I have been thinking about writing about my LDR for some time now. I even wrote a post that I sent to my boo and decided not to post. I’m coming back to it again because of a question asked by someone the boo and I know mutually:
How can you do the long distance relationship thing?
To be honest, I have heard this question from various people, but mostly from people who are just starting to engage in LDR’s of their own. From what I know of this mutual acquaintance of ours it didn’t seem like he was in the market for one of his own, so the question took me aback. Not only because he was asking, but also because he’d invited himself to me and the boo’s wedding not 30 minutes before and me and the boo aren’t even engaged.
I thought I would answer it for my readers and myself on paper, because sometimes I’m amazed that the boo and I have managed to do this thing for a year and a half with no real end in sight.
As I think about it, I think it’s less about how I do it and more about why I do it. For me, that’s the real question that people are asking me. The HOW of a long distance relationship is really dictated by the circumstances of the two people in it. The boo and I have had to do some really creative time juggling to manage the day to day part of it. We have two completely different schedules, so texting has become one of our major forms of communication along with Skype, Gchat, visits and telephone conversations.
Getting to the real meat of the matter- the why- I can’t imagine my life without him at this point. I enjoy his company, I seek out his opinion when there is something bothering me, I pray with him. He lets me be the woman I am while being the man I need him to be. While I can’t say I enjoy our disagreements, I like the way we take time to hear the other person’s point of view and apologize for offending when we offend each other. Even though we are miles away from each other, I still feel like I have a good handle on what’s going on in his day to day life, and I’d bet he feels the same (mostly because I hope he does). Along with being my boyfriend, I can honestly say that my boo is my friend and that his friendship is one that I treasure.
Anyone who has been in an LDR can tell you there is a downside. My boo and I agree that it’s hard not being able to have the luxury of just deciding to pop by and see each other. We don’t have spontaneous dates because we don’t plan spontaneous trips to see each other. We don’t plan surprise trips because the traveler would be PISSED to get to the boo’s city to find out that his or her schedule was already full for the weekend. Because our schedules are so busy, it can be hard to make a consistent schedule of when we can see each other (much less talk to each other), and text messaging lacks the conversational nuances of tone of voice and inflections.
Those things are the hurdles. When I do a mental inventory (or a written one like I’m sharing today) the good always outweighs the bad. Always. Even when I get so frustrated that I wonder how I can go on, talking to the boo always puts me back in focus. I know that it’s not about me, it’s about we. WE are making a commitment to each other even when things get hard because we don’t see or talk to each other as often as we’d like. Even though I lack his physical presence (and might go a day or three without hearing his voice), I still prefer that to having someone I see every day and don’t have nearly as strong a connection with.
It’s not my ideal situation, but it’s the one I signed up for when I put my phone number in his phone. I count that amongst the best decisions I have made.*
*Thanks to my boo for pushing me along in that direction by putting the phone in my hand and telling me to put my number in it.