Thursday, March 29, 2012

How To Have A Long Distance Relationship

Sometimes before I fall asleep at night I wonder how it is that I ended up sleeping next to the guy I call my husband.

How did we get here?? How did we make it through 2.5 years of a long distance relationship and have a good outcome??

This isn't a 'how-to' guide, this was just our experience.

We pretty much started out long distance and unsure of what to expect.

We downloaded Skype, we video-chatted, we made expensive phone calls, and wrote expensive text messages.

There's a 9 hour time difference from California to Norway, so we made a plan to Skype everyday while I was on my lunch break at work, around the time when Stian was going to bed in Norway.

Each day I hauled my computer to work. I would leave the house with my arms too full and dropping things. I had my purse, a sweater, my lunch, my yellow travel mug holding my tea to drink while I commuted, my phone balancing on top of my mug, my breakfast often sliding around on a plate, and always my computer. I don't think I ever forgot it. It was an art just to get into my car.

I ate lunch in my car and made sure to park it as close to the internet router as possible (which was just outside the office) and hope there was a good connection that day. I would crawl into the backseat so I could sit with my feet hanging over the driver's seat, balance the computer on my shins, and eat my lunch while I found out about Stian's day.

Most days we were able to chat for the whole hour, many days we weren't. Sometimes we sat in silence - he read the news online, I checked my email and Facebook, read some jokes, and ate my lunch. On weekends, occasionally we would fall asleep while talking. We were "hanging out."

We counted down the days until we saw each other again. We were annoyed that we were doing this, and yet somehow compelled to continue.

We spent a lot of time in airports. We anticipated the greatest kisses in the world there, and experienced the most heart-wrenching goodbyes. I've cried too many tears in the airports of Bergen and Los Angeles, both happy and sad.

It was hard work, but the time we spent together (in the same country) made up for it. It kept us holding on until the next time we could see each other.

After a long stretch of not seeing each other for nearly 5 months, we vowed to NEVER let it go that long again. We realized that we could meet halfway between Norway and California for a quick weekend getaway, so we met in Washington, D.C., keeping just a month and a half between visits.

Long distance relationships are expensive, frustrating, and inconvenient.

On the other hand, you learn how to communicate better than you ever thought you knew how, you realize you can maintain independence and have a relationship at the same time, and you have a lot of time think things over and decide whether or not to follow your heart....no matter how far it might take you.


2 comments:

  1. ah this nearly brought me to tears because i can 100% sympathize!!!! it was the hardest thing ive ever done, hands down. it was the biggest test of everything i knew. and had the best outcome :)

    we did the skype thing too where i took my computer to work and skyped live on lunch break :) when i was in the office at work we would skype message all day. when i was away from my office we would skype through my phone (and his computer). my weekends were spent learning norwegian through skype...and his weekends were spent learning US state capital cities (which i often didnt get right myself) through skype.

    while it was the hardest thing ive ever done, it was certainly the most rewarding! im sure you agree :) :)

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