Idan Cohen on the Reality of Managing Long Distance Relationships

In Chapter 5 of 19 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, Boxee co-founder and head of product Idan Cohen answers "How Are You Learning to Better Manage Long Distance Relationships?"  As a New Yorker with many family and friends overseas in Israel, Cohen talks about his approach to maintaining relationships virtually and in-person as well as the sacrifices that sometimes come with moving away from friends. 

This is Idan Cohen's Year 1 Capture Your Flag interview.  Cohen is co-founder and head of product at Boxee Inc, an online video software company.  Previous to Boxee, Cohen held telecom software innovation and developer roles at Comverse.  He was a Captain in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and graduated from Tel Aviv University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Geophysics and Art.


Erik Michielsen: How are you learning to better manage long distance relationships?

Idan Cohen: So my long distance relationships are probably my family and my friends that are in Israel and I have a lot of them. And they’re all very close to me. What I do learn is that actually for me it doesn’t really work. I mean I’m here, I’m in my day-to-day life, and it’s very hard to stay in touch. I stay in touch with very few people on a daily basis, and I don’t think we share a lot of the day-to-day lives that we have. We try and stay in touch frequently on the phone and kind of just get a little bit updated – anything kind of like each other’s mood and what’s happening much more in a broader perspective.

And then I think that the relationships that I have are deep enough and close enough that even a visit or meeting every 6 months or a year can revitalize the relationship enough to kind of make it still relevant. I don’t think that long distance relationships work, so it’s about being able to revisit them every so often or otherwise they’re gonna get lost and that’s also okay, I think, you know, we have, we acquire new family and new friends, and it’s okay to understand that some friends will—might be left behind, doesn’t mean that you don’t love them but it’s just you’re in a little bit of a different place and they’re going in a different route and that’s the way it is.