One Year of Long Distance: How We Thrived
Well, it’s hard to believe, but Josh and I have been exclusively long distance for an entire year! It’s actually arguable that we’ve been long distance our entire relationship depending on your definition, but I would trade that slightly over hour drive for our current three hour flight any day.
A little backstory: Josh and I actually went to high school together and ran around in very similar friend groups, but NEVER spoke. We then “met” three years post high school graduation at a party in my neighboring college town (his college town) and the rest is history! After dating for three months we had to make the (obvious!) choice to be long distance from Houston to Albuquerque and then soon after Houston to San Diego. A huge bulk of our relationship has been over Skype, and although long distance has been hard as heck at points because being away from the one you love is rough, I wouldn’t change our story for anything. I also couldn’t imagine doing this with anyone other than someone as compassionate and giving as Josh.
We have learned so much about ourselves through being LD. Like I said above, we Skyped almost every single night and really prioritized that time spent with each other. I think this was so integral in making it through, because even when we had busy schedules and really wanted sleep we still chose each other. In my opinion, long distance is all about choosing each other. You don’t get all the fun stuff of being in a relationship like kisses and dates on a constant basis, but if you’d look at my social media you’d probably think otherwise. Since we never get to spend time together we tend to go all out when we do, we have both gotten to travel new places together and experience things that we probably wouldn’t if we never had this situation, so there are definitely some pros.
That’s one think Josh specifically said helped him (& I agree) is making plans for the next time we were to see each other and for when we live together! It’s so much easier to have something to look forward to. Knowing the exact time I was going to see Josh next made the time apart enormously easier. When we didn’t have plans set, I tended to be a lot more sad.
Josh and I recently discussed our best advice for someone else going through long distance based on our experience. My advice was to focus on communication first. You really don’t have the opportunity to communicate with body language/subtleties so you always have to be really upfront with how you feel. If we weren’t open books regarding our feelings and either of us had something on our chest, you could immediately feel it. So, although sometimes we had to bring up hard topics in awkward ways, we learned to communicate so well and truly lean on each other even when we couldn’t physically do so. Josh’s advice was (along with having future plans for life after long distance) to find things that made conversation engaging. It’s very easy to fall into a monotonous routine when it comes to text/Skype communication, but adding things like finding a list of fun questions (like these) or watching a tv show together can spark something new and keep you discovering more about your SO.
I feel like we have grown so much through this journey of long distance, but admittedly, I am excited it’s coming to an end…70 something more days!! I guess you can look out for the post next year on how to thrive in a long distance family relationship!