Surviving a long distance relationship is difficult – ask any military spouse.
“After being separated for a period of time, I was in a very dark place. Miserable without him, it was easy for me to see that civilian life without him was FAR WORSE than any military life with him.”
~ Lauren Tamm, “The Real Reason Being a Military Wife is So Hard.”
Military spouses, probably more so than anyone on the planet, understand the difficulties and sacrifices that go along with lengthy separation from their partners.
However, there’s a reason the quote “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” exists. Because it’s absolutely true. “Give them a chance to miss you” is another good one.
There’s some scientific rationale behind such sentiments.
Per a study published in the Journal of Communication, people in long-distance relationships were more likely to share meaningful thoughts and feelings with their partner than those who in “normal” relationships.
Because couples that have been – or are going through – a long-distance relationship understand the preciousness of intimacy.
But such extraordinary benefits don’t come without risk.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some things to remember before committing to a long-distance relationship.
Having been through, and survived, a long-distance partnership while in uniform, this writer hopes to bring an insightful, heartening, and educational perspective.
7 Things To Remember in A Long Distance Relationship
1. Ground your expectations
You should feel happy – or at least satisfied – with the person you are. Seeking qualities in someone else in hopes of acquiring fulfillment is mistaken.
Yes, you should feel happy with your partner, but it’s essential to remember –especially when you’re in a long-term relationship – that happiness is something derived internally.
2. Respect your partner’s social life
A little bit of jealousy can be a good thing. It can be a sweet way of showing your love. But just like alcohol and chocolate, jealousy in excess isn’t healthy.
There’s a significant difference, however, between jealousy and overprotection. We’re all adults, here – and should know better than disrespecting our other’s personal space.
3. Forget your ego
Forget about spoiling the moment with useless thoughts, especially when leading up to a period of separation.
A real effort should be taken to quash your ego. Making an attempt to do so displays your willingness to step up. Perhaps the most rewarding benefit of omitting your ego is that all of your words and actions are expressive and representative of your real emotions.
4. Clean the slate
Whatever needs to be handled before your loved one’s departure, handle it.
Anything and everything.
Whether this is something intangible like bottled up emotions or thoughts, or some bill that’s been ignored, get on it. The last thing either of you wants is for some unspoken problem to place an undue burden on an already stressful situation.
5. Don’t make lame excuses
Lame excuses have led to the disintegration of many relationships.
It goes without saying that excuses don’t belong in this arena. An excuse, at its core, is a lie. An excuse is not an explanation – it is a deliberate act of deception.
Excuse-making has no place in your relationship, particularly in your partner’s absence. He or she doesn’t want to hear that you “forgot” to call because of this or that.
6. Trust each other
Cliché time(!): trust is the backbone of any relationship.
When we’re away from our partner, it’s all the more important to reassure ourselves of their trustworthiness. It goes without saying that any uncertainty in this regard necessitates a swift resolution.
Unfortunately, neither of you have the luxury of sitting down together and resolving things. Try to schedule regular video chats, if at all possible.
7. Compliment one another
We all love when our partner bestows upon us a genuine compliment! There’s nothing more heartening than telling your partner why you are in love with them – and what makes them special in your eyes.
Final Thoughts on Long Distance Romance
Frequently singing your loved one’s praises is a beautiful thing. If you’re not in a compliment-giving mood (it happens!), here’s an easy solution:
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember their smile. Remember their warm embrace and passionate kiss.
Believe this former service member who’s been lonely on plenty of occasions: it works.