17 September 2014

Long distance

This is a hard post to write. I have ummed and ahhed about posting it here because it is personal but also so much a part of my everyday.
I always strive to be genuine here. To keep it real. To try not to paint everything rosy.
But on the other hand I choose to share the good over the bad.

All that to say... this is real life. The boy and me, as we are, at the moment.

The photos I post of the boy and me will show us together. The truth of it is that for the majority of the time we are not in the same place.
We have been working out a long distance relationship for three years now.
Partly out of choice- we were heading to different universities- and partly, because this is the way it is. We both feel very 'right' and called to the places we are at the moment.

People often ask me "what is it like?" "what is it like to do long distance?"
I struggle to answer them because it is like asking, 'what is it like to do a relationship?'
Well it can be the best of times and it can be the worst.
Sometimes not being with him is suffocating, draining, frankly rubbish. It makes my heart weary.
At other times it is magic and full of opportunity.
He doesn't have to see my worst. But he also misses my best.

Most days it is easy. Most days I don't really think too hard about it. It's a situation the boy and I can't change and we just carry on.
But every now and then I am reminded that it can be tough and I am oh so thankful that God willing, this is only a season.
It is the times I turn to tell him a story or share a joke or just need him to know and he isn't there.

But, we have a phone. We have FaceTime. We have video calls and emails.
He is there at the press of a button. Above all he is in the same country, in the same time zone.
And even when the day has been hard, we talk and we laugh and sometimes we cry but the things in my heart fall back into place.

Three years of long distance have taught me a lot.
I have learnt to accept (perhaps not so graciously) what we have. To accept a situation and to make the best of it.
I have learnt that speaking face to face is oh so good for my soul.
I have learnt that open communication is important. That sharing names of friends, place names, details are all important in making the other feel included.
I have learnt to cherish this time I am not with him, to use it for good, in creating a life for myself independent of him.

Above all, 'long distance' is a label. Its not what I, or the boy choose to define ourselves as however it is my day to day reality. Yes, it often isn't easy but I'm thankful that I have such a funny, kind, generous, Godly man who walks life with me.
This long distance lark, like everything else, shall pass.


Lesley G said...

That's exactly how we started out but with no internet, Skype or texts. Four years of him being away, me stuck at home. We've now been together for 20 years and married for 19 of those. don't fret Abi those long distance relationships do work :)

Cosmic said...

You've both made the effort to make it work and thus successfully-happy in love(enjoy Abbie & boy:)!

Barbara Eads said...

There's something about FaceTime or Skype that really can fill that need to "see" each other. We are so fortunate for today's technology. It keeps us connected in a way that makes it a little easier to handle those times apart. I'm so glad you are making it work for you!

scrappyjacky said...

You seem to be making it work as well as you can,Abi....and thank goodness for modern technology.

ally said...

It seems to working and makes you cherish the time you get together

Beverly said...

Abi, Thanks for sharing this. I have always been impressed with how you and The Boy have been able to keep your relationship strong with the distance challenge. The Pirate and the Pirate Girl are now 638 miles apart, same time zone but about a 10 hour drive which I guess for most of you Europeans would indeed mean a different country. They are managing to see each other about every 6 weeks and we are so thankful for all the technologies that your generation has that we didn't. Looks like this will be a 2 year distance. Planning to share a link to your post with them :)

furrypig said...

Beautifully written Abi xxx

debs14 said...

Oh Abi, what a sweet and honest post. Thank goodness for modern technology which means you can see him via a screen even though it's a poor second best to him being there in person.
My son and his girlfriend survived 3 years of him being at Uni in Sheffield and her being in Manchester. Also when she went to Swaziland for a month, then a year later he went to Tanzania for a month and more recently she's been in Jordan for two months. There have been many Skype calls, emails, texts and whatsapp messages, and they are still together! If it's meant to be, distance doesn't harm the relationship. Keep strong, the time will soon pass x

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Hello, brave girl. I loved reading this post, Abi, and I'm glad you wrote it because I have been curious about how this long distance thing worked for you and your guy but would have never just come straight out and asked about it.

It sounds like you both have a good handle on things, and the fact that you know in the long run you'll still be there for each other makes me happy. I plan to be following your blog when you have big announcements to make...oh...I don't know...just "announcements." ;o)

Haddock said...

Yes modern technology brings people together (and closer)

Miriam said...

A lovely and beautifully written post Abi. My son & his girl have been together 5 years now, all long distance, for one whole year they were in opposite time zones! On Tuesday this week they are moving in to the same flat to begin the next chapter in their lives.
Love, 'tis a funny 'ole thing. x sending you positive thoughts Abi.

Miss Smith said...

I'm really glad you shared this Abi; I think it really shows how strong you both are. I know things like this aren't easy (my man travels quite a bit with work and even though he's only gone for a couple of weeks, I don't find it easy with time zone clash etc.) but I think treasuring the special time you do have and making the effort to communicate when you can't be together in the same place will see you through.

It was a privilege to read something so personal.

Susanne said...

Bless you for sharing with us. It sounds to me like both of you have what it takes to make it work.

alexa said...

Beautiful photos and even more moving words, Abi. And, you know, I think some of the things you say are important to remember and cherish for those of us now in relationship in closer proximity too. I have also seen in friends' relationships how distance does not have to be physical - there are those living in the same house who are having a long distance relationship too ... Such wise and sane advice you give us!