Long Distance Relationships Are Hard
So, my One2Crew business partner and friend and I are in a long-distance relationship.
Babs is an empty nester who decided to follow her dreams and moved to the coast. I’m a homebody who barely even likes to leave my house anymore, and with working from home due to the pandemic that feeling just gets stronger. Now we’re in this long-distance relationship that is difficult for me on a couple of levels.
Firstly, on the business partner aspect of our relationship – prior to the move we would get together once a week to work together for the day. We would start the morning catching up on the week sharing gossip (good and bad) about mutual acquaintances. Then we’d hop up to her office/my away-from-home desk/our business headquarters and get to work. It was fun to have the quiet companionship of working together in the same room on separate things. Then, all-of-a-sudden, we would turn around and bounce ideas off each other going off on strange tangents or funny commentaries about what would or (probably) shouldn’t happen in our respective games.
We would sit and watch an HBO show at lunch because she loved it and wanted to share it since I didn’t have that channel. And yes, I’d convince her we had to watch one more episode if the cliff-hanger was just too good to resist. If we got unmotivated, we ran to Office Max or Staples to browse because we both have a thing for office supplies. Working individually but together was quite helpful for me too. I need a set time for work and someone to be accountable to, to keep me on task and focused.
The best parts of the business were grabbing a game off the shelf and playing it to learn more about our craft, and going to game conventions to meet people, play games and learn. The only thing that I truly disliked about working together is that she had crap parking at her condo.
Our friend relationship mirrors the business relationship in some ways. We still dished on people we had in common, and we still played games. But when we got together socially, there was a deeper more personal level we shared. We took more time to talk about how we were feeling about our relationships and share advice. Spent time getting to know each other’s parents, going to lunch, and having garage sales. Sometimes we hop in her car and take day trips to our favorite spots in the area (I say her car because I drive too slow for her). I guess I’m sounding like a forlorn lover, but friendships come from the heart as much as romantic relationships do.
Now we get on a video chat through our email and still do some of the things we’ve always done as friends and business partners. Catch up on the gossip of the week, share any relationship woes or woohs, and talk about things we are up to. We’re also learning how to play games together on a tabletop simulator.
It’s just now I have never met the people in her life, and she doesn’t know anyone new in mine. We still collaborate and help each other with our game designs, but we come to the conversation with problems that have come up with in the in-betweens, text immediate questions and spend our video chat on business-y things instead of actually sitting down to work on our separate projects together.
I’m super proud of her taking the steps to follow her dreams, and happy to still call her business partner and friend. But to quote Red in my fav movie Shawshank Redemption, “Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.”