surviving long distance relationships: guest blogger cherrye’s call for stories

In addition to the 1st of the Month Featured Bloggers, another one of my fancy ideas for the new and improved Bleeding Espresso is to invite someone to come in and guest post on the 15th of every month.

There won’t be many guidelines for my guests–see I’m not a control freak no matter what anyone says–so if you’re interested in posting here, do leave a comment or drop me a line.

You don’t even have to have a blog to guest post, by the way, so send in your idea! Don’t be shy!

Cherrye and PeppeThe first guest blogger is my fellow American in Calabria who you’ve heard about before, Cherrye of My Bella Vita.

If you haven’t visited Cherrye at her place yet, you should as she’s always good for an enlightening, entertaining story about her Calabrian husband, her oh-so-Calabrian father-in-law, their bed and breakfast, the building of their house, or sometimes, when we’re really lucky, her adorable nephew Cole or small friend of the family Mario (son of Antonino).

I can assure you that Cherrye’s just as funny and lovely and genuine in person, so if you’re ever in southern Italy, you should also think about booking a room at the newly renovated Il Cedro Bed & Breakfast in Catanzaro.

And now here’s Cherrye, keeping with our love theme this week:

A lot has been written about passion, romance, and the quest for true love. So much, in fact, that I hesitate to write this at all. I’ve shared our story, and truth be told, to see it through someone else’s eyes, I do, indeed, see the fairytale.

A tall, dark, handsome knight rushes in to rescue the fair maiden from a life of total hum-drum boredom and her 9-5, bound-for-corporate-hell, day job.

City of Lights by Feuillu on FlickrAh, if it were only that simple. By all outward appearances everything seemed perfect. Two young lovers meet in the City of Lights, forge a lifelong friendship that blooms into true love, and live happily ever after.

The end.

But, life isn’t that simple. Relationships aren’t that simple. Everyone who has even been in love knows this. Relationships are difficult when Boy meets Girl, Boy lives in same city as Girl, Boy speaks same language as Girl, Boy doesn’t have strange, and sometimes impossible to comprehend non-verbal cues that confuse Girl…need I go on?

Now, multiply those difficulties by 6,000 miles, different cultures, and new languages, and what do you get? Miscommunication!

Lost in TranslationLost in Translation was not just a movie to me. It was my life. And, like all good girls trying to survive a long distance relationship, I called in reinforcements. Many of my “why-is-he-doing-this-let-us-over-analyze-together-or-die” sessions with my girlfriends went the same way.

“Is it because he is a boy?”

“Is it because he is Italian?”

“Is it because (gasp!) something is wrong with us?”

Who knew?

We sure didn’t.

But, we did learn a few things along the way.

So, my question is this:

If relationships truly are hard, which we have established they are, and a couple must commit to working on that relationship day after day, then why did we win the golden ticket?

Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Many of the problems that arose throughout our five-year relationship were issues ordinary couples see. Sure, we had our jealousies and insecurities, but no more than Same-City Boy and Girl. We argued here and there. Again, no more, no less than the norm. But, we made it.

According to the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships (yes…this is a real place!) the average couple in a long distance relationship lives 125 miles apart and sees each other 1.5 times a month.


I’d have thought I was living with the boy if I’d have seen him that often.

I want to talk about loooooooooooong distance relationships. Like I had. Like many of you had. Like some of you still have.

How do you make those work?

Cherrye and Peppe in Central ParkAnd, that, my friends, is where you come in. After some consideration, a small debate, and, yes, I must admit, a wee bit of “the nag,” Peppe and I have decided to write a book.

A book!

Or, rather a His and Hers Survival Guide to Looooong Distance Relationships. And, we need your help.

Send us your stories, your tips, and your techniques on how to have a successful long distance relationship.

Tell us how far you were. How far you came. How you made it.

Heck! Even if you weren’t in a long distance relationship, send in your ideas and tips for comparison value. Ask your other, notice I did not say better, halves.

While the book is still in the early stages, we know there is a void of this information in the marketplace. I know. I looked. I look forward to hearing from you!

Please send all inquiries, stories, ideas, and tips to:



[tags]long distance relationships, center for the study of long distance relationships, call for stories, italy, calabria[/tags]


28 Beans of Wisdom to “surviving long distance relationships: guest blogger cherrye’s call for stories”
  1. 02.15.2008

    What a wonderful idea! I don’t have any thoughts on maintaining loooooong distance relationships (even though I’ve had two), though. I can’t even maintain a local relationship. 🙂

    But good luck with the book! I think it’s an awesome idea!

  2. 02.15.2008

    Thanks, Keiti! I’ll even take your “what NOT to do” tips!! 🙂 Hey, it works both ways, right??

    Cherrye’s last blog post..It’s Baaaack… (and, I Love It!)

  3. 02.15.2008

    My husband and I lived 700 or so miles apart when we dated. Well, when we were first married too. So feel free to email me questions or whatever for your book. I think how much easier it would have been to do long distance now. With unlimited cell phone in network, and video phoning with your computer. When we were dating we both spent a fortune in long distance phone calls!

    kacey’s last blog post..Black and White Challenge

  4. Stephanie

    Hey Cherrye, I have been slowly working on a story about Sarina and Alessandro, but I think it was for my sanity….therapy. hahha What a story they have!! Of course, Sarina lived in Detroit, he lived in Livorno, Italy. They now live in Florence, Italy. They got married on St. Patrick’s Day 2006 at the Justice of the Peace in Ohio. I told Ale, you must truly love her (she was wearing jeans and her hair in a pony tail).
    Good luck with the book, I will tell Sarina to tell you some of her wisdom….

  5. 02.15.2008

    Kacey. I will definitely email you! I’m hoping to organize the stories and tips a little bit and then see which direction we go. I had a LDR in college, too. He was in Jersey, I was in TX. We spent a fortune on calls. Also, it seems tickets are more affordable (or, maybe I am making money now!) ha ha

    Thanks, Stephanie. Sarina and Ale have a good story, too. Is she back in Florence, now?? I bet you miss her. Tell her to email me!

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Come On Over

  6. vanessa

    great idea, maybe you can also be a consultant for that Institute of long distance relationships ha ha a. I have plenty of ideas for you; hoping to share them in person!!

  7. I agree…that is a great idea. My parents dated loooooong distance but came from the same culture. Back then there was no Internet so they wrote letters. A few years ago I was going through some old photographs and found a post card my dad sent to my mom. It was very romantic. Later he moved to America to be with her.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..This Phyllis Hyman song sums up a typical Valentine’s Day for this Ragazza.

  8. 02.15.2008

    Ooohh, Vanessa…I like it. And, I plan on interviewing you personally next week! You ready??

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Come On Over

  9. 02.15.2008

    NYC gal – That was romantic. I actually think letters are something we miss now that we have the Internet. There was a time (actually before we were “dating” but when Pep and I were friends) that he didn’t have regular Internet. We wrote letters. It was very special and I’d get so excited to see that envelope in my mail box!

  10. 02.15.2008

    I love “guest blogs” because they introduce me to other blogs I know I should be reading…this was no exception, so thanks for doing this Sognatrice!

    My pleasure 🙂

    About looooong distance relationships, I’ve never had one, but my last relationship felt like one (and not the good kind). We only lived about 35/40 miles away from each other and toward the end of our relationship if I saw him 1.5 times a month, that was impressive. No wonder we didn’t work out! 😉

    Karina’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen #42

  11. 02.15.2008

    I’ve had two long-distance relationships, both long before the days of e-mail. In the first case, we were separated for six months while I studied abroad. In the second case, my beloved moved across the country for a four-month internship. In both cases, we wrote letters, nearly daily. Both relationships survived the separation. Only one endured.

    anno’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Valentine’s Day Cookies

  12. wow….my husband and I did the LDR for 10 years before I actually left america to live in the UK. What a roller coaster it was! And, to top it off we have a 7 year age gap and met when I was only 16. Needless to say, I did a HUGE part of growing up during most of our LDR!

    We’ve been married nearly 4 years now and I still cannot believe we managed it! 🙂

    London Southern Belle’s last blog post..Aced!

  13. 02.15.2008

    So you know that Matthew and I had our long distance relationship for awhile, but I’ll rehash the story for your fellow bloggers. My husband of the past 6 years started out as a guy I knew in junior high, ran in the same group of friends in high school, but never really noticed. So here’s where the long distance thing comes into play, years after high school, I’m in college and he’s in the US Navy. We meet up one Christmas break. It had something to do with a night out with my fave sorority sisters (GO AXO!), too much to drink, and a great Bon Jovi song. As I danced on the bar, yes I said on it, I was tapped on the leg by a guy that looked familiar in a long time ago way. After coming down from the bar, I recognized him, but was all too interested in hanging with my girls. Later that night the girls and I wondered over to a certain frat house and guess who was there? Yes, it was Matthew. He appearantly joined the frat in his college days and that was the reason he joined the Navy- he needed sober direction. He insisted that meeting after all the years twice in one night was fate. I did agree to a date the next night, after all he was stationed 3000 miles away and would be returning to duty in just two days. The date was wonderful and after dinner drinks with our friends brought me to confess that I would marry him. It was a couple years later that those friends stood in our wedding.

    Matthew is still active duty in the Navy so our relationship goes from being very close to VERY loooooonnnnggg distance sometimes. He’s on submarines so when he is gone, he’s gone. I go months without a phone call, an email, anything. (Subs are top secret and surfacing to send an email is sometimes too dangerous).

    We make it work though. We have always kept up with our journaling. We each have a journal that we write in while we are apart and exchange them the next trip out. It keeps us up on the little things that happen day to day that you don’t want to waste time talking about when you do get that precious 100 word or less email or short phone call. We also try to keep dating. Even though we’re married and have a baby, we still date. I will say that I like our life and I think it keeps us young in our love. What I mean by that is we keep that anticipation and excitement that I think some people lose seeing each other day in and day out.

    Brandi’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

    Hi Brandi, thanks for coming over and sharing this…what a story!

  14. 02.15.2008

    Hey Cherrye,

    I’m in Italy now with my long distance beau, but will be headed back to the States for at least a year for my clinical hours for school. So I’ll be on the looooong distance bandwagon. I’m hoping we can make it without too many snags…This is our story:

    and I’ve done it in the past too, once raking up a $1300 phone bill in one month. (you could add that to the what NOT to do category…). Anyway, I’d be happy to participate if you are interested in talking!


    Maggie’s last blog post..I’m living in a dryer-less nation

  15. 02.15.2008

    What a great idea, Sognatrice! So nice to open your home to others! 🙂 Lovely post.

    Seamus’s last blog post..A Warning About Blog Comments

    Thanks Seamus…care to write something up to appear here?

  16. 02.15.2008

    Good luck, Cherrye and Peppe! This sounds like a wonderful project. My DH and I were only across a state from each other (about 2 hours apart). Compared to you, I’m not sure that qualifies!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..Flashback Friday: High School Memesical!

  17. 02.16.2008

    Lord knows my Italian and I dated across the ocean for 2 years and are now revisiting it again after 6 yrs of marriage. girl we might need to talk one of these i am thinking about it for you – see if I can come up with some pearls of wisdom. hmmm…

    stacy’s last blog post..On new loves and misc things…

  18. 02.16.2008

    Great story. Wonderful idea for guest bloggers.

    Congratulations on writing a book. I think it’s a great idea. It will help so many people and give them hope for a happy ending.

    Nadine’s last blog post..Happy Birthday Babe

    Glad you like the idea Nadine; thanks for coming over 🙂

  19. 02.16.2008

    Thanks for all the support, you guys!

    Karina – it seems like if it isn’t “there” it isn’t “there,” right? No matter how close you are?

    Anno – I’m glad to hear you made it! I’ll be emailing you, ok??

    London Southern Belle – WOW. 10 years! That IS a long time. I will email you soon with some questions, and if you have any info, I’d love to hear it!

    Brandi – I thought about you. I figured you’d have some good information. I love the journal thing. I didn’t know you guys did that! How sweet…

    I’m definitely interested, Maggie. I just bookmarked your link and I’ll be in touch.

    Jen – I had friends who did the “few hour distance” thing, too. If they aren’t there with you every night, it sucks…no matter how far they are!

    Stacey – Be thinking of stuff, and I’ll email you!

    Nadine – Thanks for the encouragement! I can’t wait to read YOUR book!

    BTW – Yes, Seamus. I think you should write next! 🙂

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Come On Over

  20. 02.16.2008

    Hi Cherrye! This is a really cool post and a great idea that you’re writing this book. I’ve been through my fair share of long distance relationships. They are very difficult, but can work out sometimes too. Good luck on the book!

    Anali’s last blog post..More Than Just Black & White

  21. Maryann

    Yes, good luck on the book! Communication is the key, and lots of it..almost overkill 🙂

    Maryann’s last blog post..Piadine: An Italian Flatbread

  22. 02.17.2008

    Thank you, Anali and Maryann. I’ll be contacting you both! You are right, Maryann. Communication is everything!!

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Come On Over

  23. 02.18.2008

    Hi Cherrye,

    I wrote to you before about my long distance relationship and the miscommunications. I’m in Portland and he’s in Milan. Well, he came and spent the better part of the summer with me and we grew so much closer and ironed out all the miscommunications. He’s back in Milan and we are doing great. Let me know if I can help in anyway. Thanks for your advice!

    Liz’s last blog post..Happy Valentine’s Day Amore

  24. 02.18.2008

    Hey there, Liz! I am so glad to see things are working out well for you guys. You didn’t tell me you were blogging. I’ll have to check it out, and I will definitely be getting in touch with you. Thanks.

    Cherrye’s last blog post..Come On Over

  25. 02.28.2008

    i also have this person that i live far away from!
    but we try to keep our relationship to the best!
    everything will be good hopefully!


    Communication, trust, honesty and passion will strengthen your relationship whilst you’re apart but you really have to believe in each other and your relationship for it to succeed…. although long distance relationships can be difficult, they can work and do work for many couples if both parties put in the effort.

    Thanks for the input!

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Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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