Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

Angelo Pezzote
 Do Long Distance Relationships Work?
 plus Why Aren't Guys Leaving Me A Message?
 By Angelo Pezzote, MA, LMFT (MFC41291), NCC

Dear Angelo,

I have met someone who lives 2 hours away. Do long distance relationships ever work out?

Signed, Tired Of The Drive

Dear Tired Of The Drive,

Yes, a long distance relationship can work out. In the movie Cold Mountain, Nicole Kidman's character holds a flaming torch for her beloved for years while he's away in the Civil War. Love and devotion are everything when you're apart.

It's not clear what you mean by "tired." Regular commitment to seeing each other in person is paramount. You have to weigh out the benefits of being with your love with the effort it takes. Relational success does ultimately require closeness - being together every day. The key is to have an eventual plan to be together; a light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, having consistent contact is a must. In between regular visits, have frequent phone conversations, send cards, hand written letters, flowers , videos , talk by live webcam, instant messaging and email. When you cannot be with each other, focus on your life, your interests and your friends.

Absence is said to make the heart grow fonder. But you need to work extra hard to keep the bond alive when you're apart. This type of relationship can definitely work out when the common goal is to be together in the end.

Dear Angelo,

When new guys call me they hang up without leaving a message. How come?

Signed, Puzzled

Dear Puzzled,

We cannot know why another person behaves in a certain way. What we can work on is what's under your control. I find myself wondering what's on your answering machine? Your answering machine could be the first contact that someone may have with you. Here's the do's and don'ts.

Do make a good impression. Do be inviting and warm. Your message tone needs to convey "welcome." Don't be abrupt or cold toned. Growling, "leave message," could be taken as "go away." Do say something using your own voice. Avoid automated voices - especially the ones that say only the number. It could be perceived as, "I'm too shy, impersonal or unavailable." Don't have music, especially loud music or music you cannot even make out. Your callers want to hear YOU. Don't broadcast the weather forecast or your other unique hobbies. Let someone get to know those about you in person. Don't have a machine that beeps forever. It can put others off. Do be concise and sweet. Around 10 seconds is plenty. Just 3-4 lines is fine. Be yourself. Don't be self-important, long-winded, nonsensical, whiney, negative or deliver a performance. They want the best of the real you. We do reveal a lot about us in the small detail of our answering machine. A Zen saying says it all: The way you do anything is the way you do everything.



Angelo Pezzote, MA, LMFT, NCC

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