Updated: Jan 23
A few days ago, I had a lovely follower of mine drop me an email asking what I do to overcome the distance. While reading her email I realized that of the ten months I’ve been writing this blog never once have I made a post about one of the most important topics of a long-distance relationship…the distance itself.
Keep yourself busy!
This is my biggest piece of advice. ALWAYS be busy. Personally, I have three jobs, I’m a gym rat, I work on "His First Mate" constantly and I always try to make time for my family. I have very little time to sit and pity the distance.
If you are busy, your mind is elsewhere and there is less time to sit there and think about all the miles between you and your significant other. What is something you have always wanted to do? Have you always wanted to rock climb? Learn to cook? Is there a book you’ve been meaning to read for the past year that’s gathering dust on your bookshelf? Do you want to go back to school? Stop sitting on the couch, wallowing over the distance. Get up and go do something for YOURSELF.
I can’t ever stress this enough. Just because your SO has left does not mean your life should ever stop. Build yourself. Grow. Keep yourself busy and the time will go by faster because there won’t be as much time to be sad. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? 2. Save letters, texts, and emails
Whenever I feel down I always re-read letters and texts from Taylor, especially ones with encouraging words and compliments in them. It is always a reminder that there is a person in the world, no matter how far, that loves and supports you. It doesn’t even matter if those encouraging words were from a problem that occurred years ago. Read those encouraging letters, texts, and emails as many times as you need to. Pin them on your bathroom wall or in your car’s sun visor to constantly remind yourself. 3. What is better than reading encouraging, happy words?
Well, hearing them of course! If you are able call your SO, of course. Explain your bad day and ask them to tell you something happy. Ask them what they love about you or why they choose to be with you. Ask them what their favorite memory is with you. Ask them to tell you some encouraging words to get you through. Hearing those words can sometimes be more effective than reading them.
If you can’t call them, try saving voicemails. Hearing their voice, in general, will be a mood booster.
4. Be a hoarder when it comes to your SO’s personal items
I have a lot of Taylor’s shirts. And his blanket. And a mess of stuffed animals he has given me. Whenever I have a bad day, I will go home and immediately put on one of his shirts. Or I will lay in my bed and curl up with the stuffed animals he has bought me and snuggle up in his blanket. Or I will do all three. It’s my way of going home to him.
5. Instead of feeling sad over the distance, celebrate the love
It’s easy to look at the bleak side of things and feel sad over them. Challenge yourself to look at the positives. You are sad about the distance… because you have someone so amazing to love and miss, who loves you too and who is doing one of the most honorable things a person can do; serving this country. Celebrate that! You have found love which is something a lot of people cannot say. And not only that but you have found love in someone you can be proud of and show off. And how cool is that?!?!
Spend time to let your SO (and the rest of the world) know that! Make them adorable care packages, send them lots of cards, post on Facebook, get involved in military milso groups, literally anything you can do to focus on the positives of the relationship. Instead of having them wake up to a bunch of depressing “I’m not sure I can do this, I miss you too much, etc.” text have them wake up to a list of all the reasons you love them. Focus on everything that makes the distance WORTH it. Be a source of positivity and positive things will come your way.
6. Lean on their family
If you are as lucky as I am, you might be pretty close with your SO’s family. Taylor’s family is just like Taylor. They have the same mannerisms, same looks, they say the same things at times, same personality traits. So, being around his family makes me feel a lot better because it is like being around Taylor.
Besides that, they get it. Their child/brother/sister has left them too. They understand what it’s like to have a part of them missing and to say goodbye. Connect with that. It helps to remind yourself that you aren’t alone in missing them.
7. Create a support system for yourself
If you followed tip number three, you are already half way there. Your SO’s family can be great support but you need more.
Create a wide support system for when things fail or go wrong. Have friends, rely on your parents and family, your SO, their family, bosses, co-workers, people on Instagram, Facebook. Create the WIDEST array of support for yourself. That way you always have somewhere to turn when your best support is miles and miles away.
This is one of the reasons I started this blog to begin with. Not only did it mold my two passions of writing and photography but it also opened the door for me to connect with other people exactly like me. If you are not much of a blogger, there are tons of Facebook groups and pages you can join where, mostly girls, post about situations they are going through. Connect with those people! Create a circle of support you can lean on whenever the distance becomes too much. A circle of people that understand what you are going through and can relate to you. This is key.
It sounds awful but it’s important to not think about the distance. Give yourself all the necessary tools for when it does start to get to you but build a strong base for yourself so you can stand on your own. I think the biggest thing to remember is that distance does not last forever. They will come home. You will go visit. The support will come in a physical way too someday. Maybe the day will come where the longest you’ll have to wait to see them is when their or your shift ends in eight hours…