Such great heights

Long distance relationships are hard. Take something awesome, throw in 5044 miles, and see what you get. Sounds like a recipe for loneliness. How are some people are able to sustain relationships over the distance, across land and area codes? Even if you talk everyday, it doesn’t replace the physical contact.

Touch is a key component of my relationship with my partner. We are both very hands-on people, our love language is touch. Right away we had a strong chemistry without words, and that has only grown over the time we’ve been together. A hug, a squeeze of the hand, a kiss; we know so many ways to communicate with each other non-verbally. Snuggling is high on both of our lists. There’s nothing like coming home to the person you love, crawling in bed together, and just feeling them next to you. Soft touches, back tickles, sprinkled with kisses. I have been blessed to love a man who shares my desire for copious amounts of physical contact that make us both feel nourished. But how is that sustainable over the distance? Can two people continue to feel nourished when one of their best means of expression has become impossible?

Touch extends beyond relationship for me, because a key element of my career is touch. I guess you could say I base my life on it, personally and professionally. Through my work I get a lot of physical contact. While it isn’t the same means, it is an outlet. I interact with people at school everyday in a very personal way, even if we don’t know a lot about each other. Treating someone with your hands, whether you’re working on their neck or their knee, can be a really intimate thing. Energy is exchanged. Changes occur. That is one of my favorite parts about the work I do. I gain nourishment by the contact and exchange.

My partner is a builder and an artist. With wood he can create a unique roof, a beautiful wood shed, a gorgeous piece of furniture, or functional sculpture. With rock he can make an intricate design in a hearth, a user-friendly fire pit. He has an eye for allure and a skilled hand. An entirely different profession, but he is also very hands-on in his work.

So where do we connect? How do we maintain something so tactile, so primal and basic? Is it possible for people like us to keep a long distance relationship and feel happy and nourished without the physical connection that is so central to us both?

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