What to Expect from a Long Distance Relationship (As Brought to You by Parks & Recreation)

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So, you've decided to take the plunge and jump into a long distance relationship. Congratulations! Prepare for one of the most exciting, stressful, and worthwhile adventures of your life; that is, if you're with the right person. However, you may also want to prepare for stress, worry, and frustration as you try to connect with someone hundreds or (if you're truly crazy like myself)  even thousands of miles away from you. If you're new to this whole distance thing, here is a list of six things to expect in a long distance relationship. 

1. Patience and Persistence

From the very beginning of your relationship, you will be faced with poor quality phone calls, the decision between actually seeing the person or being able to hear what they say, and even massive time differences. Often, when you're in the mood for a chat the other person is just waking up or going to bed after a long day's work and vice versa. It takes a lot of patience on both ends to be able to push through and make a phone call happen, even if it's just a short one. 

2. Missing Each Other

After my first visit to see Nathan, I cried my face off when he dropped me off at the airport. And it might have happened every time after that as well...😳If you're in a half way decent relationship, you'll miss each other like crazy, especially the first few days and weeks after meeting again. It can be difficult to focus on where you're at and the people God's placed around you, instead of getting depressed over the one person you miss the most. 

3. Reunited

On the flip side of this, seeing each other again is pretty much the best thing on the planet. The luxury of not getting cut off by a bad phone connection or just being able to reach out and hold your bf/gfs hand is one of the best feelings in the world!

4. Relationship-lag

One problem neither of us anticipated was the initial awkwardness of seeing each other again. After talking on the phone every day to someone, it can sometimes feel strange to look that person in the eye during conversation. Even simple things like hanging out or going to dinner often feel weird and oddly uncomfortable at first. On the one hand, you know the most intimate details of this person's heart and mind because 99% of the time, you have nothing to do but talk!  However, you may be surprised to find you don't know simple things about them that even their general acquaintances do. 

5. Other People's View of Your Relationship

I wasn't sure whether to mention this one, but the truth is, many people will not understand your relationship. People will not know that you're aching on the inside when you go back to work after seeing your person. They won't know how precious the time is that you have together and that if you choose to share a part of it with them it's a huge deal. They won't understand the loneliness that can grip you when you're having a bad day and you can't call the one you love because it's 4 in the morning their time. They also may not understand how a relationship in such circumstances can grow and even thrive. This has to be okay. LDRs are a very unique experience and if you haven't been in one, they can seem incomprehensible from the outside. Don't expect everyone to understand your highs and lows.

6. Depth

Even though being in a LDR is tough and can test a relationship, it can also make your relationship go to depths you might not in casual dating. Not having a physical side to your relationship allows you to really get to know someone in a meaningful way. You learn  how to talk through issues that might otherwise have been glossed over. However, as many others have said, the ultimate goal of any serious long distance relationship is to end the distance. 

On the whole, being in a long distance relationship has been such an amazing experience. I hope to write soon about how spiritually significant I've found it, but until then, let me encourage you not to let distance discourage you from going after someone you're interested in. When done right, it's absolutely worth the effort!

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  1. Thank you for sharing this, I’m from Northern Ireland and video chatting to my guy in California and we are both trying to prepare ourselves for the LDR thing. Your blog has encouraged me so much. What God has brought together the distance will work outvas to where we should be.

    1. Oh wow! You are in the exact time difference we are! It's so hard, but totally worth it. I'm sure you'll find it brings so much depth to the relationship even though it's extraordinarily difficult at times. Thank you for commenting. Now it's I who am encouraged :).


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