Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What they don't tell you about being long distance

Pat just visited for a week++ and it was awesome. In the five birthdays I've had since we've been dating, this was the first one we were in the same state! I decided all I wanted was to eat all the things, so that's what we did.

Anyway, his visit made me think about this whole long distance thing (again). We are in the final countdown of being long distance -- May 1 I fly to Lawrence for my friend Jac's wedding and when I come back, Pat will be with me, moving to Colorado. No mo long distance.

So. Here are some things I didn't expect going into this whole shenanigan. (Is there such a thing as a singular shenanigan? I always hear it pluralized.)



ONE. Skyping can be so much better
The single best thing Pat and I have done to survive being long distance is playing online games while we Skype. About once a week, we Skype and play Dominion with our friend Sam. If Sam can't play, we'll still play Dominion or Cribbage online. We are not very chatty people. If we were straight up skyping or talking on the phone, we would run out of things to say. Sharing an activity while we talk feels so much more normal. 10/10, highly recommend.

TWO. Every visit will seem like a vacation
Meaning you will want to shirk all responsibilities and routine. Meaning you may not work out for a whole week if he visits you over his spring break. Meaning you may gain weight every time you're together because you feel like you're on vacation and can eat all the things and drink a whole bottle of wine. Doesn't work out if you're doing this once a month or more. Not good.

THREE. You may gain weight anyway
Because long distance life is hard, you'll give yourself permission to eat your feelings. Or do whatever unhealthy habit YOU have that you use to cope. Oops.

This is actually a scientific-y thing related to self-regulation. If you're regulating your emotions a lot -- say, missing your partner, working in a job where you can't be yourself, doing a lot of something you don't like -- you use up all your willpower doing that thing you don't like doing. Leaving you no willpower to not eat Nutella straight from the jar. Self-regulation is limited in quantity. Positive psychology, yo.

FOUR. You'll never do the things you plan
Every time we visit each other, I plan a billion things I want to do. And even if it's not a billion, I plan a lot of things I want to do, and my plans usually seem reasonable for the amount of time that we have. Nope. You won't do all the things. Because all you'll want to do is be together in a way that feels normal. Because while you might miss having a partner for adventures (I do), what you'll probably miss even more is having a partner for the every day stuff -- like cooking dinner, watching that movie you've been waiting to watch together, and playing Yahtzee. Pat was just here for a week, and we did not manage to go hiking or to the Celestial Seasonings tour I want to go on. But we did cook together almost every night, watch at least seven movies, and play a million games of Yahtzee. We can adventure later.

FIVE. You will get used to sleeping alone
If you and your partner are the type that share a bed, you will eventually get used to sleeping alone. Which is, you know, good, because you can't spend all your nights alone struggling to fall asleep. However, when they visit -- sleep becomes a struggle bus again until you remember how sharing a bed with a full sized human works.

EDITED BECAUSE I FORGOT ONE -- SIX. You'll probably get each other sick.
One of us aaaalways gets the other sick when we visit. Every. Freaking. Time. It's stupid and awful. We end up being sick the whole time we're together and when the visitor leaves, all you're left with is snot and tissues and cough drops. My mom says we're just not used to each others germs anymore. Stuuupid.


Anyone out there who has been long distance -- anything that surprised you?


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