I want a permanent "weekend relationship." Is that possible?

August 9 | Guest post by Maggie
"Lets Hang This Weekend" card by gozapy

After my one-marriage-gone-terribly-wrong experience, I realized that maybe, just maybe, I am not really the person who is keen on sharing personal space with anyone but my dogs. So far, so good. It doesn't automatically imply that I am heartless and unable to have a relationship. I just really need a lot of "me" time — space and room to work hard and to be alone.

Recently, I found a great guy who is just like me and we clicked immediately. He lives some 200 miles away and we basically have a weekend relationship. I really love it that way and so does he. We don't take it as a "phase," though. We're looking at it more like a perfect relationship pattern.

I do hear warning voices, though, telling me that this isn't a "real" relationship. So I wonder… are there other people out there living in a similar weekend relationship pattern? What are the upsides and downsides in the long-term perspective? -Maggie

My situation is different from purposely creating a weekend relationship. But my partner works in the film industry, meaning that most of his work has been in Atlanta, which is about two hours away from us. So he's usually just home on the weekends.

Sometimes I feel weird about how we've come to adjust to this lifestyle, especially when I see things with old couples saying, "68 years and never more than a night apart!" People have insinuated that there is something odd or less-committed about our relationship because of this, but screw them.

It took us a while to adjust, especially when he first started. But these are the things I've learned about having a "weekend relationship"…

It's most important to try to be honest with your partner. Sometimes I get upset because he is exhausted and in a bad mood for the small time we have to together. Instead of huffing back at him, I explain that I want to make the best of the time we have.

And when you do get to spend time together, really spend it together. And when you're apart make an effort to speak to each other. In our 7 1/2 years of dating, we've talked every night when we're apart (save for international trips) and we always say "Goodnight, sweet dreams, I love you." Sometimes it's in a text because they're rolling, but he always tells me goodnight.

Relationships in this industry usually don't end up well, simply because of the time commitment and stress of a weekend relationship. But it's been five years and we're more solid than ever. This works okay for us right now, and I think that it makes our relationship, and us individually, stronger, more confident and more committed!

So there's hope.

Anyone else with a weekend relationship (either by choice or by force) have more tips and experiences to share?

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  1. My husband and I were in a long-distance relationship (about 200km / 3 hours train ride) and only saw each other on weekends for six years. We’re poly and my boyfriend is in another city so I still have a long-distance relationship, even though I live with my husband now.
    I have a friend whose long-term partner has never moved in, and he probably won’t. They live in the same city, in separate spaces. Other friends of mine have two apartments right next to each other, but each of them has his own space…
    I guess I’d like to ask your warning voices… What’s real? Most people would probably say that my relationships aren’t real because we are not monogamous. Just because you don’t live in the same place, doesn’t make your love any less, your relationship is yours to shape. Do what’s right for the two of you and eff the judgement.
    There are certainly benefits to living apart together, personal space and time for your own projects are not to be underestimated. I sometimes miss that. We learnt to communicate like crazy, my husband and I, and even now, that makes us stronger. We’re both firecely independent, and acknowledging that (and choosing to still be together), that is what makes us happy together, and apart.

    2 agree
  2. It’s totally possible to have a long term committed relationship when you don’t live together full-time! My dad and my stepmother did this for most of their 20 something year relationship. If it suits you and what you both want going forward, then why not?

    My parents had a jointly owned shared house it was just that my stepmother worked away during the week staying in her small apartment in the city she worked in and which she owned prior to the relationship. They didn’t have any kids, knew exactly what they wanted and could order their lives as they wished and things only changed when my stepmother retired and so was around full-time. They got married early on when they were still “only living together” at weekends and it was a very happy marriage and a very real relationship, ending only when my father died of cancer.

    1 agrees
  3. Obviously not all long distant relationships or weekend relationships are the same, and I wish you luck with yours. I have been in two, one that lasted 3 1/2 years of dating and the second where we were doing the weekend thing for 2 years before I made the (turns out to be the wrong choice) of moving to be with him full time before marriage and divorce. I loved and lived for the weekends when I would be able to spend time with my SO because it made our short time together more intense and seem more full as we would try to fit so much into the time. The downside was always during the week days when we couldn't just get together to hang out, go on a date etc. Or the weekends where one of us was unable to visit the other just seemed to drag. This made things really hard and personally I wanted something that I felt ( due to society) seemed more "normal". Friends always had their person and so many times I was still the odd single person out at an event even though I was committed because of the long distance factor.

  4. I would suggest looking into polyamorous discourse. NOT to suggest that you and your partner need to open your relationship, but because a lot of polyamorous theory involves shaping your relationship to what works for you, instead of trying to hit some kind of arbitrary list of requirements that we're taught all long-term relationships must follow (ie, must live together within 18 months, must plan for marriage within 5 years). If you and your partner are happy having a weekend-only relationship, fantastic! Don't worry about what other people think or say.

    Keep communication open in regards to future possibilities – what if one of you moves first away, how would that affect your weekend visits? Or what if someone moves closer to the other? Would you see eachother more often, or still just on weekends? So long as you're both aware of what you want the relationship to look like, now and for the future, there's no reason why you can't make it work, even if your arrangement is a little unconventional.

    7 agree
  5. My Husband and I did the long distance relationship thing for two years before we got married and moved in together. While our short time together on the weekends did make the time more intense and exciting in some ways, we both also quickly got tired of the long drive (3-5 hours each way depending on traffic). There were often time when we would have to cut our visits short because one or the other had to get out on the road at a certain time in order to miss the rush hour traffic home. I should mention we both hate driving so this might not bother someone who doesn't mind being in the car. This situation also led to our first ever argument because eventually what happened was that I was making way more trips to him than he was to me and I felt that he wasn't putting in enough effort to see me and the relationship didn't feel equal. Obviously we sorted it out, but it's something to keep an eye out for. Long distance means a bit more work so that both parties meet half way (sometimes literally) so if issues arise or if anything doesn't feel right always, always, always communicate it right away to avoid a blow out.

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