Shawn’s job requires him to travel a lot. Usually it’s within the States, but this past year he has almost exclusively been traveling to China.
He usually has to be there for 3-5 weeks at a time, which can put a damper on our dynamic.
And for those of you that doesn’t listen to the podcast (yet), our dynamic is that of two co-dependent dogs. (please refer to season 2 episode 2: China, please don’t take my man).
We do basically everything together.
We get ready in the morning together.
I drive him to work.
Sometimes I pick him up for lunch.
We workout together.
We grocery shop together.
He poops while I’m showering.
We walk the dog together (sometimes).
Like, the only way my bachelorette party could’ve been any better would be if Shawn could’ve come along, too.
It’s constant. Seriously. Many of you probably think we have a problem.
And we probably do, but that’s not the point of this blog. The point is that being in a long distance relationship is really hard; we can attest to that.
And when you’re in the midst of it, it’s really easy to lose the spark or feel forgotten or unloved.
While Shawn is in China, our schedules are literally flip-flopped.
When I’m waking up in the morning, he’s winding down from work.
The middle of my day is the prim-time sleeping hours for him.
When something exciting or funny happens, I write it down in my Notes section of my phone so I remember to bring it up when we’re able to talk that afternoon.
Everything about my schedule is messed up and its’ really easy to get frustrated when your schedules don’t allow for enough catching-up time.
Like I said before, it’s easy to feel lonely and distant from one another. Little things get blown out of proportion and short text messages can get turned into fights.
But one of the ways that we’ve learned to make this long distance relationship easier is finding ways to still cater to our Love Languages.
Early on in the podcast, I shared that Shawn’s love language was Words of Affirmation; I made it my New Year’s Resolution to write him a love note every week.
Well, being several thousand miles apart didn’t stop me from keeping good on the resolution.
I wrote him a few notes and scattered them throughout his luggage. Some were hidden inside books, socks, or in a jacket pocket.
I wanted him to still know that he was loved and very much missed by his babies (me and Tater, obviously).
And to reciprocate, Shawn made sure to call me most mornings in order to fill my Love Cup, seeing how my Love Language is quality time.
Still finding ways to cater to each of our Love Languages made the distance and time apart (almost) bearable.
Although it was still rough and challenging, the sheer fact that we were trying to fill one another’s cups made a world of difference.
A long distance relationship is no joke, but it’s also not an excuse to simply let your relationship die or go unnurtured. It’s not a way to “get out” of your responsibilities as a spouse or something to blame all your problems on.
Long distance doesn’t break relationships (for the most part), but it will highlight where weaknesses lie.
But as a team, a long distance relationship can really go the distance.
Eh? You like that?