the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Three Months Later

I was not surprised when she blocked me on Facebook and Twitter.   She TOLD me that she was going to do it.   But I figured it would be for a few days, and then she would be back.   It wasn’t the first time we went through this charade.

Juli and I met online.  We became immediate friends.  We were both going through a divorce, but as bloggers, we chatted mostly about writing.    Gradually this platonic friendship grew into something more — a long distance romance.

And it was definitely a LONG distance romance.  I lived in New York.  She lived in New Zealand. When we spoke on the phone, we were more than a day apart.   After a year of struggling with our schedules, chatting at inconvenient hours, we decide there was only one solution — I had to travel to New Zealand to see her.

For a month and a half, I had the most amazing time of my life. I spent Christmas and New Years with Juli and her young son.   It was summer in New Zealand!  We traveled around the South Island, and everywhere I went,  the beauty of the landscape blew me away.  I even learned how to camp… in a tent!   I found myself falling in love with a special woman.

The problems only started when I returned to the States.  Where do we go from here?  She was unable to leave the country because of her son.   We discussed my moving to New Zealand, but where would I work? Where would I stay? What if things didn’t work out?

There were no fights. Just a lot of unanswered questions. I was indecisive. I wanted baby steps. She wanted grand gestures. If I could go back in time, I might play my hand differently. Or I might not.

A long-distance relationship can be powerful, but it comes with it’s own set of strains. There were times when Juli would tell me that she needed to hide me on Facebook or Twitter, not out of anger, but because it brought up feelings of yearning and jealousy. I would laugh and tell her that she was being silly, but I understood exactly how she felt. It was difficult being separated from someone you cared about, and the breezy connections you have on social media can feel like an insult to the deep and honest love of a true relationship.

Three months ago, Juli went one step further.   She said that she needed to stop talking with me — for the sake of both of us.   Our long-distance relationship was holding us back from real life.

I laughed and told her to take her break. “I’ll be waiting for you when you come back,” I texted.

But she didn’t text back. And she didn’t answer any of my emails.

We haven’t interacted in three months.  She was serious this time.  Circumstances had changed and time had passed.   She had gone back to school and was searching for work.   She didn’t need me bogging her down, especially if our relationship wasn’t going anywhere.

Now the roles were now reversed.   She didn’t see my updates online, but I still saw hers.   I knew she got a new job from seeing her Twitter updates.   But I couldn’t talk to her about it.   The sight of her name brought up emotions that I’m not sure I wanted to feel anymore. So, after I write this post, I need to go on Twitter and Facebook, and block her too.   It just hurts too much.


  1. katie

    Familiar pain, sorry Neil.

  2. alexandra

    Oh, this is truly painful. Life decisions that are made based on reality, not dreams. I have felt this, Neil, and let me tell you, it is like having a 50 lb brick tied to your heart. Here’s to good friends that listen, and ears available around the clock, to help you fill the hours.

  3. Wendy

    I’m sorry for your pain, Neil.

  4. Deb @ Bright and Precious

    Feeling for you, Neil. Admire your honest heart. Long distance love is hard.

  5. Always Home and Uncool

    Come back to Queens ASAP so I were can commiserate … over our crappy Mets.

    • Neil

      I’m wondering how the mets would fare against your local little league champs.

  6. Holly

    Wow, that is so hard but I think it must have been equally hard for her, too.

  7. Jack

    Life can be cruel and unfair but it can be pretty damn good too. Sometimes you don’t get to the really good stuff until you finish wading through the swamps.

  8. Laurel Regan

    I’m so sorry, Neil.

  9. erin margolin

    you are surrounded by friends. you are not alone.
    but I know this is incredibly difficult.
    I remember all of your NZ updates and I knew you two were meant for each other.

    But distance… is so hard. SO hard.

    Thank you for sharing so much with us.
    Sending hugs.

  10. Louise

    I’m sorry, Neil.

  11. Jett

    This is big and this is real and I’m sorry that you are having to experience it.

  12. Danielle Smith

    I’m very sorry, Neil. I can feel the hurt. Thinking of you.

  13. Tanis

    I’m sorry your heart hurts. There is no remedy, not really. Only time to dull the ache. And maybe a well poured cocktail.

  14. Laura

    I’m so sorry. that sounds absolutely miserable. It would have been much easier if there were big fights the painful divide seems to be the cruelest kind of end to a relationship.

  15. kenju

    I am sorry that it has come to this. But everything in life is a learning experience, so take away the good parts and learn from the bad. Look at all the wonderful photos you took of her and relive the good times. Maybe something will change and you will contact each other in the future.

  16. Greta

    Oh, man. I’m sorry. I watched your visit through social media and I was really rooting for you two. Social media must make everything so much harder.

  17. Kirsten

    I’m so sorry. There is so little wisdom that brings peace in these situations. But remember that you’re letting go of binary oppositions: it is necessary AND sad, it is painful AND self care. So hard. So hard.

  18. Maura

    I’m sorry, Neil.

  19. Tarja

    In the words of…I believe it was Socrates…love hurts. A lot.

    See you at BlogHer. Karaoke is a known cure for pain.

  20. SAJ

    I’m sorry too, Neil. I want you to be happy. You deserve it. I think you will be someday…

  21. Shannon akaMonty

    I wish the situation for you two could be different. Heartache sucks ass – all I can do is hope that both of you can work through it the best you can.

  22. Aliza

    Oh, Neil. I can’t wait to hug you at BlogHer. In cases like this, time is your friend. And so am I. Xoxoxo

  23. Adrienne

    Well that just sucks. I’m sorry, Neil. Onward and forward is good, but damn, it hurts like a bastard at first.

  24. Fran

    Oh, Neil. My heart hurts for you both.

  25. Britt Reints

    I’m sorry. I was rooting for you guys. I’m still rooting for you both.

  26. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting

    I’m so sorry, Neil.

  27. Michelle Lamar

    Neil I am so sorry. It’s so painful to meet a person who “gets” you but the timing is wrong.

  28. Jules

    Wow, this could be a chapter from my life. It’s so wonderful and then it’s not. It sucks. I don’t really know you, but I’m sorry you have to go through this.

  29. Emily

    Neil, I’m sorry. So, so, so sorry.

  30. Catherine Taylor

    Yes. That’s exactly how it panned out, for me. Although I did go the route of leaving the country of my birth, moved to theirs, and spent over a year attempting to legitimately engineer long-term residency. Couldn’t manage the latter… and the joy of each wonderful three months I was there couldn’t compensate for the awful, gnawing pain of separation, which we both felt. They ended it – and it hurt like hell – but it was the right thing to happen. But I absolutely DON’T regret that I tried.

  31. Estelle

    I had a long-distance relationship in my twenties. All I can say is it is more fantasy than reality. I’m so sorry you are in pain. You need someone nearby who you can go to the movies with and see often. Someone you can count on.

  32. Jennifer

    Neil, I’m so very sorry. Was rooting hard for the two of you.

  33. Tara R.

    I am sorry for your pain, Neil.

  34. Kizz

    You know how we talk about the “me too” moments in LTYM. I’m having one with this. It does get easier…sort of. I’ll let you know if it ever goes away.

  35. sarah gilbert

    nothing hurts so much as being blocked on facebook, honestly, though I know I’m better off not seeing updates something about it makes me feel far more rejected than the old-style, not returning calls.

  36. Kir

    I’m just so sorry. I could say so much more, but “I’m sorry” and “I understand” seem to be what I want to share. Sending the hug I’d want to give you.

  37. Camille

    I’m sorry, Neil. Sending you love.

  38. Ruth

    A “black out.” I hate black outs. Difficult difficult lemon difficult.

  39. Vodkamom


    Just wow.

  40. Chrisor

    I didn’t see this post until now. Since I never seem to be on Twitter anymore, I never know what’s going on in the lives of my sm friends. SM=social media, not sadomasochism. Or is that the same thing?! I’m so sorry to hear that your relationship with Juli has come to this. I saw the love bloom online through Twitter and had the priveledge of seeing your visit in pictures you shared. I’ve known Juli and always enjoyed talking to her. She is one of the more “real” people on Twitter. I knew you both had been through a rough divorce and the fact that you had found eachother gave me a feeling of hope.

    Relationships are hard even when the person lives nearby. The distance gap definitely does seem insurmountable but the fact that you two hit it off upon meeting and spending time together, made me think that the distance would be worth the leap. Easy for me to say when I wouldn’t be the one uprooting to move to New Zealand. I can see both sides of this. Juli didn’t want to just continue like this and not see the relationship move forward. By being apart, it was too painful and felt like you were both walking in place, not getting anywhere. New Zealand sounds like a perfect place to write a book or make a book of your photography. My suggestion would be if she’s “the one”, you could sublet your apt. and see if you can get a visa to stay for a year. This is a huge sacrifice on your part but if she turns out to be the one you can grow old with, it’s worth it. The worst case scenario, you have a year that you’ll never forget. I hate to see you both in pain. If you truly think you can move on, time will heal you. If you think you’ll always have regrets, don’t wait a minute more. Sorry I had to put in my 2 cents. I’m not an expert, just an idiot.

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