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Couples who brave long NYC commutes for love

Dating is hard enough in New York City. Finding a partner can be an epic game of swiping and scrolling, hoping for the right-swipe or spontaneous run-in that will save you from awkward bar talk.

But once you’ve found a match, there’s still the obstacle course of “only in New York” challenges to conquer. For these four couples, that means dating “long-distance” within their own city — living in neighborhoods so far from each other, they spend an hour or more in transit.

Between loading up on books and podcasts to pass the time, to deciding to skip the commute once and for all and move in together, to even getting engaged, these couples are proving that when it comes to love in New York City, you can never go too far.

Jarryd and Greg: Bushwick to the Bronx

Jarryd Boyd, 24, and Greg Lewis, 23, met
Photo Credit: Megan Lewis

Jarryd Boyd, 24, and Greg Lewis, 23, met on Tinder and commute between Boyd's apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Lewis' place in the Bronx. The trip takes over an hour when the trains run smoothly .... which means patience plays a big role.

"We both have to be patient, especially when we have to deal with slower service. It comes down to, do you want to hold a grudge about a bad commute or let it go?" they agreed.

Scheduling equal time between neighborhoods has also become a way to stay involved in each other's daily lives. "We'll overview our weeks and figure out when we're both free," Boyd said. "You're more invested in what the other person is doing during their week, instead of just getting a recap of what's going on in their life at the end of the day."

Boyd's advice for making a long-distance relationship work in New York? Patience, and a good overnight bag. "My coworkers sometimes know when I'm staying the night at Greg's based on the size of the bag," he said. "If you're dating someone who lives in a different borough, it takes patience and a solid physical, mental and/or emotional attraction to make things work out at first."

Sydney and Tyler: Astoria to Long Island

Tyler Donovan, 24, and Sydney Cooper, 23, have
Photo Credit: Sydney Cooper

Tyler Donovan, 24, and Sydney Cooper, 23, have been dating for a year and a half, making the trek between Hauppague, Long Island (for him), and Astoria, Queens (for her).

After meeting on a weekend trip to Montauk, the pair dated long-distance between Florida and New York for six months before Cooper made the move to Astoria. Now, the hourlong trip on the LIRR feels like a breeze.

"Because our initial relationship was much longer distance, this feels like a privilege to be able to hop on a train for an hour to see one another," Cooper said.

Splitting time between New York City and Long Island is the best of both worlds: Cooper says it's great to escape the city, but they love exploring and trying new restaurants on the weekends, too. While it can sometimes be hard to see each other during the week, and those LIRR fares add up, they're not letting it get in the way. "The commute has become a part of our relationship and we both understand and accept that there will be a little extra effort to see one another," Cooper said.

Jen and Kristen: Washington Heights to Prospect Park South

Jen Nelson, 36, and Kristin Sedivec, 33, say
Photo Credit: Robert Roscigno

Jen Nelson, 36, and Kristin Sedivec, 33, say they have their commute to partially thank for their relationship and recent engagement. The 90-minute ride between Washington Heights and Prospect Park South helped them realize their relationship was the real deal.

"You figure out rather quickly if the person you're spending all this energy and effort on is worth it," Nelson said. Fortunately for both, it was. The two have been together for almost two years after meeting online, and, after nine months, they decided to move in together and got engaged last summer.

While the distance may have had its cons -- "It's harder to be spontaneous when you not only have to pack an overnight bag, but plan for everything you may need," Sedivec said -- it led to the couple taking the leap, even if it was sooner than expected. "The distance actually helped us keep things in perspective. Had we lived closer, I think we would have waited a little longer to move in together," Sedivec said. "But when you know, you know."

Angelique and Patrick: Sheepshead Bay to Ridgewood

Angelique Aguilera, 27, and Patrick White, 28, are
Photo Credit: Angelique Aguilera

Angelique Aguilera, 27, and Patrick White, 28, are now living together in Queens, but had been making the 75-minute commute between Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, Queens, which Aguilera called "the bane of my existence."

Both musicians, the two met at a New Year's Eve show in 2015 where White was performing with his band, Mammoth Spirit. They found one way to trim down their commute: White's motorcycle. "It inspired us to take more trips on Patrick's motorcycle, since it cut travel time down to 35 minutes, so I guess you could say it made me a little more adventurous!" Aguilera said.

The pair moved in together after dating for six months, a decision White says was pushed along by the initial distance. "I'd say it sped things along because I planned our time together in sections: three nights at her place, one at mine, and then back at hers. Eventually, I started spending all my time at her place."

Looking back, Aguilera says the commute helped her become more familiar with the city when she first moved here. A sweet pro from White? "It felt nice to miss someone," he said. "The long distance created a sense of delayed gratification, making me more patient and appreciative of time spent together."


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