There are multiple kinds of possible Long Distance Relationship (LDR).
~ (a) LDRs at a smallish distance, say 50-100 miles.
~ (b) LDRs at a great distance, say 500 - 2,000 miles.
~ (c) International LDRs with oceans to cross to visit.
~ (d) LDRs where the people involved met face-to-face and established a relationship in f2f prior to the geographical distance.
~ (e) LDRs where the people involved met online, by mail, or by telephone and developed their relationship in this way prior to meeting f2f.
~ (f) etc.
For the first time in my life I'm experiencing a "romantic interest" LDR of the type
b-&-e. Previously, I've had two strong friendships (not romantic interest) of this type (b-&-e).
We're months into it, and we really like each other a lot. And we're about to finally meet f2f, soon.
Strangely, the fact that this relationship is with a woman, and that the overwhelmingly greater amount of dating/romantic experience I have is with men, is a smaller matter for me than the type b-&-e factor. What I mean is that the type b-&-e factor makes this
more unfamiliar than the "What? River is dating a woman?" factor.
I feel so very, very close with her! Never have I felt so close with a woman. And we definitely do love one another. Yet we have in some sense not officially "met". And yet we are intensely intimate and involved in one another's lives daily.
What analogy? Building a model ship in a bottle, breaking the glass and sailing the ocean? Planting magic beans and growing a vine up into heaven, then climbing?
Nothing seems analogous. This is so familiar and yet so strange.