Talk to Me Tuesday: Long Distance Love

Q: My honey and I are doing long distance for the next couple of months. We have a rock solid relationship, but that doesn’t make the distance suck less. Any suggestions?

A: Oh, dear reader, I know the distance won’t be easy, but I think the only way to survive a stint apart is to focus on how exciting it will be. Now, I don’t mean that it will be exciting to be far apart and not have your partner there to hug you on a daily basis, I mean that when you put space and time into a relationship, missing the closeness will make it more exciting than you ever remembered. I’ll explain myself in a minute.

Before we get to all that, the first thing you need to do is throw your routine out the window. Do you always eat dinner together at a certain time? Do you text each other good morning the moment you wake up? Do you have dates on Saturdays? Well, not anymore. Realize that whichever one of you is doing the traveling will have a new schedule and routine to settle into. If you expect your couple routine to stay the same, then you’ll feel let down when you or your partner misses something.

Once you’ve both adjusted to the new schedules and have a feel for the pockets of time when you can talk or weekends that work to visit each other, then you’ll create a new routine. It’s okay to have a routine, just be prepared for it to differ from what you’ve grown used to.

Now, for part two. The excitement.

Be honest, no matter how much you love your honey, you probably don’t really get a rush of excitement when you sit down on the couch to eat pizza for the fourth night in a row and watch Netflix. But when you’re apart, Skyping each other after you’ve both ordered your favorite pizzas and turning on an episode of the show that you’ve been waiting to watch together, all while making commentary through a full mouth and admiring your partner’s cute face on the laptop screen, THAT is exciting.

I’m not sure that absence makes the heart grow fonder is exactly correct as I think most people are pretty fond of their loved ones anyways. No, absence makes the heart grow giddier feels more appropriate. Like you said, your relationship is rock solid. There’s no doubt that it is full of love. When you love someone, you want to be around them. So, when you have to spend a majority of time apart, it becomes wonderfully special to be together.

Unfortunately, distance comes with bad feelings too. Being away from your favorite person might leave you feeling sad, or lonely, or left out of things. That’s what makes the way you feel in these special moments so important. Hold on to how unbelievably excited you are when your partner texts you, even if it’s just a picture of the burrito they ate for lunch. Keep reminding yourself that you will eventually be back together and things will settle into the way the were before, but for now, every call, text, or email is your way of saying to each other, I love you, I miss you, and I’m thinking of you. Even from all the way over here. 

That sure gives me butterflies.

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