Okay, so I’ve recently reconciled with my friend Stephanie. Beyond being a number of good things, Steph is also someone who’s dealt with a long distance relationship, who knows both Jaron and I… She’s the perfect person for me to seek out advice, so that’s what I’ve done. And I want to share it with you.
Erini recently asked me to guest post about surviving long distance relationships so here I am.
A bit of background before I jump in: I’m a college friend of Erini’s and her predecessor in the Evanston girl group. I am probably the only person who can claim to have lived with both Erini and Jaron. I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of going from a long distance relationship to a marriage. Mike and I started dating at the end of my senior year of college. We dated for about 4 months before I moved to Evanston. We were long distance for another year and a half before I moved back a few months before our wedding. So with that, here is the email I sent to Erini. I might add or interject.
First of all, I didn’t always deal with it (long distance dating) well. Mike was just reminding me last night of a weekend that Mike was planning a surprise visit and I ruined it. I had a really hard week, so had decided I was going to go to Goshen. Abby did everything in her power to dissuade me without actually telling me he was coming, but I was so stubborn that she ended up telling me to keep me in Evanston. So be patient with yourself.
Pace yourself. Find a good balance of time you spend here, time he spends there and time you’re apart. Try different combination and work on developing a pattern. There’s no right way to do this, it’s totally what works for you guys as a couple. I suggest the pattern because it’s easier to deal with the times apart if they are consistent. Your heart learns to deal with the separation if it’s in regular intervals. Obviously there’s going to be some variation, but make that a goal.
Talk about types and amounts of communication. If you both know what the other person’s needs/wants are upfront, then you can find a good middle ground if they are different.
Think about and practice coping strategies. Does going out with such and such friend help you not obsess about Jaron? Do you have a coffee shop (or cupcake shop) that feels really comfortable to you? Find those people, places, and things that help you live in the moment and enjoy the life you have without Jaron immediately present and use those when times get tough.
Just try to stay positive with it. It’s good to be ecstatic about such an amazing guy. Stick with that. But it’s so easy to go from “he’s so great!” to “he’s so great I wish he was around all the time… ” When you start to feel yourself crossing that line, remind yourself how great it is to have him in your life at all and refocus on something else. Distraction is a great tool. If sending him a quick note helps, do that. Just keep it positive. It’s good to let him know that you miss him etc. but sometimes it’s good to vent the more negative side of it to a close friend.
Over all it’s about being patient with yourself and him and the situation. Good luck!