Long-distance relationships are not for the faint of heart." Check. I'm pretty strong willed and determined to work on a relationship that's nurturing, energizing, and has real potential. Just prior to the start of residency I entered into a very loving and successfully LDR which lasted for two years during my residency. While not most the ideal situation, we made it work very well for us.

"’s perfectly natural to feel doubt and fear in the lulls of a long-distance relationship." Who doesn't feel fear with such changes? We're not accustomed to starting off and continuing LDRs on a regular basis.

"...there are no "regular" relationships—only local and not so local." A refreshing look at almost all sorts of relationships, not just romantic ones.

"...make a conscious effort to not put your life on hold—do the things that you like to do and pursue interests that you've always wanted to develop" (emphasis added). During my first year of residency (and while in LDR) I learned how to cook with international and gourmet style, improved on and expanded my salsa moves, fulfilled a childhood dream of taking fencing lessons, and pursued all sorts of other "extracurricular actives" to round me out. I plan on keeping up my diverse interests while out in Seattle and expanding my interests as time allows.

"Make sure you’re on the same page with your partner by communicating your expectations about the relationship and by fully understanding theirs." Ouch! This is called the "hard talk," isn't it? Best to get things in motion and ironed out while still close and in person. For most people this is the crutch of the relationship and often where the decision of split paths takes place for those not willing to invest time, emotion, and money into making something last.

"The key is to keep the romance alive during the times you are apart." I have agree with the article here that sending flowers, mix CDs, and homemade cookies are great ideas! But, I also enjoy simple cards or "thinking of you" notes when they arrive via "snail mail." I'm really a mail junky at heart and think that the personal touch of a handwritten note is classically romantic. The "professing your love and post it to YouTube," and the idea of making an "All About Me" book to express your love may be a little far fetched in my humble opinion.

"Where there is mutual will, love will always find a way." Amen! If I felt the desire, connection, and need to be with someone half a world a way, I would surely make it happen! It's silly to end such a wonderful relationship over something like "distance." I mean there are so many more meaningful reasons for not wanting to be with someone...

"At least a few times a year you are going to have to visit the other person. Even if he or she is willing to do the bulk of the traveling, you’ll want to reciprocate the effort." A romantic relationship is about excitement but also about balance. This is also where the most money becomes invested in the relationship.

"Don't expect another person to jump at the chance to someday move to be closer to your job, your friends, your favorite places to hang out, if that's not something you yourself would be willing to consider for the right person." Again, a fair balance + open and honest communication will help foster the most meaningful and lasting LDR.

"...create as many opportunities as possible for face to face interaction before either of you move." This is the stage that I'm working on now! All while trying to balance my time to find help with relocating, secure my hospital credentials, study for my pediatric boards, and visit with friends whom I may not see for years. Not an easy task on my end, and coupled with having a romantic interest that keeps strange hours for work and/or school makes it only harder.

"Secondly, I suggest that you visit each other in as many different circumstances as you possibly can." Good, I love visitors for any reason!

This does give me a lot to think about, but also a lot of hope for any LDR.

Thanks for reading,


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