Surviving Long Distance

lovin’ at a distance…

Nick and I were long-distance for some time before getting married, so we wanted to talk about it!  We decided to answer some questions about our experiences in the hopes that we can help someone else who’s currently going through it. (: Long-distance relationships are super difficult, but they can work!  Now, let’s get to those questions!!

How long were you in a long-distance relationship?

We were super long-distance (Nick was in Iowa, and I was in Washington) from August 2019-March 2020, and then we were just over an hour apart from August 2020-May 2021.

What’s the best way you found to communicate while being long-distance?

Calling or FaceTime-ing is definitely the best option, as long as you find time to do this without being stressed.  Otherwise, texting throughout the day – but not expecting a response right away – is really nice.  

What was the worst thing about being in a long-distance relationship?

N: Not being able to hug you, especially when one of us wasn’t feeling good.  And only having words on a screen or calling isn’t the same as a conversation where you can see each other’s facial expressions and body language.

M: I agree with Nick’s answer, but I think the hardest part for me personally was not ever getting quality time… phone calls and FaceTime don’t really feel like quality time to me.  This was also hard because I wanted Nick to be able to see me cheer, and I wanted to see him race, but we never really got to do that.  Also, we never really knew when the next time we’d see each other was, so that was really hard because we went without seeing each other for about 3 months multiple times.

What was the best thing about being in a long-distance relationship?

M: For me, the best thing about being long-distance was that I was really able to focus on myself.  During my senior year of high school, when we were super long-distance, I was really busy with work, school, and cheer, so being able to just focus 100% on myself was really nice.  

N: Long-distance made it so that after being inseparable in high school, it made it easier to be apart now.  

We definitely grew a lot, together and on our own, while being long-distance.

What’s the biggest problem we faced in our long-distance relationship, and how did we overcome it?

N: It was hard at times to feel the connection when you don’t see someone for so long.  To try to overcome this, we tried different date ideas… we watched a movie at the same time while on FaceTime, and that was really fun.

Together, this was probably our biggest problem, and it was the hardest at the start of being long-distance.  Fun fact: we took a week-long break right after Nick moved because of the disconnect we felt.  So let this be your lesson to make time to connect however you can!

M: I think my biggest problem was learning how to do things by myself and be on my own.  Before Nick left for college, I would try new things but I also knew that if something went wrong, he could be my “safety net.”  But once he was in Iowa, I had to figure more things out on my own.  Obviously, I could text and call him, but he wasn’t physically right there for me to lean on.

How can you grow your relationship while being long-distance?

Communicate about how you want to grow and where you want your relationship to go.  Talk about things you can do that you think would grow your relationship (brainstorm together!).  Make sure you make time to connect with each other.  Do things for your partner that you know they’ll appreciate (write a letter, send cute text messages, send a surprise gift in the mail, etc.).  And last but not least, give each other space so you always want to go back to each other (and so you have things to talk about when you do talk).

What advice would you give to someone in a long-distance relationship?

Make sure you’re all-in, otherwise you’re wasting time.  Learn how to communicate effectively with each other.  Tell each other what you want from the relationship.  Make time for each other.  Try to always have something to look forward to – whether that’s a date night, a trip to see each other, etc.

To everyone in a long-distance relationship… it can work!!  You got this! (:

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