A Long Distance Relationship Story
Hi, Gregg here with another long distance relationship story from a reader. This one comes from Emerson, who wanted to share with you her story of a successful long distance relationship. I always encourage you, my readers, to send me your stories. Only with your permission will I publish them, so don’t worry. Your stories are otherwise confidential!
Hi, my name is Emerson. When was the last time you got a handwritten love letter? I get them more often than most women do. Now let me ask you this, when was the last time you kissed your love? Probably this morning before he or she went off to work, right? Mine was three months ago when I dropped him off at the airport to go back to his duty station 3,000 miles away. Crazy, huh? How do I do it? How can that actually work? Trust me; I’ve heard all the questions.
It started six years ago when my husband was on shore duty in the Navy. During shore duty he is on land and doesn’t have to go to sea for three years. We met through an online dating site and knew pretty early it was going to be something special. He was such a romantic. He surprised me with a trip to Disney World on our third date. Go ahead ladies, drool. I had found my keeper! When things got serious we had the discussion of when he would relocate and go back to sea. I have children from a previous marriage and share joint custody with my ex-husband. Moving with the Navy wasn’t an option.
As much as you prepare yourself (or try to prepare yourself) for the change, you’re never really ready. It was the hardest thing to put him on that plane knowing it would be months before I saw him again. Even worse, he is on a submarine so it limits our contact while he’s away. They don’t have phones down there and I’m not a mermaid.
I was always a believer that Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) would never work. Like Gregg says in the fashion of Yoda, do or do not, there is no try. Of course what he actually said was, “make a commitment or call it off, there is no room for the in-between.” But, same thing. There is no truer statement. You have to be all in or it will never work, but if your love can pass the test of physical separation, you will have a bond with true staying power.
I have learned in the three years living 3,000 miles apart from my husband that our love has actually grown stronger. “Distance in miles doesn’t have to mean distance in affection”, as Gregg put it in his book, Committed to Love, Separated by Distance. Since my husband moved, we have become so much more affectionate. Toward the end of three years of living together, before the move, we began to take each other for granted. He was busy with his life and I was busy with mine. We would have the meaningless, “How was your day?” conversation and kiss before we turned out the light. It was going through the motions. Being forced apart actually brought us together.
The transition wasn’t easy, but we learned ways to make it work. In the beginning it was hard to figure out what to say. It was like we were having the same stale conversation again and again. We had to figure a way to break through that. Luckily with the help of Gregg we did. Now, we have virtual date nights Skyping while we watch our favorite TV shows together (of course, they are prerecorded since we are on a three hour time difference). I found a fun website with a list of interesting questions and asked my husband a different question each day from the list. We send handwritten love letters and care packages out of the blue. When we do get to spend time together physically, we don’t take a moment of that for granted. It’s almost like the “honeymoon phase” of our early romance. We understand how important it is to maintain a strong connection.
While he is away at sea we don’t get those phone calls or FaceTime. Those are the hardest. I keep a journal for him. I write him love letters every day (like a real life version of The Notebook, minus the dementia part). I make notes of funny things in entertainment news, viral videos he would love, and general happenings that he is missing while he is submerged under the sea.
I am an alligator wrestler (in the words of Gregg). I do what people believe can’t be done. I have a happy and fulfilled marriage to a wonderful man who happens to live 3,000 miles away from me. True love knows no geographical bounds. No relationship is perfect, but if it is worth having, it is worth fighting for. Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors, and our love has proven it is tough enough to withstand a hurricane. The countdown is on for his return, for good this time. He will be relocating back home to me this fall and we cannot wait! Our family marks off the calendar each day in anticipation of his return. Now, to transition back to living under the same roof after three years apart… I may to seek out some help from Gregg on that! – Emerson
Do have a long distance relationship story that you would like to share? Do have tips that might others? Please comment below or contact me directly at Gregg@WhoHoldsTheCardsNow.com