[Written Oct, 2018]
Long distance relationships are lonely. Even if you talk to your person every day, it gets lonely. So, because of that, you need a support system. But not just anybody- while your best friend might be some good help to distract you by going to the movies, they don’t really understand what’s going on. Find yourself a person, or several, who have experience with long-distance relationships. Heck, I’m always here if you need a helping hand!
Normal people in normal relationships don’t understand the stressors that come with being in a long distance relationship. There’s a lot more in play here than just being apart. There’s a huge emotional aspect that people in normal relationships just don’t understand. Find a Facebook group for long distance relationships. Every person in one of those has been in the exact same position you are- physically and emotionally.
It’s rough on the mind to be apart from someone that you care about like this. For anyone, you always worry about if something happened to them when they don’t message back when they’re supposed to. If they live in another time zone, you might have to wake up super early to be able to even talk to them that day, because they get so busy. Their day might be ending just as yours begins, so it can be a real strain to even have a conversation with them at times. Having people who truly understand are a life saver.
My best friend was in a long distance, military, relationship for a while. Even though they aren’t together anymore, she understands what I’m going through more than anybody else ever has. Not even Adam’s parents know what I’m going through- I’m his wife. There are certain duties that we would like to attend to that just aren’t physically possible right now. My bestie gets that. We will sit and talk for hours about the crap I have to go through to be able to have a full conversation with my husband at points. People who get it, get it. And people who have never been in this situation, don’t. They might show sympathy for you and compassion for the situation, but until they get it, they don’t get it.
Get someone on your side who has dealt with the carnage of a bad fight over the phone. People in regular relationships always say: “Don’t go to bed angry.” We, however, don’t always have a choice except to do so. So finding someone who has had the same fight as you, who knows what possible outcomes are, is a godsend to making a bad fight easier on both parties involved. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who understand. Yeah, yeah, easier said than done. I realize that. But I also know the realities of being the only person with 100 miles that has any idea how to put up with a relationship like this.
I wish it was easier for people to understand. I can’t even talk to my own sister about this, because her experience with long distance and military relationships are a complete 180 from mine. She always warns me of the dangers of a military man, and of being long distance because nobody really knows what the other is doing. I get where she’s coming from, she is my sister and is just trying to help. But what she doesn’t understand is that by “helping” me, it’s causing more stress and concern that is really needed. There’s nothing scary about this relationship apart from the fact that I’ve been married for close to two months, and have spent two weeks with my husband. The rest of the time, we’ve been apart. Having someone who truly gets that is rare, and a blessing.
I repeat myself a lot in here: ‘someone who gets it’, ‘someone who understands’. If you’re not in a long distance relationship, and you’re reading this, you’re going to be confused as to why I keep saying that. But to someone who is in a long distance, I know you understand. It’s a club that you can’t be in until you’re in. Like a dead parents club, or a broken heart club. You don’t understand until you have to.
Feel free to talk to me if you’re feeling alone in a long distance relationship. I promise it gets easier. But it helps a whole awful lot when you can talk to people who have walked a mile in the shoes that you’ve just stepped into.