Going the Distance

Since I started my blog, I’ve been really debating whether or not it is appropriate to even mention the fact that I have a relationship on it, let alone discuss it. My relationship is just one of those things that I like to keep private since it is obviously a personal topic.

I have decided that I don’t really think it’s appropriate or necessary to discuss the details of my relationship on here. I mean, if my boyfriend was posting stuff about our relationship online, it would probably irritate me, so why should I be doing it? I see other bloggers with pictures of them and their significant other on their blog, detailing all kinds of things about their relationship – what they did that weekend, what they love about each other, and so on. I think that is awesome for them and I love reading those kinds of things, but it just isn’t something I’m interested in writing about.

One detail that I think is okay to divulge on my blog, however, about my relationship is that it is a long distance one. We go to different schools that by car are about 14 hours apart. This means that we usually only see each other on breaks, and this is our third school year going the distance.

Whenever people ask about my boyfriend and where he goes to school, whenever I respond and they realize how far it is I always get the same response: a look of shocked, perhaps a dropped jaw, and the inevitable question how? So many people have asked me how we do it and how we manage it, so I thought I would share (without getting personal) some stuff about it here.

In no way am I saying that I’m a relationship expert or that I have a perfect relationship that everyone should envy and pine for. I have a relationship that is perfect for me but would not be perfect for everyone (or many not even anyone) else.

And I will be honest – being long distance is definitely a challenge at times. But here is how we’ve made it a lot, lot easier:

  1. Look at the positives – being apart sucks, yes, but there are so many great things about it too. I love the fact that we have our own, separate lives complete with our own interests, activities, and friends. This makes our relationship a lot more balanced and healthy.
  2. Love the time you have together – one of my favorite things about being a long distance couple is that when we’re together, the time is so super special. We truly do cherish breaks when we get to be together and have so many special, irreplaceable memories from those times.
  3. Set times to talk – my boyfriend and I, when we were first apart, talked excessive amounts. Between Skyping, texting, and calls, we were pretty out of control. It definitely took time to find a balance between talked too much and talking too little. Now, we have a great system where we have everything planned out just the way we like it, with set aside times during the week to video chat and talk. This is great because we always have a lot to talk about, and the time we do talk is so special and really fun.
  4. Be reasonable – when you’re apart, there are definitely different challenges than when you’re together.  There are certain things that spur arguments or emotions when you’re apart that can be difficult to deal with. The most important thing to remember is to be reasonable rather than start or perpetuate fights. Most of the things that seem like a huge deal in the moment seem silly a week, day, or hour later.
  5. Be a best friend – the biggest piece of the puzzle that allows being apart to be a breeze for me and my boyfriend is that not only are we a couple, we’re truly best friends. This makes everything so much easier and completely worth being apart. When you can’t imagine what your life would be like without someone, it’s a good indication that even if you’re apart it’s more than worth making the effort to stay close and take care of your relationship.

Like I said before, these are the key elements of what works for me and for us in our relationship, and everyone is different.

I can say that as challenging as it may be at times to be apart, I wouldn’t change my relationship for anything, and if you’re going the distance as well, I hope you feel the same way.

I love these long distance mugs! Might have to get them

I love these long distance mugs! Might have to get them

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2 thoughts on “Going the Distance

  1. I can definitely related to this! My boyfriend and I have only been together for two years but have spent nearly half of that time in different cities or countries if you add it all up. I like your first point about being able to enjoy your separate things, obviously you can still do that if you live closeby but sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the relationship and doing things together all the time that you can lose sight of some of your individual things you enjoy. I think it does help to be able to communicate often, we’ve struggled with that where one of us is working in an area where cell reception and Internet access is limited or non-existant. You know what they say, where there’s a will there’s a way and, I too, wouldn’t change a thing! Also love the mugs!

  2. This is such a great list! I myself am also in a long distance relationship. My husband and I have been together almost 7 years- 5 of which have been long distance. When I went off to college, he joined the Marine Corps. We spent 5 years apart while he was stationed all over (and out of) the country. After such a long time, we too have discovered everything you wrote about in this list. Unfortunately, we did not have any such guidance or advice before we started being long-distance. But through our own trials and errors, we have discovered what works for us and what keeps our relationship even stronger than friends of ours who are with their significant other/spouse everyday. We even made it through the toughest part: him being stationed in Japan for TWO YEARS. That left us seing each other only 4 times in that 2 year span. But I believe it has made our relationship so much stronger. We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary last week and it has been the happiest year yet. People ask me all the time how we do it (their jaws also drop in complete shock when I tell them our story, especially when he was in Japan.) But the truth is, there is no secret to keeping a long-distance relationship going. You must work at it. It never gets easier, but over time you learn to adapt if you really want to make it work. Right now my husband is on the other side of the country for training. But the one thing that always gets me through the tough times is knowing that eventually the time apart will end, that every second gets me closer to him, and that in the end our relationship will be so much stronger. Because no matter how hard it was or how many doubts I had, once I saw him again I knew it was all worth it. Now I have graduated college and will finally move to end the long-distance for good! Keep your chin up, and stay strong!

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