Long Distance for Life: Part 3 (Alyssa)

Welcome to Part 3, the last part of Long Distance for Life! You can read part 1 here and Part 2 (Chris’s contribution) here.

But now you can read the right my answers to what is necessary to make a long distance relationship work.

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1. iPhone: (Texting and face-timing) It is important for our relationship that we talk everyday. And yes sometimes it is a quick 10 minute check in about our days but most of the time its around 30-45 minute lets call it a chat. This has actually been one of the best parts of long distance for me, because you cannot hide behind activities like cooking or watching tv. It forces people who may not be the best at communication (cough…Chris) to open up and to get to know the other person. I always think we have talked about EVERYTHING, but then the next day comes and we talk for another hour.

2. Time: Leaving time for the other person is a necessity. Yes, you might be able to study for one more hour or watch one more hour of tv, but giving up that time is a sacrifice that is needed for long distance. The hour at the end of the day that we spend talking is often what I look forward to the most, especially on bad days. This sounds like an easy one, but when you are apart and your lives and family/friends are pulling you two different directions it can be hard to say no I can’t play video games with my brothers, or no I can’t go out to the bars for the 7th day in a row as part of a challenge my friends cooked up (real-life), because I need to ask my girlfriend how her day was. It may seem like a little thing, but it is totally worth it.

3. Relationship with God: This is important in every relationship, but I think especially in long distance. It’s easy to become lonely when your significant other isn’t by your side 24 hrs a day every day of the week. But I came to realize that first I must rely on my relationship and love of God for total fulfillment and then I will have more love to give back to Chris. Expecting Chris to be able to fulfill my every want and need would be horrible, he is a human and putting that much pressure on him is not fair. I cannot rely on him to make me happy or to make me feel beautiful or feel loved. This must come from my relationship with the Lord and will then allow me to love Chris with a complete and full heart.

4. Love: Now obviously I love Chris and he loves me, but when I say love I mean really getting to know how you love each other. Asking how best can I love Chris? And how would I most like to be loved. To deepen our relationship we used the love languages (words of affirmation, gift-giving, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch). We were already familiar with them but took the fancy quiz just to be official. Not a surprise our results showed that both our love languages is quality time (hopefully Chris put time as one of his top five necessities). So what does this mean? We need to be truly present to each other when we do hangout, no iPhones, no iPads just me and him.

5. Communication of expectations: This is a BIG one. You really have to be on the same page in your relationship to make it work. If one of you is expecting to see each other every weekend and the other is expecting to visit once a month, it won’t work well. And definitely communicate your expectations on how to resolve conflicts, because let me tell you long distance fighting is the worst. It’s like a never-ending battle where you miss them so much but yet you won’t answer their phone call because you have to prove a point and be the most stubborn one.

I definitely feel lucky to have dated Chris for the last 2 years and while our dating may not have been typical, it was the best option for us and we made due with the circumstances. I think long distance has strengthened our relationship, but oh my goodness I cannot wait until Dec 27th so I don’t have to keep saying goodbye (quite as often).

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I hope you enjoyed this mini series as much as Chris and I enjoyed reading and writing our parts!

~Alyssa

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