This weekend we were watching a TV show and I heard it said again, like so many times before, "Long distance relationships never last!" Well, having been in a long distance relationship myself I beg to differ! It's certainly not easy but "never last"?! That's a pretty strong statement!
Superman and I dated for 2 years and have been married for 5 years. 20 of those months were long distance (a 12 hour drive apart) so clearly, long distance relationships can work out!!
Talk about an emotional roller coaster - I'll never forget how it felt to wrap my arms around him every time we got to see each other in person!! The emotional high is so strong but remember, "what goes up must come down". ;-) So there was generally an emotional low after that incredible high! For me, that was usually after my trip.
We Talked About Everything
Everyone says communication is key. For us it was mostly texting and sending photos/videos throughout the day. He was really the one who started it - I had never texted someone so much in my life! Even though he was hundreds of miles away, we got to know each other's routines to the point where we didn't have to talk about it anymore unless something was out of the ordinary.
This helped us build trust and instead of a normal relationship where you can pop in for lunch or meet up for a movie on Friday night.. it was a call on lunch break or FaceTime on Friday night.
We Made Time to Travel
He came out to see me the first time. That was important to me because I'm pretty traditional in that sense but after that, I knew that we had to be spontaneous if this was going to work. He was a student and I was a freelance musician, neither of us had money pouring out our ears but when I did have money I was looking online to book a ticket.
I planned a surprise trip (his parents helped me keep the secret) and when they showed up at his school to pick him up, there I was! :-) I'll never forget the look on his face! I like to keep things fun and mysterious.
We Planned Activities
Once we were together time was limited! I scheduled his first visit with white water rafting, a photoshoot, a drive to Kentucky to see my folks and even met some friends for dinner so he could meet them and have a glimpse into my world.
When I went to see him we went to the beach a lot, visited his grandparents, I saw where he worked and he took me on a tour of his school.
We Road Tripped Together
Our third visit was a road trip. Road trips are the best when you're dating because it's such close quarters and you really get to know a lot of things fast! I definitely wouldn't do it on a first or second visit but maybe third or fourth when you're ready to see some flaws.
We Chose Our Battles
Imperfections aren't bad! Just because there's a flaw doesn't mean we need to point it out as a flaw. There were some things that bugged me on our road trip and I'm sure he had some things too but rather than announcing it we tried to think about a solution to respond differently next time.
For example, Superman came from a big family (11 kids), so he was used to telling the kids to do something without a "please" or "thank you" and they just did it! When he first did that to me it made my blood boil just a little! Lol!! Thankfully I was able to wait until the next time it happened and respond with, "Hey it really bothers me when you tell me to do something. Can you ask me nicely and say please next time?" Waiting till next time still let me voice my problem without reacting or being hurtful.
Spoke Each Others Love Language
I'm sure you've heard of "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. I think that book alone can help any relationship make it through the rough stages. It definitely helps to know their language and speak it fluently every chance you get especially long distance!! If physical touch is the primary love language obviously travel is even more important and focusing on their secondary love language when you're apart.
Have God at the Center
This should be up at the top of the list because it's more important than anything else! The reason it's at the bottom is because if I had read this back then I would've thought it sounded cliche. I would've wanted practical steps like I have listed up top so I could do it on my own. "Just give me the 5 steps and I can do it!" But even just over our 7 year relationship God has been the glue that holds us together!
When I feel myself distancing from God or Superman isn't in the Word, it affects our relationship! That verse, "a cord of three strands isn't easily broken" has truth to it! When we are weak, He is strong. God is the keeper of covenants and that includes the marriage covenant so I want my marriage to be in Jesus Name and for Him to be the third strand holding us together!
Thanks for reading!