You know the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder!” More accurately, absence makes my heart get frustrated and sad. My boyfriend is a submariner in the Navy, so long distance was something we knew that would happen up-front before getting into the relationship. Never having been in one before I had no idea what to expect or what I was getting myself into.
“If you want to live together you have to learn how to live apart”- Anonymous
Our first test was when he was deployed for 4 months, we had just started dating and we were going to give it our best shot to see if this is something that we both really wanted and could handle. Bring the independent go-getter that I am: I set goals, lived life as if nothing much has changed and tried not to get too attached unless things went down-hill. Well 4 months had passed and I didn’t reach any of my goals, I felt much more lonely then I had anticipated and when I met him at the ship I was incredibly nervous and excited.
Now we are on round two of long distance, except I am the one that left for 3 months which is a whole other ballgame in LDRs (long distance relationships). His ship is retiring so they are sailing from Hawaii to Virginia for the next month and I decided to spend the next few months in Bali & Japan while he goes underway for the next month and settles into Virginia.
I’m swimming in an infinity pool in Bali outside a luxurious Villa and my heart is in Virginia….of all places. I often call Chris (my bf) telling him I wanted to just go home. But he always encouraged me to stick through it telling me this is a great opportunity for me and will only benefit our relationship and our future. With his encouragement and my perseverance I am going to focus on the silver linings to my LDRs and I wanted to share them with you.
Here are my top 7:
- We get the time and space you need to know what you really want. Going from two VERY independent people for many years prior into a full relationship, the distance is a great time for us to ease into this and really test the waters before making the plunge.
- We get to know one-another on a deeper level aside from just the physical. I’m able to enjoy longer conversations about what we want out of the relationship, who we are, our fears and our dreams.
- Our commitments are aligned. If one person is more committed than the other it is going to show pretty quickly. In LDR’s you are painfully aware on how committed you each are to each other right away.
- We get to experience a whole other level of trust that we would not be able to experience living 30+ min away with frequent dates and events.
- We don’t waste our time with petty arguments. With spotty Skype calls and missed time-zones the few minuets we have each day are important to show love, support and skipping the petty arguments.
- I don’t have to look my best, all the time. I don’t have to shave a few days in a row, I can roll around in my boring clothes and I can continue on with my habits of eating chips in bed. Haha.
- Give us the opportunity to learn balance of independence and interdependence not being stuck together like glue (as most couples are in the honeymoon phase and we wish we were, too) it allows us to grow as individuals but at the same time, as a couple.
I’d be happy to hear what your Silver Lining is in Long distance relationships, please comment below 🙂