Marital bliss seems to be a rarity among the Greek gods and goddesses. That’s why it’s so surprising that Hades and Persephone have been able to make it work, especially considering that they come from separate and opposite worlds and spend a good chunk of each year apart. Their love has survived for centuries, despite disapproving gods, plenty of romantic rivals, moody stepchildren, and one seriously overbearing mother-in-law.
We all know the story of how the King of the Underworld stole and then eventually won over the goddess of springtime. (If you don’t, look it up. We’re not here to rehash the messy details.) Ever since these two met, opinions about their relationship have been divided. Some consider the tale of Hades and Persephone to be the ultimate example of love blossoming in the least likely of places. Others find it completely unbelievable, the story of the only woman in the universe who has ever spoken the words “Actually, I didn’t necessarily mind being sent to that guy’s basement against my wishes.”
If you asked Hades and Persephone yourself, they’d probably say that both perspectives are valid. But we didn’t feel comfortable posing any question that could potentially lead to any trouble . . . like our getting trapped forever in the Underworld. So instead, we asked the couple to share their secrets for keeping romance alive from a distance. Thankfully, we caught them right as winter was coming to an end.
Hades: “I’m not exactly sure what you’re looking for here. I highly doubt any of your readers have ever felt even a fraction of the love I have for dear Persephone.”
Persephone: “Don’t mind him. He says that about all mortals. . . as well as gods, now that I think of it.”
Spend Time with Your Other Loved Ones, Too
Persephone: “As much as I will miss my beloved over the next six months, I would be lying if I said I haven’t also missed my mother, Demeter, terribly this past winter.”
Hades: “But you will miss me more, yes?”
Persephone: “I will miss you . . . differently, my lord. And oh, how I wish you had someone down here to keep you company while I’m away. Someone like my sweet mother.”
Hades: “I don’t recall you calling her ‘sweet’ the other day.”
Persephone: “Perhaps you should finally take up your brother’s offer and go fishing.”
Hades: “Only if Poseidon is willing to fish in the River Lethe . . . And I can fish him out of it by the end.”
Develop Separate Interests and Hobbies
Persephone: “Figuring out how to pass the time without your beloved by your side is a challenge for any long-distance relationship. Naturally, I am content filling my days with nurturing my plants, singing sweet little songs, and pursuing my online doctorates in microbiology and biochemistry. How about you, my lord?”
Hades: “I like to sit on my throne. Ponder the nature of suffering. Count my precious jewels. Listen to the screams of the undead. Think of new forms of punishment for my enemies. That reminds me, maybe I should pay a visit to Sisyphus while you’re gone.”
Persephone: “I think that would be wonderful. Be sure to give him my encouragement with his little rock project. Perhaps we should invite him to dinner next year. He was looking a bit malnourished the last time I saw him.”
Hades: “Oh, how I’m going to miss your sense of humor.”
Don’t Feel Compelled to Stay in Touch Constantly
Persephone: “Your readers may be surprised to hear this, but sometimes I can go days or even weeks without sending a message to my lord.”
Hades: “Well, I don’t see the purpose of divesting that particular piece of information to the mortals.”
Persephone: “I am simply telling these nice people that there is no need to hold your partners on a tight leash.”
Hades: “I am only concerned that you’re giving a false impression of our union. Readers may conclude that our love is only . . . seasonal.”
Persephone: “Of course I think of you every day when I’m in the upper world. I simply don’t think of you every second. Because you’re not directly in my face all the time.”
Hades: “Now you are saying that I’m too ‘in your face?’”
Persephone: “I didn’t say that was a bad thing!”
Enjoy Your Freedom (While You Can)
Hades: “Your tone implied it was a bad thing.”
Persephone: “My tone didn’t imply anything. You inferred my meaning. All I’m trying to say is that for six months of the year, we belong together. For the other six months, I belong to the world. I don’t have a choice in the matter, so I might as well make the best of both worlds while I inhabit them.
Hades: “Yes. You belong to the world . . . Does that include people like Adonis?”
Persephone: “I can’t believe you’re bringing that up again! Like you’re one to talk. Why, I have half a mind to—”
We’ll spare you, dear readers, from the choice words that followed this exchange. While we didn’t quite learn how to make most long-distance relationships work from speaking with these two, we at least learned that certain relationships only work because they are long-distance.
Good luck to those of you dealing with your own long-distance relationship. If these two can still make it work, hope springs eternal for all of us.