William lives in California, and I live in Oregon so our friendship has developed across different states. Our relationship has transformed from courtship into engagement yet the distance has remained (although that will be changing shortly!). We are very familiar with the challenges and blessings that come from being in a long distance relationship. If you find yourself in a long distance relationship here are some tips and remember to do what’s best for your relationship.
Being in a long distance relationship means finding unique ways to show and express love. As our relationship grew we sent letters and packages back and forth to each other. We have continued to send each other gifts and letters in the mail. For example, William sent a series of gifts based on the quote from our favorite Disney movie Beauty and the Beast,
Beast: I want to do something for her… but what?
Cogsworth: Well, there’s the usual things: flowers… chocolates… promises you don’t intend to keep…
He sent me chocolates, flowering tea, and a perfume called promise me. It was such a thoughtful surprise! He didn’t even know that I had been wanting to try flowering tea, and it showed his thoughtfulness and how well he knows me.
Spend Time Together
Being in a long distance relationship has taught me to not take for granted the time we get in person and the time we spend talking each night. We give each other the gift of quality time almost daily, sharing about our days, whatever interesting article we read, or funny videos. We have also begun to watch Beloved a beautiful series on the sacrament and meaning of marriage. Here is a preview:
Have Date Nights
Each week we watch a movie together, play games like Small World over the computer, or cook together in our separate kitchens. For St. Valentine’s Day we both got Chinese takeout and had dinner together over Google Hangouts. Although we don’t get to go out together to a restaurant or sit in a movie theater together we still get to share an experience and have something special to look forward to each week.
Pray Together & For Each Other
I remember that one of the things that stood out to me when I first met William was that he practiced his faith. He offered to drop me off at Balboa Park since my friend had marriage prep classes and he led us in praying the Rosary in the car on the way to San Diego and he had already planned on going to confession in the morning. Prayer has been a very important part of our relationship and keeps us focused on what God wants for our lives. So we not only pray together each night but throughout my day I will stop and say a quick prayer for him. I have made the habit of every Sunday after Mass lighting a candle and offering up a prayer for William and our relationship. I often pray that he be given wisdom, know God’s love deeply and that his heart is healed of any past wounds. I pray that the work of his hands is successful and that we may model our life after the Holy Family.
Encourage Each Other
It is hard not seeing each other for long periods of time and feels very strange to not be able to see the person you care and love the most in the world. I have a countdown app to know how long it will be until we see each other and often times it’s vital that we encourage each other, that we use words of affirmation, and help each other in difficult times.
What challenges have you faced in your relationships?
Has distance or hardship brought you closer to the person you love?
How have you shown the person you love the most that you care about them lately?