Saturday, October 27, 2012

Heart Phones

Before, my phone beeped like a soft kiss, a nibble; an embrace from another time zone. Now, just a beep. I miss the kiss.

What do future relationships look like? Not too far back our smart phones evolved, grew beyond their pixels, chips, buttons, and data plan coverage maps. Mobile device morphed into the primary conduit for ongoing emotional exchange, especially so when romance is involved — especially more pronounced when long distance romance is in play.

Is it unreasonable to assume that the smart phone we carry in our pocket is also a heart phone, one we carry into the deepest pockets of who we are as lovers, friends, spouses?

Does romantic relationship require physical presence to thrive? Does proximity play a huge factor in whether a romantic relationship lasts? Does it matter anymore?

People who enjoy ongoing physical closeness break up all the time. They had every advantage to succeed. You hear of LDRs (long distance relationships) lasting. But they're the exception. The rule says the deck is stacked against those who choose to love each other from a distance.

Found the following LDR statistics at

Total percentage of U.S. marriages that are considered long distance relationships2.9%
Average amount of time for long distance relationship to break up if it’s not going to work4.5 months
Total percentage of long distance relationships that fail when changes aren’t planned for70%
Total amount of couple who claim they’re in a long distance relationship14 million
Total percentage of marriages in U.S. that start as a long distance relationship10%
Total percentage of college relationships that are long distance32.5%
Total percent of long distance relationships that break-up40%
Total percentage of engaged couples that have been in a long distance relationship75%
Total amount of marriages that are long distance relationships3.75 million
The following shows both the average (median) response and the range of 95% of LDRs from a sample of over 200
Average distance couple in LDR lived from each other125 miles
Average times couple visited each other per month1.5
Average amount of time in between phone calls2.7 days
Average amount of letters written to each other per month3
Average amount of time expected to be separated before LDR couple can move closer together14 months

(Disclaimer: I'm not an expert, and don't pretend to be.)

Of course, draw your own conclusions. But it seems LDRs are close to the average for more conventional relationships, in that half or near half of LDRs fail too (40% according to this survey).

Actually, LDRs seem to do better. Can that be right? Must research more....

Debating the pros and cons of LDRs isn't why I'm writing today. It's my phone; it's dead, lays there like a black corpse on the table — a previously vivacious device gone strangely silent after almost a year of phrenetic vibrating, ringing, beeping, battery draining long conversations, hot topics, cool texts, and all the rest. Good good nights and good good mornings. It was all good, babe; now gone.

The heart was ripped out of my smart phone (perhaps as the device was meant to be). And it's taking this new reality better than me. It only looks dead, and still functions. Whereas I'm barely functioning and feel like I'm absolutely dying.