What If We’re Both No Longer On The Red Line?

What’s your question about dating and relationships? Tell me through this form – or email [email protected]. Also: former letter writers, I’m looking for updates! If you’re someone who wrote in before, tell us how you are now – and whether our advice helped. Email your update to [email protected] with update in the subject line. Tell me what letter was yours and how it all worked out. We’re desperate to know more, and we love new questions from former letter writers.


Hello Meredith,

I am in my 20s but newish to dating in Boston, and the pandemic definitely hasn’t helped much. I started dating someone a little while back and it’s been going fine. I live in Cambridge and they’ve been living downtown, so that has been working well for us, both being on the Red Line. This person, however, is thinking about moving to East Boston. I know it’s not really “long-distance” (which I’m familiar with) but I have started to worry about the prospect of having to travel a distance. All of my friends who were in different transportation areas of Boston either have moved to be closer to partners or split up. I don’t know if I am just worrying or if this is actually a real concern. I want to know if you or your readers have had luck with relationships that are in challenging transportation navigating situations.

– Confused in Cambridge


Wow. You’re really a New England person if Cambridge to East Boston is long-distance.

I mean, I get it. I have friend who lives in Charlestown and I always thought that getting to her place would be some sort of epic “Lord of the Rings” journey, and then, one day, we hopped on a ferry from work and I was like, “Huh. I could have walked here.”

The neighborhoods you don’t know can seem so far away, but in Boston, they’re usually pretty close.

Longer commutes are annoying, but this one isn’t that big. It’s not Brooklyn to Queens, or even South Shore to North. It’s Red to Orange to Blue. Not even an hour, and possibly half that. You can listen to a podcast along the way (hint, hint).

Also, have you ever been on one of the new Orange Line cars? It’s exhilarating! I got on one the other day and I didn’t want the commute to end. It made me feel like good things can happen in the world. Maybe.

The point is, if this relationship continues to go well, it might mean that you’ll spend more hours or days with each other in a row (at one place or the other), or that yes, one of you eventually moves to be closer. Or maybe the commute will begin to feel like nothing and it won’t even matter.

I do wonder why you’re worrying about distance before this person has even settled on a new location. My guess is that you’re stressed because this relationship has been nice. Maybe you fear that if anything changes, it’ll fall apart. Try not to go there in your brain. Like a stalled Red Line train, that kind of thinking won’t get you anywhere.

– Meredith

Readers? Why the stress here? Anyone making it work between Cambridge and East Boston?

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