Saturday, May 2, 2009
Sign, Sealed, Delivered.... I'm Yours
Long Distance relationships are hard, or so I hear. For the first 4 1/2 years of our relationship, me and the Mr. were long distance lovers. When we met he lived an hour away and we would sometimes meet in the middle and spend the day together or take turns spending the week or weekend with each other. After a year, he moved another hour further away for school and we saw each other maybe once a month. The next year, he moved back but I moved 5 hours away from him for law school and during that first year we saw each other only 3 or 4 times.
So how did we make it work? Compromise, communication and understanding.
Compromise- Everything we did during our long distance relationship was a compromise, because it needed to be. We took turns traveling to see the other, splitting up the holidays we spent with which family, and compromised on anything else that either of us felt was important.
Communication- Communication is key to any healthy and successful relationship and we always made sure that we took time out to have enough of it. We got on the same family plan for our phone (the ultimate commitment) so that we could call each other at any time and we took full advantage of it, or at least I did. I knew I could call him at any time, day or night, and just talk so it was like he was there even though we were physically apart. We talked to each other every night for maybe 3-4 hours. There was always something to talk about- news, politics, tourists, scientific theories,us,our favorite show Heroes- and it helped me get to know more about him as a person and his views on the world.
I also took to writing him letters while he was in school. Everyday I would take time out to write a letter at at the end of the week. I would decorate an envelope and mail it out. He still has all those letters and refuses to throw them out. As I read over them I realize how diverse the topics of those letters were- ranging from the ridiculous to the profound.
Understanding- We both understood that there was nothing at the time that we could do to be physically closer to one another and we also understood that we were willing to work to make this relationship succeed. Once we understood that it seems like everything else followed perfectly from that. To be honest, this relationship hasn't been real "work" because I love him so much and there is nothing hard about that.
Long distance is normal for us so when it came time for us to move in together last year I wasn't sure it would work. I've seen relationships take a turn for the worse when a couple moves in together mainly because they just don't work as roommates. Surprisingly, we are great roommates, bunk buddies, whatever you want to call it. We mesh well. He does all the cooking, I do....um, laundry? Plus, we are great parents and realize that that little boy is the most imporant person in the house.
As I get ready to graduate I'm forced with the realization that I may end up moving away from him if I get a job elsewhere. Of course, I don't want that but with the economy the way that it is and the area of law I want to practice it is a very real and plausible possibility. We have talked it over and if need be we are willing to be a long-distance married couple until the time comes for one of us to move to the other. It isn't ideal of course but in the words of Tim Gunn, we will "make it work".
To go along with my long-distance post, I thought "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White T's would fit as my Song of the Week.
Have you ever been at a distance from your love? How did you make it work?