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Old 03-03-2016, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,216 posts, read 12,651,511 times
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I am posting this in Retirement as the Relationships forum on C-D seems to me to get contributions mostly from people who are decades younger than I am (I am 57). My question is really specific to older people (like me!).

Have any of you now-retired or soon-to-be-retired C-D'ers been in a long-distance relationship during your working years (e.g., you worked in different states), then finally been able to be together full-time after retirement? Or do you know anyone who's gone through this? If so, how has it worked out?

Sometimes I feel like I am too independent for my own good, as I mostly LIKE being in a long-distance relationship (I need more "alone time" than anyone I've ever known, and that has caused some problems in previous relationships!). I am wondering if "love can conquer all" and 2 people who have seen each other only sporadically (but happily) over many years, can live happily ever after -- together! -- in retirement.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:58 PM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,924 posts, read 986,927 times
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Must retirement mean living together? Has this been the understanding, that you would live together when you retired? Who will move or will you move to a place new to you both?


I believe in the possibility of living happily ever after, but if one of you is just waiting until you can be together, and the other is content with the distance between you, it will take some adjusting.


Side note People are always telling me that I am too independent. Rather be that than too needy.


How much time have you spent together and how happy/unhappy were you to get back to your single life?
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,216 posts, read 12,651,511 times
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Good questions! Assume the following (changing a few details to protect the innocent ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcomputer View Post
How much time have you spent together and how happy/unhappy were you to get back to your single life?
Been together years (friends first), but never (yet) in the same state -- I have done several LDRs in my life that have mostly happened due to circumstances (e.g. one of us moved but we both wanted the relationship to continue). We are together several times a year for a few days to a few weeks at a time. It's fun of course -- I do like being able to do the "normal" day-to-day stuff. I miss him when we're not together, but OTOH, I have a very busy and full life and often keep a very odd schedule (e.g. up at 3 a.m., in bed by 8 p.m.) so it's often easier (not necessarily better, but easier) to be alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcomputer View Post
Must retirement mean living together? Has this been the understanding, that you would live together when you retired? Who will move or will you move to a place new to you both?
Well, the only reason he'd move up here would be me ; he loves New England (as do I), and I have no interest in moving to where he lives. It would seem kind of rude to ask him to move up here but then say, "I want you nearer, but could you get your own place please?"

Sometimes I think my ideal would be for us to buy a duplex with him living on one side and me on the other (I think the Spenser author Robert B. Parker and his wife had this arrangement -- I remember reading that and thinking it sounded wonderful!). Then we could be together as much as we wanted but still have our "space" too. OTOH, I have a 5-bedroom house , which seems like it should be big enough for 2 people, right?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcomputer View Post
I believe in the possibility of living happily ever after, but if one of you is just waiting until you can be together, and the other is content with the distance between you, it will take some adjusting.
I guess this is what I am wondering: how huge an adjustment will it likely be? I could NEVER be with someone who needs to be with me almost every waking minute (I know some couples like that -- good for them, but I would go absolutely insane in less than a day).

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcomputer View Post
Side note People are always telling me that I am too independent. Rather be that than too needy.
Completely agree with that ^^^ !! Neediness is fine in young kids and pets, but I find it hard to deal with in most adults, ESPECIALLY romantic partners.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:12 PM
 
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 863,777 times
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I met my significant other almost 14 years ago, after my 36 year marriage ended with my husband's death .the S.O. had been divorced for 16+ years although he had had many relationships, one almost engagement. we lived about 90 miles apart when we met, I was still working, and he was retired. over about a four year period,we saw each other on weekends, rotating between his house and mine. we talked marriage ,living together, looked at houses in both locations,and it became clear to me that it would be very difficult for him to give up what he had- water access- as he had been a sailor,loved being near water, and had lived in this house-sometimes full time and sometimes weekend use-for over 30 years. after I retired, I bought a house 15 min. from him, and began making a life for myself in this new location. this was just before the real estate bust, and even though we still talked about possibly getting a house together when real estate became more stable, I think we both began to feel that maintaining our own separate homes was a better alternative for us.


we are together often, and know we would both miss the other if we did not see each other as frequently as we do, but this arrangement works for us, with usually more positives than negatives. he is the most important person in my life and I am the most important in his, but we are too different to live together without major conflicts.


I realize that your situation is different than mine, and you are younger as well- i'm 72- but I feel that it might be something to really consider carefully, especially in view of your need for independence and alone time. expectations can change when people move in together ,and it sounds as if you're aware of this possibility.


good luck with your decision!


catsy girl
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,201 posts, read 8,504,300 times
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Is your plan to move in together based on saving money since you're no longer working? Or I guess it was only the work that kept you apart?

It's a big transition - I'd take AT LEAST 6 months before selling or breaking leases to be sure you do well together. And you don't HAVE to live together 24/7 to start.

I'm not retired yet but in my 50's. I've been with my boyfriend for 10 years. We met online and started out long distance seeing each other every 3 or 4 weekends. Then every weekend. Then he was able to work remotely so he's living with me now.

I actually kinda preferred the every weekend - to have all weeknights to do my own thing but still get to see him weekends. More romantic and "absence makes the heart grow fonder" - right? To be retired and spending all DAYS and NIGHTS together, especially with no transition period would be hard so proceed cautiously. You may have a great honeymoon period but take time beyond that.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:12 PM
 
10,812 posts, read 8,054,817 times
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Here's a thing. DH & I have been happily married for decades. I retired 16 months before he did and got very used to doing my own thing while he was at work.
Then when he retired it took several months for us to adjust to being together all day.

We're good now but it's a cautionary tale.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Thanks so much for the additional replies. Lots to think about!

Quote:
Originally Posted by catsy girl View Post
... [A]fter I retired, I bought a house 15 min. from him, and began making a life for myself in this new location. this was just before the real estate bust, and even though we still talked about possibly getting a house together when real estate became more stable, I think we both began to feel that maintaining our own separate homes was a better alternative for us.

we are together often, and know we would both miss the other if we did not see each other as frequently as we do, but this arrangement works for us, with usually more positives than negatives. he is the most important person in my life and I am the most important in his, but we are too different to live together without major conflicts.

I realize that your situation is different than mine, and you are younger as well- i'm 72- but I feel that it might be something to really consider carefully, especially in view of your need for independence and alone time. expectations can change when people move in together ,and it sounds as if you're aware of this possibility.
You are absolutely right. The way you and your SO worked things out (separate but nearby houses) sounds like a good option, although in most cases more expensive than living together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Here's a thing. DH & I have been happily married for decades. I retired 16 months before he did and got very used to doing my own thing while he was at work.

Then when he retired it took several months for us to adjust to being together all day.

We're good now but it's a cautionary tale.
That ^^^ (bolded part) is exactly what I am afraid of. To go from seeing each other several times a year to seeing each other every single day for the rest of our lives ... I have to say that does freak me out a little (which you can probably tell from the !!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
Is your plan to move in together based on saving money since you're no longer working? Or I guess it was only the work that kept you apart?
Finances aren't really a concern -- we both have strong retirement accounts, and my house will be paid off before retirement (I also own a rental property, a house I used to live in, and that will be paid off too or nearly so). OTOH, I always thought it would be silly for us to have separate residences if he were to move up here -- the assumption was that we would be spending so much time together that it didn't make sense to live separately. But maybe separate places makes more sense, at least at the start. (The duplex idea is sounding better and better ...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
I'm not retired yet but in my 50's. I've been with my boyfriend for 10 years. We met online and started out long distance seeing each other every 3 or 4 weekends. Then every weekend. Then he was able to work remotely so he's living with me now.

I actually kinda preferred the every weekend - to have all weeknights to do my own thing but still get to see him weekends. More romantic and "absence makes the heart grow fonder" - right? To be retired and spending all DAYS and NIGHTS together, especially with no transition period would be hard so proceed cautiously. You may have a great honeymoon period but take time beyond that.
Again, that ^^^ (boldface part) is what worries me -- that he will move in and we will generally be happy but then I will start feeling totally smothered.

There's a chance that we wouldn't stay here (southern NH) after retirement -- that we would move to Maine (most likely place). That might make things a bit easier even if we DID decide to live together, because the new place would be new to BOTH of us and would not feel like "my" house.

========

Again, thanks for the replies, and reps to all of you -- I very much appreciate you sharing your thoughts!
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,948 posts, read 7,721,438 times
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Karen

I suggest you give more thought to the separate residences like not in each others face 24/7. Maybe each spend a night or two with the other but spending more time alone than together. I have a friend and he and his lady friend live 30 miles away from each other. They usually spend Fri to Sun together. They also travel together.

I will never live full time with another person.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:51 PM
 
8,872 posts, read 2,752,049 times
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There are some great suggestions here. I would suggest perhaps getting living arrangements closer to each other as well, but not under the same roof. My DH and I have been married almost 40 years, and though we love each other to death, sometimes things get a little tense and turbulent now that I'm retired and we are together 24/7. We have pretty much learned to adjust, but for someone who hasn't been married and together for all those years, I wouldn't suggest it. I always said if anything happens to my DH, I'm getting more library books and some cats! LOL>
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:53 PM
 
8,872 posts, read 2,752,049 times
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I might add that my dear FIL, who just passed this year at 93, moved to another state to be closer to his 91 year old girlfriend about 8 years ago. They both had separate residences, each taking turns spending the night at the other's house. Worked great for them.
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