Dear Allyson,

Here is our thought provoking question. My beloved and I are seperated by the Atlantic Ocean. living in Amsterdam and Portland, Oregon.
What is our home? Is home where our hearts are, the place we share with our “family of choice”? Should we sacrifice comfort for passion? Is there a difference between passionate love and comfort love? Can love exist without sharing each others physical presence?

Also, Was love something you chose and pursued, or did it occur in a natural flow? How do you make it last?

Abiding in equanimity.

Met liefde (in Dutch: with love)

Nicky



Dear Nicky,

Alex and I experienced love at first date. Very soon after we met, we moved into a raw loft in downtown Boston without a bathroom, kitchen, walls or finished floor. We had to work together to make a home. It’s a good idea to have a project together.

Our daughter was a child actor and I had the thrill of traveling with her for nine films plus countless shorter engagements during those eight years. This meant four months and more each year when Alex & I lived apart. When our daughter went off to work on her own, we were together full-time again. As we tr
aveled, Dad kept the home fires burning in Brooklyn, making a living and supporting us as a medical illustrator. Being apart was lonely for us all at those times.

— Married friends of my grandparents lived in Miami and Philadelphia throughout their lives and united on weekends.
— In India, we are told, women travel on their own to visit and take care of their parent’s and visit family annually for several months.

Many couples have more than one home. The question is, where is your partnership?
Is monogamy a question in your relationship? People who live apart and maintain polyamory have a greater chance of breaking up.

Do you share a bank account or joint till for shared expenses? This cultivates trust and brings to the foreground conversations about spending.

Do you plan to have children? We did not when we started out and were child-free for the first thirteen years before consciously conceiving and giving birth to our one and only delightful and well-loved child. Avoiding conversations about parenthood has broken up relationships we know.

Sacrifice and discomfort are not ingredients for cultivating an enduring relationship. Enduring partners do not give up no matter the circumstances and last because two people have chosen wisely and then stopped choosing. When a couple stops choosing and makes the relationship work through communicating and getting breakthrough results, it is a transformative path for the betterment of both partners.

You are warmly invited to the Relationships Workshop at CoSM some February around Valentine’s Day. Alex and I also talk to couples privately as part of the Artists Retreat program.  http://www.cosm.org/events/artists_con.html
Look forward to meeting you at a CoSM event.

Love,

Allyson