The perks of long-distance love

new terrain blog photo final“Love is friendship that has caught fire.  It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.  It is loyalty through good and bad times.  It settles for less perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”

—Ann Landers

(Part three of a three-part blog series on “An adventure of the heart”)

I remember once living with those “lists” of requirements any potential date must have.  Some of those items, like integrity and kindness, are still non-negotiable. Yet, one item that I once deemed so important was not the deal breaker I anticipated.  I wanted the man I dated to live in close proximity to my home.  Newburyport would be ideal.

Well, I met my boyfriend in Newburyport (yes, we really can manifest what we set our desires upon!), but it was not our destiny to live there.  The bigger plan, one I could not possibly imagine, called for me to move (see last week’s blog: How I Met My Boyfriend).  I not only had to emotionally move out of my comfort zone and all that I was familiar with to experience a new type of man, but to physically move 3,000 miles cross-country.

As I kept my heart open, I began seeing a bigger picture for a bigger life emerging—hiking in nature every day like I love to do, more sunshine and Vitamin D for greater health and wellness, and more possibilities for expanding my coaching and writing business or finding a related job.

My boyfriend, Bill, relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona three months before I joined him so we grew our relationship long-distance.  That initial time apart I have come to see was a huge gift.  We built a solid friendship, talking and texting hours a day.

Since arriving in Arizona a few weeks ago, Bill and I continue to relate at a deep and honest level, which is freeing and in alignment with a decision I made post-cancer to not repress my feelings and needs.  Pent-up emotions can create distance between people and contribute to illness.

I am not so sure if we were casually dating once or twice a week over dinner or a walk that we would have engaged in the same meaningful manner so quickly.  I liken it to coaching over the phone versus in person.  Often clients reveal themselves and issues they want to address more quickly during a phone conversation than during an in-person consult.

I know I felt braver sharing concerns and hopes with Bill over the phone than I may have in person during the earliest stages of getting to know each other.

I also needed the time alone upfront before we came together again to clear some of my own baggage so I didn’t carry it with me into this new relationship.  We all have “stuff” we need to work through together in relationship, but like in downsizing my home to move, I wanted to lighten the load dramatically.

Perhaps you, dear reader, have an item or two that could be tweaked as you open your heart to love or to life expanding in a new way.

For me, “settling in” to new love is not the same as “settling.”  Rather, by letting go of perfectionistic standards of ego-defined boundaries of where and when, I came home to my where my heart is that landed me 3,000 miles away!

To open-heartedness,



 1.    I allow myself to refine my “lists” from the heart versus ego.

2.    I allow myself to take responsibility for what I bring to or attract in relationship.

3.    I allow myself to build a relationship upon a solid friendship.

Discovering new terrain on the long road to Scottsdale, as pictured above, is part of the joy of starting fresh together.


Share this post

  • Jeff says:

    I am stealing your Ann Landers quote!

    Rosie moved from Tennessee to Boston (Lynn to be more precise), to be with me. I often find my “ego” creeping in from my standpoint of view and regretfully forget to be sensitive to the changes that have occurred for her to be here creating an overcritical emotional response. Thanks for reminding, not that I didn’t know it, that we’re in this together. It’s good to be reminded from time to time which allows me to take a deep breath, relax and smile in the imperfection that is us and how perfectly awesome that we really are. Thank You

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Jeff: I am struck by your honesty and your willingness to look at and own your own “stuff” in relationship. Taking time to pause and reflect on Rosie’s needs and respect the changes she made to be with you is truly a gift. Love often calls us to extend beyond our ego needs to “be there” for another. It’s not always easy to do, which is why accepting the imperfection in relationship, is a must. I love the sweet way you appreciate the “awesome” couple that you are. May your relationship continue to flourish. Gail

  • Barbara says:

    Great last chapter to a lovely story, Gail, to go with the lovely & happy pictures I see on FB of you and Bill… I repeat “Good for you!” & “It’s YOUR turn” 🙂

    It’s true that we often get wrapped up in our own needs that are ego-based rather than be willing to compromise or share selflessly and what a reward that returns! BE HAPPY!

    XO Barb

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Barb: Glad you enjoyed the finale to my blog series on my heart adventure. Your good wishes mean a lot, and it’s easy to BE HAPPY when you feel cared for by a kind and loving man. Looking forward to staying in touch…social media is becoming more dear to me across the miles (umm…a subject for a future blog). Love, Gail

  • Sandra Niemi says:

    Dear Gail…the woman who saved me in so many ways. You have lightened up your heart and trust. I’m so happy for you and your new man. Bill must be an amazing man and one who knows his own heart. God bless you both and your families.
    Love Sandra

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Sandra: I am honored to have been your coach as YOU reclaimed your life. You, too, expanded my life in many ways, exposing me to music and that infamous “green stone” which I still carry with me as a reminder to keep my heart open. Your good wishes for Bill and me are deeply appreciated. Wishing much continued happiness to you and yours. Love, Gail

  • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

    Tech glitch Cindy–not sure why your kind words below did not post, although my response to you did:

    “I love your story, Gail. I wish you all the best. You deserve it.”

  • >