Tips for Surviving Long Distance

This afternoon my hubby and I heard a podcast about how couples who meet online tend to do just as well as couples who first meet in person. With the rise of dating apps people are just meeting and staying connected differently. It’s not a bad or good thing, it’s just…different.

Although Evans and I first met in person, our relationship prior to getting married, was mostly virtual/online. Evans and I Skyped, WhatsApp(ed), Paid crazy amounts for international calls (when the internet connection was bad), Emailed, video messaged, and tried every other virtual connectivity tool that you can imagine. We’ve tried it all (even snail mail lol)! And honestly…it sucked.

It was difficult to be a part from one another, but there were benefits. One benefit was getting to know each other’s personalities without getting distracted by the physical stuff. In a long distance relationship you can feel free to be known, and to know the other person emotionally and intellectually without distraction.

The other day my hubby got an email asking how we survived three years of long distance courtship (long distance as in…across the Atlantic Ocean). After this question, I thought it may be helpful to do a post about it. Let’s  be real…long distance ain’t easy! But when you find the right person, it is worth it.

Tip #1 It’s Okay to Doubt Yourself…

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Sometimes long distance, or online dating can make us feel a little bit, umm, crazy. You know…it seems like the world has this standard for dating, and long distance/online dating doesn’t always fit the worlds standards.

For this reason, you’ve got to go into the relationship knowing that you may have doubts every now and then, and it is totally normal. Don’t be surprised by the hardships you may face. People may make hurtful, or rash comments about your relationship and that is totally normal. You’ve just got to remain focused and keep your 👀 Eyes  on the prize as they say! And that brings us to tip #2

Tip #2 Remind Yourself Why You Chose that Person

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In the scheme of life, it can be easy to get so caught up in the pain that we forget why we are going through the pain. Just like and athlete training for a marathon (or a race…whatever floats your boat for this analogy), we have to remind ourselves why we are subjecting our bodies to pain. We are subject to pain because we ultimately want the reward at the end of the training.

So look at your long distance relationship as a training ground for the long haul (marriage). Marriage is tough, but if you can overcome long distance for a season, you are rewarded with a life time of joy with your partner by your side. And trust me…if you can make it past long seasons of long distance, you can make it through the hardships of marriage. All things that are worth while and good require some type of work/sacrifice/hardship. Think about a high school degree, or a college degree…you work hard for 4 years and you eventually earn a reward. Long distance relationships truly do teach you discipline to stick to it in the long haul!

So keep reminding yourself of why you are in the relationship. What is it about your partner that makes them unlike any other person you’ve ever met. Is it their humor, the way they understand you deeply, their eyes, etc.?

Think about one thing every day that you appreciate about your partner and tell them! Then you remind yourself and the other person why you are going to  continue.

Tip # 3 Envision the Finish Line

In order to have a successful long distance relationship (I define success as one that ends in marriage) then you’ve got to envision the finish line (whatever that looks like for you). What will it be like to finally be together in the same place? Who is going to move where? And when? That leads me to tip #4

Tip # 4 Start with the End in Mind

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You can’t envision the finish line if you don’t know where you are going. I would say this is my number one…MOST IMPORTNANT TIP. If you don’t have an idea of where you both want to end up…then a long distance relationship is like going on a road trip with no destination.

You have got to talk about your individual life goals…well before you’ve been dating for a year. A year feels like an eternity in long distance relationships (but really though). Therefore, to save yourself time, and  emotional stress (lots and lots of emotional stress) ITS IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU PLAN TO BE TOGETHER, WHO IS GOING/ WILLING TO MOVE, AND BEGIN PLANNING HOW YOU WILL DO IT.

For example, if your partner is a marine biologist and needs to be near the sea for their job and you are a zoologist who specializes in African mammals…you need to talk about who will move…and where. Talk about if you’re willing to give up your career for a season to accommodate the other person, and talk about it early so that you know whether or not to continue with the relationship (seriously though).

You don’t want to end a long distance relationship because of poor planning.

Plan your long distance relationship, just like you would for anything else important to you in life. I hope this helps you all!

I love you all, and God loves you so much,

Jeanette

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