I miss Zack, not gonna lie. I miss him terribly and am already counting down the days until he returns home. But even though this year apart already sucks and I’m missing him so bad, it hurts, there are a few benefits to long distance. Yes, I said it. There are benefits. It’s really not all horrible. If you’ve been in a LDR or have gone through any type of separation from your significant other, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from here.
YOU GAIN SOME INDEPENDENCE.
I have never lived on my own before. Ever. I’ve always been the type to be in a long term relationship so I’ve honestly aways lived with either a significant other or family. This whole living on my own thing has been quite the adjustment, but I’m actually kind of liking some aspects of it. Although it’s stressful, I’ve learned how to do a lot of things that Zack normally takes care of. I’m in charge of all the bills now which can be a bit overwhelming, but I’m making it work. If something breaks, then it’s pretty much up to me to fix it since he’s now here to do it for me (sometimes I can get a friend to fix it if I really need them to). I have to make sure Jack is taken care of and keep up on the car maintenance as well. It’s a lot for one person to handle, but I like it! I like knowing that I can do these things on my own if something were to ever happen to him.
I also really don’t have to work around his work schedule anymore. I like being able to create my own schedule and do my own thing throughout the day without having to add another person to it and make sure it works for them as well. Everything is based on what I want. Which leads me to my next point…
YOU HAVE MORE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
Since I’ve always been in a long term relationship and living with a signifiant other, I honestly have never really been able to fully focus on myself and what I want. I remember my parents always mentioning this to me when I was younger. They always expressed how important it was to focus on me rather than another person, but of course, being me, I never listened. I love being married, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been really nice to really take the time to get to know myself better and do the things that I want to do.
I’ve gotten myself back to the gym, my blog is doing great, school couldn’t be better (and I graduate in May! Yay!). I’ve even been working on some of my personality flaws like my lack of listening skills and my jealousy and the fact that I can be super uptight sometimes. Anything that sometimes causes a problem in our marriage. I’m really hoping this next year can be full of some self-development and improvements so that I’m feeling refreshed and more like myself by the time he returns home next year.
YOU LEARN TO APPRECIATE THE TIME YOU HAVE TOGETHER.
So far, I have not been able to spend time with Zack since he left in August, but I appreciated every single second of our FaceTime date the other night. We don’t have time to do that kind of thing all the time, so I loved being able to see him and hear his voice and really talk to him. There were no arguments, no talk about bills or our bad day or anything stressful. We just talked. It couldn’t have been more perfect. And I know that I will soak up every second that I have with him if he comes home to visit.
DISTANCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.
Hearing my phone go off and seeing that it’s Zack instantly gives me butterflies. I feel like a teenager again. The other night, I grabbed my phone so fast when I saw his text pop up on the screen, that I accidentally ripped my phone cord out of the wall. I know that’s a bit much, but I was excited.
It’s only been a little over two months and I already feel so much closer to him. We don’t have a bad marriage by any means, and although we’ve had our bad days, I feel that this time apart has already been so beneficial for us. You just can’t connect the same way when you’re long distance as you can when you’re physically together. Everything is through text messages and FaceTime. But I love the cute good morning/good night texts and feeling excited to hear from him. People bring him up in a conversation and I instantly get butterflies and start smiling obnoxiously. I love my husband. He’s my best friend and my favorite person in the entire world. I’m already dying to see him. I can’t wait!
YOU BUILD STRONGER COMMUNICATION SKILLS.
I admit, our communication hasn’t been the best since Zack left. We need to work on this. But since you can’t physically be together, you have to find a way to communicate your needs and wants effectively. You can’t see their body language and you can’t always hear the tone in their voice either. It can definitely be a challenge. My favorite way to express these things is by saying something like “I feel ______ when you _____”. Or something along those lines. It’s clear and to the point and 9 times out 10, it helps him to understand why I’m upset or feeling the way that I am. It takes both of you find a way to communicate with one another. This leads me to my next point….
YOU LEARN TO WORK AS A TEAM.
Time apart really tests whether or not a couple can work together to make it work. It truly is a team effort. You can’t rely on your partner to make it work out and they can’t solely rely on you either. Just like any other relationship, both of you have to put in every ounce of effort you have. You both have to learn to work together as a team or you’ll never get through it.
This may not apply to all couples, but since Zack and I have a joint bank account and a 14 hour time difference, it’s a challenge to talk about money. I can’t always text him and make sure certain purchases are okay with him and vice versa. We’ve been gradually coming up with financial plans and “rules” so to speak to make it a bit easier on both of us. If it’s over a certain amount then we have to consult the other first (UNLESS it’s medical/dental/eye or car related). I’ve agreed to not get my nails painted every weekend and refrain from going on shopping sprees. We go over every bill when his paychecks go through so we know where all the money is going ahead of time. It’s challenging, but I already see us working together so much better than we did before.
I CAN DO WHAT I WANT.
Lastly, I love that I can do whatever I want with zero judgement. I can hog the bed, I can drink a bottle of wine in the shower, I can watch whatever I want on Netflix, I can eat what I want for dinner, I can go to bed whenever I feel like it. There’s so much freedom! Sometimes a little too much freedom, but I do like that I can just go with the flow of life.
Have you been in a LDR? What do you feel are the benefits?