I have several “comet” relationships, in which we see each other and spend time together when we are in the same city or occasionally go out of our way to make closeness happen, but the rest of the time it’s occasional correspondence and supportive but not deep involvement in each other’s lives. Comet relationships can certainly work, particularly if (as discussed repeatedly in this space) those involved have common expectations of what the relationships are about.
But you have to have a different set of expectations for those relationships than you do with partners. There’s a lot more volatility, in part because you aren’t in such regular contact, so you may not see things coming quite as far in advance. For example, in the last year, several of my comets have gotten engaged or married, or otherwise nested, and it’s not clear that their relationships with me will be able to continue in their current form. That’s wonderful for them.
But when a comet relationship comes to that kind of point, it’s a test: Do you try to grab on and resist the change, effectively pretending that the relationship was deeper than it was, or do you cheer them on their course, even if it means that your relationship with them changes or is at an end?
With partners, there would be fewer surprises and a lot more communication and processing. With comets, it works best if you hold on loosely and accept that, as with the planetary bodies they’re named for, they may blaze brightly in your sky for a while and then continue on their journey. Wherever they are in their orbit, wherever they go next, you will always have that brilliant image.