Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thoughts on long-distance love

Hey guys.

I know you all are probably tired of hearing about Pat coming back.

But. Since you've all been with me this summer as I suffered through survived our three months apart, I thought I'd share a few things I learned/noticed/felt while being separated. Yeah? Ok. Here goes.

1. First of all, let me just say I realize how lucky I am. While Pat has been gone, he's safe -- or as safe as he would be here, anyway. He's not in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever. And, three months is a relatively short time. So let me just give props (does anyone say that anymore?) to all you military wives and girlfriends and family members.
2. Do you all remember how me and Pat have different love languages? I'm all about telling him how awesome I think he is all the time (and telling all of you :) but he communicates affection differently -- by holding my hand or resting his hand on my leg or whatever.

Turns out physical touch isn't a language that translates distances easily. (Imagine that! Shocking, right?) So it's been yet another adjustment period for this gal to realize it's ok, he still likes me, and to find the other ways he communicates affection. Because there are other ways. He just uses them less.

3. Communication is always important, but distance multiplies the importance by like a bajillion and a half. Seriously. I have two examples as proof:
  • The slapping incident. Totally not really that big of a deal (on Pat's end, anyway. maybe kind of a big deal for me and the boy I slapped). But. It was something that was witnessed by, oh, like six of our mutual friends. So imagine it got back to Pat from someone who wasn't me three months down the road? Makes it into a big deal. So I texted him immediately the next morning and told him exactly what was up before anyone else could. Just in cases.
  • Pat and I generally text each other good night. But early in the summer, he stopped for a couple nights in a row. Not a big deal, except I didn't know why. Pat is the most logical person in the world, so I knew there was a reason. It was because his internship was keeping him up really late and he didn't want to bother me if I'd already gone to bed. (It was even a sweet reason!)

    If I hadn't asked, I would have thought he was tired of it or it annoyed him or something was wrong. Without the opportunity to see him and know nothing was wrong, this overthinker would have just fretted for, I don't know, like eight months, and never sent a goodnight text ever again.
4. Pat kind of doesn't feel like a real person anymore. I don't get his personality as much through texting and emailing, and we only managed to skype twice all summer. I kind of feel like a girl without a boyfriend. Not like a single girl -- I'm not looking for anyone. But it doesn't feel like I have a boyfriend out there somewhere. And I do!

5. I'm suddenly very, very nervous to see him again. Which is so weird. Like, it's been a growing anticipation -- I keep imagining whether I'll hug him or kiss him and whether it will matter to me if his dad or our roommates are standing right there and whether I'll be home when he gets here or if he'll be here already.

But now, I'm like, legitimately nervous. I'm scared I'm taking up too much space in our room and that I'm too messy. I want the room to look perfect and wish I'd gotten my act together and decorated before it was time for him to be home. I'm sure I'll get butterflies tomorrow and be unable to concentrate all day. Aaaaaaaah.

I think that's all I have to say on it. It's a very weird thing, to be separated for so long. Have any of you done long distance, even temporarily? Did you experience anything like I did? I'd love to hear!


Melissa said...

Y'all are so cute! Everything you said makes sense - I would be nervous too after not seeing him in so long! Excited though! You know you will see him & you will pick up right where you left off! :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

I think you hit it on the preverbial nail when you referenced the military couples/families. They can tell you what it's like-only they have some extra layers of difficulty added on when reunited. You have 2 things going on--reuniting AND moving in together at the same time. Extra issues. You'll do fine. You seem to have a handle on his ways of communicating and that you need to ask before you assume. I would have been sure there was another woman when the gnight texts stopped--but you knew and had trusst--that's good.

Obviously Obsessed said...

Jeff and I were apart for the first 3 months of our relationship (his internship in Kentucky) and a year later for another 3 months (his internship in South Carolina). So all of this I totally understand. Communication was key both times. The first 3 months, we really didn't know a whole lot about each other, so it gave us time to get to know each other by doing something other than talking. Our schedules were never the same so we had to text and e-mail a lot. It gave us both the chance to actually say what we meant/felt without the pressure of someone starring at you I guess. I did get nervous when he didn't text me good night b/c I didn't know anyone he was with and we were still in the trust building phase so I had to learn to trust him extra quickly. But it made seeing him so much better when it happened and I think that's why we've lasted so long is b/c we got to know each other on a different level you know?

Now that you know my entire life story - I'm glad your man is coming home!!

xoxo Amber

Sara said...

I definitely give you props (yep, I still say it, haha) for going three months without seeing Pat. I definitely agree that we should give it up for the military wives/families that are apart for months on end. I don't know how they do it.

I have not been in a long distance relationship before, and I don't know if I could survive it. I'm sure I would find a way, but I'm a person that likes face-to-face contact, and I'm not sure skype would cut it, let alone email/phone calls/texting.

I think it's actually really sweet that you're nervous to see Pat. I'm sure it's a 'good' kind of nervous. :-) Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I'm sure when you guys to get to actually see eachother in person, it will be like he never left.

Katrin said...

I know what you are talking about. :) David and I are from different continents. He is American, I am German. It was really hard sometimes.
So happy that Pat is coming home!

Veronica Lee Burns said...

We've done three months apart, a summer where we both worked camps. it was hard but we both learned how to communicate better and realized that stick with it was totally worth it! Now, 2 summers later we've gotten married and it's awesome! So stick with it!

Adrienne said...

Uhm, I still say props!

This is lovely and insightful- I don't think anyone was ever tired of hearing about it! I know it's been very difficult- I can't even imagine!

Katie said...

I'm a military wife and I accept your props ;)

I always get super nervous before my husband comes home, especially if it's for a longer amount of time than just a few weeks. I get worried about the dumbest stuff like if he'll like my hair or my outfit (I mean....really?)and if I'll say something stupid. Even though when he's home he sees me every day and I look like a dweeb and say stupid stuff all the time hahaha. So I think you're totally normal :)

It will be exciting and I'm sure you will just pick up right where you left off!

Shauna said...

I'm do glad you get to reunite finally! I can't imagine how anyone deals with long distance love. I'm so clingy that I get grumpy after not seeing Tim for 8 hours.

Anban:) said...

I think you have every right be nervous! I get nervous over the most ridiculous things. And I consider you and Em my long distance relationship, lol. miss you guys!

with love, Anna

oops, forgot said...

oh! And I am very excited for Thanksgiving!!! ahhhhhhh!!!! baby and Pat!!!


Amy said...

Love this!
Great advice and it is most definitely true. I was in TWO long distance relationships (they were long distance the entire time and one lasted a year and the other two years)....and this all applies.
I think the best part is what you're nervous about, the seeing each other again.
It's what i like to call a "movie moment". I have each time i saw Stephen etched into my brain forever. They were magical moments! I cant wait to hear about y'alls!

Katie said...

SO excited that this portion of your relationship is over! Ky and I were apart for the beginning of our relationship. It honestly strengthened our relationship so much! We learned so much about eachother when we could only talk on the phone or text. I can't imagine going back to it though! Glad that stage is over!
Don't be nervous, it's going to return to normal as soon as he's by your side! So excited for you! :)


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