Appreciating My Long Distance Relationship

After spending more than a week with CBG back in August, with our kids, I realized that as with many things, I need to take more time to appreciate the positives of my current situation. The reality of life is that our circumstances aren’t going to change anytime soon, and that we’re going to be in this long distance relationship for a while to come. I need to appreciate my relationship, exactly how it is, a little more than I do.

Believe it or not, there are benefits to being in a long distance relationship.

I know….crazy, huh?

Now. Please don’t take this to mean that I wouldn’t much rather have the guy around full time. Because I certainly would. If anything, our extended time together over the summer showed me that full-time life together would be nothing short of awesome. However…I can’t allow myself the luxury of wishing for it, so I might as well spend some time to appreciate it.

And there are some good things.

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Again, not saying that we ever get sick of each other by any stretch, but I have learned over the past almost two years together that our weekend visits really are special. Every time we’re together it’s like a mini-honeymoon. Sure, we end up doing “regular life” things like running errands, but we don’t get bogged down in the details of life – we are simply able to curl up in our own happy little bubble and enjoy one another. I love the feeling of anticipation before our visits. I love that first hug. I live for that feeling of curling up in his arms on our first night together after being apart. Missing him means that when we are together, it’s all the more sweeter.

We don’t fight over the little things that can trip up couples. Because we are either in my space or in his, and just enjoying life together, “real life” just doesn’t come into play as much. I’m not nagging him to take out the garbage and he doesn’t get frustrated because I’m behind on the laundry. These things simply aren’t ever issues for us. How much energy have we all wasted in “traditional” relationships on those kinds of issues?

We get to do our own thing. Being on my own has been particularly helpful for me. I’ve learned how to be independent and do for myself in many areas of life…areas that might be tempting to lean on CBG for a little too much if he were around all the time. I like having some time on my own (even if I do wish it were less than it is now). I enjoy that we never have to feel guilty about doing our own thing and not spending that time with one another. “Independent time” is never in short supply, and at this point in time, CBG and I are both fairly independent people.

We appreciate each other more. I think that it’s easy for couples who are together full time to fall into the trap of taking one another for granted. I know that certainly happened in my own marriage, for sure. But when CBG and I are together, because it’s not all the time, we don’t ever have to try to be grateful – it just comes naturally. We are very aware of how it feels to not have the other person around, that we are incredibly grateful when we do.

And so while I would never choose to continue being in this long distance relationship if I didn’t have to, it’s good to be able to see how special what we have really is. As I’ve said many times before – he is absolutely worth it. WE are absolutely worth it.

And that’s a pretty awesome thing to know for sure.

70 Responses

  1. Nice post. My bf lives on the other side of the world, so we try not to get caught up in “I wish you were here.” I agree, there are many challenges, but there can also be many benefits to a long distance relationship when taken from the right perspective. And in the end it is DEFINITELY worth it 😀

  2. Great post. I can absolutely relate to everything you’ve said. My wife and I started off in a long distance relationship. 12+ years later, here we are together and married. If you stay the course good things will happen.

    Best wishes for the both of you.

  3. I completely agree. For various reasons, most of my own relationships were long-term, and my girlfriend and I dated between Vermont and Pennsylvania over the period of about a year, before she moved up here. I’d say that the distance helped us get priorities in order.

  4. My boyfriend and I first lived 2 and a half hours away from each other and 5 hours away. We have finally moved to the same state and are loving it, but I think that all that time apart helped us to appreciate our current situation more. And we talk about all the stuff we missed about being apart- the weekend getaways to see each other, the feeling of leaving life behind, the alone time to do our own things. We prefer being together, but being apart had a lot of positives, too.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laura Hargreaves, Amanda Deo. Amanda Deo said: Appreciating My Long Distance Relationship: http://t.co/D1lndNU […]

  6. That kinda happiness the time you saw him,
    it’s so worth it.

  7. Of course you knew I’d agree with you!

    There is something about looking at each other and feeling the touch after weeks apart. It’s like magic all over again, isn’t it?!?

    Beautiful post.

  8. Love this! Great way of looking at the positive side of your situation. I hope that your long distance relationship will eventually be not-so-long distance, but in the meantime, definitely enjoy these added benefits!
    http://simplysolo.wordpress.com

  9. […] Original post:  Appreciating My Long Distance Relationship « Sunshine on My Shoulder […]

  10. […] See the original post: Appreciating My Long Distance Relationship « Sunshine on My Shoulder […]

  11. I’m in a long-distance relationship which is rapidly nearing its conclusion. She’s coming here in January! It’s super-exciting, but I can definitely relate to what you say here.

  12. My husband is a farmer/rancher/hunter, so I get the being apart thing. A lot. But I sure am grateful to see him walk through the day each night. After all, being with him gives me a break from that person I am with 24/7 – me!

  13. Every word you said rings so true!
    My boyfriend and I just moved two hours apart for college, and last weekend was the first weekend in almost three weeks that we saw each other, and it really was just like “leaving life behind” to spend time together. It was lovely. I’m glad so many people feel just as realistic and optimistic about long distance relationships. 🙂

    Wonderful post!

    • yea u r right………
      we feel too much anxiexty when we are far from our loved one’s……..
      I Love you.

  14. I know what you mean about that first hug. Sigh 🙂

  15. Open communication is the key to a great long distance relationship. The times when you’re apart may give you space, but if you’re crazy like I am, they are your most trying times as well. My now-husband and I used to spend long periods of time away from each other, so by the end of a 3 month period apart, it was extremely difficult for me to communicate with him in a meaningful way. But now that we live together full time, it’s made me appreciate our togetherness that much more. You make some great points…thanks for sharing…

  16. I totally agree with you- long distance relationships do ahve postives and I have a friend who has successfully and happily been in a long term long distance relationship for 5 years. What it needs is dedication and you both having the same values ans goals… life is what you make it….

  17. Even those in not-so-long-distance relationships can learn something from this post…like the importance of appreciating what you have and treating many moments (not all, just more…) like it’s your first time together in FOREVER! 😉

    Thanks for sharing — and for the reminder.

  18. I was in a long distance relationship & I agree 100%. It was a bit of a rocky transition when we did live in the same city as suddenly all those “real life issues” came at us. But it’s good to focus on the positives & forge ahead!
    http://www.notcomplicated.wordpress.com

  19. I totally agree! My husband and have been long distance (separated by oceans, usually) for the majority of our six years together, with a strong chance that there will be more long-distance in our near future. There’s something to be said for the value it adds to a relationship; I think it helps to focus me on what is most important in our marriage.

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I had a long distance relationship when I was in college. I would spend long weekends visiting her – and we had a blast. But then I got out of school, and moved back to the city in which she lived, and she immediately dumped me. I guess it just wasn’t fun enough having me in the same city.

  21. great post. i definitely agree, the first hug=:)

    mon
    http://www,spicediary.com

  22. I feel like I could have written this…what a wonderful post and a great example of living life with gratitude! My love and I live apart and will continue to for quite some time. I find it challenging to be without him but consistently try to re-focus myself to appreciate what we do have and enjoy this part of our life together too!

  23. Congrats on finding the good! My husband and I actually traveled together for work for 8 months. I learned that the work-travel life is NOT for me. I miss him if he has to go away for a job, but the return is such a joyous time.

  24. My wife and I spent the first ten months of our relationship apart. Now that we live together, I have to admit that there are things I miss about being apart.

  25. You hit the nail on the head, my dear. Great post! You forgot the not-having-to-shave-every-day thing, though. That’s pretty cool, too. : )

  26. long distance relationship is very hard. but it can measure how a couple really cares for one another.

  27. I was a long distance relationship too, and I totally agree with the “We don’t fight over the little things that can trip up couplesWe don’t fight over the little things that can trip up couples” thing, because after this long distance relationship was gone, we started arguing over trivial stuff. weird though…

  28. I think one of the strengths of long distance relationships is that you have to really connect intellectually. So often we focus on other things instead. Being apart draws a different type of connection. Nice job on getting Pressed by the way. You deserved it. I can tell that all the way from here 😉

  29. My boyfriend is conveniently at my disposal most days, others he isn’t, and come january we both head to our schools. Im scared we will grow apart or that it wont work when the reality that he isn’t “right there” hits, but your blog has showed a whole new perspective. IT WAS SWEET!

  30. Thank you for sharing!

  31. I love this. My boyfriend lives four hours away (when you’re college students, that’s really far!) but you’re right: you do appreciate the time you have with them so much longer. Plus, in my opinion, it extends the “honeymoon phase” a bit…

  32. I believe that LDX is the way to go if you can nurture it and both have the personality to reassure one another. Me intended is in the Ukraine and I in TN (yes she is “real”).We are the bestmirrors of one another and I wrote this poem about it:
    I like her questions,

    She loves my queries.

    I dig her attentiveness;

    She likes me to smile more.

    I speak clearly,

    She responds likely,

    Not camera shyly.

    We smile truly at one another,

    Listen and laugh generously!

    We dance the web cam romantically;

    There is a magic we have,

    Not to be taken lightly.

    Alone I hold my pillow as if it were her tightly,

    The real thing might this be?

    I already respect her highly.

    She says respect is not powerful enough, “in my country”;

    For not is she unsightly;

    If you don’t believe it,

    Then bite me and never distort!

    This my girlfriend who I met,

    Is the best of all times and from the internet!

    Can’t wait to meet her,

    I can already see her meeting me at the airport,

    Jumping into my arms as I happily will escort.

    Recognizing me with an adoring smile,

    We have known our love forever.

    Like the sweet song of a happy morning song bird.

    I’m impatient for my first passport.

    Thank God for Skype!!

  33. Great post and I agree! Congrats on being fresh pressed and good luck with the relationship 🙂 Being far apart makes it that much better to be together!

  34. totally agree..my bf at japan and i at malaysia…never meet him since we’re officially in relationship. but he is my schoolmate. i really want to see him deadly. Next year, perhaps. >.< long distance relationship is sweeter than traditional.

  35. By the time I get to fly from Australia to Canada In November to see my fiance,it will have been 5 months and i can tell you now i will not be taking him or our time together for granted, and i agree the absence certainly has made the heart grow fonder!!

  36. nice post.i was in a long distance relationship too for an year before i got married on the 19th of the last month.i used to hate it more than appreciating it.its too soon for me to practically compare it to being together as its just been a few days of my marriage…but being married to an army officer i can begin to see the usefulness of your insights on the long distance relationship already..

    i am enjoying the closeness and the pace of our growing understanding and comfort level around each other..and it seems difficult to think about being away from each other again(we used to quarrel a lot over the phone when we were away)i am hoping to settle into a better understanding to help me handle the pangs of distance when required of us…

  37. i am new on wordpress..your opinions on my blog are welcome and would certainly be encouraging…hello everybody..

  38. I am in a long distance relationship too. My significant other and I have been separated for three years now but I am able to see him at least once a month or every other month. This distance thing seems to make us grow closer and closer. We used to talk daily, thank goodness for Skype, but two weeks ago he decided to take a job in a mine in South America which makes communicating and visiting almost impossible. There are advantages and disadvantages in a long distance relationship. I always look forward to us getting together and enjoying one another.

  39. Aaaaaaw I love this post! 🙂

  40. I certainly never had this good of an attitude when I was in an LDR!

  41. I so agree with this ! My first relationship was with a guy who stayed in another country and I’d met him only three times.Because of the large distance between us there was only TALKING involved and we were definitely more understanding,even as friends. We became so used to each other being on the other side of the computer that we were actually too shy being together when we did meet once a year! haha. But yes,those meetings were beautiful. ”First hug” . Those small tiny things that are taken for granted were appreciated more 🙂 And even after a year after breaking it off,we remain close friends and have a stronger bond as compared to other friends in the same city…

  42. Love this blog. I did the long distance thing for 3 years with my husband. I finally moved from the US to the UK to end the long-distance bit!

  43. Great post!
    In our 4 years together, SAH and I have been together in one state (not even town!) about 6 months only.
    We graduated from different states, half a country away. Our meetings lasted for a day or two and were far between. His transit flights are always through my city, so I look forward to those few hours in the airport by his side after 6 months of separation.
    I think the long separation makes that first look, touch, hug and kiss really awkward. It almost feels like the first time you kissed him in high school.
    Or is it just me?
    But you’re right about us being definitely worth it!
    Congratulations on your love. =)
    And on being freshly pressed!

  44. I liked reading this. LDR’s do take a lot more from us to maintain, but it’s all good 🙂

  45. Great thinking and writing. Me and my wife have been together for 33 years and I cant even think of anything about all those times we are with each other! 🙂

  46. nice blog. I enjoyed reading it.

  47. That’s just beautiful, I wish you both a long and happy life together 🙂

  48. i’m always some ridiculous distance away from my boyfriend, but in the end, as you say, it’s all fine and worthwhile 🙂 congratulations!

  49. Thanks you for sharing! Lovely story and it has given me hope! 🙂

  50. This is a great post, and I applaud you & your partner for how well you’re taking the distance. My husband & I have also been in a long-distant relationship for the past year and a half now, so I can definitely relate, and all the positive points you made are true! I’ve written a short post about one of our “mini-honeymoons” on my blog. Hope you can give it a read & see if you can relate too. Good luck!

    http://sundaysiminlove.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/as-if-no-time-has-passed-at-all/

  51. I liked reading this. LDR’s do take a lot more from us to maintain, but it’s all good 🙂

  52. i am new on wordpress..your opinions on my blog are welcome and would certainly be encouraging…hello everybody..

  53. I am in the same boat as you, I’ve been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for three years now. Sure it’s hard and never something anybody would actively opt for, but as you stated, there are benefits to everything. I especially enjoy the extra bit of freedom and having my own space. As they say, when life gives you lemons!

  54. Good topic. I think being away for extended periods of time can help us value the moments that we have together.

  55. It’s difficult being apart, but it sure makes you appreciate everything about being together. Love the name of your blog – maybe we’re sisters!
    Sunshine

  56. I just moved in, in a whole new country, with my boyfriend of three years. We’ve never lived in the same country until now, and it is great to finally be together in one flat, one time zone. Though the three years were hard (sometimes awful), I do believe that the distance made us appreciate each other more, learn how to communicate better and on a deeper level, and recognize that if we love each other, making it work is worth it. And it is SO worth it. Now the only evidence of our long distance love affair is piles of letters from back and forth across the ocean. And I’m ok with that.

  57. If you can make a long distance relationship work, you can make any relationship work!

    One of my favorite professor and her husband lived in different states because they both had jobs they absolutely loved, but they were still so much in love. I adored listening to her talk about how they met, “I walked into this hippie coffee shop, and there was this man with a guitar who could play all of Bob Dylan’s songs. I knew it was love.”

    They have had a wonderful life together, and she says the best part, Having her own apartment! Ha, I have my own right now and I have to agree, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If, and this is a big if, I ever get married, I’m going to ask if we can have separate apartments…

  58. I COMPLETELY agree. My boyfriend went home to Switzerland over the summer, so we were thousands of miles away for four months, and it was really one of the best times in our relationship.
    We had no fights, and the energy that would have gone into seeing each other had he been here went into things to develop myself and my own future instead.
    Having that space was so important to our overall development as a couple.
    Being apart means you have to learn to let go and trust each other, and you are that much happier to see each other when you do get back together!

  59. Although this may be considered an awful thing, I actually like mine I agree about the mini honeymoons and I can fair better that an hour apart is better than 3-9 hours apart. Very valid points and good post!

  60. So true. My boyfriend (now fiance) and I went to different colleges a couple hours away and didn’t see each other a lot. When we first graduated and moved near each other, it was almost hard to get used to being that close. I was so used to being independent, it was sort of like having to learn to be in a relationship all over again. Obviously, I love having him around (hence why we are engaged), but I can see the benefits to also being apart. And in the end, it made us both better people.

  61. i agree love the picture you guys look like a cute couple !!!

  62. You two look so cute together! I was in a long distance relationship and I can definitely say that all of your other points are very true. It’s tough to do a long distance relationship, but you just gotta look at the positives and appreciate and love each other as much as you can and for as long as you can when you’re together.

  63. i believe in long distance relationships…in fact, my husband and I are living proof that it could actually work. We have been a couple for 7 long years and are often located far from each other due to work. But with constant communication, trust and loads and loads of patience, everything will work out favorably. kudos to both of you! 🙂

  64. I had always assumed that long distance relationships didn’t work. But reading this I see – WITH RELIEF I might add!! – that they can. Not least as I have recently found myself attracted to someone who lives quite a way from me. I really enjoyed reading this and I think it can give a lot of hope to a lot of people.

    • I think that if two people are committed to making it work, that it CAN. CBG and I will soon have been together for two years…and I can honestly say that I’m more in love now than I was when we first met. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it. 🙂

  65. Nice, make it last.

  66. Really glad that things are working out for you! My long distance relationship of a year and a half ended a few days ago on her part but I do truly understand everything you have to say about it!

    Making the most out of any situation!

  67. I would be a fan of you if u were a writer…
    very well written…<3 😀 🙂

  68. Nice post and its weird that I have never seen it this way, I have been in a LDR with my current bf for almost 4 years and even though we want to be together its not easy making the moving decision. We just started a blog where we can both write to each other when we feel like about different things…it will be great in the future to see how far we have come.
    Jena

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