Sunday, November 9, 2014

Surviving A Long Distance Relationship

Surviving a Long Distance Relationship
Matt and I have been long distance for almost 6 months now and much like my job, I'm starting to get the hang of it. We had a good idea our senior year of college that we would be long distance. In this economy, jobs aren't so easy to find so we had to go where the jobs are. I ended up back home in Chicago and he landed on the west coast in California.

The hardest part about starting this long distance for me was all the uncertainty. Most couples I had known had a specific amount of time they would be a part for (ie. a semester studying abroad, an summer internship in another city). Having no idea how long we would be apart was really hard. We still don't know and I've had to accept this uncertainty. I just have to know God is in control and this will work out in His time.

I once read that a long-distance relationship is really like the promise of a relationship. I believe this is true. So much of our relationship before long distance was the time we spent together. Our senior year we lived less than 2 blocks away from each other so we would make meals together, hang out at each others houses and go to campus events together. Trust is necessary in a long distance relationship because the other person is now doing all of their major and mundane life events without you. We've never had issues with trust or jealousy before so that foundation has been major in continuing our relationship. Here's what else is helping:

1. A communication plan
Matt and I talk pretty much everyday. We usually end up texting each other during breaks in the day, sending Snapchats of what we're eating and doing (yes, eating), and have a phone call towards the end of the night. When we started in long distance we talked about how we were going to communicate. You have to be open and upfront about what each person wants in terms of communication and whats actually possible between school and work. Since communicating is the basis of your relationship, its definitely worth a conversation.

2. Planning activities together
Besides talking on the phone, Matt and I Google Hangout (video chat) around 1-2x per week. Right now we are reading a book together so we usually use video to talk through the chapters we've read. Last weekend we've started cooking together. Matt knows the basics of cooking, but I'm working on recipes to help make his dishes a little more tasty. Its basically cooking class and its really fun! Having shared experiences and activities definitely helps bridge the distance.

3. Knowing the next time we will see each other
I have a flight out to San Francisco to see Matt for Thanksgiving and I also bought a flight for a long weekend in January during an airline sale a few weeks ago. Having specific dates on the calendar (even when they're weeks ago) does a lot to settle the anxiety of being in a long-distance relationship. One of the plus sides of being far away is that seeing each other is very exciting! Matt and I love to travel so the trips to see each other are fun to plan.

Every couple is different and this is what is working for Matt and I.  If you have any questions about being in a long-distance relationship, let me know!

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