My Boyfriend Is Out of Town

So my boyfriend has been out of town for the last couple of days but comes home tomorrow.  Now I know you might be thinking that sounds strange since my bf already lives completely out of my town; oceans away from me in fact in Kenya, but honestly he is is out of town.  He is not at his home, and is instead helping with a school trip.  I know I’m in a LDR but whenever he travels (and has limited computer/phone use) it always feels like he is away from home, our home.  Again, Skype, has spoiled us into a wonderful LDR routine of frequent wonderful video chats. Maybe I should rename this blog to “Why I Love Skype in my LDR”….

I’ve become so accustomed to seeing my bf in the morning when I wake up and at night before I go to sleep, so his absence on my computer screen is kind of sad–again I know this seems strange to say, but it’s kind of lonely in my apartment without him on Skype.  The good news about him being out of town, and for any of you in a LDR, is the realization that even though we are not physically close, our lives are definitely intertwined.  Our frequent communication and Skype chats (or iChats if you prefer), have brought us so close over this period of separation, that when we don’t get to see each other and chat frequently, I miss him.  Anyway, he comes back tomorrow, and it will be wonderful to have him back home on my computer screen again.

Long Distance Relationship Key – Knowing When You Get To Be Together In The Same Place

There are some days/weeks that it is difficult to be in a LDR because you miss having your partner here in person (not just for the daily tasks I mentioned in an earlier post), but actually to have a hand to hold. The last couple of weeks have been a little stressful for me for a variety of reasons.  Work, life and figuring out travel plans of when I can see my boyfriend next.  I really would have loved to have him around just for some hugs and general shoulder leaning this week, but Skype had to suffice.

When my boyfriend first joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer, I knew the term was two years and three months (two years and two months in his case because his training had to be rushed).  I also knew when he joined that there was an option of an extension for a third year if he felt inclined to carry out a larger project that couldn’t fit within the first two years. The last thing I knew about the timeline, was that while two years would be undoubtedly be difficult for me at times, I somehow knew I had it in me to get through, but a third year (with that as a variable) would have been incredibly difficult for a variety of reasons.  Luckily, there hasn’t been any real talk of the optional third year, and we actually do talk about life together after Peace Corps at the end of this year (beginning of next), so it helps me to know where we stand and that we are both committed to each other–not just for our lives apart, but also for a life in the same place.

So this week when I needed his shoulder to lean on, my partner to hug, I again reminded myself to be thankful.  Thankful that I have found a great guy who I am really in love with and thankful that I know the end date of when he will return.  I honestly think that part of the key to a long distance relationship, is not only communication but knowing when you get to be together in the same place.  I’ve been in the open-ended LDR where the end date was unknown, as have a couple of my friends, and that ambiguity leads to uncertainty because the commitment is just not there.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t like or even love that person, it just means that you can’t commit to being with them in the same place, which means it’s harder to keep going together when you really don’t know what, if anything, the future holds for you as a couple.

Even though two years is a long time to be apart, we have been incredibly fortunate to have already spent about seven weeks of almost pure vacation time together in three visits in 17 months. The best part now, when I have these days/weeks that are tough and I wish he was around, is knowing we have an end date–nine months, possibly seven if they let him come home before Christmas! I actually don’t really let myself think too much about the shorter scenario because I’d rather be pleasantly surprised.  And while I am definitely still enjoying my alone time, and our Skype dates, I also love that we know when we will be in the same country again together and that it’s not too long from now that I will have my partner around to squeeze and hold.

Another LDR Date Idea

So I like playing board games, and luckily so does my bf.  However, playing board games together can be a little logistically difficult when you live on separate continents.

First, we tried looking to see what games we each had in our respective locations to see if we could set them up and mimic each other’s moves.  Monopoly seemed too cumbersome, so we played a couple rounds of Mastermind.  Our sets varied a little so we said that the red on my board was equivalent to the purple on his board, etc. Mastermind was kind of  fun, but really not super interactive.  My bf remarked that the person holding the code really could be substituted by a computer, so we moved on.

We looked up a few game playing websites to see if there was anything else we could do and found Pogo.  Pogo is okay, the design is simplistic and it took us a while to figure out it didn’t like Firefox on Macs.  We finally realized that the makers of Pogo only really envisioned Mac users playing on Safari.  Once we had that set, we discovered Cribbage and Backgammon.  Those are basically the only board games (besides Chess and Monopoly where we had any interest).  We also realized that is possible that we are just too old-fashioned with our game tastes.  Most people in this day and age like super amazing graphic games with lots of characters, actions, etc. and we like board games.  However, it has been fun to learn Cribbage and use Skype to see each other’s reactions while we outsmart the other or get an especially good hand.  This has actually been a great way for us to have weekend dates when we have time on our side, and exhaust regular conversation and just want to have a little fun.

If anyone has any other board/card game website suggestions, would love to hear them.  Honestly in my ideal world, we would find a site that is a virtual card deck where we can play whatever game we want and deal however we want.  Ideas?