Small Girl, Big Ideas

Long Distance Relationship Tips

I'll be gone and not able to reply this weekend because I am going on a trip to visit my husband, Jason, in Orlando. I haven't seen him since we went to Athens, Georgia for a day in January. Since I'll be gone seeing him, I thought it would be the perfect time to post about our strange little situation.

jasonkatherine12

I think people's befuddled reaction to our situation is quite funny. I mean, how would you react when the recently married girl you just met suddenly mentions her husband lives in Florida? It is strange, I know, that a couple married four months would choose to live apart. Jason and I were lucky, we have lived together essentially since we met when I moved into the extra space in his dorm room, unofficially. Just me, Jason, and his two roommates. Since then, we have shared two apartments and a lovely house that was incredibly hard to leave, but we had to see the big picture.

jason & i <3 u pizza  wall art & jason
Jason in our first apartment and our second apartment

painting - the living room    our living room

kitchen!!! 
Photos of our lovely home in Cincinnati, when we moved in. I miss it!

Upon graduating, we both began looking for jobs. As time went on, we knew Jason should go back and get his graduate degree before children and really settling down somewhere. Plus, the degree would help him fulfill his dream of being a game designer. I had interviewed for a few jobs, but was planning to probably move with him after not hearing any definite answers. In the same week that Jason was accepted and put his deposit down for graduate school in Winte Park, Florida, I was offered a wonderful position as the sole industrial designer in Pennsylvania. We decided that I should go and work on getting a career and life while Jason 'roughed' it in Florida.

I tried to make my apartment feel like home, at least!

I am not saying it is easy. Or that it is impossible either. There are many things I miss, but these are the top things I have learned so far. Read on!


one. treasure every moment
Now that we only see each other maybe once a month (not once in February!) I really realize how little I appreciated that we were able to find each other and live together so easily. This is simple advice, but it is easy to overlook. Now, when I am with Jason, I really cannot help but feel incredibly lucky about it. After awhile of living or being with someone, you really can get annoyed with them and think "oh I could do without this." In those moments, I will now always remember I really cannot do without this!

:-P
Jason used to really hate my incessant photo taking, now he is really happy to get to be a part of it.

two. distance is great for communication
This sounds bad, but I think I talk to Jason more now than I did before. Okay. I know this. We have to really set aside time for each other, unlike when we lived at home and both sat on our computers doing something or the other. We have been cooking together, using Skype so I can demonstrate and talk him through fairly complicated recipes. He is there to help me when I stumped on a design at work, and I am there to talk him through frustrations about classes. We still fully support each other, probably now more than ever. He is ecstatic about how much I have been talking lately.

Skype with the Hubby
Our iPads are basically "Skype boxes" Also - crazy man beard these days, right?

three. games are a great relationship builder.
Want a challenge for your relationship, with your husband or really anyone. Grab a copy of Portal 2 and play through the co-operative story together. It's fun, sure, but I am pretty sure that this is a great show of a relationship. It's incredibly difficult, requires a lot of thought and some skill, and most importantly, working together. Even before we moved apart, playing co-operative games was something we have always done, but now it's more important than ever. It gives us the ability to interact with each other a bit more, and it really feels like I am back home on our couch playing with him. We also use this to keep in touch with our friends across the country, from Arizona to Ohio.

gamers
We actually had two Xboxes prior to moving apart. Ha! And like 6 controllers. We're up to 8 now.

four. don't stop living
I think this is equally as important, but just because you have a husband or boyfriend, doesn't mean you shouldn't go out with friends or try and meet new people. This can be really hard, but I find that going out to new restaurants, trying hip hop dance classes with my boss and friend Julie, and meeting new people through things like Yelp, has made this all easier. Not only do I have things to talk about, but I am discovering new things and expanding my horizons. Honestly, blogging helps me too, since it pushes me to communicate, share, and do more things!

becki and teemo
I do a lot with Teemo. We went to the Cincinnati Reindog Parade, go to the dog park, and went to the Susquehanna Service Dogs show in Harrisburg, so far. He keeps me out and about!

five. it's okay to be ....
I can be happy, sad, and many emotions, but one thing I have had to come to terms with is that it is okay for me to be a bit sad. I'm not with my husband. It's hard for me because everyone's first reaction is "Oh my gosh! I could never do that! Aren't you lonely?" or something like that. I usually just laugh. Of course, I'm sad, but lonely? Nah. I still am lucky enough to have a husband and a strong relationship, as well as tons of friends who have done everything to make me happy. From Becki refraining from paying for internet for a month just to come see me to Mark playing games with me when Jason is away, I'm lucky. And it's okay for me to be 'alone'. Moral of the story is it's just okay to be.

(PS. If your reaction is "I could never do this" like most people, chances are you can, it would just really suck. I also am an incredibly competitive person, or rather, like to prove people wrong, so when people started saying 'can you live apart? really?" my reaction was to go out, guns a-blazing, to prove them wrong. I overcome a lot of things this way.)

hurray!!!
So, here's to hoping we get to spend our birthday together this year!
Yeah....we are born on the same day, same year, about an hour apart.

15 comments:

  1. Wow, I have to totally give it to the both of you! Kudos to you for making such sacrifices now for your future and family because down the road it will all pay off. You are a much stronger woman than I...when my hubs goes out of town for a week, it's rough on me.... though gaming together is such a brilliant and fun idea!! Wishing you both the very best...you are a beautiful couple:) Have a blast with you hubby down in Florida! xx Marisa

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  2. That's so awesome and I'm really glad you posted this because this coming fall my boyfriend and I will be in a long distance relationship, and these are amazing tips! Thank you! And you and your husband are super cute. :)

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  3. Wow -- this is awesome, and I totally respect you for it. Strangely enough, I think I could do this with a husband, but not a boyfriend. With a boyfriend, I would always be wondering if they'd meet someone else, and I'd wonder -- every time I saw them -- if that would be the last time. With a husband, I'd feel like we're more "locked in" to the relationship (I know that sounds creepy/possessive, but whatever) and I know we'd make more of an effort to stay loyal to each other and keep the relationship healthy. Anyway, kudos to you for going through this and keeping your marriage strong!

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  4. That has got to be brutal! I feel like my mister and I could do that... maybe, but there is a good chance I'd go crazy! I loved that tip about playing games together (especially Portal 2!! We love that game) We play a lot of video games together, and it really does help build a bond!
    Have fun in Orlando!
    xo Heather

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    1. yes! video games really do help - and portal 2 is an amazing game - all my notification sounds on my phone are from that game!

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  5. Hope you have a nice weekend in Orlando!
    http://silviasdailycloset.blogspot.com.es/

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  6. I love that you make it work and both chased your dreams. I would hate to have seen either of you give up your dreams for the other one. Even if that's kind of sweet.

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    1. definitely! timing played a key role here too - our situation would have been completely different if i had gotten the job a month earlier or later. earlier, jason probably would have moved with me, and later, i would have already been in florida with him!

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  7. Wow this is really an inspiring article dear. And I know how it felt to be apart from your husband. I am recent married too. And often I have to leave home for business trip for few days or a week. It was unbearable. I love how you narrate the photos with your sweet words. Just hang in there girl, time flies very fast and soon you guys will be reunited. I respect your strength and courage and your love :)

    Thank you for dropping by my blog and for your sweet words. It reallu made my day.I just follow you via GFC. Love reading your lovely posts

    Love
    Nuké


    www.girllilikoi.com

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  8. Wow! That is insane that you and your husband share the same birthday!! That must be so difficult to live so far apart from each other, but seeing that it is only temporary, I'm sure it makes it easier. I desperately want to get my masters degree, which means that I will need to move out of state and this idea totally terrifies my husband. He doesn't want to move, but I don't know if I would want to live apart from each other. We have a lot of thinking (and talking) to do before we make a decision, but it's really great to see how you guys are making it work. :)

    xxAdrian

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  9. That does sound incredibly difficult!
    I'm glad you are able to do it, though!

    Is your hubby at Full Sail?
    I LOVE Winter Park. My dad lives about ten minutes away. It is my fav place to stroll and shop!

    Also, if you like yummy food, there are tons of great places!

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  10. @Kirsten - He is at Full Sail! I love Winter Park too - all of that area has tons of stuff to do and it great to visit!

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  11. this was a wonderful read for me, as my boyfriend lives in California and i live in Australia. i've been to see him twice and he's been here once, with his second trip planned for next year. i related to almost everything you wrote!
    "If your reaction is 'I could never do this' like most people, chances are you can, it would just really suck." - this is the real heart of it, isn't it?

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  12. I'm only just finding this wonderful post, and wow! This is like the cutest story ever. It also gives me a bit of relief, because it's very possible Henrik and I will have to live apart next year as we're applying to different graduate schools. I'm glad you've figured out how to swing the long distance thing. :)

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