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.