But that's totally wrong. We actually do get date nights, but they mostly consist of watching movies on Netflix. Many times we just sit with Skype on and he plays guitar while I am busy crafting. We share YouTube videos and post silly pictures on Facebook. We text. We call.
It gets boring after a while, not having many options for a date night. I get jealous knowing that my friends get to go out with their spouses to dinner, hiking, or to a picnic in the park. Even just going to get coffee in the morning would be a dream for us! When we ARE together we try to make every second count.
Long distance relationships are pretty common in the military. Quite a few of the people I work with have wives or girlfriends who live in the lower 48. It's nice to know I'm not alone, but it gets difficult because there are still people who think long distance doesn't work.
Here's my advice to anyone doing it long distance:
- Make time for each other. Even though sitting around on Skype can be boring, you'll soon realize you're having some of the best conversations you've ever had.
- Don't listen to other people. You'll hear that long distance doesn't work. They will say married people "should" be together. I'm guilty of letting people's opinions get to me... and you know what happens? Joe and I get into a fight. If I didn't let these opinions get to me we could be spending our time together having fun. If you have decided as a couple what the situation is and how it is going to work, you don't need any other opinion messing with your head.
- Have a deadline. Know when you will finally be together in the same space permanently. If I told Joe that I wasn't sure about leaving the Army after my contract was up, it may have been difficult for him to see a long term relationship work. I KNOW I'm leaving and I know I'm moving to New York after that. We have our plan for the future and it helps on those days when we wake up lonely.
- Trust each other. It's part of knowing your relationship is a good one from the beginning. If you can't trust that your partner isn't dating other people, it doesn't matter how far away or close to each other you are... it's not going to work.
I can't wait for the day when we can fight about doing the dishes and picking dirty clothes up off the floor!