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Which is better?

a: I started living on my own a week ago. I had not been aware of the importance of my family, because they had been always nearby.

b: I started living on my own a week ago. I had not been aware of the importance of my family, because they were always nearby.

Logically, 'a ' should be better. But two had-beens in a single sentence may be too much...
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I had not been aware of the importance of my family, because they had always been nearby!
Why do you think that 'logically' is better, Taka?
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The reason is, the person started living on his/her own and, before that, his/her family were always nearby and he/she wasn't aware of the importance of them.
nona, let me ask some more. When you combine "I had not been aware" and "my family had been always nearby", is it simply going to be "I had not been aware that my family had been always nearby"---the double past perfect in the same sentence again?
Taka: The reason is, the person started living on his/her own and, before that, his/her family were always nearby and he/she wasn't aware of the importance of them.

JT: But that's only A reason to choose the past perfect, Taka. There are millions upon millions of examples of this in English where a simple past is chosen.
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In fact, as Taka says, B rolls off the tongue a bit better, so why is Nona for A?
I am for 'A' as it simply sounds more natural to me. I don't have any problem with the two 'had beens' in one sentence, although the last one I would phrase as 'had always been' instead of 'had been always' as this sounds stilted to me.

In addititon, 'B' implies a slightly different meaning to me.

I started living on my own a week ago. I had not been aware of the importance of my family, because they had been always nearby.

She now now realises how important her family were, now she is not living near them. They had been near her previously. She is talking about the present.

I started living on my own a week ago. I had not been aware of the importance of my family, because they were always nearby.

This confuses me a little. The 'had been' and 'were' do not sound right together, but I'm not a grammarian so I can't explain why very well. 'My family were always nearby' makes it sound as though they were nearby when she started living on her own a week ago. To me, it sounds as though a week ago she moved to be physically closer to her family, and that conflicts against the not being aware of the importance of her family.

Does this make sense to anyone?

Take out the bit about the importance of the family.

I started living on my own a week ago. My family had always been nearby. (I miss them!)

I started living on my own a week ago. My family were always nearby. (Blimey, I wish they'd push off and leave me to unpack on my own!)

Perhaps its a British thing, or it could just be the way I have interpreted those two particular phrases.
I started living on my own a week ago. I didn't aware of the importance of my family, because they were always nearby.

I think no need to use past perfect....
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