Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Long distance love...not so bad after all?

If you told me a year ago or five or ten or whatever, that I would be in a transatlantic/long distance relationship, I would have laughed and laughed. In my head I always had such a negative view of long distance relationships. Hell, I was in relationships with men only an hour away and still struggled with the distance! Then I met Dan, my beautifully brilliant British beau, who just so happened to live an ocean away.

Now, after many months of the long distance dating thing, I have actually found there to be many a positive thing about it (minus the whole mini freak out when I hadn't heard from him). In new relationships I am often prone to what I call tunnel vision. I get so enamored with my new flame, I often lose sight of other things in my life. When said flame is an ocean away, tunnel vision is nearly impossible. While I will admit to thinking about my lovely many times a day, I cannot be consumed by it either as I know it would just drive me insane with missing him. I am able to still work on me and my own things while maintaining a relationship. I can continue to spend ample time with my friends and family and not feel I am neglecting my new found love. It's almost the best of both worlds in that regard. I get to live a sort of single life while still having the love and security of a good relationship.

Another massive pro to this long distance dating is the communication it builds. From the word go, Dan and I have had to be on top of communicating with one another. I am not just talking about being in touch with one another on a regular (which we most definitely are) basis. I am talking about being open and honest about our expectations and desires. I mean maintaining a long distance relationship without common goals in mind would be an exercise in futility and would most inevitably self destruct. Dan and I have been up front about what we want from one another and what we want from our relationship. I think a large part of this is that our "dating life" has primarily been all talk. Don't get me wrong active and adventurous dates can be great but it's easier to focus on the action rather then learning about one another. When all you have is talk, you can't help but learn a lot about one another quickly.

That is another pro in and of itself, while Dan and I may live over 3,000 miles from one another, we know each other well. We both make an effort to include each other in our day-to-day lives. It's rare that I don't know what he's doing and vice versa. That doesn't mean we keep tabs on one another but rather, since we can't do things together, we make an effort to share the things we are doing with one another. Through this we have learned a lot about one another. Dan knows (and somehow still loves me anyways) my penchant for worrying (about just about everything). I know his engineering mind is always ticking and turning things over and figuring things out. He knows and appreciates my obsession love for my sweet puppy dog and is prepared for the fall-out when I move an ocean away from her. I know how deeply and strongly he cares for and loves his godchildren. And on and on and on. I do believe, though this has not been nearly my longest relationship, Dan knows me better then anyone. He sees the real me because it is far easier for me to be 100% my neurotic self over the phone, text, IM, email, and Skype. He sees it all and miraculously still loves me just the same!

One of the more bittersweet aspects of this whole long distance thing is the patience I've had to learn. Anyone who knows me can attest to my lack of patience. It's not a virtue I've ever had in abundance but when you have to wait months at a time to see you hunny, you are forced to be patient. There are times when my patience wears thin and poor Dan gets to hear all about it but for the most part I have learned to wait, it's all that can be done for now. I know that soon enough I will get to see my sweetheart again and in the meantime I get the chance to get to know Dan even more, not to mention getting to know myself just a wee bit better as well.

Don't get me wrong, I look so forward to the day that my relationship will no longer be long distance but in the meantime I am learning to appreciate it for all it's pros. This is a time Dan and I will never get back so we might as well milk it for all it's worth and enjoy the balance one gets from the distance, as well as taking the time to build a really solid base.


  1. First of all thanks for the advice on the skin so soft.

    I just read these last two posts and oh boy did it ever take me back. This was the Hubster & I 5-8 years ago, before I moved here. I so get the worrying when you haven't heard from him, I was exactly the same!

    I also understand how connected you feel and it is hard for others to understand. But we were the same, always knew what we were up to, spoke everyday and it was like we were together, even though we weren't!

    In the final year before I moved here, I found myself more and more detached from everything and everyone around me at home. I already felt like my life was moving on and it was so hard to join in anything with enthusiasm.

    The good news is five years after I moved here, we're still very happy. Sure it changes, but we have never had a moments regret about everything we went through to be together.

    I will be watching this space and btw you're an adorable couple.

  2. Awww Sarah (great name by the way - it's my sisters name with the H and all).

    Thank you so much for the comment. I definitely understand detaching yourself. While I am not moving exclusively for Dan, I am still looking forward to our building a life together. I know that when the time comes it will be hard to leave but also exciting to go!